Ethnobotanical Leaflets 14: 259-67, 2010.

 

 

 

Wild Medicinal Plants Used by Local Communities of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India

 

Neena Rani Boktapa* and Avinash Kumar Sharma

 

Non Wood Forest Products Division

Forest Research Institute, Dehradun 248006

*Silviculture Division

Forest Research Institute, Dehradun 248006

ninuboktapa@gmail.com

 

Issued: March 01, 2010

 

Abstract

 

An ethnobotanical study was carried out in adjoining areas of Manali in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh during the month of April to May 2007. The information related to medicinal species which are used to cure common ailments and diseases were gathered by personal interviews with village headmen, local healers, and shepherds. A total of 33 plants belonging to 24 families are listed in this paper. Details of medicinal plants are described alphabetically with their botanical name, family, local name, part used, disease/ailment and ethno medicinal uses.

 

Key Words: Medicinal plants, common ailments, Manali, Himachal Pradesh.

 

Introduction

 

��� The Himalayas have a great wealth of medicinal plants and traditional medicinal knowledge. Himachal Pradesh, one of the pioneer Himalayan States is a rich repository of medicinal flora. Because of its geographical position, hazardous means of transport communication; the traditions, myths, legends and folklores of the ancients are carefully persevered in the lores and mores; temples and historical places in existence at various regions of this state. Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh is well known medicinal plants hot spot in the western Himalaya that has rich diversity of flora and fauna. Singh and Rawat (1998) have listed more than 250 species as ethnomedicinal and about 50 of them are commercially exploited which have been listed in the Red Data Book of IUCN (Singh and Rawat, 1998 & 2000). Dhaliwal and Sharma (1999) recorded more than 900 species of angiosperms from Kullu valley. A brief ethnobotanical account of 109 plant species belonging to 41 families and 86 genera of Kullu district in North Western Himalaya have been recorded by Singh (1999). Singh (2004) has enumerated about 58 locally used medicinal plants from Great Himalayan National Park, Kullu Valley. Negi and Subramani. (2006) recorded 38 plants belonging to 23 families and 17 Red listed species in the Naggar area of Kullu valley, Himachal Pradesh. A first hand information on 35 plant species was recorded from Malana, located in Parvati valley of Kullu district by Sharma et.al.(2005).According to Rao (1996), there is an urgent need to document the ethnobiological information presently existing among the diverse communities before the traditional knowledge are completely lost. The importance of recording the usage of plants in this region is especially imperative because of rapid loss of forest wealth and traditional wisdom due to increase in tourism and modernization.

 

Materials and Methods

 

Study Area

��� The study comprised of local villages in the Manali area of Kullu District (HP) lying between 32058'00" North latitude and 77006'04" East longitude. On the North and North - East, it is bounded by Lahaul - Spiti and Kangra districts, on the East and South -East by Kinnaur and Shimla districts. The altitudinal range of this area lies between 1,300 m to 6,000 m above mean sea level. Climate of the district is cool and dry. The region receives moderate rainfall during monsoon of which the bulk is received during the months of July - August. Snowfall is received during the month of December - February.

 

Methodology

���� The study was conducted during the month of April and May 2007 in villages of Manali area of Kullu district. The information on local use and diseases cured was collected using structured questionnaire from the respondents of both sex and age groups ranging from 22 � 82 yrs. Several village headman, local healers, and shepherds were consulted to verify the information on indigenous use of important plant species. The plant collections were identified with the help of Flora of Himachal Pradesh and herbarium at Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. A total of 33 species have been recorded and enumerated with its family name, local name, part used, disease/ailment and uses (Table 1).

 

Table 1: Medicinal Plants and their uses.

 

Sr. No.

Botanical Name

Family

Local Name

Part Used

Disease/ailment

Uses

 

01

Aconitum

heterophyllum Wall.

Ranunculaceae

Atish

Root

Fever

The dry root is powdered and taken orally with lukewarm water twice a day for 3-4 days.

02

Aconitum balfourii Stapf.

Ranunculaceae

Patish

Root

Acidity

The dry root is powdered and taken orally with lukewarm water twice a day for one week.

 

Aconitum balfourii Stapf.

Ranunculaceae

Patish

Root

Stomachache

A decoction of dry roots of patish and karu (Picrrorhiza kurroa) is prepared and taken orally at bed time

03

Acorus calamus Linn.

Araceae

Boz, Bach

Rhizome

Cuts and wounds

The dried rhizome is powdered and mixed with water. A thick paste is applied on affected areas.

 

Acorus calamus Linn.

Araceae

Boz, Bach

Rhizome

Stomachache

The dry root is powdered and taken orally as such with lukewarm water once a day.

 

Acorus calamus Linn.

Araceae

Boz, Bach

Rhizome

Stomachache

The dry roots are burnt on charcoal. Smoke is exposed

to the belly at bed time.

04

Ainsliaea aptera DC.

Asteraceae

Sath jeri

Root

Stomachache

A decoction of dry root is prepared and taken orally once a day.

 

Ainsliaea aptera DC.

Asteraceae

Sath jeri

Root

Stomachache

The dry root is powdered and mixed with jaggery. The dose is taken orally with lukewarm water.

05

Allium humile Kunth.

Amaryllidaceae

Faran, Duno

Leaves

Tonsillitis

The fresh leaves are crushed and taken orally with milk.

06

Anemone

obtusifolia Don.

Ranunculaceae

Mingooa

Root

Toothache

The small piece of fresh root is put between aching teeth. The root piece is chewed for 4-5 minutes.

07

Angelica glauca Edgew.

Umbelliferae

Chora

Root

Stomachache

Roots are powdered and taken orally as such with water twice a day.

08

Arnebia

benthami (Wall. Ex G. Don.) Johnston

Boraginaceae

Ratanjot

Root

Arthiritis

Dry roots are soaked in mustard oil for more than one week and the warm oil is massaged on the affected part(s) at bedtime.

 

Arnebia

benthami (Wall. Ex G. Don.) Johnston

Boraginaceae

Ratanjot

Root

Hairfall

The dry roots are soaked in mustard oil for more than one week till its color changes to reddish pink. The oil is massaged.

09

Artemesia capillaris Thunb.

Asteraceae

Jhaoo

Leaf

Earache

Leaf juice is extracted. Leaf juice is used as an ear drop. The Treatment is undertaken once a day.

10

Berberis aristata DC.

Berberidaceae

Kshamal

Flower

Acidity

The flowers are boiled in water and filtered. The extract is taken orally.

 

Berberis aristata DC.

Berberidaceae

Kshamal

Flower

Eye infection

Roots are boiled in water and filtered. The filtrate is used as an eye drop. The treatment is undertaken twice a day for one week.

11

Cannabis sativa Linn.

Cannabinaceae

Bhaang

Seed

Arthiritis

Seed oil is extracted by expulsion and is warmed by heating. The warm oil is massaged on the affected part(s). The treatment is undertaken at bedtime once a day.

12

Cassiope

fastigiata (Wall.) D.Don

Ericaceae

Hieun -sheli

Leaf

Minor burns

Fresh leaves are crushed and a thick paste is made. A thick paste is applied externally on the affected parts.

13

Dactylorhiza hatagirea (D. Don.) Soo

Orchidaceae

Panja, Salampanja

Rhizome

Fever

The rhizome is powdered. The powder is taken orally with lukewarm water. The powder is taken twice a day for three days.

 

Dactylorhiza hatagirea(D. Don.) Soo

Orchidaceae

Panja, Salampanja

Rhizome

Cuts and wounds

The dry rhizome is powdered and mixed with water. A thick paste is applied on affected areas.

 

Dactylorhiza hatagirea(D. Don.) Soo

Orchidaceae

Panja, Salampanja

Rhizome

Cold and cough

The dry rhizome is boiled in water and decoction is prepared. The decoction is taken orally. The decoction is given twice a day for 4-5 days.

14

Datura metel Linn.

Solanaceae

Dhatura

Seed

Arthiritis

Dried seeds are roasted on iron pan and powdered after cooling. The powder is mixed with hot mustard oil to make a paste. A thick paste is applied on the affected parts at bed time.

15

Ficus palmata Forsskal

Urticaceae

Fagad, Fagar

Stem

Toothache

The latex of the stem is squeezed out.2-3 drops of latex are applied on aching teeth and gums.

16

Gentiana kurooa Royle

Gentianaceae

Neelkanthi

Leaf

Fever

The leaves are boiled in water and filtered. The extract is taken orally.

17

Gerardinia heterophylla Decne.

Urticaceae

Zaran,

Bichoo Ga

Whole plant

Snakebite

The whole plant is swept on the affected part. Until the patient feels relaxed and improved

 

Gerardinia heterophylla Decne.

Urticaceae

Zaran,

Bichoo Ga

Leaf

Muscles sprain

Fresh leaves are crushed and mixed with cow dung. The mixture is warmed by heating. The mixture is wrapped in a cotton cloth and tied on affected portion. The Treatment is undertaken at bedtime.

18

Hedychium spicatum Buch.-Ham.

Zingiberaceae

Kachoor

Rhizome

Acidity

The dry rhizome is powdered. The powder is taken orally with lukewarm water once in a day.

19

Heracleum

lanatum Michx.

Umbelliferae

Patrala

Root

Leucoderma

The dry root is powdered and mixed with water. A thin paste is applied on the affected parts. The treatment is undertaken once a day for 1-2 week.

20

Mesua ferrea Linn.

Guttiferae

Nagkesar

Seed

Fever

A decoction is taken orally once in a day.

21

Morchella esculenta (L.) Pers.

Morchellaceae

Gucchi

Fruiting

Body

Fever

The Gucchi is mixed with eggs of fish. The preparation is taken orally once a day.

 

Morchella esculenta(L.) Pers.

Morchellaceae

Gucchi

Fruiting

Body

Cold & cough

The fruiting body is boiled in water and decoction is prepared. The decoction is given at bedtime for 2-3 days.

22

Picrorrhiza

Kurooa Royle ex Benth.

Scrophulariaceae

Karu

Root

Jaundice

The dry root is boiled in water and decoction is prepared. The decoction is taken orally.

 

Picrorrhiza

kurooa Royle ex Benth.

Scrophulariaceae

Karu

Leaf

Cold & cough

Dry leaves are boiled in water and decoction is prepared. The decoction is taken orally once a day.

 

Picrorrhiza

kurooa Royle ex Benth.

Scrophulariaceae

Karu

Root

Stomach-ache

The dry root is powdered and mixed with jaggery. The dose is taken once a day

23

Plantago

major L.

Plantaginaceae

Dunsua

Seed

Constipation

Dry seeds are powdered and mixed with sugar. The dosage is taken orally at bed time.

24

Pleurospermum

brunonis Benth

Umbelliferae

Losar

Flower

Skin disease

The dry flower is powdered and mixed with water to make a thick paste. A thin layer is applied on the affected parts. The treatment is undertaken once a day regularly.

 

Pleurospermum

brunonis Benth

Umbelliferae

Losar

Flower

Stomatitis

The dry flower is powdered and mixed with butter to make a thick paste. A thin layer is applied on the affected parts. The treatment is undertaken once a day regularly.

 

Pleurospermum

brunonis Benth

Umbelliferae

Losar

Flower, leaf

Small pox

The flower and leaf is crushed to make a paste. A thick paste is applied externally on the affected parts. The Treatment is undertaken once a day for one week.

 

Pleurospermum

brunonis Benth

Umbelliferae

Losar

Flower, leaf

Cold & cough

A decoction is prepared. The decoction is taken orally to warm up body during cold. The decoction is given once a day.

25

Podophyllum

hexandrum Royle

Podophyllaceae

Bankakdi

Root

Snakebite

The dry root is powdered and mixed with water. A thin layer is applied on the affected parts. The treatment is undertaken twice a day for one week.

 

Podophyllum

hexandrum Royle

Podophyllaceae

Bankakdi

Flower,

Leaf

Jaundice

Juice is extracted and mixed with butter. The juice is taken orally. The Treatment is undertaken at bedtime.

 

Podophyllum

hexandrum Royle

Podophyllaceae

Bankakdi

Root

Stomach-ache

The dry roots are powdered. The root powder is taken orally as such with lukewarm water. The dose is taken once a day

26

Prinsepia utilis Royle

Rosaceae

Bhekal

Seed

Arthritis

The seed oil is extracted by expulsion and is warmed by heating. The warm oil is massaged on the affected part(s) at bedtime.

27

Prunus

armeniaca L.

Rosaceae

Khubani, Khurbani,

Khumani

Seed

Arthritis

Seed oil is extracted by expulsion and is warmed by heating. The warm oil is massaged on the affected part(s) The massage is done at bedtime.

28

Rhododendron

campanulatum D. Don.

Eriaceae

Shalgar

Leaf

Small pox

Fresh leaves are crushed to make a paste. A thick paste is applied externally on the affected parts. The Treatment is undertaken twice a day for one week.

29

Rheum australe D.Don.

Polygonaceae

Chuchi

Root

Small pox

The dry root is powdered and mixed with water. A thick paste is applied externally on the affected parts. The Treatment is undertaken once a day.

 

 

Rheum australe

D.Don.

Polygonaceae

Chuchi

Root

Muscles sprain

The dry root is powdered and mixed with water. A thick paste is applied externally on the affected parts. The Treatment is undertaken at bedtime.

30

Saussurea

gossypiphora D.Don

Asteraceae

Guggibaan

Flower

Cuts & wounds

The flower is dried. The wool of the herb is applied to fresh cuts and seals the wound. The dry wool is applied per day.

31

Solanum surattense Burm. F.

Solanaceae

Kantkari

Leaf

Arthritis

The fresh leaves are heated mildly on iron pan and made into poultice. The warm leaves are tied on the affected part(s) using muslin cloth. The poultice is applied at bedtime. sufficient relief is observed after one application

32

Viola

serpens Wall.

Violaceae

Banfsa

Leaf

Cold & cough

A decoction is prepared. The decoction is given orally twice a day.

33

Zanthoxylum armatum DC.

Rutaceae

Timber,

Timru

Bark

Toothache

The bark is removed from the stem. Small piece of bark is chewed for 4-5 minutes.

 

image003.jpg

 

Figure 1. Plant parts used for the treatment of common ailments and diseases.

 

Results and Discussion

��� Present study reports 33 medicinal plants which are commonly found in the study area. These plants with medicinal properties are being used by the local communities in their day to day health care. It is reported that underground parts (44%) are used in most of the formulations of the medicines followed by flowers/seeds (25%), leaf (23%) and remaining other parts. The destructive harvesting of the medicinal plants by the maximum use of underground parts from the wild may lead to extinction of the species in the future. Plants growing in high altitudinal regions are of immense use in herbal and pharmaceutical industries as well. As demand for medicinal plants are ever increasing and these resources depleting from the nature. Therefore, there is a need to generate awareness among the local communities towards the sustainable utilization and conservation of medicinal plants.

 

Acknowledgements

 

��� The authors are thankful to the local people for sharing their knowledge regarding plants and their uses in day to day healthcare practices.

 

References

Chauhan, N.S. (2006). Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of Himachal Pradesh. 2nd Edition. Indus Publishing Company, New Delhi.

Dhaliwal, D.S. and Sharma, M. (1999). Flora of Kullu District. BSMPS, Dehradun.

Negi, P.S. and Subramani, S.P. (2006). Ethnobotanical study in the Naggar area of Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh. J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 30(2):349-358.

Rao, R.R. (1996). Traditional knowledge and sustainable development. Key role of ethnobotanists. Ethnobotany 8:14-24.

Sharma, P.K. et.al. (2005). Studies on plant associated indigenous knowledge among the Malanis of Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. Vol. 4 (4): 403-408.

Sharma, P.K. et.al. (2004). Observations on the traditional phytotherapy among the inhabitants of Parvati valley in Western Himalaya, India. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. Vol. 92(2-3): 167-176.

Singh, S.K. and Rawat, G.S. (1998). Traditional verses commercial use of wild medicinal plants of Great Himalayan National Park. Proceedings International Mountain Meet 98, Rishikesh.

Singh, S.K. and Rawat, G.S. (2000). Flora of Great Himalayan National Park. Himachal Pradesh. Bishen Pal Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehradun.

Singh, G.S. (1999). Ethnobotanical study of useful plants of Kullu District in north western Himalaya, India. J. Econ. Taxon. Bot. 23(1):185-198.

Singh, S.K. (2004). Ethno-medicinal plants of Kullu valley, Himachal Pradesh. Journal of Non-Timber Forest Products. Vol. 11(1):74-79