Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 620-37. 2008.

 

 

Ethnomedicinal Plants Used Against Diarrhea and Dysentery in Dir Kohistan Valley (NWFP), Pakistan

 

*Gul Jan, *Mir Ajab Khan and **Farzana Gul

 

*Department of Plant Sciences Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad

**Department of Micro Biology Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad

 

Issued 12 September 2008

Abstract

            This paper enumerates the traditional uses of 34 plant species belonging to 26 families, that are used by the village communities of Dir Kohistan Valley (NWFP, Pakistan) for the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery diseases. Some of useful species are under serious threat due to unsustainable activities. Hence, a proper documentation of useful plants with their present status and local traditional knowledge as well as practices is urgently needed. Effort should also be initiated to implement appropriate conservation measures for preservation and sustainable uses of these useful species.

Introduction

            Dir Kohistan Valley NWFP, (Pakistan) covers 1 40,351 acres of the coniferous forests situated between latitude 350- 9 to 350-47 and longitude 710-52 to 720-22 in the northern position of the watershed of Panjkora river. The Hindu Raj range bounds the area generally known as Dir Kohistan on the north and northwest, by the Torwal and Gabral range on the east, by Dodbah Sarghar on the south, and by Btarai ghar on the Southwest. Pangkora is a pashtu word meaning five streams; the five tributaries of the rivers are Azgologh, Zandrai, Shandoor, Gwaldai and Dokdara khwars. Territories adjoining the tract are Chitral on the north as well on the West, Swat Kohistan and Upper Swat on the east, and Painda khel and Dir on the South. The total area of Dir Kohistan is 4, 12,570 acres i.e., 645 squares miles. Of this, an area of 1, 40,351 acres covered with coniferous forests. (Source: District Census Report of Kohistan, NWFP Pakistan, 1998).

The rural communities of Dir Kohistan Valley (NWFP, Pakistan) are still dependent upon wild plants for their primary healthcare and treatment of diseases. They collect the useful plants from various habitats such as forests, scrub, grassland, cultivated fields and use these plant materials as raw drugs. These communities have acquired good knowledge on the useful and harmful properties of the useful plant resources in course of their constant association with forest and agro-ecosystems. However, at present, this vast store of information is being eroded as a result of human’s unsustainable activities. The loss of traditional knowledge within cultures undergoing rapid change is just as irreversible as the loss of species (Joshi and Joshi, 2005). Hence efforts should be made to document the various uses of plants before some of these plants are eliminated from the area, or before these inhabitants shift over to modern remedies. In this context, the rich and diverse forest ecosystems and vast tribal population with traditional knowledge systems due to cultural and environmental diversity in the country have attracted a number of workers for ethnomedicinal studies in the past (Shinwari and Khan, 1998, Hamayun, 2003, Ahmad et al., (2004, Ahmad, 2005). However, the vast store of ethno-medicinal information of these study areas has not been fully documented.

In the present paper an attempt has been made to present indigenous knowledge and uses of the wild plants which are used by local communities for treatment of diarrhea and dysentery.

This study was carried out in some villages of Dir Kohistan Valley (NWFP, Pakistan). The land forms of the study areas are characterized by moderate to steep sloppy mountainous terrain. The study areas are endowed with rich and varied vegetation types due to their diverse topography and variable climatic conditions. The human pressure on these vegetative resources is very heavy except on very steep, almost vertical and inaccessible rock faces near the river.  The villages are inhabited by different ethnic tribes which are rich in folk lore.

Materials and Methods

           Several field trips in and around the study areas were undertaken during the years 2006-2008 with a view to collect plant species of ethnomedicinal value and to document the indigenous practices.  The information was gathered using various techniques such as open and structured interview, and discussion with local informants, such traditional healers and experienced village elders including midwives and by direct observations. About 100 informants were interviewed in this regard.

            The plant specimens were identified with the help of floras. Voucher specimens are deposited in the Department of plant sciences Quaid-I-Azam University. Nomenclature used in this report follows Nasir and Ali (1972).

Results

During the field survey, ethnobotanical information of 34 species of medicinal plants belonging to 26 families was compiled from various habitats of the study areas. The study shows that diarrhea and dysentery, jaundice, pneumonia, asthma, digestive problem, dyspepsia, diabetes and eye problems are the major diseases in the village. During the treatment of the diseases, various forms of preparation are used. In the following enumeration, the species are arranged alphabetically. Botanical Name followed by family, uses of the plants and their parts as reported by the local inhabitants and habitat along with the information collected areas.

 


 


Botanical Name            Acacia nilotica (L.) Delile.

Family                          Mimosaceae

Local Name                 Kikar

Habit                            Tree

Parts used                    woods, leaves and gums

Local uses                    Wood is hard and durable and is used for house, agricultural tools

and as fuel wood. Leaves are used as fodder for goats. Gums are used as tonic, also for

curing diarrhea, dysentery and diabetes.

Flowering period          March-May

 

Botanical Name            Acacia modesta Wall. 

Family                          Mimosaceae

Local Name                 Palosa

Habit                            Tree

Parts used                    Gum, leaves, flowers, sticks and wood.

Local uses                    Gum is used as a tonic, for curing of dysentery and

weakness, as a stimulant and demulcent. Branches are used as toothbrush.

Leaves are used as fodder for goats. It is also used in fencing, as fuelwood

and by honeybees.

 

Botanical Name            Achillea millefolium L.

Family                          Asteraceae

Local Name                 Jarai

Part used                      Whole plant

Habit                            Herb

Local Uses                   The whole plant is boiled in water and the decoction is used for dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Acorus calamus L.

Family                          Acoraceae

Local Name                 Skhawaja.                                              

Habit:                           Herb of moist places

Part Used                     Rhizome

Local Uses                   The dried rhizome is crushed to powder and used in dysentery and chronic diarrhea. The powder is mixed with mustard oil and applied externally for rheumatism. The rhizome is given to children to bite during teething.

 

Botanical Name            Achyranthes aspera Linn.

Family Name                Amaranthaceae

Local Name                 Lainda

Parts used                    Whole plant.

Local Uses                   Decoction of both leaves and roots are used in dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Ailanthus altissima (Mill) Swingle.

Family                          Simarubaceae

Local Name                 Angrizai backyanra

Habit                            Large size fast growing cultivated tree

Part used                      Leaves, trunk and bark

Local uses                    Leaves are used as fodder for cattle. The wood is

used for construction and making low class furniture, also used in making

honeybee boxes and water-mill pulleys. It is used as fuelwood. Bark is

anathematic. Bark juice is mixed with milk for curing dysentery and diarrhea.

Flowering period          April-May  

                       

Botanical Name            Amaranthus viridis L.

Family                          Amaranthaceae

Local Name                 Gunhar

Habit                            Herb

Parts Used                   Whole plant

Local Uses                   Decoction of whole plant is used for diarrhea.

 

Botanical Name            Berberis brandisiana Ahrendt

Family                          Berberidaceae

Local Name                 Shugloo

Habit                            Shrub

Part Used                     Leaves, Fruits, Bark

Local Uses                   Leaves decoction is useful in dysentery and sore throat. Fruits are

edible. Root and stem bark is tonic and is frequently utilized for healing of wounds and

arthritis.

 

Botanical Name            Berberis lycium Royle.

Family                          Berberidaceae

Local Name                 Sumbal

Parts Used                   Leaves

Local Uses                   Dried leaves are crushed, mixed with water and then filtered through a cloth. The extract obtained is used to cure diarrhea. The dried seeds in Ghur syrup are one of the useful household remedies to cure diarrhea and dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Conyza canadensis Conquist.

Family                          Asteraceae(Compositae)

Local Name                 Malooch

Habit                            Herb

Parts used                    Vegetative parts

Local uses                    Fresh fodder, stimulant, homeostatic, diuretic, used

in diarrhea and dysentery.

Flowering period          July-Sept.        

 

Botanical Name            Cynodon dactylon L.

Family                          Poaceae(Graminae)

Local Name                 Drab

Habit                            Herb Prostate grass

Parts used                    Whole plant

Local uses                    It serves as fresh fodder grazed by livestock. It is used along with

Rose flowers in Jaundice. It is cultivated in lawns and playgrounds for ornamental

purposes. It is also used in piles and dysentery.

Flowering period          April-October

 

Botanical Name            Cyperus rotundus L.

Family                          Cyperaceae

Local Name                 Muther

Parts Used                   Rhizome

Habit                            Herb

Local Use                     The tubers are scraped and pounded with green ginger and mixed with honey is given in dysentery.

 

Botanical Name          Daucus carota L.

Family                        Umbelliferae                      

Local Name                 Mooli

Habit                            Herb

Parts used                    The whole herb, seeds and roots.

Local uses                    Diuretic and stimulant. An infusion of the herb is considered an

active remedy in the treatment of dropsy, chronic kidney diseases and affections of the

bladder. The seeds are carminative, stimulant and very useful in flatulence, windy colic,

hiccough, dysentery, chronic coughs, etc. It is also used as a salad.

 

Botanical Name            Diospyrus lotus L

Family                          Ebenaceae

Part used                      Fruit

Habit                            Tree

Local Name                 Amlok

Local Uses                   Locally the decoction of ripened fruit is used for the curing of dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Euphorbia wallichii Hk.f.

Family                          Euphorbiaceae

Local Name                 Shangla

Habit                            A common herb in moist temperate forests.

Part Uses                     Latex, shoots.

Uses                             It is poisonous; highly laxative causes severe diarrhea and dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Ficus bengalensis L.

Family              Moraceae

Local Name                 Bargad

Habit                            Tree

Part used                      Latex

Local Uses                   The latex of this plant is used to treat dysentery, diarrhea, piles, tooth decay, rheumatism and skin diseases.

 

Botanical Name            Justicia adhatoda L.

Family              Acanthaceae

Local Name                 Baikar

Common Names          Arusa & Bhekar (U); Malabar Nut & Casaka (Eng.)

Habit                            Non palatable shrub

Part Used                     Leaves

Local Uses                   The decoction of leaves is antispasmodic, expectorant, abortifacient and also used for curing dysentery in cattle. Honey Bee species.

 

Botanical Name            Mentha royleana (L.)Huds.

Family                          Lamiaceae.

Local Name                 Villanay.

Habit                            Herb

Parts used                    Whole plants.

Local uses                    Leaves are used as a stomach, carminative, diarrhea and dysentery,

rheumatic and stimulant.

 

Botanical Name            Mentha spicata L.

Family                          Lamiaceae.

Local Name                 Podina.

Habit                            Peppermint herb

Parts used                    Leaves.

Local uses                    The dried leaves are powdered and used in chutney,

stomachache and carminative. It is also used in diarrhea and dysentery.

Leaves used as salad, spice and stimulant. The decoction of leave is used

as mouthwash. It is also helpful in dyspepsia.

 

Botanical Name            Oxalis corniculata L.

Family                          Oxalidaceae

Local Name                 Tarookay

Habit                            A perennial herb

Parts used                    Leaves

Local uses                    Used for stomach problems, fever and dysentery. It is refrigerant,

vermifuge and flavoring agent.

Flowering period          March--June.  

 

Botanical Name            Pistacia integerrima J.L.Stewart ex Brandis

Family                     Anacardiaceae

Local Name                 Kangar

Parts Used                   Galls

Habit                            Shrub

Local Uses                   Galls are burnt to ash and mixed with honey or sugar. The galls are

powdered and fried in Ghee and given in dysentery.

 

 

Botanical Name            Plantago major L.

Family                          Plantaginaceae.

Local Name                 Bartang

Habit                            An annual herb

Parts used                    Leaves and seeds.

Local uses                    Seeds are laxative and is used for dysentery and mouth diseases.

 

Botanical Name            Plantago lanceolata L.

Family                          Plantaginaceae.

Local Name                 Isphaghol,Ghwa jabai.

Habit                            An annual herb.

Parts used                    Leaves and seeds.

Local uses                    Leaves extract is applied to sores, wounds and inflamed surfaces. It

is a laxative and is used for dysentery and mouth diseases.

 

Botanical Name            Platanus orientalis L.

Family                          Plantanaceae

Local Name                 Chinar

Habit                            Tree

Part Used                     Wood, Bark

Folk Use                      wood yield timber, fuel wood. Bark is useful remedy in diarrhea and dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Polygonum bistorta Lin

Family                          Polygonaceae

Habit                            Herb

Parts used                    Roots

Local uses                    Root is one of the strongest astringent. It is of proved excellence in

diarrhea and dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Polygonum persicaria L.

Family                          Polygonaceae

Habit                            Herb

Parts used                    Roots

Local uses                    The juice of the roots destroys worms in the ears .It is also used for

diarrhea and dysentery.                                 

Flowering period          June-Sep. 

 

Botanical Name          Punica  granatum  L .

Family                          Punicaceae

Local Name                 Anar

Habit                            A wild/cultivated small, bushy tree.

Parts used                    Leaves.

Local used                   The leaves are used for skin diseases and against dysentery.

Flowering period          April - May.

 

Botanical Name            Quercus inccana Roxb.

Family                          Fagaceae

Local Name                 Spin banj

Parts used                    Fruit.

Habit                            A slow growing tree.

Local uses                    Fruit is used to stop internal bleeding. Stop diarrhea and dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Rubus fruticosus Hk.f.

Family                        Rosaceae

Habit                           Shrub

Parts Used                  Roots

Local Uses                  The root-bark, as used medicinally. It should be peeled off the root and dried by artificial heat or in strong sun. It is boiled in water or milk makes a good decoction. Half a teacupful should be taken every hour or two for diarrhea.

 

Botanical Name            Valeriana wallichii DC.

Family                          Valerianaceae

Local Name                 Mushk-e-bala

Habit                            A perennial herb

Parts used                    Rhizome

Local uses                    Decoction of rhizome is used cholera, dysentery                                          

and against hysteria. The rhizome is carminative, aromatic and antispasmodic.

Flowering period          Feb.-Aug.  

 

Botanical Name            Verbascum thapus  L.

Family                          Verbinace

Local Name                 Kharghwaq

Habit                            An annual herb

Parts use                      Leaves, flowers and seeds.

Local uses                    Used against diarrhea and dysentery of cattle,                                                    

analgesic and antiseptic and a wound healer. Leaves and flowers are used against cough

and pulmonary diseases in the form of a paste. The seeds are   narcotic and used as a fish

poison.

Flowering period          March-October

 

Botanical Name            Valeriana jatamansi Jones

Family                          Valerianaceae

Local Name                 Mushk-e-Bala

Habit                            A perennial herb of temperate forests

Part Uses                     Rhizome

Local Uses                   Decoction of rhizome is useful in cholera and dysentery. Rhizome is carminative and aromatic. It is antispasmodic. It is also recommended in hysteria.

 

Botanical Name            Zizyphus jujuba Mill.

Family              Rhamnaceae

Local Name                 Bor/Ber

Habit                            Tree

Part used                      Bark

Local Uses                   The macerated bark is mixed with milk and honey, and is taken for the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, cough and cold.

 

Botanical Name            Zizyphus jujuba Mill.

Family                          Rhamnaceae

Local Name                 Baira                           

Habit                            Tree                            

Part Used                     Wood, leaves, roots, bark, fruits                                  

Local Use                     Bark macerated in milk is given along with honey in diarrhea and dysentery. It is a major ingredient of “Joshanda” which is used for cough and cold. 

 

 

Discussion

The use of plants for the existence of human being is as old a practice as the human race itself. The accumulation of knowledge of plant use however co-evolved with human civilization through the experiential use of plants, generation after generation. People would have remained exposed to epidemic, endemic and chronic diseases, besides acute ailments (Hamayun, 2003).

            In Dir Kohistan valley the percentage of traditional knowledge about the use of medicinal plants is clear from Graphs 1 and 2. Old aged people, women and hakims add 50% of it and use that much (about 50%) to cure their ailments. Elder have 30% knowledge and use 5% of the local drugs. Young people know about 15% of it but they use little (about 1%) or none at all of the local medicinal plants in case of illness. Children know about 5% of the uses but they were forced to take 40% of the folk medicinal recipes for the treatment of diseases (Graphs 1 and 2).

The results of the present study revealed that wild plants and their parts are widely used for diarrhea and dysentery in the study villages of the Dir Kohistan Valley (NWFP, Pakistan). Local people have remarkable detailed knowledge of species identity and characteristics. As more than 60 percent of plant species useful for diarrhea and dysentery treatment appear to be restricted to shaded forest habitats in the forests, the anthropogenic unsustainable activities such as deforestation, habitat destruction, urbanization etc. may pose a serious threat to the species. Hence, priority should be given to the following three measures:

 1) Investigation related to taxonomy, chemical screening and documentation of the useful species and their habitats;

2) Initiation of conservation action works with appropriate measures involving local participation;

3) Implementation of awareness activities with integrated approach for sustainable development.

Refernces

Ahmad E., M.Arshad, M.Ahmad. M.Saeed and M. Ishaq, 2004. Ethnopharmacology survive of medicinally important plants of Galyat areas of NWFP Pakistan.Asian J. Plant Sciences, 3(4), 2004.

 

Saeed M., M.Arshad, M.Ishaq, M.Ahmad and E.Ahamd, 2004. Ethnophytotherapies for the treatment of various diseases by the local people of selected areas of NWFP, Pakistan. Pakistan J. of Biological Science 7(7).

 

Ahmad H (2005). Issues Regarding Medicinal Plants of Pakistan. Udyana Today, 6(3): pp 6-7. Khan, AU. (2002). History of decline and present status of natural tropical thorn forest in Punjab. Pakistan Biological Conservation, 63:210-250.

 

Hamayun, M. 2003. Ethnobotanical studies of some useful shrubs and trees of District

            Buner, NWFP, Pakistan. Journal of ethnobotanical leaflets, SIUC, USA.

 

Hussain, F. and A. Khaliq. 1996. Ethnobotanical studies on some plants of Dabargai Hills Swat. Proceedings of first training workshop on Ethnobotany and its application to conservation.NARC, Islamabad, 207-215.

 

Huai, H. and J. Xu. 2000. Indigenous knowledge: Information bank for toxin research. Toxicon. 38 (6):745-746.

 

Martain, G.J.1995. Ethnobotany: A People and Plants Conservation Manual. Chapman & Hall, London, New York, Tokyo.

 

Nasir, E. and S.I. Ali. 2005. Flora of Pakistan. Pakistan Agri. Res. Council Islamabad.

 

Qureshi, R.A, R. Somro, M.A. Khan and A. Rashid. 1997. A Checklist of gymnosperms of Chitral District, NWFP, Pakistan and their Ethnobotany. Hamdard Medicus. 40(3):44-54.

 

Sadaqat. 1995. Medicinal plants of family Cucurbitaceae (part-2). Hamd. Med. 34: 91-101.

 

Stewart, R.R. 1972. An Annotated Catalogue of Vascular Plants of West Pakistan and Kashmir. Karachi.

Shinwari, M.I. and M.A. Khan. 1998. Ethnobotany of Margalla Hills. National Park, Islamabad. Dept. of Biological Sciences, Q.A.U.

 

Singh SP, Tripathi S and Shukla RS (2003). Ethnomedicinal heritage for Bio prospecting and Drug development in North-Eastern States of India. Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany 26: 384-395.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 620-

 

 

Ethnomedicinal Plants Used Against Diarrhea and Dysentery in Dir Kohistan Valley (NWFP), Pakistan

 

*Gul Jan, *Mir Ajab Khan and **Farzana Gul

 

*Department of Plant Sciences Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad

**Department of Micro Biology Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad

 

Issued

Abstract

            This paper enumerates the traditional uses of 34 plant species belonging to 26 families, that are used by the village communities of Dir Kohistan Valley (NWFP, Pakistan) for the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery diseases. Some of useful species are under serious threat due to unsustainable activities. Hence, a proper documentation of useful plants with their present status and local traditional knowledge as well as practices is urgently needed. Effort should also be initiated to implement appropriate conservation measures for preservation and sustainable uses of these useful species.

Introduction

            Dir Kohistan Valley NWFP, (Pakistan) covers 1 40,351 acres of the coniferous forests situated between latitude 350- 9 to 350-47 and longitude 710-52 to 720-22 in the northern position of the watershed of Panjkora river. The Hindu Raj range bounds the area generally known as Dir Kohistan on the north and northwest, by the Torwal and Gabral range on the east, by Dodbah Sarghar on the south, and by Btarai ghar on the Southwest. Pangkora is a pashtu word meaning five streams; the five tributaries of the rivers are Azgologh, Zandrai, Shandoor, Gwaldai and Dokdara khwars. Territories adjoining the tract are Chitral on the north as well on the West, Swat Kohistan and Upper Swat on the east, and Painda khel and Dir on the South. The total area of Dir Kohistan is 4, 12,570 acres i.e., 645 squares miles. Of this, an area of 1, 40,351 acres covered with coniferous forests. (Source: District Census Report of Kohistan, NWFP Pakistan, 1998).

The rural communities of Dir Kohistan Valley (NWFP, Pakistan) are still dependent upon wild plants for their primary healthcare and treatment of diseases. They collect the useful plants from various habitats such as forests, scrub, grassland, cultivated fields and use these plant materials as raw drugs. These communities have acquired good knowledge on the useful and harmful properties of the useful plant resources in course of their constant association with forest and agro-ecosystems. However, at present, this vast store of information is being eroded as a result of human’s unsustainable activities. The loss of traditional knowledge within cultures undergoing rapid change is just as irreversible as the loss of species (Joshi and Joshi, 2005). Hence efforts should be made to document the various uses of plants before some of these plants are eliminated from the area, or before these inhabitants shift over to modern remedies. In this context, the rich and diverse forest ecosystems and vast tribal population with traditional knowledge systems due to cultural and environmental diversity in the country have attracted a number of workers for ethnomedicinal studies in the past (Shinwari and Khan, 1998, Hamayun, 2003, Ahmad et al., (2004, Ahmad, 2005). However, the vast store of ethno-medicinal information of these study areas has not been fully documented.

In the present paper an attempt has been made to present indigenous knowledge and uses of the wild plants which are used by local communities for treatment of diarrhea and dysentery.

This study was carried out in some villages of Dir Kohistan Valley (NWFP, Pakistan). The land forms of the study areas are characterized by moderate to steep sloppy mountainous terrain. The study areas are endowed with rich and varied vegetation types due to their diverse topography and variable climatic conditions. The human pressure on these vegetative resources is very heavy except on very steep, almost vertical and inaccessible rock faces near the river.  The villages are inhabited by different ethnic tribes which are rich in folk lore.

Materials and Methods

           Several field trips in and around the study areas were undertaken during the years 2006-2008 with a view to collect plant species of ethnomedicinal value and to document the indigenous practices.  The information was gathered using various techniques such as open and structured interview, and discussion with local informants, such traditional healers and experienced village elders including midwives and by direct observations. About 100 informants were interviewed in this regard.

            The plant specimens were identified with the help of floras. Voucher specimens are deposited in the Department of plant sciences Quaid-I-Azam University. Nomenclature used in this report follows Nasir and Ali (1972).

Results

During the field survey, ethnobotanical information of 34 species of medicinal plants belonging to 26 families was compiled from various habitats of the study areas. The study shows that diarrhea and dysentery, jaundice, pneumonia, asthma, digestive problem, dyspepsia, diabetes and eye problems are the major diseases in the village. During the treatment of the diseases, various forms of preparation are used. In the following enumeration, the species are arranged alphabetically. Botanical Name followed by family, uses of the plants and their parts as reported by the local inhabitants and habitat along with the information collected areas.

 


 


Botanical Name            Acacia nilotica (L.) Delile.

Family                          Mimosaceae

Local Name                 Kikar

Habit                            Tree

Parts used                    woods, leaves and gums

Local uses                    Wood is hard and durable and is used for house, agricultural tools

and as fuel wood. Leaves are used as fodder for goats. Gums are used as tonic, also for

curing diarrhea, dysentery and diabetes.

Flowering period          March-May

 

Botanical Name            Acacia modesta Wall. 

Family                          Mimosaceae

Local Name                 Palosa

Habit                            Tree

Parts used                    Gum, leaves, flowers, sticks and wood.

Local uses                    Gum is used as a tonic, for curing of dysentery and

weakness, as a stimulant and demulcent. Branches are used as toothbrush.

Leaves are used as fodder for goats. It is also used in fencing, as fuelwood

and by honeybees.

 

Botanical Name            Achillea millefolium L.

Family                          Asteraceae

Local Name                 Jarai

Part used                      Whole plant

Habit                            Herb

Local Uses                   The whole plant is boiled in water and the decoction is used for dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Acorus calamus L.

Family                          Acoraceae

Local Name                 Skhawaja.                                              

Habit:                           Herb of moist places

Part Used                     Rhizome

Local Uses                   The dried rhizome is crushed to powder and used in dysentery and chronic diarrhea. The powder is mixed with mustard oil and applied externally for rheumatism. The rhizome is given to children to bite during teething.

 

Botanical Name            Achyranthes aspera Linn.

Family Name                Amaranthaceae

Local Name                 Lainda

Parts used                    Whole plant.

Local Uses                   Decoction of both leaves and roots are used in dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Ailanthus altissima (Mill) Swingle.

Family                          Simarubaceae

Local Name                 Angrizai backyanra

Habit                            Large size fast growing cultivated tree

Part used                      Leaves, trunk and bark

Local uses                    Leaves are used as fodder for cattle. The wood is

used for construction and making low class furniture, also used in making

honeybee boxes and water-mill pulleys. It is used as fuelwood. Bark is

anathematic. Bark juice is mixed with milk for curing dysentery and diarrhea.

Flowering period          April-May  

                       

Botanical Name            Amaranthus viridis L.

Family                          Amaranthaceae

Local Name                 Gunhar

Habit                            Herb

Parts Used                   Whole plant

Local Uses                   Decoction of whole plant is used for diarrhea.

 

Botanical Name            Berberis brandisiana Ahrendt

Family                          Berberidaceae

Local Name                 Shugloo

Habit                            Shrub

Part Used                     Leaves, Fruits, Bark

Local Uses                   Leaves decoction is useful in dysentery and sore throat. Fruits are

edible. Root and stem bark is tonic and is frequently utilized for healing of wounds and

arthritis.

 

Botanical Name            Berberis lycium Royle.

Family                          Berberidaceae

Local Name                 Sumbal

Parts Used                   Leaves

Local Uses                   Dried leaves are crushed, mixed with water and then filtered through a cloth. The extract obtained is used to cure diarrhea. The dried seeds in Ghur syrup are one of the useful household remedies to cure diarrhea and dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Conyza canadensis Conquist.

Family                          Asteraceae(Compositae)

Local Name                 Malooch

Habit                            Herb

Parts used                    Vegetative parts

Local uses                    Fresh fodder, stimulant, homeostatic, diuretic, used

in diarrhea and dysentery.

Flowering period          July-Sept.        

 

Botanical Name            Cynodon dactylon L.

Family                          Poaceae(Graminae)

Local Name                 Drab

Habit                            Herb Prostate grass

Parts used                    Whole plant

Local uses                    It serves as fresh fodder grazed by livestock. It is used along with

Rose flowers in Jaundice. It is cultivated in lawns and playgrounds for ornamental

purposes. It is also used in piles and dysentery.

Flowering period          April-October

 

Botanical Name            Cyperus rotundus L.

Family                          Cyperaceae

Local Name                 Muther

Parts Used                   Rhizome

Habit                            Herb

Local Use                     The tubers are scraped and pounded with green ginger and mixed with honey is given in dysentery.

 

Botanical Name          Daucus carota L.

Family                        Umbelliferae                      

Local Name                 Mooli

Habit                            Herb

Parts used                    The whole herb, seeds and roots.

Local uses                    Diuretic and stimulant. An infusion of the herb is considered an

active remedy in the treatment of dropsy, chronic kidney diseases and affections of the

bladder. The seeds are carminative, stimulant and very useful in flatulence, windy colic,

hiccough, dysentery, chronic coughs, etc. It is also used as a salad.

 

Botanical Name            Diospyrus lotus L

Family                          Ebenaceae

Part used                      Fruit

Habit                            Tree

Local Name                 Amlok

Local Uses                   Locally the decoction of ripened fruit is used for the curing of dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Euphorbia wallichii Hk.f.

Family                          Euphorbiaceae

Local Name                 Shangla

Habit                            A common herb in moist temperate forests.

Part Uses                     Latex, shoots.

Uses                             It is poisonous; highly laxative causes severe diarrhea and dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Ficus bengalensis L.

Family              Moraceae

Local Name                 Bargad

Habit                            Tree

Part used                      Latex

Local Uses                   The latex of this plant is used to treat dysentery, diarrhea, piles, tooth decay, rheumatism and skin diseases.

 

Botanical Name            Justicia adhatoda L.

Family              Acanthaceae

Local Name                 Baikar

Common Names          Arusa & Bhekar (U); Malabar Nut & Casaka (Eng.)

Habit                            Non palatable shrub

Part Used                     Leaves

Local Uses                   The decoction of leaves is antispasmodic, expectorant, abortifacient and also used for curing dysentery in cattle. Honey Bee species.

 

Botanical Name            Mentha royleana (L.)Huds.

Family                          Lamiaceae.

Local Name                 Villanay.

Habit                            Herb

Parts used                    Whole plants.

Local uses                    Leaves are used as a stomach, carminative, diarrhea and dysentery,

rheumatic and stimulant.

 

Botanical Name            Mentha spicata L.

Family                          Lamiaceae.

Local Name                 Podina.

Habit                            Peppermint herb

Parts used                    Leaves.

Local uses                    The dried leaves are powdered and used in chutney,

stomachache and carminative. It is also used in diarrhea and dysentery.

Leaves used as salad, spice and stimulant. The decoction of leave is used

as mouthwash. It is also helpful in dyspepsia.

 

Botanical Name            Oxalis corniculata L.

Family                          Oxalidaceae

Local Name                 Tarookay

Habit                            A perennial herb

Parts used                    Leaves

Local uses                    Used for stomach problems, fever and dysentery. It is refrigerant,

vermifuge and flavoring agent.

Flowering period          March--June.  

 

Botanical Name            Pistacia integerrima J.L.Stewart ex Brandis

Family                     Anacardiaceae

Local Name                 Kangar

Parts Used                   Galls

Habit                            Shrub

Local Uses                   Galls are burnt to ash and mixed with honey or sugar. The galls are

powdered and fried in Ghee and given in dysentery.

 

 

Botanical Name            Plantago major L.

Family                          Plantaginaceae.

Local Name                 Bartang

Habit                            An annual herb

Parts used                    Leaves and seeds.

Local uses                    Seeds are laxative and is used for dysentery and mouth diseases.

 

Botanical Name            Plantago lanceolata L.

Family                          Plantaginaceae.

Local Name                 Isphaghol,Ghwa jabai.

Habit                            An annual herb.

Parts used                    Leaves and seeds.

Local uses                    Leaves extract is applied to sores, wounds and inflamed surfaces. It

is a laxative and is used for dysentery and mouth diseases.

 

Botanical Name            Platanus orientalis L.

Family                          Plantanaceae

Local Name                 Chinar

Habit                            Tree

Part Used                     Wood, Bark

Folk Use                      wood yield timber, fuel wood. Bark is useful remedy in diarrhea and dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Polygonum bistorta Lin

Family                          Polygonaceae

Habit                            Herb

Parts used                    Roots

Local uses                    Root is one of the strongest astringent. It is of proved excellence in

diarrhea and dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Polygonum persicaria L.

Family                          Polygonaceae

Habit                            Herb

Parts used                    Roots

Local uses                    The juice of the roots destroys worms in the ears .It is also used for

diarrhea and dysentery.                                  

Flowering period          June-Sep. 

 

Botanical Name          Punica  granatum  L .

Family                          Punicaceae

Local Name                 Anar

Habit                            A wild/cultivated small, bushy tree.

Parts used                    Leaves.

Local used                   The leaves are used for skin diseases and against dysentery.

Flowering period          April - May.

 

Botanical Name            Quercus inccana Roxb.

Family                          Fagaceae

Local Name                 Spin banj

Parts used                    Fruit.

Habit                            A slow growing tree.

Local uses                    Fruit is used to stop internal bleeding. Stop diarrhea and dysentery.

 

Botanical Name            Rubus fruticosus Hk.f.

Family                        Rosaceae

Habit                           Shrub

Parts Used                  Roots

Local Uses                  The root-bark, as used medicinally. It should be peeled off the root and dried by artificial heat or in strong sun. It is boiled in water or milk makes a good decoction. Half a teacupful should be taken every hour or two for diarrhea.

 

Botanical Name            Valeriana wallichii DC.

Family                          Valerianaceae

Local Name                 Mushk-e-bala

Habit                            A perennial herb

Parts used                    Rhizome

Local uses                    Decoction of rhizome is used cholera, dysentery                                          

and against hysteria. The rhizome is carminative, aromatic and antispasmodic.

Flowering period          Feb.-Aug.  

 

Botanical Name            Verbascum thapus  L.

Family                          Verbinace

Local Name                 Kharghwaq

Habit                            An annual herb

Parts use                      Leaves, flowers and seeds.

Local uses                    Used against diarrhea and dysentery of cattle,                                                   

analgesic and antiseptic and a wound healer. Leaves and flowers are used against cough

and pulmonary diseases in the form of a paste. The seeds are   narcotic and used as a fish

poison.

Flowering period          March-October

 

Botanical Name            Valeriana jatamansi Jones

Family                          Valerianaceae

Local Name                 Mushk-e-Bala

Habit                            A perennial herb of temperate forests

Part Uses                     Rhizome

Local Uses                   Decoction of rhizome is useful in cholera and dysentery. Rhizome is carminative and aromatic. It is antispasmodic. It is also recommended in hysteria.

 

Botanical Name            Zizyphus jujuba Mill.

Family              Rhamnaceae

Local Name                 Bor/Ber

Habit                            Tree

Part used                      Bark

Local Uses                   The macerated bark is mixed with milk and honey, and is taken for the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, cough and cold.

 

Botanical Name            Zizyphus jujuba Mill.

Family                          Rhamnaceae

Local Name                 Baira                           

Habit                            Tree                            

Part Used                     Wood, leaves, roots, bark, fruits                                  

Local Use                     Bark macerated in milk is given along with honey in diarrhea and dysentery. It is a major ingredient of “Joshanda” which is used for cough and cold. 

 

 

Discussion

The use of plants for the existence of human being is as old a practice as the human race itself. The accumulation of knowledge of plant use however co-evolved with human civilization through the experiential use of plants, generation after generation. People would have remained exposed to epidemic, endemic and chronic diseases, besides acute ailments (Hamayun, 2003).

            In Dir Kohistan valley the percentage of traditional knowledge about the use of medicinal plants is clear from Graphs 1 and 2. Old aged people, women and hakims add 50% of it and use that much (about 50%) to cure their ailments. Elder have 30% knowledge and use 5% of the local drugs. Young people know about 15% of it but they use little (about 1%) or none at all of the local medicinal plants in case of illness. Children know about 5% of the uses but they were forced to take 40% of the folk medicinal recipes for the treatment of diseases (Graphs 1 and 2).

The results of the present study revealed that wild plants and their parts are widely used for diarrhea and dysentery in the study villages of the Dir Kohistan Valley (NWFP, Pakistan). Local people have remarkable detailed knowledge of species identity and characteristics. As more than 60 percent of plant species useful for diarrhea and dysentery treatment appear to be restricted to shaded forest habitats in the forests, the anthropogenic unsustainable activities such as deforestation, habitat destruction, urbanization etc. may pose a serious threat to the species. Hence, priority should be given to the following three measures:

 1) Investigation related to taxonomy, chemical screening and documentation of the useful species and their habitats;

2) Initiation of conservation action works with appropriate measures involving local participation;

3) Implementation of awareness activities with integrated approach for sustainable development.

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