Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 1295- 1301, 2009.

 

 

Indigenous Knowledge on Miscellaneous Uses of Plants by the People of Parroha VDC, Rupandehi District, Central Nepal

 

Kamal Prasad Acharya1* andRajendra Acharya2

 

1POBox 15142 KPC 676, Kathmandu, Nepal

*for correspondence: acharya.kamal@gmail.com

2Arunodaya Higher Secondary School, Satikhel, Kathmandu

 

Issued October 01, 2009

 

 

Abstract

 

This study aims to explore the information on miscellaneous uses on plant resources found in Parroha VDC of Rupandehi district, Nepal. The study was conducted during May 2007. Informations on plant resources were collected interviewing key informants using a semi structured open ended questionnaires. Altogether 33 different species of plants belonging to 19 families were found used for miscellaneous purposes.

 

Keywords: Indigenous Knowledge, Parrhoa VDC, Plant resources, Rupandehi district, Nepal.

 

Introduction

 

�������� With the surface area of 1,47,181 km2, Nepal lies at the crossroads of the Himalaya. Within its small boundary, marked variations exist between different areas in terms of amount and duration of annual rainfall and temperature. Its great climatic, geographical and geological diversity gives rise to biological and ecological diversity and comprises of tropical to alpine climatic zones. In Nepal, majority of people depend on agricultural works and heavily rely on plants and plants products (either domesticated or wild) to fulfill their basic needs and for household economics. Because of this, most of the ecosystems with useful species are under threat due to habitat destruction, unsustainable harvesting and over-exploitation (Chaudhary, 1998). So, it is now realized that priority should be given to the documentation and conservation of the existing species and habitats before some of these are eliminated from the area (Joshi and Joshi, 2009). At present, research towards the general documentation of ethno-medicinal plants, wild food plants, and of other uses by different workers/scientists is taking place in different areas of Nepal (Manandhar, 2002; Joshi et al., 2003; Bhattarai et al., 2009). But, information on miscellaneous uses of plant resources of Parroha VDC is still not documented. In this background, present study was devised to document the indigenous knowledge on miscellaneous uses of plants in Parroha VDC in Rupandehi district of Central Nepal.

 

Materials and Methods

Study Area

������ Parroha VDC of Rupandehi district lies in the terai region of Nepal. The total population of VDC is about 20 thousands, of which about one fourth (about 26%) are Tharu (CBS 2002). The altitude of the study area ranges from 220 m to 500 m asl. The forest is mainly dominated by Sal (Shorea robutsa) with its associated species Saj (Terminalia alata), Banjhi (Anogeissus latifolia) etc. The climate of the area is typically tropical dominated by south-east monsoon. Generally hot climate prevails throughout the year except in the winter lasting for the short period. The temperature of the district ranges from average 70C winter to average 450C during summer.

 

Field study

������ The field study to collect the informations on miscellaneous uses of plant and plant parts was carried out during May 2007. Informations were collected interviewing key informations using semi structured open ended questions and group discussions. Collected specimens were identified with the help of standard literature (Hara et al., 1978; Hara and Williams, 1979; Press et al., 2000) and with cross checking the specimens deposited at Tribhuvan University Central Herbarium (TUCH), Kirtipur. The collected specimens are deposited at TUCH, Kathmandu, Nepal.

 

Results and Discussion

���������� Ethnobotanicalinformation on 33 plant species have been collected with their indigenous knowledge and practices. These plant species fall under 32 genera and 19 families. List of medicinal plant species with their scientific name, family, local name, habitat, and uses are presented in Table 1. The species are arranged alphabetically. Out of total species used for miscellaneous purposes, nearly two third are trees (64%) followed by shrub and climber (each with 12%), shrub or tree (9%) and herb (3%) (Figure 1). The informations presented in this research are collected from the senior members of the community. However, the youngsters of the region are less knowledgeable. This type of trend shows that the traditional knowledge on miscellaneous uses of plants is deteriorating in present study area. To preserve these valuable natural resources, first these existing valuable informations are needed to be documented before they are lost or disappeared. Therefore, strong emphasis should be given for the documentation of indigenous uses, traditional knowledge and practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1. Different life forms of plants used.

 

Conclusion

�������� Present study shows that the study area is rich in medicinal plants. Tharu community has developed their own unique system of using plants for medicinal uses. Nowadays, there is availability of modern medicines but the old generations of the study area rely on plants and plant products for remedy. The youngsters of the study area rely on modern medicines due to its easy availability. Because of which the practice of using plants and plant parts for medicinal use is decreasing. So, the emphasis should be given for the documentation of this knowledge before they are lost or disappeared.

 

Table 1: List of plant species used for miscellaneous purposes by the people of Parroha VDC of Rupandehi district.

SN

Plant species

Local name

Habit

Uses

1

 

 

Acacia catechu (L.f.) Willd.

(LEGUMINOSAE)

 

Khayar

 

 

Tree

 

 

Kattha (a chemical extracted from bark of tree) is used as spices in Paan (a kind of addiction). Wood used for poles, timber and other household purposes and for fuelwood.

 

2

 

 

Adina cordifolia (Willd. ex Roxb.) Benth & Hook.f. ex Brandis)

(RUBIACEAE)

 

Karma

 

 

Tree

 

 

Wood is used to make furniture, plywood and agricultural implements.

 

 

3

 

 

Antidesma acuminatum Wall.

(EUPHORBIACEAE)

 

Archal

 

 

Shrub

 

 

Leaves are sour in taste and used to prepare pickle. Tree provides fodder.

 

 

4

 

 

Asparagus racemosus Will.

(LILIACEAE)

 

Kurilo

 

 

Woody Climber

 

 

Young shoots are used as vegetable. Boiled tubers when eaten increases lactation of women and cattle.

 

 

5

 

 

Bauhinia vahlii Wight & Arn.

(LEGUMINOSAE)

 

Bharlo

 

 

Climbing Shrub

 

 

Leaves are used to prepare leaf plates and ghum (traditional material used as umbrella) and rain caps. Stem fiber is used to make ropes. Roasted seeds are eaten.

 

6

 

 

Bridelia retusa (L.) Spreng

(EUPHORBIACEAE)

 

Gayo

 

 

Shrub or Tree

 

 

Leaves are used as fodder. Used for firewood. Ripe fruit is edible.

 

 

7

 

 

Buchanania latifolia Roxb.

(ANACARDIACEAE)

Piyari

 

 

Tree

 

 

Good fodder for livestock. Also used as fuelwood, for making roof rafter and Bhata (weaving material) for fencing. Fruits are sweet & sour and eater, used to make local liquor.

 

8

 

 

Cassia fistula L.

(LEGUMINOSAE)

 

Rajbrichha

 

 

Tree

 

 

Wood good to prepare plough. Fruits are used as medicine to treat cholera, jaundice and urinary tract problems. Wood is not used for firewood because it is believed that when it is used for firewood, chickens will have eye infection.

9

 

 

Dalbergia latifolia Roxb.

(LEGUMINOSAE)

 

Satisal

 

 

Tree

 

 

Used to prepare furniture and plywood, agricultural implements since wood are very hard, strong, and durable.

 

10

 

 

Desmodium oojeinense (Roxb.) H. Ohashi

(LEGUMINOSAE)

 

Sadhan

 

 

Tree

 

 

Used as fodder. It is supposed to be best for making plough and other agricultural materials.

 

 

11

 

 

Diospyros montana Roxb.

(EBENACEAE)

 

Bindipat

 

 

Tree

 

 

The leaves are used for making bindi (the leaf cigarette), ripen fruits are eaten. Branches are used for firewood.

 

12

 

 

Diploknema butyracea (Roxb.) H.J. Lam

(SAPOTACEAE)

 

Chiuri

 

 

Tree

 

 

From its seed vegetable ghee is prepared which is used for cooking. Ripe fruits are eaten. Leaves are used as plates.

 

13

 

 

Eulaliopsis binnata (Retz.) C.E. Hubb.

(GRAMINAE)

 

Khar

 

 

Herb

 

 

Used to make ropes and also used for thatching roofs.

 

 

14

 

 

Ficus racemosa L.

(EUPHORBIACEAE)

 

Gullar

 

 

Tree

 

 

Leaves are used as fodder. Fruits are edible.

 

 

15

 

 

Glochidion sp.

(EUPHORBIACEAE)

 

Bakalledi

 

 

Tree

 

 

Plant is used as firewood. Extract from fruit is used for poisoning fish.

 

 

16

 

 

Holarhena pubescens (Buch.- Ham.) Wall ex G.Don

(APOCYNACEAE)

 

Madeshi Khirro

 

Shrub or Tree

 

Good fodder for goat. Wood is used in making decoration pieces.

 

 

17

 

 

Hymenodictyon excelsum (Roxb.) Wall.

(RUBIACEAE)

 

Bhurkul

 

 

Tree

 

 

Excellent for manufacturing the match stick and match boxes. Also used to make toys and plywood.

 

 

18

 

 

Lagerstroemia parviflora Roxb.

(LYTHRACEAE)

 

Bot dhayaro

 

 

Tree

 

 

Leaves are used for fodder. Wood is used to make agricultural implements, carts, boats etc. Also used for construction purposes.

 

19

 

 

Mangifera indica L.

(ANACARDIACEAE)

 

Aanp

 

 

Tree

 

 

Ripe fruit is edible. Unripe fruit is sour and used to make pickle. Wood is used to make furniture and other implements. Good fodder.

 

20

 

 

Millettia extensa (Benth.) Baker

(LEGUMINOSAE)

 

Gaujo

 

 

Woody Climber

 

Leaves and twigs are used as fodder. Juice prepared from leaves is used in treating lice in goats and other animals and worms in goats.

 

21

 

 

Murraya koenigii (L.) Spreng

(RUTACEAE)

 

Banneem

 

 

Tree

 

 

Wood is used for firewood. It is used as repellents for insects and fleas. Ripe fruit is edible.

 

 

22

 

 

Phoenix humilis Royle ex Becc. & Hook.f.

(PALMAE)

 

Thakal

 

 

Dwart Tree

 

Fruits are edible and sold in the markets. Pinnately compound leaves are used to make Kucho (broom). Root extract is used to kill lice. Pith of the stem is used as food. Leaves are used to thatch roofs.

 

23

 

 

Phyllanthus emblica L.

(EUPHORBIACEAE)

 

Amala

 

 

Tree

 

 

Fruits are eaten fresh or used to make pickle. It is not used as firewood as it is supposed that it infects eyes of children.

 

24

 

 

Premna barbata Wall. ex Schr.

(LABIATAE)

 

Gindari

 

 

Shrub

 

 

Ripe fruits are edible. Plant is used to fodder and firewood.

 

 

25

 

 

Schleichera oleosa (Lour.) Oken

(SAPINDACEAE)

 

Kusum

 

 

Tree

 

 

Plant is lopped for fodder. Timber is tough and used to make plough, used as chopping board. Wood also used for firewood. Fruit is green with yellow inside and sour in taste which is used to make pickle. Some people sell fruits in the market.

26

 

 

Semecarpus anacardium L.f.

(ANACARDIACEAE)

 

Bhalayo

 

 

Tree

 

 

Fruits are edible but it is allergen for some people. Latex is poisonous and allergen to some.

 

 

27

 

 

Shorea robusta Gaertn.

(DIPTEROCARPACEAE)

 

Sal

 

 

Tree

 

 

Boiled seeds are eaten. Seeds are eaten by cattle and goats but not by birds. Wood is used for building purposes, making furniture and agricultural implements, leaves are used to make plates and for fodder. Wood used for fuelwood and charcoal production.

28

 

 

Smilax ovalifolia Roxb. ex D.Don

(SMILACEAE)

 

Kukurdiano

 

 

Climbing Shrub

 

Leaves are lopped for fodder. Young foliages are used for vegetables. Flower is used to make pickle.

 

 

29

 

 

Terminalia alata Heyne ex Roth

(COMBRETACEAE)

 

Saj

 

 

Tree

 

 

Plant is lopped for fodder. Wood is used for building purposes and other agricultural implements. Ash made from bark gives lime colour and used for paint.

 

30

 

 

Terminalia chebula Retz.

(COMBRETACEAE)

 

Harro

 

 

Tree

 

 

Fruits are used for tanning. Fruit is also used as yeast (a fermenting material). Wood used for furniture and agricultural implements. Leaves are lopped for fodder.

 

31

 

 

Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz.

(LYTHRACEAE)

 

Dhayaro

 

 

Shrub

 

 

Leaves and branches are lopped for fodder. Nectar from flower is testy and mostly children eat this, also used for pegs in animal sheds.

32

 

 

Xeromphis spinosa (Thunb.) Keay

(RUBIACEAE)

 

Maidalo

 

 

Shrub or Tree

 

Leaves and branches are lopped for fodder. Young fruits are used as vegetables.

 

 

33

 

 

Xylosma controversum Clos

(FLACOURTICACEAE)

 

 Raju

 

 

Shrub

 

 

Leaves are lopped for fodder. Spikes are very poisonous. Extract from fruit is used for fish poisoning.

 

 

 

Acknowledgements

We are thankful to the local resource person especially Mr. Tirtha Bhusal, Prem B. Baniya and other person of Parroha VDC for sharing valuable informations on plants and plant resources.

 

References

Bhattarai, S., Chaudhary, R.P. and Taylor, R.S.L. 2009. Wild edible plants used by the people of Manang district, Central Nepal. Ecology of Food and Nutrition 48 : 1-20.

CBS 2002. Population of Nepal: Caste/Ethnicity, Mother Tongue and Religion (Western Development Region). Central Bureau of Statistics, Thapathali, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Chaudhary, R.P. 1998. Biodiversity in Nepal (Status and Conservation). S. Devi, Saharanpur (U.P.), India and Tecpress Books, Bangkok, Thailand.

Hara, H. and Williams, L.H.J. Enumeration of flowering plants of Nepal. Vol II. British Museum (Natural History) London.

Hara, H., Stearm, W.T. and Williams, L.H.J. 1978. An Enumeration of Flowering Plants of Nepal. Vol. I. British Museum (Natural History) London.

Joshi A.R. and Joshi Kunjani. 2009. Plant diversity and ethnobotanical notes on tree species of Syabru village, Langtang National Park, Nepal. Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13 : 651-64.

Joshi A.R., Shrestha, S.L. and Joshi, Kunjani. 2003. Environmental Management and Sustainable Development at the Crossroad. AnKus, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Manandhar, N.P. 2002. Plants and People of Nepal. Timber Press Portland, Oregon, USA.

Press, J.R., Shrestha, K.K. and Sutton, D.A. 2000. Annotated checklist of the flowering plants of Nepal. The Natural History Museum Press, London.