Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 388-98 , 2009.

 

 

Traditional Uses of Some Medicinal Plants by tribals of Gangaraju Madugula Mandal of Visakhapatnam District, Andhra Pradesh

 

J. Lenin Bapuji* and S. Venkat Ratnam

 

Department of Botany, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam,

Andhra Pradesh, India

*Corresponding author E-mail: Leninbapuji@gmail.com

 

Issued 01 March 2009

 

Abstract

During the years 2007-2008 several field trips were conducted to document the ethnomedicinal remedies for 47 diseases with 90 plant species of Angiosperms from three major tribes viz: Bagatas, Konda Doras and Valmikis who have been residing in Gangaraju Madugula Mandal of Visakhapatnam district. The plants were deposited as herbarium specimens in Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India.

 

Key words : Traditional uses, medicinal plants,

 

Introduction

Some tribes are adhering to traditional way of life, native culture and customs, the tribal have vast store of information and knowledge on potentially useful medicinal plants. The traditional knowledge system in India is fast eroding due to steady decline in human expertise capable of recognizing various medicinal plants. Much of this wealth of knowledge is totally becoming lost as traditional culture is gradually disappearing because it is mostly oral (Hamilton, 1995). Therefore, effort should be initiated for the documentation and computerization of useful medicinal plants and their traditional knowledge (Mehrotra & Mehrotra, 2005).

The value of medicinal plants to the mankind is very well proven. It is estimated that 70 to 80% of the world population rely chiefly on traditional health care system and largely on herbal medicines (Shanley and Luz, 2003). Only 15% of pharmaceutical drugs are consumed in developing countries (Toledo, 1995). The affluent people have little alternative to herbal medicine, and they depend on traditional health care system (Marshall, 1998).

From the ethnomedicinal point of view Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh remained unexplored and no comprehensive account particularly on folklore of this region is available. Banerjee (1977) published a note on ethnobotanical observations of Araku valley. Rao et al. (2000) collected about 110 plant species of medicinal interest used by the tribals of Paderu division. Rao et al. (2001) reported 160 medicinal plants that occur in the same region. There is urgent, immense need to inventories and record all ethnomedicinal information among the diverse ethnic communities before the traditional cultures are completely lost (Rama Rao and Henry, 1996). Ethnomedicinal activities on different aspects in Indian sub-continent has been put forth by Jain (1981). Therefore continuous efforts should be made to collect this information which will provide avenues for future generation. It is thus paramount importance that the native plant genetic wealth need to be maintained for posterity.

There is very little or no documentation of this ethnomedicinal knowledge was carried out pertaining to tribal of the Mandal. All the more, several wild medicinal plants are fast disappearing due to the destruction of forest by inhabitants, invasion of exotic flora and introduction of new crops. Hence, there is an urgent need for exploration and documentation of this traditional knowledge in order to ascertain the conservation value of the local ethnomedicinal plants of the forests. Therefore, the present study is an attempt to present some interesting ethnomedicinal observations recorded in Gangaraju Madugula Mandal, Visakhapatnam District of Andhra Pradesh, India.

 

Study Area

Gangaraju Madugula with an area of 544 sq. km. (4.8% of the area of the district) is one of the mandals of the Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. It lies between 180 011 N latitude and 820 301 E longitude (Fig. 1). According to 2001 census the total population in the mandal is 50685. Of these 47625 are scheduled tribes (% of ST is 93.96). From centuries the forests of G. Madugula mandal have been inhabited by a number of tribes who have been maintaining distinct ways of life, beliefs, traditions, cultures, customs and myths. Such tribes include Bagatas, Konda Doras and Valmikis.

Materials and Methods

Exploration and survey work among the tribes of G. Madugula Mandal were conducted in all the tribal inhabited areas along the margin of forests during 2007-2008. Efforts have been made to collect the medicinal plants which were in flowering and fruiting conditions and were identified with the help of local flora. During the course of survey, first hand information on the medicinal uses of the plants was gathered from local people and vaidyas. The uses of plants particularly for medicinal, were confirmed by many cross checking as possible in different localities.

Collection of information: The information on folk medicinal uses of plants was obtained through direct filed interviews with traditional healers. The data regarding names of plants, parts used and their method of preparation and mode of administration of various remedies were also noted down. When recording the names of plants, forest visit was made with the informant for identification of the specific plants. The inventory involved collection of plant specimens and then interviewing informants for vernacular names and uses.

Identification: The plant materials were identified with the help of standard local floras preliminary identification was done by examining fresh plants procured from the forest with the help of tribal. Few respondents were more informative and co-operative; they have shown fresh plants in the habitat, which was useful for the final identification. The identification of plant materials was confirmed at the herbarium in the Botany department of Andhra University.

Preservation: The collected materials were preserved in air tight containers and labeled individually. Various medicinal plant parts collected were broadly categorized as leaves, stem, bark, root, flower, fruit, seed, rhizome, bulb etc.,

 

Results

In the present study 90 species of plants included in 86 genera and 43 families have been recorded which are being potentially exploited by the tribal groups in curing different human ailments as shown in Table 1 and Figure 2. Of the 43 families Fabaceae is found to be dominant ethnomedicinally with 11 species used in various ailments, followed by Asclepiadaceae (6), Euphorbiaceae and Rutaceae (5), Moraceae and Verbenaceae (4) respecetively.

 

Table 1. Some medicinal plants with their traditional uses

S.

No.

Scientific name and Family

Vernacular

Name

Life form

Part used and uses

1

Annona reticulata L.

Annonaceae

Ramaphalam

T

Leaf paste is applied on the affected area of scabies.

2

Annona squamata L.

Annonaceae

Seethaphalam

T

Seed powder is applied to scalp to treat dandruff

3

Polyalthia longifolia Thw.

Annonaceae

Naramamidi

T

Stem bark used as febrifuge

4

Cocculus hirsutus (L.) Diels.

Menispermaceae

Dusara teega

C

Leaf juice is applied on the affected areas of eczema till cure.

5

Cadaba fruticosa (L.) Druce.

Capparaceae

Chikondi

S

Root decoction is administered during helminthiasis

6

Hybanthus enneaspermus (L.) Muell.

Violaceae

Ratna purusha

H

Roots are diuretic and given in the urinary disorders

7

Cochlospermum religiosum(L.) Alston.

Cochlospermaceae

Konda gogu

T

Stem bark paste is applied over the bone fractured areas

8

Casearia elliptica Willd.

Flacourtiaceae

Girugudu

T

Leaf paste is applied over the bone fractured areas

9

Flacourtia indica (Burm. f.) Merr.

Flacourtiaceae

Mandiakodi

S

Leaf juice is given internally to treat jaundice till cure

10

Urena lobata L.

Malvaceae

Peddabenda

S

Roots are diuretic

11

Waltheria indica L.

Sterculiaceae

Nalla benda

H

Roots chewed to control internal haemorrhages

12

Grewia tiliaefolia Vahl

Tiliaceae

Charachi

T

Stem bark is used in dysentery

13

Triumfetta rhomboidea Jacq.

Tiliaceae

Thithera

H

Leaf paste is applied on the affected areas of scabies and eczema

14

Aegle marmelos (L.) Correa.

Rutaceae

Maredu

T

Half ripe fruits used for diarrhoea and dysentery

15

Atlantia monophylla (L.) Correa.

Rutaceae

Gaja nimma

T

Oil from the fruit used in Rheumatism

16

Chloroxylon swietenia DC.

Rutaceae

Billa chettu

T

Leaves used in Rheumatism

17

Glycosmis pentaphylla (Retz.) Correa

Rutaceae

Konda gilugu

S

Juice of leaves used in fever, liver complaints and other skin troubles

18

Toddalia asiatica (L.) Lam.

Rutaceae

Konda kasinda

S

Root bark is diaphoretic and used in stomach ache.

19

Azadirachta indica A.Juss.

Meliaceae

Vepa

T

Stem bark used for skin troubles

20

Cissus quadrangularis L.

Vitaceae

Nalleru

C

Stem paste used to cure rheumatoid arthritis

21

Sapindus emarginatus Vahl

Sapindaceae

Kunkudu chettu

T

Fruits useful in treating asthma, diarrhoea, paralysis of limbs

22

Schleichera oleosa (Lour.) Oken

Sapindaceae

Posuku

T

Seed oil is used for massage in rheumatism

23

Lannea coromandelica (Houtt.) Merr.

Anacardiaceae

Deva ganneru

T

Stem bark used as astringent

24

Mangifera indica L.

Anacardiaceae

Mamidi

T

Stem bark is decoction is administered for diarrhea

25

Semecarpus anacardium L.f.

Anacardiaceae

Nalla jeedi

T

Gum used in leprosy and nervous debility.

26

Abrus precatorius L.

Fabaceae

Guriginja

C

Root decoction used for coughs and cold, diuretic.

27

Butea superba Roxb.

Fabaceae

Teega moodugu

C

Decoction of shoots used in piles

28

Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.

Fabaceae

Kandulu

S

Leaf extract is administered for stomach pain

29

Canavalia gladiata (Jacq.) DC.

Fabaceae

Adavi chikkudu

C

Leaf juice used in case of abdominal pains

30

Desmodium gangeticum(L.) DC.

Fabaceae

Bhumi ippa

H

Root paste used in whooping cough

31

Desmodium triflorum(Retz.) Merr.

Fabaceae

Muntha mandhu

H

Leaves used for dysentery and diarrhoea

32

Mucuna monosperma DC. ex Wight

Fabaceae

Thilli teega

C

Seeds used in cough, asthma

33

Tephrosia purpurea (L.) Pers.

Fabaceae

Vempali

H

Decoction of roots given in diarrhoea, rheumatism and asthma

34

Cassia fistula L.

Fabaceae

 

Rela chettu

T

Dried fruits used as laxative

35

Tamarindus indica L.

Fabaceae

Chinta chettu

T

Fruit pulp is used as a laxative

36

Albizia lebbeck ( L. ) Benth.

Fabaceae

 

Dirisanamu

T

Leaf juice administered orally to treat night blindness

37

Dichrostachys cinerea (L.) Wight & Arn.

Mimosaceae

Velthuru chettu

T

Root paste is applied during bone fracture

38

Xylea xylocarpa (Roxb.) Taub.

Mimosaceae

Konda tangedu

T

Root bark paste is applied on the affected areas of syphilis

39

Kalanchoe lanceolata (Forsk.) Pers.

Crassulaceae

Ranapala

H

Leaf juice given during dysentery

40

Calycopteris floribunda Lam.

Combretaceae

Adavi jama

C

Leaf juice used as laxative

41

Quisqualis indica L.

Combretaceae

Tiga-ganneru

S

Seeds used for treating helmenthiasis

42

Terminalia bellarica (Gaertn.) Roxb.

Combretaceae

Tadi

T

Decoction of fruits is administered for haemorrhoids

43

Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz

Lythraceae

Jaji

S

Flowers used in menorrhagia

44

Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt

Cucurbitaceae

Kaki donda

C

Leaf paste applied on the affected areas of scabies

45

Opuntia dillenii (Ker-Gawl) Haw

Cactaceae

Nagajemudu

S

Paste of phyllode and stem bark is applied on the area of snake bite

46

Alangium salvifolium (L.f.) Wang.

Alangiaceae

Uduga chettu

T

Root bark is applied for skin troubles

47

Haldinia cordifolia (Roxb.) Ridsdale

Rubiaceae

Bandari

T

Stem bark extract is administered orally for stomach pain

48

Ixora pavetta

Rubiaceae

Papidi

S

Roots used in urinary diseases

49

Tridax procumbens L.

Asteraceae

Gaddi chamanti

H

Leaves used in dysentery and diarrhea

50

Sphaeranthus indicus L.

Asteraceae

Bhatti poolu

H

Whole plant juice is used for gastric disorders

51

Plumbago zeylanica L.

Plumbaginaceae

Tella chitramoolam

H

Root paste applied on the affected areas of rheumatism

52

Diospyros melonoxylon Roxb.

Ebanaceae

Tumki

T

Decoction of stem bark used in diarrhea

53

Diospyros sylvatica Roxb.

Ebanaceae

Gada

T

Root extract used in malaria

54

Holorrhena antidysentrica (Buch.-Ham.) Wallich ex Don

Apocyanaceae

Aaku pala

S

Stem bark used in amoebic dysentery and diarrhea

55

Plumeria alba L.

Apocyanaceae

Nooru varahalu

T

Latex applied to treat scabies

56

Wrightia tinctoria (Roxb.) R. Br.

Apocyanaceae

Pala ankudu

T

A decoction of stem bark administered during stomach pain

57

Calotropis gigantea (L.) R. Br.

Asclepiadaceae

Jilledu

S

Leaf extract is applied on the affected area of rheumatoid arthritis

58

Gymnema sylvestre (Retz.) R. Br. ex Schult

Asclepiadaceae

Podapathri

C

Leaf paste used as diuretic

59

Hemidesmus indicus (L.) R. Br. ex Schult.

Asclepiadaceae

Sugandhi pala

S

Root powder mixed in water is administered orally for rheumatism

60

Leptadenia reticulate (Retz.) Wight & Arn.

Asclepiadaceae

Mukku

Tummudu

S

Leaf paste applied on the affected areas of eczema and scabies

61

Pergularia daemia (Forssk.) Chiov.

Asclepiadaceae

Juttipaku

C

Root powder mixed in water is given for helminthiasis

62

Tylophora indica (Burm.f.) Merrill

Asclepiadaceae

Verripala

C

Root powder mixed in milk used for asthma

63

Coldenia procumbens L.

Boraginaceae

Hamsa padu

H

Leaves ground and applied to rheumatic swellings

64

Heliotropium indicum L.

Boraginaceae

Nagadanthi

H

Leaf paste is applied on the area of snake bite

65

Merremia tridentata (L.) Hallier f.

Convolvulaceae

Sitasavaram

C

Roots used for urinary disorders

66

Datura metel L.

Solanaceae

Nalla umetha

H

Leaves applied on the affected areas of scabies and other skin diseases

67

Scoparia dulcis L.

Scrophulariaceae

Goddu tulasi

H

Leaf paste is administered for dysentery

68

Sesamum indicum L.

Pedaliaceae

Nuvvulu

H

Fresh leaves used in affections of kidney and bladder

69

Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f.) Nees

Acanthaceae

Nela vemu

H

Leaf powder mixed with water and given for menstrual disorders, malaria, typhoid and helminthiasis

70

Barleria prionitis L.

Acanthaceae

Mulla gorinta

S

Leaf paste is applied on the affected area of tooth ache

71

Justicia procumbens L.

Acanthaceae

 

H

Infusion of herb is used in asthma

72

Clerodendrum serratum (L.) Moon

Verbenaceae

Bommala marri

S

Root paste applied on the affected areas of rheumatism

73

Gmelina asiatica L.

Verbenaceae

Nela gummadu

S

Fruit paste is applied on scalp to treat dandruff

74

Lantana camara (L.) Moldenke

Verbenaceae

Deva ganneru

S

Root paste mixed with water is given for body pains

75

Premna tomentosa Willd.

Verbenaceae

Nagaru

T

Leaves are used in diuretic conditions

76

Celosia argentea L.

Amaranthaceae

Gunugu

S

Seeds used in diarrhea

77

Cassytha filiformis L.

Lauraceae

Nulu tega

S

Leaf juice used for eye inflammations

78

Bridelia retusa (L.) Spreng.

Euphorbiaceae

Koramanu

T

Stem bark powder is mixed with water and given during fever

79

Cleistanthus collinus (Roxb.) Benth. & Hook. F.

Euphorbiaceae

Gavine

T

Stem bark paste is applied on sores of cattle

80

Croton bonplandianum Baill

Euphorbiaceae

Kukka tulasi

S

Leaf paste is applied for skin diseases

81

Euphorbia hirta L.

Euphorbiaceae

Pacha rodda

H

Latex is applied to warts

82

Jatropha gossypifolia L.

Euphorbiaceae

Nepalam

S

Seed oil is applied to hair to eradicate lice

83

Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.

Moraceae

Panasa

T

Root extract is administered for diarrhea

84

Ficus benghalensis L.

Moraceae

Marri

T

Latex is applied in rheumatism

85

Ficus racemosa L.

Moraceae

Karuku bodda

T

Latex of root is applied on affected areas of cuts and muscle pain

86

Streblus asper Lour.

Moraceae

 

Barinki

T

Stem bark decoction is administered for diarrhea and dysentery

87

Sanseveria roxbhurgiana Schult. F.

Agavaceae

Gaju kura

H

Tuberous root paste is applied on the area of snake bite

88

Borassus flabelifer L.

Araceae

Thadi chettu

T

Fruits are useful as laxative

89

Caryota urens L.

Arecaceae

Jeeluga

T

Toddy is taken in limited to control body pains and cooling effect

90

Bambusa arundinacea (Retz.) Willd.

Poaceae

Veduru

T

Decoction of roots are administered for diabetes

Note : T Tree ; H Herb; S Shrub; C Climber.

 

Among the 90 plant species that are recorded trees include 37, followed by shrubs 22, herbs 19 and climbers 12 as shown in the Figure 3 and Table 1. The traditional vydhyas administer medicine by way of oral decoction, poultice and plant parts as paste.

For the preparation of the traditional medicine, these tribal vydhyas used different parts of the plant species. Depending upon the plant part used leaf constitutes the highest percentage of utilization i.e., 32 % and gum the lowest 1%, while others being in between these two. Root is used in the quantum of 23% in curing ailments follower by Stem bark 17%, Fruit 9%, Seed 7%, latex 4%, root bark 3%, whole plant and flower 2% respectively (Figure 4).

 

Figure 2: Spectrum of the taxa of the ethnomedicinal plants

 

Figure 3: Graph showing habit wise analysis of medicinal plants

 

Figure. 4. Plant part-wise ethnomedicinal uses

 

Discussion

In the present investigation 90 plant species used by the different tribal vydhyas of the G. Madugula mandal of Visakhapatnam district for different ailments and posterity have been identified. Forty seven different ailments/diseases are being treated by these plant species (Table 1). The tribal communities residing here have a wide range of remedies for asthma, body pains, bone fractures, cold, cough, cuts and wounds, dysentery, diarrhoea, eczema, gastric ulcers, night blindness, skin troubles, stomach ache, syphilis etc.,

From the enumeration it is clear that tribals of the G. Madugula mandal still depend, partially, on nature for their livelihood. No doubt civilization has touched almost all villages, but for economic backwardness they depend on forest for food, fuel, other requirements and an important one is the medicinal practices. These practices and knowledge treasures are transferred to these generations from their forefathers. Of the scheduled tribes in the study area, Bagatas, Konda Doras and Valmikis are found to possess reasonable sound ethnomedicinal knowledge than other tribal communities.

Pharmaceutical researchers acknowledge that screening plants on the basis of information derived from traditional knowledge saves billion dollars in time and resources (Hafeel and Shankar, 1999). However, the traditional knowledge has been eroding in these tribal societies of G. Madugula mandal. The crucial factors responsible for such erosion are the pressure of modernization and migration of youth from tribal area to semi urban or urban areas to take up job and employment. If such things are continue to happen in these communities then knowledge related to ethnobotany will vanish from the region. Similar factors were believed to be the reason for the loss of traditional ethnobotanical knowledge in Iban community in Sarawak, Malaysia (Jarvie and Perumal, 1994) and Raji tribal community of Central Himalaya, India (Negi et al., 2002).

The collection, identification and documentation of ethnomedicinal data on biological resources are inevitable steps for bioprospecting. These plants may serve as source of some important medicine against some major diseases. Therefore, these tribal claims should be further validated scientifically.

 

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