Bangladesh reportedly has more than 100 tribal communities; however, documentation of their medicinal practices is markedly absent.
The aim of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among the little known Bauri tribe of Bangladesh, whose tribal medicinal practices are yet to be documented.
Settings and Design:
The survey was carried out among the Bauri tribal community of Purbo Tila village in Moulvibazar District. The community is believed to be the only Bauri community in the country and had four tribal healers who continue their traditional medicinal practices.
Materials and Methods:
Interviews of the healers were carried out with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method where the healers took the interviewers on guided field-walks through areas from where they collected their medicinal plants. Here they identified the plants and described their uses.
The Bauri healers were observed to use 40 different plant species and one bird species for treatment of ailments such as fever, respiratory tract disorders, pain, gastrointestinal disorders, eye problems like cataract and conjunctivitis, jaundice, abscess, cardiovascular disorders, urinary problems, paralysis, dog bite, snake bite, helminthiasis, lesions on the tongue or lips and piles. Leaves were the major plant part used and constituted 38.3% of total uses followed by fruits at 14.9%.
A review of the relevant scientific literature showed that a number of medicinal plants used by the Bauri healers possess pharmacological activities, which were in line with the traditional uses, thus validating their use by the Bauri tribe.