An ethnobotanical exploration carried out
during the years 2001 and 2002 in the Village BaraliKass and its allied areas, District KotliAzad Kashmir, Pakistan,
revealed that 66 species were used as folk medicine for the curing of several
diseases. The data was collected from the local peoples including reliable
hakims (local doctors), physicians and old villagers. Plant species with
their botanical names, local names, status and folk medicinal uses have been
collected and enlisted.
INTRODUCTION TO THE AREA
The Village BaraliKass and its allied
areas are situated at a distance of 20Km from the district head quarters of Kotli, which is situated in the southern side of city.
The altitude of the area ranges from 740m to 1200m. It is included in the sub
very hot in summer and cool in winter. June and July are the hottest months
(max.37C and Min.25C), while December and January are the coldest months
(Max.17.50 C and Min.40 C) of the area.
of the wind is high in the morning and in the evening. The wind blows from
north-east to south-west.
annual rainfall of the study area is 114.42 millimeters.
annual humidity at is 77.16%;
whereas at it is 56.66%.
The study area
falls within the Nagri formation of the Siwalik group of rocks which contain sand stones and
shale (Saleem, M.1999-2000).
soil is loamy, clay and sandy clay. The soil is acidic with pH ranges from
6.1 to 6.4. The percentage of Phosphorus varies from 10—20 ppm, and
potassium ranges from 40—120 ppm.
The area has a
mixed culture (i.e. rural and urban). Many people of the area seem to have
some empirical knowledge of nature. They have acquired knowledge about the
natural resources of their area through communication with others in their
culture. The most common occupations of the people are farming and cattle
sources of water are from natural drainage areas and rainfall. There is one
river Poonch, many nullahs
and springs. People of the area make use of these sources of water for
irrigation, drinking and other household purposes.
of the area is under biotic pressure due to erosion, fire, deforestation,
overgrazing and browsing.
Field work in the study area was carried out between 2001 and 2002.
Plants were collected and interviews were conducted of the local people, the
latter resulting in the gathering of indigenous medicinal knowledge for 66
plant species. Several trips were made for this purpose. Only wild plants
growing in the flowering stage were collected. Data relating to folk
medicinal knowledge was collected by interviewing local inhabitants of
several different professions, such as hakims (local Doctors), local
physicians, pansaries and old people of the
village. The collected plants were identified with the help of literature
available in the Department of Botany at the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan, including Nasir and Ali (1970-1987), Bhattacharjee,
S.K. (1998), Raju, R.A. (1998), Kirtikar,
K.R.and B.D. Basu (1999),
and Joshi, S.G. (2002. Further identification and confirmation were done in
the herbarium, Department of Biological Sciences, Quid-e-Azam
university, Islamabad, Pakistan.
The collections were recorded and documented according to their Families,
Botanical names, Local names, Status, Parts used, and Folk medicinal uses.
The plants are listed alphabetically in the following table by family,
genus and species. Local names, status and folk medicinal uses are given for
each species. Of the 27 families treated here, all are angiosperms.
Botanical Names and Family
Folk Medicinal Uses
Roots and leaves are used in cough, bronchitis and
Paste of whole plant is stimulant and demulcent
Fresh leaves are roasted in the ghee or oil and applied
on the swelling parts of the body.
The powder of the whole dried plant is useful for
lumbago and whooping cough. Decoction is very useful in phenomena,cough and kidney stone. Root paste is given in
stomach pain and toothache.
The root of the plant is diuretic. The leaves are eaten
as vegetable, which are febrifuge.
Leaves are emetic, laxative and diuretic
Celosia argentia Linn.
The paste of the plant is useful in dysentery and it
also facilitates delivery.
Fruit and leaves are cardiac and stimulant.
Branches are used in toothache and as toothbrush.
Extracted oil from the bark is used to destroy maggots infesting wounds.
Powder obtained from the root and tuber is applied on snake
bite and scorpion sting.
Fresh leaves area roasted in the ghee or oil and applied
on the swelling part of the body
Whole plant is diuretic and astringent. Root paste is
useful in snakebite.
Helianthus annus Linn.
Flower is crushed, missed with oil and is applied in
skin diseases. Seeds are diuretic and expectorant
(D. Don) hand. Mazz
The seeds are carminative.
The whole plant is pounded and applied to wounds or
Juice of the fresh plant is effective against liver
disease and chronic hepatitis. Roots powder is used for the flow of
R.L.Ba. Br. Fr.
The watery extract from the roots and stem is used in opthalmia, fruit is cooling and laxative. Bark is
used for internal wounds, throat infection, against diabetes and
toothache. Root powder is used in bones fracture. The leaves are
administrated as cure for jaundice.
The gum bleeding from the stem is very useful in
toothache and sores in mouth.
The powder obtained from the roots is used for
bronchitis and eruption.
The plant has depurative properties, beneficial in
disease of eye.
Bark is used as alliterative. Dried buds are used in
dysentery, piles, diarrhea and worms
The decoction of the leaves is bitter, heating, astringent,
for bowels, tonic, stomach ache and useful in
leprosy. Dried and crushed leaves are taken as drink for their narcotic
action. Locally fresh leaves are roasted in ghee or oil and applied on
sexual organ (vagina) of women at the time of birth for pain relief.
Powder of the leaves used externally as an antiseptic
around genitals of the children. Flowers are used in stomach trouble.
Extract of the leaves is purgative and also used in skin
diseases, root possesses cathartic properties.
Seeds are nutritive and used in dropsy. Seedoil has
The seeds are carminative
Tuber is home remedy for indigestion, diarrhea and other
intestinal problems of children and paste of the tuber is applied to
The fresh fruit is tonic and useful in fever,
indigestion, jaundice, anemia and heart complaints. Dried fruit is useful
in diarrhea and dysentery.
Aqueous extract of the plant iswormicide and is applied for wound healing.
Euphorbia hirta Linn
The juice of the plant is given in dysentery and colic.
The milk obtained from the plant is applied to destroy warts.
The milky latex obtained from the buds is cathartic and
anathematic, but poisonous and injurious to eyes.
Mallotusphilippensis(Lam) Muel, Arg.
The powder obtained from the fruit is used to destroy thread
worms, hook worms and round worms.
Oil obtained from the seeds is a laxative, given to
children in case of constipation and is also very useful in skin diseases. Heated
and oiled leaves are placed on rheumatic joints, swelling and inflamed
muscles. Few drops of oil doses are used in increase quantity of milk in
Aqueous extract is given orally in fever, mouth
inflammation, throat infection and menses disorder. It is also used as ear
drops in ear diseases. Fresh leaves are applied externally on skin for
Aqueous extract is useful in typhoid and jaundice.
Colebrookeaoppostifolia Smith. Exot.
The leaves are applied to wounds and bruises.
Decoction of the whole plant is very useful in
respiratory problems and chest infection
Herbal tea is taken in abdominal disorder.
Salvia officinalis Linn
Decoction of the leaves is used to treat cough, cold and
sore throat. The root paste is very useful in scorpion sting and snake
Extract of the bulb is useful in vomiting, body pains
and ulcer. Roasted scaly leaves are applied on joint eruption and these are
also expectorant. Bulbs of the plant are very useful in jaundice, pneumonia
Bulb is carminative, stimulant, aphrodisiac and
expectorant. It also very useful in fever, high blood pressure and
Tuberous roots paste is very effective in scorpion
sting, snake bite, dysentery problems.
Aloe vera Linn
The resinous juice from the leaves is used for stomach
ache, a tonic and purgative. The mucilaginous pulp is said to possess biogenetic
stimulators and wound healing properties. Aloe meat is eaten to alleviate
colds, keeps bloods in good condition and relieves constipation.
The powder of dried flowers is eaten with rice, which is
very useful in dysentery.
The gum obtained from the bark is used as tonic and stimulant.
Branches are used as toothbrush for toothache.
AlbezzialebbeckBenth in Hook. Lond.
Dried leaves are smoked for relief of headache, wounds
and joint eruption. Seed are astringent, given in piles and diarrhea.
The milky juice of fruit, leaves and bark is
aphrodisiac. Also applied externally on skin for relief pains and bruises.
Fresh fruit used in anemia and constipation. Latex
obtained from the stem and leaves for checking bleeding.
Fruit is used as cooling, alterative and laxative.
Morus alba Linn.
Fruit is used in chest and throat infection.
Fruit is given to expel the tapeworms from the
Fresh fruit is very useful in snake bite and root powder
is very effective in stomach ache.
Root paste is useful in snake bite and powder is very effective
in stomach ache.
Leaves are antiseptic, chewed for toothache, jaw
swelling and throat infection. Oil obtained from the fruit is used for
Root powder is used as a drug for removing weakness.
Flowers are use indiahorrea
Paste of the tuber is useful in snakebite. It is also
used as a powder form, dilute it in water or milk and administrated in the
body through mouth for relief of intestinal and chest irritation.
Oxalis corniculata Linn
Aqueous extract of plant is given in stomach trouble.
Boiled with butter or milk, it is a remedy for indigestion and diahorrea in children.
Decoction of the flowers is very effective in vomiting,
cold (pneumonia) and dysentery in children.
Decoction of leaves and bark is used to cure
intermittent fever having cooling effects and applied for internal mouth
Leaves are chewed for jaw swelling, toothache and throat
infection. The decoction of the plant is used as a hair tonic for removing
Barks are used for an internal wound, throat infection against
diabetes and toothache. Leaves are also chewed for toothache and jaw
It is antiseptic. Vegetative part of the plant is
crushed and mixed with butter, and it is very useful in skin disease.
The powder obtained from the tuber has anti-dandruff properties.
Stem sticks are used for walking to heal piles. Fruit
and sauce of fruit and branches are used for stomach ache and as a
carminative. Branches are uses as toothbrush (Miswak).
Extract of leaves is useful in dysentery, stomach ache,
backbone pain, diarrhea, throat infection and fever. Dried leaves and stem
are grained in to powder form and applied to heal wound and burns.
The dried leaves are cardiac stimulant and tonic. Seeds
are used in skin disorder. Leaves are also applied on wounds and burns.
The leaves are hot, useful in chest complaints,
rheumatism and diarrhea; the leaves warmed and rubbed with oil are employed
as an application to inflamed parts. Flowers and roots are demulcent and
The leaves are mixed with cow dung and are massaged in
backache. Fresh branches are used as toothbrush Dried leaves are smoked for the relief of headache.Bathing in water boiled with the leaves benefits
rheumatic patients, also used as insecticide and pesticide.
Viola odorata Linn.
Plants have laxative, purgative and sedative properties.
A herbal tea (coffee) of flowers is effective in
fever, flu, cough, pneumonia and body pain.
Viola serpens Linn.
The decoction of whole plant is anaphrodisiac
and it also very effective in fever and lung trouble.
Parts: L (Leaves); St (Stem); Fl (Flower);Ba (Bark);Tb (Tuber); R (Root); Br (Branches).
For an area of this size, there is very little information available
about plant uses. However, the area has great floristic diversity and
includes a number of medicinal plants.
The deterioration of the wild flora of this area is to be blamed on
population pressure, forest fires and overgrazing and browsing. The present
population has little knowledge about the medicinal plants of the area
because most of the more knowledgeable, older persons have died and the
younger ones are not as informed of traditional methods. However, as in the
past, some empirical knowledge of medicinal plants among the tribes continues
to be developed and transmitted orally from one generation to the next.
Medicinal plants of the area are widely employed by local healers for
the treatment of various common and chronic diseases and disorders.
Information on the uses of the above 66 plants species appears to be new to
science. These plants are here recommended for further scientific
investigation and screening.
There is great need to study and document this knowledge properly. If
the people of this area can in the future manage to protect their natural
resources from biotic interferences, their valley will then remain green, and
will continue to present itself as a gift for future generations.
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