Ethnobotanical Leaflets 14: 268-73, 2010.

 

 

 

Distributions and Folk Tibb Knowledge of Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum L.) in NWFP, Pakistan

 

 

Khalid Hussain*, Syed Zia-ul-Hussnain and Aamir Shahazad

 

*Shakarganj Sugar Research Institute, Toba Road Jhang (Punjab), Pakistan

E-mail: khalidbotany@inbox.com

 

 

Issued: March 01, 2010

 

 

Abstract

The purpose of our survey was to collect distribution data and folk tibb knowledge of milk thistle at NWFP Pakistan. NWFP area�s including District Haripur and Abbottabad were visited during 2007 and 2008 in the month of December. Milk thistle (Silybum marianum L.) was found growing wildly covering about 20-52% area. A total of 90 Hakims and 90 local peoples were interviewed regarding the use of Milk thistle. It was concluded that Milk thistle was used for liver disease especially for Hepatitis. About 75% from interviewed community were using it seeds while 25% preferred to use its whole plant as medicine.

 

Key notes: Medicinal plants, folk tibb knowledge, Milk thistle.

 

Introduction

 

The history of discovery and use of different medicinal plants is as old as the history of discovery and use of plants for food (Ibrar, 2002). Medicinal plants play a key role in traditional health care system and a number of allopathic drugs are comprises of medicinal plants in the industrialized countries (Rashid and Arshad, 2002).

���������������� Haripur and Abbottabadlie between 33 50� to 34 23� North latitudes and 72 35� to 73 31� East longitudes. The climate of Hattar is moderate. During summer season, the climate is hot average temperature ranges between 30-35oC. The winter season is very cool and extends from November to March. It is the rich area for medicinal plants growing as wild (Hussain et al., 2008).

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum L.) is a bitter, diuretic, tonic herb that regenerates liver cells, stimulates bile flow, used in hepatitis and gall bladder diseases (Bown, 1995). Silymarin, a seeds extract, dramatically improves liver regeneration in chronic viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, mushroom poising and other hepatopathies. German research suggests that silybin (most active compound of silymarin) is clinically useful in treating severe Amanita mushroom poising (Morazzoni, 1995).

In the view of above studies the main objective of present study was to document distribution and folk tibb knowledge Milk thistle in NWFP, Pakistan.

 

Materials and Methods

 Plant collection and preservation

Field trips during 2008 and 2008 were arranged in order to collect distribution and folk tibb knowledge about the ethnomedicinal use of Milk thistle in district of Haripur and Abbottabad, NWFP, Pakistan.

 Standard method was followed with regard to collection of plant materials, drying, mounting, preparation and preservation of plant specimens (Nasir and Ali, 2001). Voucher specimens of Milk thistle in triplicates were collected, prepared and identified. The identification and nomenclature of the listed plants were based on The Flora of Pakistan (Nasir and Ali, 1978).

 

Traditional folk Tibb knowledge

 Questionnaire method was adopted for documentation of folk indigenous knowledge. The interviews were carried out in local community, to investigate local people and knowledgeable persons (Hakims) who are the main user of medicinal plants About 200 informants have been interviewed on random basis including 110 Hakims and 90 local peoples. Quadrate method was used to determine the ecological attributes i.e. frequency, constancy and density of Milk thistle during periodic field survey.

Results

 During the present study, distribution and Folk tibb ethnomedicinal knowledge 08 locations were visited and Quadrate method was used to determine the ecological attributes i.e. frequency, constancy and density of Milk thistle during periodic field survey.

It was found that Milk thistle growing as wild from October to May. It stated its germination in October and it matured in April to May. Maximum distribution was recorded in Haripur up to 52% of total plant species growing as wild in the area (Table-1). Other important wild medicinal plant species growing in these locations were Acacia modesta, Adhatoda vasica, Berberis lyceum, Achyranthus aspera, Cannabis sativa, Solanum surrattense, Pinus Spp. Berberis lyceum, Dodonea viscose, Euphorbia helioscopia, Chenopodium ambrosioides and Solanum nigrum.

 

Table-1: Distributions and percentage of Milk thistle over other plant species.

Sr. No.

Locations

% of Milk Thistle in the area over other plants

Other important wild medicinal plants in that location

1

Abbottabad

28

Acacia modesta, Adhatoda vasica, Berberis lyceum, Achyranthus aspera, Cannabis sativa, Solanum surrattense, Pinus spp.

2

Haripur

52

Adhatoda vasica, Achyranthus aspera, Withania somnifera, Broussonetia papyrifera, Cannabis sativa, Cassia absus

3

Hattar

35

Adhatoda vasica, Cannabis sativa, Cassia absus

4

Hawailian

20

Berberis lyceum, Dodonea viscose, Euphorbia helioscopia, Chenopodium ambrosioides, Cassia absus

5

Kanagrra Colony

37

Cassia absus, Cannabis sativa

6

Kot Bandi

42

Cassia absus, Cannabis sativa, Achyranthus aspera

7

Kot Najeebullah

36

Cannabis sativa, Solanum nigrum

8

Mansehra

25

Calotrpis procera, Cassia absus, Cannabis sativa, Pinus spp.

 

A total of 180 people were interviewed including 90 hakims and 90 local community members. The main part of milk thistle was used in medicine was seeds and in local community whole plant. Conclusion about the use of milk thistle is given in Table-2. The following main medical uses of milk thistle were noted among the hakims and local community:

1.      Liver problems��

2.      Hepatitis A-C

3.      Stomach Diseases

4.      Blood and skin disease

5.      Anticancer

6.      Vegetable

7.      Tonic

8.      Fodder for cattle mainly camel

 

Table-2: Folk tibb knowledge collected from Hakims and local community.

Sr. No.

Locations

No. of Hakims interviewed

No. of local people interviewed

Use of milk thistle

(Average conclusion)

Hakims

Local community

1

Abbottabad

25

25

Hepatitis and liver diseases

Hepatitis and digestive problem

2

Haripur

20

20

Stomach and liver diseases

Used as appetizers, liver diseases and camel fodder

3

Hattar

10

10

Liver and skin diseases

Blood and skin disease and fodder

4

Hawailian

12

12

Hepatitis-C

Cooked as vegetable for stomach diseases

5

Kanagrra Colony

05

05

Hepatitis A-C

Liver and stomach

6

Kot Bandi

04

04

Antioxidant, liver and stomach diseases

Used in dry forms for fire purpose (No specific use in local community)

7

Kot Najeebullah

06

06

Liver and anticancer

Liver and Hepatitis

8

Mansehra

08

08

All problems of liver disorder

Used as vegetable as tonic

Total

90

90

 

 

 

 

Discussion

 In ancient times, people had knowledge of medicinal plants. Several hundred species were used as herbal remedies in indigenous system of medicines that used the whole plant or an extraction (Hussain et al., 2008). Local people and practitioners with traditional knowledge collected these medicinal plants. Most were not involved in the trade of medicinal plants. The local people had a little knowledge about the species and proper time of collection (Shinwari and Khan, 1999).

 The need for a specific definition of traditional knowledge is impelled by the push from the formal sectorto control, manage and market the knowledge and to bring it under a regulatory framework. Traditional knowledge provides useful leads for scientific research, being the key to identifying those elements in a plant with a pharmacological value that is ultimately destined for the international markets. Indeed, such traditional knowledge is very valuable. Annual global sales of products derived from the manipulation of genetic resources lie between US$ 500 and US$800 billion annually (Kate and Laird, 1999).

There are considerable economic benefits in the development of indigenous medicines and in the use of medicinal plants for the treatment of various diseases (Azaizeh et al. 2003). Due to the lack of modern communications, as well as poverty, ignorance and unavailability of modern health facilities, most people especially rural people are still forced to practice traditional medicines for their common day ailments. Most of these people form the poorest link in the trade of medicinal plants (Khan, 2002).

 

Conclusions

���� The survey indicated that the study area has plenty of medicinal plants. The medical value of milk thistle has much importance in liver disease mainly hepatitis.

 

References

Azaizeh H, Fulder S, Khalil K, Said O (2003). Ethnomedicinal knowledge of local Arab practitioners in the Middle East Region. Fitoterapia, 74: 98-108.

Bown D (1995). Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses. Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc., 95 Madison Avenue, New York 10016. pp.141,295.

Hussain K, Shahazad A, Hussnain SZ (2008). An ethnobotanical survey of important wild medicinal plants of Hattar district Haripur, Pakistan. Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 29-35.

Ibrar M (2002). Responsibilities of ethnobotanists in the field of medicinal plants. In Proceeding of Workshop on Curriculum Development in Applied Ethnobotany. Published by the Ethnobotany Project, WWF Pakistan, 34-D/2, Sahibzada Abdul Qayuum Road Peshawar, Pakistan, pp 16-20.

Kate K, Laird SA (1999). The Commercial Use of Biodiversity, Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit-Sharing, Earthscan, London.

Khan AU (2002). History of decline and present status of natural tropical thorn forest in Punjab. Pakistan,Biological Conservation, 63:210-250.

Morazzoni P, Bombardelli E (1995). Silybum marianum (Carduus marianus). Fitoterapia, 46(1): 3-42.

Nasir E, Ali SI (2001). Flora of Pakistan National Herbarium, Islamabad . pp 200.

Nasir E, Ali SI (1978). Flora of Pakistan. National Herbarium, Islamabad, pp 1-150.

Rashid A, Arshad, M (2002). Medicinal plant diversity, threat imposition and interaction of a mountain people community. In Proceeding of Workshop on Curriculum Development in Applied Ethnobotany. Published by the Ethnobotany Project, WWF Pakistan, 34-D/2, Sahibzada Abdul Qayuum Road Peshawar, Pakistan, pp 84-90.

Shinwari MI, Khan MK (1999). Folk use of medicinal herbs of Margalla Hills National Park, Islamabad. J. Ethnopharmacology 69 (2000): 45-56.