Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 29-35, 2008

 

An Ethnobotanical Survey of Important Wild Medicinal Plants of Hattar District Haripur, Pakistan

Khalid Hussain, Aamir Shahazad and Syed Zia-ul-Hussnain

Shakarganj Sugar Research Institute, Toba Road Jhang (Punjab), Pakistan

E-mail: khalidbotany@inbox.com

 

Issued 26 January 2008

 

Abstract

An ethnobotanical survey was undertaken for the purpose of collecting information from traditional healers on the use of medicinal plants in Hattar region, District Haripur, NWFP, Pakistan during 2004-06. The indigenous knowledge of local traditional healers and the native plants used for medicinal purposes were collected through questionnaire and personal interviews during field trips. Plants with their correct nomenclature were arranged alphabetically by family name, vernacular name and ethnomedicinal uses. The identification and nomenclature of the listed plants were based on The Flora of Pakistan. Hattar was surveyed 2-times per year comprising autumn and spring season. A total of 45 plants species were identified by taxonomic description and locally by folk knowledge of people existing in the region. Out of 45 plant species, 17 were perennials/biannual, 20 were found in spring, while 8 species were found in autumn season. Plant specimens collected, identified, preserved and mounted were deposited in the Herbarium, Qarshi Herb Centre, Hattar, Haripur for future references.

Introduction

 

Pakistan is a fairly large country endowed with a variety of climates, ecological zones and topographical regions. The flora is, likewise, extremely varied and diverse and highly fascinating. Nearly six thousand species of flowering plants are reported from Pakistan and Kashmir (Shinwari, 1996).

The history of discovery and use of different medicinal plants is as old as the history of discovery and use of plants for food (Ibrar, 2002). Medicinal plants play a key role in traditional health care system. A number of allopathic drugs also comprise extracts taken from medicinal plants (Rashid and Arshad, 2002).

 

Hattar is located in district Haripur. Haripur is 30 km on the West and South West from Abbottabad. Haripur is in the Northwest of Rawalpindi comprising 60 km distance by road in north.  The District Abbottabad lies between 33 50 to 34 23 North latitudes and 72 35 to 73 31 East longitudes. The climate of Hattar is moderate. During summer season, the climate is hot average temperature ranges between 30-35oC. The winter season is cool and extends from November to March average temperature ranges between -04-10oC.

 

The herbal medicines occupy distinct position right from the primitive period to present day. The ethnobotanical pharmacology is as old as man himself. In Indo-Pak first record of plant medicine were compiled in Rig Veda between 4500-1600 BC and Ayurveda between 2500-600 BC. This system traces its origin to Greek medicine, which was adopted by Arabs and then spread to India and Europe. About 80% population of the world depends on the traditional system of health care (Ahmad, 2005). These medicines have less side effects and man can get the herbs easily from nature. Unani system is dominant in Pakistan but the ethno medicinal plants use is also seen in the remote areas. (Ahmad et al. 2003).

 

The indigenous traditional knowledge of herbal plants of communities where it has been transmitted orally for many years is fast disappearing from the face of world due to transformation of traditional culture. The people, who are native to the area in which the plants occur, use around 90% of the medicinal species (Baquar1989). This is indicative of the vast repository of knowledge of plant medicine that is still available for global use, provided of course that it does not get lost before it can be tapped or documented. Traditional and indigenous medical knowledge of plants, both oral and codified, are undoubtedly eroding (Mujtaba and Khan, 2007).

 

Keeping in view the importance of medicinal flora of Hattar the study was confined to collect and document the indigenous knowledge of local people about medicinal uses of native plants.

Materials and Methods

 

Plant collection and preservation

Six field trips in autumn and spring seasons were arranged in order to collect information about the ethnomedicinal uses of plants by the local people from January 2004 to January 2006. The main target site was Hattar of District Haripur, NWFP, Pakistan.

 

Standard method was followed with regard to collection of plant materials, drying, mounting, preparation and preservation of plant specimens (Nasir and Ali, 2001). Voucher specimens of medicinal plants in triplicates were collected, prepared and identified. Plants with their correct nomenclature were arranged alphabetically by family name, vernacular name and ethnomedicinal uses. The identification and nomenclature of the listed plants were based on The Flora of Pakistan (Nasir and Ali, 1978). The specimens were deposited in the Herbarium, Qarshi Herb Centre, Hattar, Haripur.

 

Traditional folk knowledge

 

Questionnaire method was adopted for documentation of folk indigenous knowledge .The interviews were carried out in local community, to investigate local people and knowledgeable persons (Hakims, Women and Herdsmen) who are the main user of medicinal plants About 200 informants have been interviewed on random basis. The indigenous medicinal plants having traditional knowledge of utilization among the people have been selected as reference specimens.

 

Results

 

During the present study, ethnomedicinal data on 45 plant species belonging to 17 perennials/biannual, 20 spring seasonal, and 8 species of autumn season were collected. Information regarding their botanical name, vernacular name, family, part used and their ethnomedicinal uses are listed in Tables 1, 2 and 3. Data presented in Table 1 shows 17 plant species that are perennials or biennials. Woody plants consisted of two Acacia species, Broussonetia papyrifera (Jangli Toot) and Dalbergia sissoo (Shisham). Mentha longifolia (Jangli Podina) and Saccharum spontaneum (Khai) were herbaceous, while the remaining species were documented as shrubby.

Table 1. Important perennial medicinal plants of Hattar region perennials/biennial).
Sr. #
Botanical Name

Vernacular Name

Family
Part used

Ethnomedicinal Uses

 

1
Acacia modesta Wall.
Phulahi
Mimosaceae
Gum

Gum is restorative

2

Acacia nilotica (L.) Delice.

Kikar
Mimosaceae
Bark, pods, gum
Astringent, bark used in diarrhea, gum used in cough
3
Adhatoda vasica Nees.
Baker/Arusa
Acanthaceae
Whole plant
Used in cough and asthma
4
Berberis lycium Rolye
Simblo
Berberidaceae
Roots, leaves

Root is febrifuge, used in piles. Leaves are used in jaundice

5

Broussonetia papyrifera (L.) Ventenat

Jangli Toot
Moraceae
Bark, fruit
Laxative and febrifuge
6

Calotropis procera (Wild.) R.Br.

Ak
Asclepiadaceae
Whole plant
Plant is expectorant, anthelmintic, diaphoretic and purgative
7

Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.

Khabal Ghass
Poaceae
Whole plant
It is laxative, astringent, diuretic
8

Dalbergia sissoo Roxb.

Shisham/Tali
Paplionaceae
Leave, root, bark
Stimulant, astringent, alterative
9
Dodonea viscosa (L) Jacq
Sanatha
Sapindaceae
Leaves, bark

Febrifuge, used in swelling and burns. Bark is astringent.

10
Mentha longifolia (L.)Huds.
Jangli Podina
Labiatae
Aerial Parts

Carminative and stimulant

11

Morus alba L.

Toot
Moraceae
Fruit, bark
Refrigerant, used for sore throat. Bark is purgative
12
Ricinus communis L
Arand
Euphorbiaceae
Leave, seeds
Leaves applied in poultice and to relieve pains. Seeds used in scorpion sting.
13

Saccharum spontaneum L.

Kahi
Poaceae
Whole plant
Laxative, used in burning sensation, phthisis and in diseases of blood
14

Saccharum arundinaceum Retz.

Sarkanda
Poaceae
Stem, root
Diuretic, refrigerant and diaphoretic, useful in blood troubles and urinary complaints.
15

Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.

Baru
Poaceae
Seeds
Seeds are diuretic and demulcent
16

Withania somnifera Dunal

Asghand
Solanaceae
Whole plant
Aphrodisiac, alternative. Fruit diuretic. Tubers used in bronchitis, ulcer.
17

Ziziphus nummularia (Burm.) W. & A.

Jhar beri
Rhamnaceae
Leaves, fruit
Externally leaves used in boils and scabies. Leaves are astringent

 

 

Table 2. Important medicinal plants of Hattar region in spring season.

 

Sr. #
Botanical Name

Vernacular Name

Family
Part used

Ethnomedicinal Uses

 

1
Achyranthus aspera L.
Putt Kanda
Amaranthaceae
Whole plant

Plant is purgative, diuretic, astringent and emetic
2

Amaranthus viridis L.

Chuli
Amaranthaceae
Whole plant

Used in diarrhea, mouth ulcer

3

Anagallis arvensis L.

Dahber booti
Primulaceae
Whole plant

Lowers fever, diuretic and expectorant

4

Cannabis sativa L.

Bhang
Cannabinaceae
Whole plant
Tonic, intoxicant, stomachic, narcotic and sedative
5

Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medic.

Chambraka
Cruciferae
Seeds
Stimulant, antiscorbic, astringent in diarrhea
6

Carthamus oxycantha M. Bieb.

Kantiari
Compositae
Seeds
Seed oil used in dressing ulcer and against itch
7

Cassia absus L.

Chaksu
Leguminosae
Seeds
Enriching the blood as tonic, a bitter astringent for the bowels
8

Cyperus rotundis L.

Deela ghass

Cyperaceae

Tuber

Stimulant, astringent, diuretic and stomachic

9

Eclipta prostrata L.

Bhangra
Compositae

Whole plant

Juice is used in fever, liver problems. Leaves in cough, headache and as a hair restorer

10

Euphorbia helioscopia L.

Gandi-buti
Euphorbiaceae
Whole plant

Latex is applied to eruption. Seeds with pepper is given in cholera

11

Euphorbia hirta L.

Dudhi
Euphorbiaceae
Whole plant

Expectorant, colic, used in bronchial affection, cough and asthma

12

Malva sylvestris L.

Khubazi
Malvaceae
Whole plant
Cooling, emollient, febrifuge and used in urinary bladder problems
13

Melilotus indica L.

Sinjee
Papilionaceae

Whole plant

Externally used as poultice or plaster on swelling

14

Oxalis corniculata L.

Khati Buti
Oxalidaceae

Whole plant

Antiscorbic, refrigerant, cooling and stomachic.

15

Salvia moorcroftiana Wall.

Kalijarri
Labiatae
Leaves,seeds, root
Applied to wounds as poultice. Used in cough and cold
16

Solanum surrattense Bumr.f.

Kandiari
Solanaceae

Whole plant

Bitter, stomachic, diuretic, used in asthma and sore throat

17

Sonchus asper L.

Sontati
Compositae

Whole plant

Applied to wound or boils

 

18
Taraxacum officinale Weber
Dudal
Compositae
Leaves, root

Aperient, diuretic, tonic, used for kidney and liver disorder

19

Tribulus terristris L.

Bhakra/ Gokhru
Zygophyllaceae
Whole plant
Cooling, diuretic, used in urinary and kidney disorder and heart diseases
20

Xanthium strumarium L.

Chota gokhru

Compositae

Whole plant

Sedative, astringent, diuretic. Root is used in earache, fruit used in small-pox

 

 

 

Data presented in Table 2 showed 20 plant species that were documented in spring season. In Table 3, autumn plant species consisted of eight species.

 

Table 3. Important medicinal plants of Hattar region in autumn season.

Sr. #
Botanical Name

Vernacular Name

Family
Part used

Ethnomedicinal Uses

 

1

Cichorium intybus L.

Kasini
Compositae
Whole plant
Tonic, used in fevers, vomiting and diuretic.

2

Chenopodium album L.

Bathu
Chenopodiaceae
Whole plant
Laxative, anthelmentic, used in hepatic disorder

3

Chenopodium ambrosioides L.

Katto/Bathoo
Chenopodiaceae
Whole plant
Anthelmentic, oil is good against hookworm

4

Chenopodium morale L.
Kurund
Chenopodiaceae
Fruits
 

5

Convolvulus arvensis L.

Leli
Convolvulaceae
Roots
Purgative and diarrheic

6

Fumaria indica (Haussk.) Pugsley
Papra
Fumariaceae
Whole plant

Diuretic, diaphoretic and recommended in leprosy

7

Silybum marianum( L.) Gaertn.
Kandari/ Ount Katara
Compositae
Whole plant
Seeds, leaves used in hepatitis and liver problems

8

Solanum nigrum L.
Mako
Solanaceae
Whole plant
Sedative, diaphoratic, diuretic, laxative, tonic

 

Discussion

 

In ancient times, people had knowledge of medicinal plants. Several hundred species were used as herbal remedies in indigenous system of medicines that used the whole plant or an extraction. Local people and practitioners with traditional knowledge collected these medicinal plants. Most were not involved in the trade of medicinal plants. The local people had a little knowledge about the species and proper time of collection (Shinwari and Khan, 1999).

 

The need for a specific definition of traditional knowledge is impelled by the push from the formal sector to control, manage and market the knowledge and to bring it under a regulatory framework. Traditional knowledge provides useful leads for scientific research, being the key to identifying those elements in a plant with a pharmacological value that is ultimately destined for the international markets. Indeed, such traditional knowledge is very valuable. Annual global sales of products derived from the manipulation of genetic resources lie between US$ 500 and US$800 billion annually (Kate and Laird, 1999).

 

Today, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), as many as 80% of the world's people depend on traditional medicine for their primary healthcare needs. There are considerable economic benefits in the development of indigenous medicines and in the use of medicinal plants for the treatment of various diseases (Azaizeh et al. 2003). Due to the lack of modern communications, as well as poverty, ignorance and unavailability of modern health facilities, most people especially rural people are still forced to practice traditional medicines for their common day ailments. Most of these people form the poorest link in the trade of medicinal plants (Khan, 2002). A vast knowledge of how to use the plants against different illnesses may be expected to have accumulated in areas where the use of plants is still of great importance (Diallo et al. 1999).

 

Conclusions

 

The survey indicated that the study area has plenty of medicinal plants to treat a wide spectrum of human ailments. Earlier studies on traditional medicinal plants also revealed that the economically backward local and tribal people of Hattar prefer folk medicine due to low cost and sometimes it is a part of their social life and culture.

 

References

 

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Ahmad M, Khan MA, Qureshi RA (2003). Ethnobotanical study of some cultivated plants of chhuchh region (District Attock). J. Hamdard Medicus. Vol. XLVI (3). pp15-19.

 

Azaizeh H, Fulder S, Khalil K, Said O (2003). Ethnomedicinal knowledge of local Arab practitioners in the Middle East Region. Fitoterapia, 74:98-108.

 

Baquar SR (1989). Medicinal and Poisonous Plants of Pakistan. Printas

Karachi, Pakistan, pp 343-344.

 

Diallo D, Hveem B, Mahmoud MA, Berge G, Paulsen BS, Maiga A (1999). An ethnobotanical survey of herbal drugs of Gourma district, Mali. Pharmaceutical Biology, 37:80-91. OpenURL

 

Ibrar M (2002). Responsibilities of ethnobotanists in the field of medicinal plants. In Proceeding of Workshop on Curriculum Development in Applied Ethnobotany. Published by the Ethnobotany Project, WWF Pakistan, 34-D/2, Sahibzada Abdul Qayuum Road Peshawar, Pakistan, pp 16-20.

 

Kate K, Laird SA (1999). The Commercial Use of Biodiversity, Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-Sharing, Earthscan, London.

 

Khan AU (2002). History of decline and present status of natural tropical thorn forest in Punjab. Pakistan Biological Conservation, 63:210-250.

 

Mujtaba G, Khan MA (2007). Check list of medicinal plants of siran valley mansehra-pakistan. Leaflet Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad-Pakistan, pp 15.

 

Nasir E, Ali SI (2001). Flora of Pakistan National Herbarium, Islamabad . pp 200.

 

Nasir E, Ali SI (1978). Flora of Pakistan. National Herbarium, Islamabad, pp 1-150.

 

Rashid A, Arshad, M (2002). Medicinal plant diversity, threat imposition and interaction of a mountain people community. In Proceeding of Workshop on Curriculum Development in Applied Ethnobotany. Published by the Ethnobotany Project, WWF Pakistan, 34-D/2, Sahibzada Abdul Qayuum Road Peshawar, Pakistan, pp 84-90.

 

Shinwari ZK (1996). Ethnobotany in Pakistan: Sustainable and participatory approach. In Proceedings Ethnobotany and its application to conservation. Published National Agric. Res. Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan, pp 14-25.

 

Shinwari MI, Khan MK (1999). Folk use of medicinal herbs of Margalla Hills National Park, Islamabad. J. Ethnopharmacology 69 (2000): 45-56.