Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 1137-44. 2008.
Practice for Oral Health Care in Nandurbar
Badgujar S. B.1*, Mahajan R. T.2 and Kosalge S. B.3
of Biotechnology, SSBT’s,
of Pharmacognosy, H. R. Patel Women’s
*Correspondent author, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
An ethnobotanical study was conducted from January 2006 to October 2008
to investigate the uses of medicinal plants for oral health care by different
aborigines, such as Bhills, Gavits, Kokanis, Mavachis, Valvis, Pawras, Koknas
and Vasaves, in the Nandurbar district of Maharashtra,
Key words: Teeth, Toothache, Medicinal plant, Tribal medicine, Nandurbar.
Location and study area
An ethnomedicinal survey was conducted in three tahsils of Nandurbar
district viz., Dhadgaon, Akkalkuwa and Taloda. These tahsils are inhabited by Bhills,
Gavits, Kokanis, Mavachis, Valvis, Pawras, Kokna and Vasaves tribes. Regular visits were made during the period 2006 – 2008. The
information was collected from local traditional healers and aboriginal
people of Nandurbar district through intensive interviews according to methodology suggested
by Schultes (1960 & 1962) and Jain (1963). The gathered data was verified
by repeated queries with different local herbalists in different seasons
and compared with statement of, at least 3 – 4 medicineman (Vaidyas). The collected data has been
compared with available literatures (Mahajan and Badgujar, 2008, Patil and
Bhaskar, 2006 and Tayade and Patil, 2006).The fresh specimen of the plants
were collected and identified taxonomically by the experts, matching with
authentic herbarium, books on flora (Kirtikar and Basu, 1995,
Naik, 1979, Naik, 1998 and Patil, 2003)
and standard photographs. The collected specimens were made into
herbariums and are deposited in the Department of Zoology,
The plants are arranged alphabetically as per their botanical names. These are followed by the family names in bracket and then by their local names and plant part used along with the method of application described.
1) Achyranthes aspera L. (Acanthaceae) Aghada
Stem is used as toothbrush, also ash of the plant is used as tooth powder; it is
used to relieve pyorrhea and toothache.
2) Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (Meliaceae) Neem
Toothbrush of neem stem is valued for healthy teeth and gums; paste or juice of stem is applied for swelling or bleeding of gums.
3) Buchanania lanzan Spreng. (Anacardiaceae) Charoli
Gum of the tree is washed with water and cut into small pieces. These pieces are kept on the affected tooth for overnight to cure toothache.
4) Calotropis procera R. Br. (Asclepiadaceae) Rui
Fresh root is used as tooth brush to cure toothache.
5) Desmodium gangeticum (Linn.) DC. (Fabaceae) Chiktya
Small pieces of root are chewed for about 20 minutes to cure toothache.
6) Desmostachya bipinnata (L.) Stapf. (Poaceae) Darbha
About 20 gms. of root powder boiled with 50 ml water, the liquid was reduced to its quarter volume which is applied to cure toothache and swelling of gums.
7) Emilia sonchifolia (L.) DC. (Asteraceae) Sadhimandhi
Juice of leaves is applied to treat toothache.
8) Ficus benghalensis L. (Moraceae) Wad
Fresh latex of plant is applied to treat the bleeding and swelling of gums.
9) Ficus religiosa L. (Moraceae) Pipal
Tender leaf twigs are chewed and pressed between the teeth for about 15 minutes to cure toothache.
10) Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae) Vilayati-arandi
Small stem is used as toothbrush to cure pyorrhea and toothache.
11) Jatropha gossypifolia L. (Euphorbiaceae) Chandrajyot
Small stem is used as toothbrush to cure toothache.
12) Lawsonia alba Lamk. (Lythraceae) Mehandi
Bark of stem is chewed and kept between the teeth for about 20 minutes to
13) Madhuca longifolia (Koenig.) Macbride (Sapotaceae) Mahuvo
Small stem is used as toothbrush, emerging in mustard oil to cure toothache.
14) Mangifera indica L. (Anacardiaceae) Amba
Toothbrush of small stem is used to cure toothache; latex is applied to
15) Mukia maderaspatna (L.) Roem. (Cucurbitaceae) Kharwad
Root is chewed for about 15 minutes to relieve toothache.
16) Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack. (Rutaceae) Kunti
Toothbrush of stem is found to be effective to cure toothache.
17) Pongamia pinnata (Linn.) Pierre. (Fabaceae) Karanj
Tender leaf twigs are chewed and pressed between the teeth for
about 15 minutes to cure toothache.
18) Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae) Erandi
Cotyledon is fried in mustard oil and the smoke is emitted by this process is inhaled through the mouth and kept closed for about 10 minutes to relieve dental caries.
19) Solanum virginianum Linn. (Solanaceae) Bhoyringni
Powder of dried fruit is used in cigarette and the smoke is kept inside the mouth for about 10 minutes to relieve dental caries.
20) Spilanthes clava DC. (Asteraceae) Akkalkhar
Root and flower head is chewed for about 10 minutes to relieve dental caries.
The present investigation comprises 20 species of ethnomedicinally important plant under 18 genera and 14 families used for oral health care. For each species scientific name, family, local name, part used, method of preparation, administration and ailment treatment has been provided. Figure 2 illustrates the family wide distribution of medicinal plant species. Euphorbiaceae was the most commonly used family for oral health care. The most commonly utilized part of the plant was root (35%) and stem (35%) followed by leaf twig (10%), seed (10%), latex (5%) and gum (5%) (Figure 3) are used in the form of paste, juice, latex, powder and smoke. To cure dental caries and toothache, small pieces of fresh bark of Desmodium gangeticum, Lawsonia alba, Mukia maderaspatna and Spilanthes clava are kept between the teeth for about 10 – 20 minutes. Likewise tender leaf twigs of Ficus religiosa and Pongamia pinnata are chewed for about 10 – 20 minutes to cure same ailment of teeth mentioned above. Cotyledon of Ricinus communis and dry seed powder of Solanum virginianum are used in the form of smoke. The information generated from the present study about ethnomedicinally important plants used by traditional people needs to be evaluated for proper biochemical analysis, level of toxicity, phytochemical investigation including alkaloid, flavonoid, terpenoids, tannins, saponins etc. extraction and isolation along with few clinical trials. Phytochemical examination of these plants may lead to development of potential bio-product in the treatment of diseases and disorders of oral cavity, particularly in tooth decay. This could help in creating mass awareness of conservation of such plants to promote ethno-medico-botany knowledge within the region, besides contributing to the preservation of such medicinally important species before they are lost forever.
Authors are thankful to all these aboriginal people of various villages
of Nandurbar district who directly and indirectly helped us in collecting of
valuable information of above mentioned plants. We are also grateful to Dr.
D. A. Patil, P. G. Deptartment of Botany, Dr. P. R. Ghogrey Science College,
Dhule and Dr. G. S. Chaudhari, Department of Botany,
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Figure 1: Spot map showing location of
Figure 2: Family wise distribution of medicinal plants occurred in Nandurbar
Figure 3: Frequency of plant parts used (%) for the preparation of remedies.
aborigines of Akkalkuwa, Taloda and Dhadgaon tahsils of Nandurbar district.