Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13:709-21, 2009.

 

Ethno-Medicinal Uses and Agro-Biodiversity of Barmana Region in Bilaspur District of Himachal Pradesh, Northwestern Himalaya

 

Pankaj Sharma* and Neel Kamal Mishra**

 

*G. B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development, Himachal Unit

Mohal-Kullu-175 126, Himachal Pradesh

**The Technological Institute of Textile & Sciences (TITS), Bhiwani-127021 Haryana

*Corresponding author: E-mail: spankaj80@gmail.com

 

Issued June 01, 2009

 

 

Abstract

India is one of the richest countries in traditional knowledge, because of its ambient biodiversity, variety of habitats and rich ethnic divergence. Thus we have had well established local health tradition still relevant in indigenous healthcare system. The paper provides first hand information on the agro-biodiversity and ethno-medicinal uses of the area. In the present study 50 species belonging to 37 genera and 17 families i.e. Shrub (1 spp.), tree (1 spp.), herb (48 spp.) were recorded under the agro-biodiversity region of the area. The utilization pattern of the species indicated that leaves of 22 species, stem of 1 species and seeds of 23 species, whole part of 11 species, tubers and flowers of 4 species, fruits of 18 species, each are used. 6 species were Indian origins, while others were non-native to Indian Himalayan Region.

Keywords: Ethno-medicinal uses, Indian Himalayan Region, Agro-biodiversity, Traditional Knowledge.

Introduction

����� The history of agriculture is closely interwoven with the progress of culture, for it is the development of crops, which enabled human beings to find a certain amount of leisure to create the initial ingredients of a civilization. Indian agriculture began by 9000 BCE as a result of early cultivation of plants and domestication of crops and animals. Settled life soon followed with implements and techniques being developed for agriculture. Plants and animals considered essential for the survival of man. Agriculture has always been India�s most important economic sector.

����� The Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) extending from Jammu & Kashmir in the North-West to the Arunachal Pradesh in the East, covers approximately 4, 19,873 km2 area (Rodger & Panwar, 1988) and very well known all across the globe for its natural resources. The IHR has been identified one of the mega biodiversity hotspots and supports 18,440 species of plants (25.3% endemic species) (Singh & Hajra, 1996; Samant et al., 1998), 1748 medicinal plants (Samant et al., 1998), 675 wild edibles (Samant & Dhar, 1997), 279 fodder species (Samant et al., 1998) and 155 sacred plants (Samant & Pant, 2003), 118 essential oil plants with medicinal values (Samant & Palni, 2000).

����� The Himachal Pradesh, a part of Trans and Northwestern biogeographic provinces of the Indian Himalaya is placed as a rapidly developing region. Himachal Pradesh which is very well known for its typical topography, large altitudinal range, diverse habitats and socio-economically important biodiversity, is also facing high pressures. Though, the official records show that of the total geographical area, about 66.45% area is under forests; 59.3% under protected forests and 3.41% under Reserve Forests and 32 notified protected areas (Singh et al., 1990, Mathur et al., 2000). The state represents anthropological, cultural, environmental and topographical diversity. Its reflection is seen in the variations of architecture of houses, clothing styles, food and food habits. The variations in availability of raw materials, environmental conditions clubbed with the time tested traditional knowledge and wisdom have made the people of different regions of this hill state to formulate, develop and perpetuate the consumption of a wide range of traditional foods and beverages unique to its places since ages. However, the production of these foods and beverages is largely limited to household level. Therefore, present study focused to the Ethno-medicinal Uses and agro-biodiversity of the study area.

Materials and Methods

������ The nearby areas were surveyed for the collection and identification of plants from June to January, 2008. Knowledgeable person of the villages were interviewed for gathering the information on indigenous uses of the plants. Indigenous uses of plants were also gathered from the secondary sources (Anonymous 1970-1988, Singh and Rawat 2000, Samant et al. 1998, Samant and Palni 2000). The samples of each plant species were collected and identified with the help of local flora (Chowdhery and Wadhwa 1984, Dhaliwal and Sharma 1999, Singh and Rawat 2000). For nomenclature of the species, Anonymous (1970-1988) and Samant et al. (1998) were followed. Local people were interviewed for generating information on utilization pattern of agro-biodiversity. Information on the local names, life forms, part(s) used and Indigenous use was gathered. For external use, the useful part is crushed and converted into paste. The paste is used to cure diseases and heal the wounds. The wild edibles are eaten fresh, boiled, cooked or eaten in the form of dried or liquid products. Fodder is either fed fresh or stored after drying to use during the lean period. The information was compiled and analyzed for the utilization pattern following Samant et al., (2000).

Study Area

����� The state of Himachal Pradesh (30022'40"- 33012'40" N to 75045'55"- 79004'20" E) includes parts of the Trans and Northwest Himalaya covers 55, 673 km2; 9% of the IHR. Like other states of the IHR, Himachal Pradesh has a representative, natural, and socio-economically important biodiversity. It has a large altitudinal range (200-7109m), with diverse habitats, species, populations, communities and ecosystems. The Bilaspur district is mostly hilly and has no mountains of higher altitude from the mean sea level. The climate of this district is generally temperate compared to the near plains of Punjab. As of 2001[update] India census, Bilaspur had a population of 13,058. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. The district has an average literacy rate of 83%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 85% and female literacy of 81%. 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

������ Barmana is situated at 310 25.022` N Latitude and 760 49.789`E Longitude at an altitude 547m amsl. This region lies on both the banks of river Satluj which forms the boundary between Mandi and Bilaspur districts and is about 18 Km north of Bilaspur connecting Ambala and Manali on National Highway NH-21 as in Fig.1.

 

Final Ajay map

Figure 1: Location map of the Study Area

Results and Discussion

Diversity

������ In the present study 50 species belonging to 37 genera and 17 families i.e. Shrub (1 spp.), tree (1 spp.), herb (48 spp.) were recorded under the agro biodiversity region of the area. The families, Brassicaceae (7 spp.); Fabaceae (7 spp.); Cucurbitaceae (6 spp.); Poaceae (6 spp.); Solanaceae (6 spp.); Apiaceae (3 spp.) were species rich. Among genera, Brassica (5 spp.), Solanum (3 spp.), Allium (2 spp.), Cucurbita (2 spp.), Ocimum (2 spp.) were the dominant genera. Araceae, Asteraceae, Chenopodiaceae, Liliaceae, Musaceae, Myrtaceae, and Vitaceae were the monotypic families as Shown in Table 1. The utilization pattern of the species indicated that leaves of 22 species, stem of 1 species and seeds of 23 species, whole part of 11 species, tubers and flowers of 4 species, Fruits of 18 species, each are used as in Fig.2.

 

Abbreviations used: Lf=leaves; St=Stem; Fr=Fruit; Rt=Root; Sd=Seed; Fl=Flower; Tb=Tuber and Wp=Whole Plant

 

Fig. 2. Use pattern of the species in Barmana region

 

Nativity

������� Among these 6 species were Indian origins, while others were non-native to Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) and were originated from biogeographic regions including Europe, Australia, Oriental India, Tropical Asia, America, China, etc.

Indigenous Uses

������� Besides fodder value, there were many species used as wild edible (food), medicine, fuel, religious and various other purposes by the inhabitants. Of the total species, 29 species were used as medicine, 44 species as wild edibles, 8 species as fodder, 1 species as religious purposes in various forms as in Fig. 3. The species used as medicine for the major diseases like Piles, Bronchitis, menstrual complaints, dysentery, cough, bone fracture, pneumonia, scabies, diarrhoea, jaundice, tetanus, snake bite, diabetes, antifertility, Abortifacient, blood purifier, whooping cough, ulcers, constipation, Tuberculosis, etc. as in Table. 1.

 


Fig. 3. Utilization pattern of the species in Barmana Region

 

 

 

Table. 1. Agro-biodiversity and Ethno-medicinal Uses of Plants in Barmana Region:

Family/Taxa

Local Name

Life form

Nativity

Part Used

Uses

Alliaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Allium cepa Linn.

Pyaz

H

Pers Beluchist

Lf, Rt

Medicinal (Anthelmintic, boils,listers, bronchitis, piles, ring worm); Edible

A. sativum Linn.

Garlic, Lasson

H

Europ

Lf, Rt

Medicinal (Eczema, piles, rheumatic pain, whooping cough); Edible

Apiaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Coriandrum sativum Linn.

Dhania

H

Europ Austr Oriens

Lf, Sd, Wp

Medicinal (Bleed piles, colic, flatulence, chicken pox, stomachache); Edible

Daucus carota Linn.

Gajar

H

Europ Oriens

Lf, Tb

Medicinal (Child birth, toothache); Edible

Foeniculum vulgare Mill.

Saunf

H

Europ

Sd, Lf

Medicinal (Burning sensation in body, carminative, chest disorders, colic, cough, dysentery, fever, flatulence, headache, kidney, menstrual & spleen complications, toothache, wounds); Edible

Araceae

 

 

 

 

 

Colocasia esculenta Schott.

Arbi, Kachalu

H

As Trop

Lf, Fl, Tb

Medicinal (Atrophy, bronchial disorders, cough, cuts, injuries as haemost burns, stings of bees, wounds); Edible

Asteraceae

 

 

 

 

 

Helianthus annuus Linn.

Surajmukhi

H

Am Bor

Sd, Fl, Rt

Medicinal (Bone fracture, carbuncle, colic, diarrhoea, dysentery, dysuria, eye complaints, fever, menorrhea, nose bleeding, postnatal complaints, scorpion sting, snake bite, sores, spleen complaints, whitlow, wounds, toothache)

Brassicaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Brassica campestris Linn.

Sarsoin

H

Cosmop

Lf, Sd, Wp

Medicinal (Boils, migraine, muscular pain, skin disorder, bronchial disorder, cough, leprosy, pneumonia, scabies, syphilis);Edible

B. nigra Koch

Rai

H

Cosmop

Lf, Sd

Medicinal (Rheumatism); Edible, Fodder

B. oleracea Linn. Var. Botrytis

Phulgobbi

H

Europ Occ Cosmop

Fr, Lf

Edible

B. oleracea (capitata) Linn.

Bandgobbi

H

Cosmop

Fr, Lf

Edible

B. rapa Linn.

Shalgum

H

Cosmop

Tb, Lf

Edible

Eruca sativa Mill.

Taramira

H

Reg Mediter As Occ

Lf, Sd

Edible

Raphanus sativus Linn.

Mooli

H

Europ

Tb, Lf, Sd, Rt

Medicinal (Acidity, ringworm, skin eruptions); Edible

Chenopodiaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Spinacia oleracea Linn.

Palak

H

Cosmop

Wp

Edible

Cucurbitaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Cucumis sativus Linn.

Khira

H

Ind Or

Fr, Lf

Medicinal (Fever, headache, whoop cough); Edible

Cucurbita maxima Duch. ex Lam.

Kaddu

H

As Trop

Fr, Sd

Medicinal (Intestinal worms); Edible

C. pepo Duch.

Pumpkin

H

Oriens Afr Trop

Fr, Fl

Medicinal (Diarrhoea); Edible

Luffa cylindrica M. Roem.

Tori

H

Ind China

 

Fr

Edible

L. acutangula M.Roem

Kali tori

H

Geront Trop

Fr

Medicinal (Convulsion, cramps, fever, jaundice, madness, scabies, syphilis, tetanus, snake bite); Edible

Momordica charantia Linn.

Karela

H

Amphig Trop

Fr, Sd

Medicinal (Anthelmintic, bile excess, cause vomiting, diabetes, eczema, malaria, oedema, rheumatism, sores); Edible

Fabaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Cicer arietinum Linn.

Channa

H

Europ Oriens Ind Or

Sd, Wp

Medicinal (Jaundice); Edible, Fodder

Glycine max Merr.

Soyabean

H

As Trop

Sd, Fr

Medicinal (stomach disorder of buffaloes, other cattle); Edible

Lens culinaris Medik.

Masar, Masari

H

Oriens

Sd

Edible

Phaseolus vulgaris Linn.

Rajmah

H

Cosmop

Sd

Edible

Pisum sativum Linn.

Mattar

H

Europ As Bor

Sd

Medicinal (Antifertility, diabetes); Edible, Fodder

Vigna mungo (Linn.) Hepper

Urd, Mah

H

Reg Trop

Sd

Edible

V. radiata (Linn.) Hepper

Mungi, Moong

H

Reg Trop

Sd

Edible

Lamiaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Ocimum gratissimum Linn.

Tulsi

H

Ind Or

Lf

Medicinal (Intestinal disorders, gonorrhorea)

O. sanctum Linn.

Tulsi

H

Geront Trop

Lf, Sd

Medicinal (Abortifacient, anasarca, blood purifier, bronchial disorder, chicken pox, cholera, cold, constipation, cooling drink, cough, diarrhoea, dropsy, ear complaints, fever, gastric disorder, headache, intestinal disorder, itching, leprosy, liver complaints, malaria, postnatal complaints, protracted labour, ringworm, snake bite, vomiting, wounds); Edible, Religious

Liliaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Linum usitatissimum Linn.

Alsi

H

Europ Oriens

Sd, Wp

Edible

Malvaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Abelmoschus esculentus Moench

Bhindi

H

osmop Trop

Fr, Wp

Medicinal (Abortifacient); Edible, Fodder

A. manihot Linn.

Bhindi

H

Ind Or

Lf, Rt, Fr

Medicinal (Tbberculosis); Edible, Fodder

Musaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Musa paradisiaca Linn.

Kela

H

Ind

Fr

Edible

Myrtaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Psidium guajava Linn.

Amrood

T

Am Trop

Lf, Fr

Medicinal (Antiemetic, blisters in mouth, carbuncle, cough, cold, diarrhoea, dysentery, fever, headache, gonorrhea,jaundice, menstrual disorder, sores, stomachache, tonic); Edible

Poaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Avena sativa Linn.

Javi

H

Temp (Cult)

Sd, Wp

Fodder

Oryza sativa Linn.

Dhan

H

As Trop

Sd, Wp

Medicinal (Antifertility); Edible, Fodder

Sorghum bicolor (Linn.) Moench

Jowar, Chari

H

Reg Trop et. Subtrop

Wp

Fodder

Saccharum officinarum Linn.

Ganna

H

Rig Callid Cult

St, Lf,

Medicinal (Gall bladder complaints, constipation); Edible, Fodder

Triticum aestivum Linn.

Kanak, Gehun

H

Cosmop

Sd, Wp

Medicinal (Soles, of grass Stoes); Edible, Fodder

Zea mays Linn.

Makki, Challi

H

Paraguay

Sd, Wp

Medicinal (Kidney disorder, pneumonia, stomachache, whoop cough); Edible, Fodder

Solanaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Capsicum annuum Linn.

Pipli, Mirch

H

Reg Trop

Fr

Edible

Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.

Tamatar

H

Am Austr

Fr

Edible

Nicotiana tabacum Linn.

Tambacco

H

Am Austr

Lf

Medicinal (eczema, itch, food poison, haemost, snake bite, toothache, spongy gums, wounds)

Solanum melongena Linn.

Baingan

H

Geront Trop

Fr

Medicinal (Piles); Edible

S. nigrum Linn.

 

H

Venzeula

Wp, Fr, Lf, Fl, Sd

Medicinal (Antidote o opium toxic, boils, cough, diarrhoea, dysentery, ear complaints, eye complaints, fever, goiter, heart ailments, inflammation of scrotum, testicles, kidney, bladder, jaundice, liver complaints, nostril complaints, piles, rheumatism, skin disorder, sores, sprain, stomachache, swell, throat troubles, ulcers in mouth, urine complaints)

S. tuberosum Linn.

Aaloo

H

Am Bor et Austr

Fr

Medicinal (Frost bite); Edible

Vitaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Vitis vinifera Linn.

Grape, Angoor

S

Oriens, Ind Bor Occ

Fr, Lf

Medicinal (Boils, toothache, epilepsy); Edible

Zingiberaceae

 

 

 

 

 

Curcuma longaVal.

Haldi

H

As Trop

Rh

Medicinal (Anthelmintic, antifertility, atrophy, blindness, bronchial disorders, carbuncle, cholera, cold, cough, dyspepsia, eye disorders, fever, fistula, headache, indigestion, insect stings, leprosy, migraine, pain in body, pimples & feckles on face, pneumonia, rheumatism, scabies, sores, spleen, syphilis, swell body, wounds); Edible

Zingiber officinale Rosc.

Adrak

H

Trop

Rh

Medicinal (Abortifacient, amenorrhea, asthma, bronchial disorders, cholera, constipation, diarrhoea,cough, insect stings, labour, phthisis, postnatal, scorpion sting, snake bite, throatache, Tuberculosis, scabies, puerperal fever, rheumatism); Edible

Abbreviations Used: Afr=Africa; As=Asia; Am=America; Austr=Australia; Beluchist=Beluchistan; Cosmop=Cosmopolitan; Cult=Cultivated; et=And; Fr=Fruit; Flower=Fl; Subtrop=Subtropical; H=Herb; Ind=Indian; Or=Oriental; Pers=Persia; Reg=Region; S=Shrub; T=Tree; St=Stem; Sd=Seed; Wp=Whole Part; Lf=Leaf; Rt=Root; Tb=Tubber; Trop=Tropical; Occ=Occidentalis; Europ=Europe.

 

 

Conclusion

������ The present study provides comprehensive information on the agro-biodiversity and Ethno-medicinal Uses of the species present in the Barmana region. Traditional practice of using plant resources has a long history and wide acceptability throughout world. The inhabitants of the region use various species to meet out their daily requirements. They use different plant parts in various forms to cater their daily needs.

������ In the present scenario conservation and sustainable utilization of biodiversity is great need all over the world. Therefore, documentation of information on agro-biodiversity and indigenous practices will help in conserving the knowledge. Such type of information in other parts of the IHR should be documented; so that a comprehensive database of the plants used for various purposes could be saved for the forthcoming generations.

Acknowledgements

������ The authors are thankful to Dr. L.M.S. Palni, Director, G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development, Kosi-Katarmal, Almora-263 643, Uttarakhand and heartily grateful to Dr. S.S. Samant, Scientist-�E� & Scientist In-charge, G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development, Mohal-Kullu-175126, Himachal Pradesh.At last but not least, authors are thankful to all the local villagers for their kind cooperation during field survey.

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