Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 1353-61, 2009.

 

Ethnomedical Knowledge of Plants used by the Tribal people of Purandhar in Maharashtra, India

 

Bhosle S. V., Ghule V. P., Aundhe D. J.1 and Jagtap S. D.*

 

Medicinal Plants Conservation Center (MPCC), Pune, Maharashtra, India

1Department. of Botany, Waghire College, Saswad (Purandhar), Maharashtra, India

*Correspondent author, E- mail: chiritatml@rediffmail.com

 

Issued November 01, 2009

 

Abstract

 

 

This study presents the results of a field survey of the plants used medically by the tribal people of Purandhar in Maharashtra, India. Tribes like Dhangars and Gowlis inhabit the dry deciduous forests of the region. This is an effort to record the valuable ethnomedical knowledge of these Purandhar tribes. A total of 77 species belonging to 30 families and 56 genera were included. These plants are used to treat various aliments, discomforts and diseases like whooping cough, asthma, diabetes, diphtheria, conjunctivitis, snake bite, scorpion bite, etc.

Keywords: Ethnobotany, Medicinal plants and Purandhar.

 

Introduction

������� Nearly 70 percent of the world population is dependent on the traditional medicines for primary healthcare. India is known for its rich diversity of medicinal plants and hence called botanical garden of the world (Vedavathy et al, 1997). There is increase in the wage of herbal medicines in recent past and almost 95 percent consumption of these plants is made through collections from the forests (Gupta, 2003). The traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in the tribal people is very ideal source for exploring bioactive compounds of therapeutic importance in phytochemical research. This ethnomedicobotanical study of the tribal people can open new frontiers for searching more active and efficient herbal drugs. In an exploratory study of medicinal plants used by tribal communities of Purandhar viz: Dhangars and Gowlis, 77 plants have been recorded. In the present paper we give the details of these medicinal plants that are being used for healing and or curing various discomforts, ailments and diseases for more than 300 yrs in Purandhar. Although many studies concerning the use of medicinal plants in several parts of Maharashtra have been carried out, the ethnobotany of the Purandhar region is poorly known and is being reported here for the first time.

 

Study area

Purandhar in Maharashtra, India, lies between 17�02�.00 E and 18�17�.30 N. The different vegetation types present in this region are scrub, deciduous and dry deciduous forest (Fig. 1 & 2). The present study was carried out in selected areas of Purandhar where tribes are known to have inhabited the land since the 16th Century.

 


Figure 1. Purandhar landscape.

 


 

Figure 2. Vegetation on Purandhar fort.

 

 

Methodology

Periodic field trips were conducted in different seasons of the tribal areas for three consecutive years. The frequent visits made it possible to develop a good rapport with the elderly people and traditional healers (or Vaidoos), thereby making it possible to acquire the details of medicinal plants and their uses. The information was collected from 80 people (54 women, 26 men) whose ages ranged from 45 to 86 years. Most of the interviewees (65) were more than 50 years old. The plant collections were made in three seasons (summer, monsoon and winter), as some of the plants are seasonal. The plants were identified with the help of different floristic works (Cook, 1967; Santapau, 1958; Sharma et al., 1996; Singh et al., 2000; Singh et al., 2001, as well as through comparison with specimens previously authenticated and preserved in the Herbarium of the Botanical Survey of India, Western Circle, Pune. Specimens of our plants are preserved in the herbarium of the Medicinal Plants Conservation Center (MPCC), Pune. The acquired information was cross checked with available literature about these medicinal plants and their ethnobotany (Jain, 1991; Chopra et al., 1956; Chopra and Verma, 1968; Agharkar, 1953; Vartak, 1997).

 

Results AND Discussion

The results of this study are given in Table 1, wherein species are arranged alphabetically by genus.

For each species are the botanical name with authority and voucher specimen number, family, local name, parts used, ailments treated, preparations and total number of reports (n) and relevant percentage (%) of citations.

A total of 77 plants from 30 different families have been documented for their healing properties. These plants are used to treat 33 types of ailments and / or discomforts. Of these, 11 plants were reportedly used to treat different type of stomach and urinary problems; 6 were used in the the treatment of muscle and joint pains; 5 for treatment of stroke and excessive heat; 4 for relief of asthma while 4 others for the healing of wounds; and 3 for treatment of skin diseases and infections. With respect to other ailments or diseases, generally one or two plant species were said to be used. The use and acceptability of these plants, which are claimed to be effective remedies, is quite popular and high among the Dhangar and Gowli tribes that inhabit Purandhar. About 45 of their species are very well known for their pharmacological, biochemical and clinical applications (Kirtikar and Basu, 1951; Bhattacharjee, 1998; Kurian, 1999; Dhiman, 2003), but the remaining plant species will need further confirmation and study to prove them as efficient healers.

 

Table 1 Medicinal plants used in the Purandhar region of Maharashtra, India

 

Botanical name and voucher specimen

Family

Local name

Parts used

Uses/Ailments treated

Preparations (administration)

Citations

(n)

(%)

Acacia pennata (L.) Willd. (MPCC 1900)

Mimosaceae

Chilhar

Seed

Body pain

Oil (E)

5

6.25

Achyranthes aspera var. aspera L. (MPCC 1459)

Amaranthaceae

Aghada

Leaves

Cough

Decoction (I)

12

15.00

Aloe vera (L.) Burm. f. (MPCC 3554)

Liliaceae

Korpad

Leaves

Skin diseases, healing wounds

Exudate (E)

18

22.50

Argemone mexicana L. (MPCC 3557)

Papaveraceae

Bilayat

Root

Scorpion bite

Paste (E)

3

3.75

Asparagus racemosus var. javanica (Kunth) Baker (MPCC 3405)

Liliaceae

Shatavari

Tuber

Lactation

Powder (I)

19

23.75

Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (MPCC 306)

Meliaceae

Kadulimb

Young branch

Brushing teeth

Direct (I)

22

27.50

Leaves / Fruit

Skin diseases

Juice (I)

12

15.00

Leaves

Loosing weight

Juice (I)

4

5.00

Bacopa monnieri (L.) Penn. (MPCC 959)

Scrophulariaceae

Bhramhi

Leaves

Menstrual disorder

Juice (I)

1

1.25

Bauhinia purpurea L.

(MPCC 3638)

Caesalpinaceae

Motha apta

Leaves

Scorpion bite

Paste (E)

5

6.25

Bauhinia racemosa Lam. (MPCC 903)

Caesalpinaceae

Apta

Root

Joint pain

Paste (E)

2

2.50

Blainvillea acmella (L.) Philipson(MPCC 1885)

Asteraceae

Singi

Leaves

Healing wounds

Juice (E)

4

5.00

Boerhavia repens var. diffusa (L.) Hook. (MPCC 288)

Nyctaginaceae

Punarnava

Root

Excessive body heat

Powder (I)

6

7.50

Boerhavia repens var. repens L. (MPCC 333)

Nyctaginaceae

Punarnava

Leaves

Blood purifier

Juice (I)

7

8.75

Butea monosperma var. monosperma (Lam.) Taub. (MPCC 2904)

Fabaceae

Palas

Flower

Reduce excessive heat

Infision (I)

5

6.25

Calotropis gigantea (L.) Ait. (MPCC 2525)

Apocynaceae

Rui

Leaves

Swelling of stomach

Paste (E)

13

16.25

Calotropis procera (Ait.) R. Br. (MPCC 3564 )

Apocynaceae

Rui

Latex

Muscle contraction

Direct (E)

20

25.00

Carissa congesta var. congesta L. (MPCC 160)

Apocynaceae

Karwand

Root

Skin allergy, itches

Paste (E)

6

7.50

Cassia auriculata L.

(MPCC 2235)

Caesalpinaceae

Tarwad

Leaves

Ringworms

Paste (E)

2

2.50

Cassia fistula L. (MPCC 212)

Caesalpinaceae

Bahawa

Pod

Healing wounds

Powder (E)

9

11.25

Cassia occidentalis L. (MPCC 3425)

Caesalpinaceae

Tarota

Seed

Asthma

Powder (I)

3

3.75

Cassia pumila Lam.

(MPCC 1572)

Caesalpinaceae

Harankhuri

Leaves

Whooping cough

Decoction (E)

1

1.25

Cassia surattensis Burm. f. ssp. glauca (Lam.) K. & S. (MPCC 616)

Caesalpinaceae

-

Root

Snake bite

Juice (I)

3

3.75

Cassia tora L. (MPCC 2934)

Caesalpinaceae

Takla

Seed

Stroke

Paste (E)

2

2.50

Celastrus paniculatus Willd. (MPCC 958)

Celastraceae

Malkangni

Seed

Joint pain

Oil (E)

6

7.50

Ceropegia oculata Hook. (MPCC 2919)

Apocynaceae

Dudhani

Leaves

Conjunctivitis

Juice ( I)

1

1.25

Curcuma pseudomontana Grah. (MPCC 412)

Zingiberaceae

Ranhalad

Tuber

Blood purifier

Extract (I)

3

3.75

Datura metel L.

(MPCC 3590)

Solanaceae

Dhotra

Leaves

Swelling.

Paste (E)

8

10.00

Dioscorea bulbifera L. (MPCC 3410)

Dioscoreaceae

Kand vel

Bulbil

Stomachache

Juice (I)

11

13.75

Dioscorea pentaphylla var. pentaphylla L. (MPCC 2011)

Dioscoreaceae

Fulora

Tuber

Blood purifier

Cooked eaten (I)

3

3.75

Eclipta prostrata (L.) L. (MPCC 2714)

Asteraceae

Maka

Root

Jaundice

Juice (I)

5

6.25

Emblica officinalis Gaertn. (MPCC 1112)

Euphorbiaceae

Awla

Fruit

Loss of vision

Eaten raw (I)

3

3.75

Acidity and pittha.

Eaten rawwith salt (I)

30

37.50

Ensete superbum Cheesm. (MPCC 3584)

Musaceae

Rankel

Scape

Kidney stone

Eaten raw (I)

2

2.50

Eucalyptus globulus Labill. (MPCC 3587)

Myrtaceae

Nirgil

Bark

Strengthening gums

Powder (I)

6

7.50

Seed

Skin diseases

Oil (E)

3

3.75

Euphorbia fusiformis Buch.-Ham. (MPCC 3588)

Euphorbiaceae

Chirkandi- cha kanda

Latex

Conjunctivitis

Latex (E)

8

10.00

Euphorbia heterophylla L. (MPCC 1507)

Euphorbiaceae

-

Latex

Skin allergy, itches

Direct (E)

3

3.75

Euphorbia hirta L.

(MPCC 2614)

Euphorbiaceae

Dudhi

Leaves

Lactation

Direct (I)

6

7.50

Euphorbia thymifolia L. (MPCC 3604)

Euphorbiaceae

-

Leaves

Abortifacient

Juice (I)

2

2.50

Ficus benghalensis L.

(MPCC 3590)

Moraceae

Wad

Leaves

Cracks on feet

Latex (E)

6

7.50

Ficus racemosa L.

(MPCC 1875)

Moraceae

Umbar

Bark

Strengthening gums

Powder (I)

2

2.50

Ficus religiosa L.

(MPCC 3592)

Moraceae

Pimpal

Bark

Asthma

Powder (I)

3

3.75

Frerea indica Dalz.

(MPCC 4953)

Apocynaceae

Potdukhi

Leaves

Promoting hair growth

Paste (E)

1

1.25

Gloriosa superba L.

(MPCC 1523)

Liliaceae

Kallawi

Leaves

Easy delivery

Paste (E)

13

16.25

Gmelina arborea Roxb. (MPCC 789)

Verbenaceae

Shivan

Leaves

Urinary disorders

Extract (I)

2

2.50

Gymnema sylvestre (Retz.) R. Br. (MPCC 641)

Apocynaceae

Bedki

Leaves

Diabetes

Powder (I)

1

1.25

Hemidesmus indicus var. pubescens (Wight & Arn.) Hook. f. (MPCC 1580)

Periplocaceae

Anantmul

Root

Excessive body heat

Powder (I)

21

26.25

Hibiscus cannabinus L. (MPCC 3540)

Malvaceae

Ambadi

Leaves

Laxative

Eaten raw (I)

2

2.50

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. (MPCC 92)

Malvaceae

Jasvand

Root

Blood discharge

Powder (I)

1

1.25

Flower

Maintaining dark black hairs

Oil (E)

13

16.25

Iphigenia pallida Baker (MPCC 339)

Liliaceae

Lasun kand

Leaves

Perforation of eardrum

Juice (I)

1

1.25

Justicia adhatoda L. (MPCC 3674)

Acanthaceae

Adulsa

Leaves

Cough

Powder (I)

11

13.75

Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.) Pres. (MPCC 3605)

Crassulaceae

Panphuti

Leaves

Muscle pain

Paste (E)

5

6.25

Lantana camara var. aculeate (L.) Moldenke (MPCC 2034)

Verbenaceae

Tantani

Fruit

Menstrual disorders

Powder (I)

3

3.75

Lawsonia inermis L.

(MPCC 4955)

Lythraceae

Mehandi

Leaves

Excessive body heat

Paste (E)

2

2.50

Mangifera indica L.

(MPCC 4952)

Anacardiaceae

Amba

Seed

Dysentery

Paste (E)

23

28.75

Mimosa hamata Willd. (MPCC 2221)

Mimosaceae

Chapta khair

Leaves

Leprosy

Paste (E)

2

2.50

Mimosa pudica L.

(MPCC 3678)

Mimosaceae

Lajalu

Leaves

Stroke

Extract (I)

5

6.25

Ocimum tenuiflorum L. (MPCC 2005)

Lamiaceae

Ran tulas

Leaves

Fever , cold

Juice (I)

29

36.25

Opuntia elatior Mill.

(MPCC 4954)

Cactaceae

Nivdung

Stem

Muscle pain

Juice (E)

8

10.00

Phyllanthus amarus Schum & Thonn. (MPCC 3620)

Euphorbiaceae

Bhui awla

Leaves

Jaundice

Decoction (I)

9

11.25

Plumbago zeylanica L. (MPCC 2620)

Plumbaginaceae

Chitrak

Root

Skin diseases

Paste (E)

9

11.25

Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre (MPCC 3621)

Fabaceae

Karanj

Seed oil

Whooping cough

Oil(I)

2

2.50

Punica granatum L.

(MPCC 4956)

Punicaceae

Dalimb

Fruit rind

Cough, toothache

Powder (I)

15

18.75

Rubia cordifolia L.

(MPCC 640)

Rubiaceae

Manjistha

Leaves

Uterine pain

Juice (I)

1

1.25

Sida mysorensis Wight and Arn. (MPCC 32)

Malvaceae

-

Leaves

Healing wounds

Powder (E)

3

3.75

Sida rhombifolia ssp. rhombifolia L. (MPCC 28)

Malvaceae

Bala

Leaves

Appetizer

Powder (I)

5

6.25

Sida spinosa L. (MPCC 2537)

Malvaceae

-

Root

Scorpion bite

Paste (E)

1

1.25

Smithia hirsuta Dalz. (MPCC 3123)

Fabaceae

-

Leaves

Laxative

Direct (I)

12

15.00

Solanum anguivi Lam. (MPCC 2627)

Solanaceae

Ranwangi

Seed

Asthma

Powder (I)

2

2.50

Solanum nigrum L.

(MPCC 842)

Solanaceae

Ranwangi

Leaves

Laxative

Laxative (I)

4

5.00

Sphaeranthus indicus L. (MPCC 1034)

Asteraceae

-

Leaves

Vermifuge

Juice (I)

3

3.75

Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels. (MPCC 315)

Myrtaceae

Jambhul

Fruit

Diabetes

Eaten raw (I)

24

30.00

Bark

Severe toothache

Decoction (I)

3

3.75

Tamarindus indica L.

(MPCC 2012)

Caesalpinaceae

Chinch

Leaves

Menstrual disorders

Juice (I)

4

5.00

Terminalia bellirica (Gaertn.) Roxb. (MPCC 231)

Combretaceae

Behada

Bark

Diphtheria

Powder (I)

18

22.50

Terminalia chebula Retz. (MPCC 3212)

Combretaceae

Hirda

Fruit

Strengthening gums

Powder (I)

4

5.00

Terminalia elliptica Willd. (MPCC 731)

Combretaceae

Ain

Bark

Anaphylatic reaction

Powder (I)

2

2.50

Tridax procumbens L. (MPCC 1884)

Asteraceae

Kurmudi

Leaves

Healing wounds

Juice (E)

27

33.75

Tylophora dalzellii Hook. f. (MPCC 3130)

Apocynaceae

-

Leaves & Stem

Asthma

Powder (I)

1

1.25

Vitex negundo var. negundo L. (MPCC 2624)

Verbenaceae

Nirgudi

Leaves

Muscular pain

Oil (E)

6

7.50

Wrightia tinctoria ssp. tinctoria R. Br. (MPCC 251)

Apocynaceae

Lamb kuda

Seed

Stomachache

Powder (I)

16

20.00

Way of administration: (E) external use; (I) internal use.

 

Conclusion

This study indicates the importance of large number of plants in tribal medicine, which could be of paramount interest for research and drug development and identification of new bioactive compounds that deserve further study.

 

Acknowledgements

We are thankful to the Director, Medicinal Plants Conservation Center, Pune; Director, Botanical Survey of India, Western Circle, Pune; Dr.Milind Sardesai (Taxonomist) Abasaheb Garware College, Pune.

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