Ethnobotanical Leaflets 10: 254-264. 2006.

 

 

Indigenous Knowledge on Medicinal Plants, Village Barali Kass and its Allied Areas, District Kotli Azad Jammu &Kashmir, Pakistan

 

Ejaz Ur-Rehman

 

Department of Botany, University of Azad jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Currently, M.Sc. Student, Habitat Creation and Management, Staffordshire University, UK

E-Mail. ejazm78@yahoo.com

 

Issued 23 September 2006

 

 

ABSTRACT

 

An ethnobotanical exploration carried out during the years 2001 and 2002 in the Village Barali Kass and its allied areas, District Kotli Azad 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

 

Location

 

The Village Barali Kass 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 tropical zone.

 

Climatic Factors

 

Temperature is 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.

 

Wind

 

The velocity of the wind is high in the morning and in the evening. The wind blows from north-east to south-west.

 

Rain Fall

 

The average annual rainfall of the study area is 114.42 millimeters.

 

Humidity

 

The average annual humidity at 8am is 77.16%; whereas at 5pm it is 56.66%.

 

Geology

 

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

 

Mostly the 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 1020 ppm, and potassium ranges from 40120 ppm.

 

Culture

 

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 rearing.

 

Hydrograph

 

The main 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.

 

Biotic Factors

 

The vegetation of the area is under biotic pressure due to erosion, fire, deforestation, overgrazing and browsing.

 

METHODOLOGY

 

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.

 

RESULTS

 

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 names

Common Names

Status

Parts Used

Folk Medicinal Uses

Acanthaaceae

Adhatota zelanica Medik

Dasi Bailkar

Shrub

R.L

Roots and leaves are used in cough, bronchitis and dysentery

Barlaria cristata Linn

Kaloo

Herb

W.P

Paste of whole plant is stimulant and demulcent

Agavaceae

Agave Americana Linn

Kaiwra

Shrub

L

Fresh leaves are roasted in the ghee or oil and applied on the swelling parts of the body.

Amarantaceae

Achyranthus aspera Linn.

Puthkanda

Herb

W.P

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.

Amaranthus spinosus Linn.

Surkh Ganar

Herb

R.L

The root of the plant is diuretic. The leaves are eaten as vegetable, which are febrifuge.

Amaranthus viridis Linn.

Safed Ganar

herb

L

Leaves are emetic, laxative and diuretic

Celosia argentia Linn.

Tandoola

Herb

W.P.

The paste of the plant is useful in dysentery and it also facilitates delivery.

Apocynanceae

Carissa opaca

stapf-ex-Haines

 

Nerium oleander Linn.

Garinda

 

 

 

Gandeera

 

Shurb

 

 

 

Shurb

Fr.l.

 

 

 

R.L.Br,Ba

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.

Araceae

Arisaema intermedium Bl.

Samp ki much.

Herb

L.R.Tb.

Powder obtained from the root and tuber is applied on snake bite and scorpion sting.

Asclepiadaceae

 

 

 

 

Calotropis procera Willd. R.Br.

Aak

Herb 

L.

Fresh leaves area roasted in the ghee or oil and applied on the swelling part of the body

Asteraceae

Maleen

Herb

W.P.

Whole plant is diuretic and astringent. Root paste is useful in snakebite.

Helianthus annus Linn.

 Sooraj mukhi

Under Shrub

WI.Sd

Flower is crushed, missed with oil and is applied in skin diseases. Seeds are diuretic and expectorant

Saussuea heteromalla

(D. Don) hand. Mazz

 

Gurana

Herb

Sd.

The seeds are carminative.

Sonchus asper (Done) seh.

Dodal

Herb

W.P.

The whole plant is pounded and applied to wounds or boils.

Taraxacum officinale Webr.

Mithi hund

Herb

W.P.

Juice of the fresh plant is effective against liver disease and chronic hepatitis.  Roots powder is used for the flow of urine.

Berberidaceae

 

 

 

 

Berberis lycium Royle.

Komal

Shrub

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.

Bombaceae

 

 

 

 

Bombax  ceiba Linn.

Simal Tree

 

St

The gum bleeding from the stem is very useful in toothache and sores in mouth.

Boraginaceae

 

 

 

 

Cynoglossum lanceolatum Forrsk

Laindri

Herb

R

The powder obtained from the roots is used for bronchitis and eruption.

Tricodesma indicum R.Br.Prodr

Andoosi

Herb

W.P

The plant has depurative properties, beneficial in disease of eye.

Brassicaeae

 

 

 

 

Brassica varigiata Linn

Kalyar

Tree

Ba.Bd

Bark is used as alliterative. Dried buds are used in dysentery, piles, diarrhea and worms

Cannabinaaceae

 

 

 

 

Canabis sativa Linn

Phang

Herb

L

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.

Chenopodiaceae

 

 

 

 

Chenopodium album Linn

Bathwa

Herb

L.Fl

Powder of the leaves used externally as an antiseptic around genitals of the children. Flowers are used in stomach trouble.

Convolvolaceae

 

 

 

 

Convolvolus arvensis Linn

Taran wali Jari

Climbing Herb

L.R

Extract of the leaves is purgative and also used in skin diseases, root possesses cathartic properties.

Cucubitaceae

 

 

 

 

Laginaria siceraria  Standl.

Dabri

Climbing Herb

Sd.

Seeds are nutritive and used in dropsy. Seed oil has cooling properties.

Cuscuta reflexa Roxb.

Nila Tari

Climbing Herb

Sd.

The seeds are carminative

Cyperaceae

 

 

 

 

Cyperus rotundus Linn

Madani Gass

Grass

Sd.

Tuber is home remedy for indigestion, diarrhea and other intestinal problems of children and paste of the tuber is applied to wounds.

Euphorbiaceae

 

 

 

 

Emblica officinalis Gaerth

Amla

Tree

Fr.

The fresh fruit is tonic and useful in fever, indigestion, jaundice, anemia and heart complaints. Dried fruit is useful in diarrhea and dysentery.

Euphorbia helioscopia Linn

Dodal

Herb

W.P

Aqueous extract of the plant is  wormicide and is applied for wound healing.

Euphorbia hirta Linn

Moti Dodal

Herb

W.P

The juice of the plant is given in dysentery and colic. The milk obtained from the plant is applied to destroy warts.

Euphorbia royleana Boiss

Danda Thor

Shrub

Bd.

The milky latex obtained from the buds is cathartic and anathematic, but poisonous and injurious to eyes.

Mallotus philippensis (Lam) Muel, Arg.

Kamial

Shrub

Fr.

The powder obtained from the fruit is used to destroy thread worms, hook worms and round worms.

Ricinus communis Linn

Harnoli

Shrub

Sd.L

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 nourishing women

Fumariaceae

 

 

 

 

Fumaria indica Linn

Papra

Herb

W.P

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 softness.

Genitaceae

 

 

 

 

Swertia spaciosa (D.Don) (lark)

Kori Jari

Herb

W.P

Aqueous extract is useful in typhoid and jaundice.

Lamiaceae

 

 

 

 

Colebrookea oppostifolia Smith. Exot. Bot

Chiela

Shrub

L

The leaves are applied to wounds and bruises.

Nepeta greta Linn

Ladori

Herb

W.P

Decoction of the whole plant is very useful in respiratory problems and chest infection

Mentah longifolia Linn

Chita Poodina

Herb

L.Fl.

Herbal tea is taken in abdominal disorder.

Salvia officinalis Linn

Noorchari

Herb

L.R.

Decoction of the leaves is used to treat cough, cold and sore throat. The root paste is very useful in scorpion sting and snake bite.

Liliaceae

 

 

 

 

Allium cepa Linn

Payaz

Herb

Bl.L.

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 and asthma.

Allium sativum

Thoom

Herb

Bl.

Bulb is carminative, stimulant, aphrodisiac and expectorant. It also very useful in fever, high blood pressure and respiratory problems.

Asparagus adsendens Roxb.

Ari

Herb

R

Tuberous roots paste is very effective in scorpion sting, snake bite, dysentery problems.

Aloe vera Linn

Kanwar gundal

Herb

L.Pl.

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.

Lythraceae

 

 

 

 

Woodfordia fruticosa Kurz.

Dhavi

Shrub

Fl.

The powder of dried flowers is eaten with rice, which is very useful in dysentery.

Meliaceae

 

 

 

 

Melia ozedarach Linn

Darik

Tree

Ba.Br.

The gum obtained from the bark is used as tonic and stimulant. Branches are used as toothbrush for toothache.

Albezzia lebbeck Benth in Hook. Lond.

Sirin

Tree

L.Sd.

Dried leaves are smoked for relief of headache, wounds and joint eruption. Seed are astringent, given in piles and diarrhea.

Moraceae

 

 

 

 

Ficus bengalensis Linn.

Bohr

Tree

Fr.L.Bd.

The milky juice of fruit, leaves and bark is aphrodisiac. Also applied externally on skin for relief pains and bruises.

Ficus carica Linn

Toosa

Tree

L.St.

Fresh fruit used in anemia and constipation. Latex obtained from the stem and leaves for checking bleeding.

Ficus palmate Forrsk.

Phugwara

Tree

Free

Fruit is used as cooling, alterative and laxative.

Morus alba Linn.

Desi Toot

Tree

Fr.

Fruit is used in chest and throat infection.

Myrsinaceae

 

 

 

 

Myrsine Africana Linn.

Googal

Shrub

Fr.

Fruit is given to expel the tapeworms from the intestine.

Myrtaceae

 

 

 

 

Eugenia jambolana Lam, Encyl, Meth.

Jamoon

Tree

Fr.

Fresh fruit is very useful in snake bite and root powder is very effective in stomach ache.

Nyctaginaceae

 

 

 

 

Boerhavia repens Linn.

Chanati

Herb

R.

Root paste is useful in snake bite and powder is very effective in stomach ache.

Oleaceace

 

 

 

 

Olea ferruginea Royle.

Kahoo

Tree

L.Fr.

Leaves are antiseptic, chewed for toothache, jaw swelling and throat infection. Oil obtained from the fruit is used for rheumatism.

Onagraceae

 

 

 

 

Oenothera rosa Soland.

Safed Mohri

Herb

Fl.R.

Root powder is used as a drug for removing weakness. Flowers are use in  diahorrea  and fever.

Orchidaceae

 

 

 

 

Harbennaria digitata Lidle.

Mohri

Herb

Tb.

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.

Oxalidaceae

 

 

 

 

Oxalis corniculata Linn

Jandoro

Herb

W.P

Aqueous extract of plant is given in stomach trouble. Boiled with butter or milk, it is a remedy for indigestion and diahorrea  in children.

Papaveraceae

 

 

 

 

Papaver somniferum Linn

Posth

Herb

Fl.

Decoction of the flowers is very effective in vomiting, cold (pneumonia) and dysentery in children.

Papilionaceae

 

 

 

 

Astragalus gramianus Royle-ex.Benth

Kala Kandayara

Shrub

L.Ba.

Decoction of leaves and bark is used to cure intermittent fever having cooling effects and applied for internal mouth infection.

Astragalus leucocephalus Grah-ex-Benth

Kainthi

Herb

W.P.

Leaves are chewed for jaw swelling, toothache and throat infection. The decoction of the plant is used as a hair tonic for removing dandruff.

Indigofera heterantha Wall-ex-Brand

Chitta Kandayara

Shrub

L.Ba

Barks are used for an internal wound, throat infection against diabetes and toothache. Leaves are also chewed for toothache and jaw swelling

Lotus corniculata Linn.

Mukhan Booti

Herb

W.P.

It is antiseptic. Vegetative part of the plant is crushed and mixed with butter, and it is very useful in skin disease.

Plantaginaceae

 

 

 

 

Plantago lanceolata Linn.

Chairan wali jari

Herb

Tb

The powder obtained from the tuber has anti-dandruff  properties.

Rutaceae

 

 

 

 

Zanthoxylum aramatum DC.

Timbber

Shrub

Fr.St.  Br

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).

Saxifragraceae

 

 

 

 

Berginia ciliata (Haw) sternb

Zakhm-i-Hayat

Herb

L.St.

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.

Schrophulariaceae

 

 

 

 

Digitalis purpurea Linn.

Gandoora

Herb

L.Sd.

The dried leaves are cardiac stimulant and tonic. Seeds are used in skin disorder. Leaves are also applied on wounds and burns.

Verbascum thapsus Linn.

Gandoora (Gangli Tobacco)

Herb

L.Fl.R.

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 astringent.

Verbenaceae

 

 

 

 

Vitex negundo Linn.

Kala banna

shrub

L.Br.

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.

Violaceae

 

 

 

 

Viola odorata Linn.

Banafsha

Herb

W.P.

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.

Banafsha (Bamira)

Herb

W.P.

The decoction of whole plant is anaphrodisiac and it also very effective in fever and lung trouble.

 

 

Key to Parts:  L (Leaves); St  (Stem); Fl (Flower); Ba (Bark); Tb (Tuber);(Root); Br (Branches).

 

DISCUSSION

 

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.

 

REFERENCES

 

Bhattacharjee, S.K. (1998). Medicinal Plants of India, Pointer Publishers S.M.S. Highway Jaipur 3020033 India: 1-474.

 

Bukhari, S.A.M. (1996). Community Uses of Medicinal Plants, National Park Machara, Muzaffarabad, Proceedings of first training workshop on Ethnobotany and its application to conservation. NARC.Islamabad: 59-66.

 

Dastagir, G. (2001). Medicinal Plants of Mai Dhani Hills, Muzaffarabad Azad Jammu and Kashmir, hmdard Medicus, 1: 29-35.

 

Ghulam, R. (1998). Studies the use of medicinal plants of northern areas. Medicinal plants of the northern areas of Pakistan: 1-68.

 

Goodman, S.M. and A. Ghafoor. (1992). The ethnobotany of southern

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Gorsi, M.S. and R. Shazad. (2002). Medicinal uses of plants with particular reference to people of Dhirkot, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Asin. J. Pl. Sci: 222-223.

 

Hamid, S., A.M. Sabir, M. Aleem and T.A.Choudhry. (1998). Medicinal plants of family Cannabaceae. Hamdard J. Sci. & Med. 12(1): 111-112.

 

Joshi, S.G (2000). Medicinal plants. Oxford and IBH publisher company Pvt. Ltd . New Delhi, India: 1-414.

 

Kirtikar, K.R. and B.D. Basu,(1999). Indian medicinal plants. Vol. I, II, III, IV International book distributors, Dehradun,India: 1-2791.

 

Malik, Z.A. (1999). The status analysis of medicinal plants of Northern area of Pakistan, the Aga Khan rural support programme: 1-17.

 

Raju, R.A. (1998). Wild plants of Indian Sub-continent and their Economic uses, CBS publishers and Distributors 4596/1-A,11 Darya ganj, New Delhi 110002: 1-188.

 

Shazad, K.R.and R.A. Qureshi (2001).Common ethnomedicinal uses of plants in Jatalan area, District Mirpur Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Hamdard Medicus 3: 42-45.

 

Shinwari, M.L. and M.A. Khan (1999). Folk uses of medicinal herbs of Margalla Hill National park, Islamabad. Journal of Ethno pharmacology 69(2000): 45-56.

 

Sing, V.K, Z.Z. Ali and M.K. Saddique (1997). Folk medicinal plants of Garhwal and Kumaon forests of Utter Pradesh India. Hamdard J. Sci. medicine 11(4): 35-47.