Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 690-92. 2008.
Ethnomedicinal Uses of
some Common Bryophytes and Pteridophytes Used by Tribals of Melghat Region (MS),
R. P. Shirsat
PG Department of Botany
Apart from the
higher angiospermic plants, the tribal community of
Melghat area (MS)
Key Words: Ethnomedicine, Lower plants, Bryophytes, Pteridophytes, Melghat.
The lower plants are thought by most people to be quite useless members of the plant kingdom. Being a group of lower plants, it remains unattended and their useful aspects are largely ignored. However these can be used for food, fiber, crafts, building material, abrasives, and decoration, and also as medicine (Shankar and Khare, 1994; Vasudeva, 1999 and Shrivastava, 2007a & b). But recently ethno botanical studies have attracted a number of researchers and they have supplied a lot of information about different uses of lower plants world wide. Today, ethnobotany has become a crucial area of research and development in resource management and conservation of biodiversity. As each tribal community has their own health care system, their ancient knowledge, sometimes referred to as ethno-therapeutics, has therefore provided a more useful and effective strategy for the discovery of clinically active drugs. In the present paper, author had attempted to gather this indigenous information about the use of some common lower plants which may be further exploited for the benefit of society.
Material and Method
Plant materials for
the present study were obtained from the forests at Hiwarkhed,
Shahnur, Popatkhed, Khatkali, Gullarghat and Chikhaldara, of
Results and Discussion
Melghat forests provide an excellent piece of rich biodiversity. The tribal community is solely depends on the forest product products, not only this, they have their own herbal health care system. In this these peoples use various plants, and their products to combat with numerous human diseases. There are several reports reciting the ethnomedicinal uses of higher plants found in this area (Kamble and Pradhan, 1980; Shankar & Khare, 1994 Naik, 1998, Vasudeva, 1999; Rothe et al., 2004; Shrivastava, 2007). However, similar reports on the use of member of lower plant group as medicine are very scars. The author had attempted here to gain the indigenous knowledge of tribal peoples about the use of lower plant group members in medicine system of the community. The tribals of this area are found to use some common bryophytes as well as pteridophytes in their routine health care system to treat the diseases like cold, fever, skin diseases, mental disorders, abdominal & respiratory disorders and sexual problems. 11 important members (4 members of Bryophytes and 7 Pteridophytes) of ethnomedicinally used lower plant group, which are used by the peoples of tribal communities, along with uses are listed below in the table:1.
Kambale, S. Y. and Pradhan,
S. G. (1980) Ethnobotany of Korkus in
Naik, V. N. (1998) Flora of Marathwada.
Rothe, S. P., Suradkar, S. S. and Koche, D. K. (2004) Study of some ethnomedicinal plant species from Melghat tribal region of Amaravati District. Proc. XIV annual Conf. IAAT, Thiruanantapuram. pp- 160.
Shankar, R & Khare, P.K. (1994) Ethnobotanical studies of some ferns from Pachmarhi hills (M.P.). Higher plants of Indian subcontinent, vol.111:289-294.
Shrivastava, K (2007) Importance of ferns in human medicine, Ethnobotanical leaflets, 11: 231-234 (a).
Shrivastava, K (2007) Ethnobotanical studies of some important ferns, Ethnobotanical leaflets, 11: 164-172 (b).
Vasudeva, S, M. (1999) Economic importance of Pteridophytes. Indian Fern J. 16(1-2): 130-152.
Table- 1. Ethnomedicinal uses of some bryophyte and pteridophyte members used by the tribals of melghat area in their herbal health care system.