Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 1302-11, 2009.

 

Ethnobotanical Study of Medicinal Plants used by the Local People in Vellore District, Tamilnadu, India

 

T.Thirumalai1,E. Kelumalai1, B.Senthilkumar2, EDavid1*

 

1P.G. andResearch Department of Zoology,Voorhees College,

Vellore - 632001(T.N.) India

2P.G. andResearch Department of Zoology, C.Abdul Hakeem College,

Melvisharam,Vellore - 632 509 (T.N.) India

*Correspondingauthor:E mail: ernestdavid2002@yahoo.com

 

Issued October 01, 2009

 

Abstract

 

An ethnobotanical survey was conducted in and around Vellore district to study the various medicinal plants used by the people for the treatment of their ailments such as fever, cold, cough, diabetes, jaundice, diarrhoea, rheumatism, snake bite, and headache. The study also covered the methods used in plant extraction, and the dose, duration and mode of application.

Introduction

Plants have always played a major role in the treatment of human traumas and diseases worldwide (Principe et al., 1991).They have been used as sources of modern drugs, either by providing pure compounds, starting materials for partial synthesis of useful compounds or models for synthesis of new drugs (Hansel and Swian, 1972).According to the World Health Organization (WHO) as much as 80% of world�s population depends on traditional medicine for their primary health care needs (Azaizeh et al., 2003). The knowledge of medicinal plants has been accumulated in the course of many centuries based on different medicinal systems such as Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha. In India it is reported that traditional healers use 2500 plant species and 100 species of plants serve as regular sources of medicine (Pei, 2001).

Ethnopharmacological information is an important tool in drug discovery (Balandrin et al., 1993).The ethnobotanical survey can bring out many different clues for the development of drugs to treat human diseases. Safe, effective, and inexpensive indigenous remedies are gaining popularity equally among the people of both the urban and rural areas, especially in India and China (Katewa et al., 2004). Ethnobotany and ethnomedical studies are today recognized as the most viable method of identifying new medicinal plants or refocusing on those earlier reported for bioactive constituents. It is interesting to note that most of the drugs derived or originally isolated from higher plants were discovered in an ethnobotanical or ethnomedicinal context. Several studies have revealed that tribal population, not only depend on plant based resources for medicines, food, forage and fuel, but also play a vital role in natural resource management that forms the core aspect of conservation biology (Ignacimuthu et al., 2006). Today, many indigenous herbal remedies remain largely undocumented or recognized as potential forms of treatment and consequently continue to be used by only small groups of indigenous populations. The present work was carried out to explore the medical remedies of some medicinal plants used by the rural people of Vellore district in Tamilnadu for the treatment of human aliments.

 

Materials and Methods

The entire area of VelloreDistrict lies between 12�15� to13�15� north latitudes and 78� 20� to79� 50� East latitudes in tamilnadu state.The district is spread over an area of about 6077 km2 and is bounded on the North and Northeast by TiruvaluvarDistrict, on the South and Southeast by Kanchipuram District,on the south by Thiruvannamalai district, on the Southwest by Krishnagiri District and on the northwest and northby Andhra Pradesh state. The district receives an annual rainfall is about 448.8 � 1544.6 mm. The minimum and maximum temperature varies between 26.3� and 38.2�.

Ethno botanical data were collected according to the methodology suggested by Jain (2001).The ethno botanical data were collected using questionnaire, interviews and discussions in their local tribal people. A totally more than 200 respondents were interviewed, these included males and females that depended on plant as sources of medicines either for self- medication or for treating others. The Flora of Presidency of Madras (Gamble, 1935 and an excursion flora of central Tamilnadu (Matthew, 1991) were used to as certain the nomenclature of the plant species used for identification and authentication of the plants. Folklore medicinal plant are arranged in alphabetical order in Table1 which represents their botanically names followed by the family, vernacular name.

 

Results and Discussion

In this paper, we focused mainly on plant species reported by the local people in and around the study area for their medicinal uses. Presented data are the general results of the ethnoboanical survey conducted from March 2008 to January 2009. In the present investigation 75 medicinal plants are used for the treatment of various diseases like asthma, piles, diabetes, snake bite, skin disease, ulcer, stomach pain, cough, headache, blood pressure anemia, tumor, rheumatism, eczema, wounds, dysentery, jaundice, antifertility, leprosy, laxative, astringent, urinary disorders,paralysis, diarrhoea and diuretic etc. Some of them are used as anthelmintic, fever and antiseptic also. Seventy-five plant species belonging to 37 families are reported. The utility lies through their roots, bark, latex, leaves, fruits and seeds. These are taken internally or applied externally in the form of infusion, decoction, paste or powder. Most of the plants used in medicines are either mixed with other ingredients or single. Medicinal plants studied are enumerated arranged alphabetically with their botanical name followed by families� name, local name, parts used and ethnomedicinal uses. Some important medicinal plants needs immediate conservation and their cultivation should be encouraged through which their extinction can be prevented and local village people may also get low-cost cure their disease.

 

Table 1: Medicinal plants used by local people from Vellore district of Tamilnadu.

S.No

 

����������� Botanical Name

 

��������� Family

Local Name (Tamil)

Plant Parts

used

 

1.

 

Albizia lebbeck (L.) Benth

 

Mimosaceae

 

Vagai

 

Leaves

2.

Aegle marmelosCorr.ex Roxb

Rutaceae

Vilvam

Leaves

3.

Alstonia venenata(R.Br).

Apocynaceae

Paalai

Latex

4.

Ammannia baccifera L.

Lythraceae

Neermalneruppu

Leaves

5.

 

Anisomeles malabarica (L.)

R. Br. ex Sims.

Lamiaceae

Peithumbai

Leaves

6.

Annona squamosa L

Annonaceae

Sitapali

Fruits

7.

Argemone mexicana L.

Papaveraceae

Narimirati

Flowers

8.

 

Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f.)

Wallich ex Nees

Acanthaceae

Nilavaembu

Leaves

9.

Abrus precatorius L.

Fabaceae

Kundumani

Seeds

10.

 

Aloe vera, (Linn.)Burm.

 

Liliaceae

 

Chotthukatalai

 

Leaves

 

11.

Achyranthes aspera L.

Amaranthaceae

Nayuruvi

Leaves

12.

Acalypha indica L

Euphorbiaceae

Kuppaimeni

Leaves

13.

Alternanthera sessilis L.

Amaranthaceae

Ponaganikerai

 

Leaves

14.

Azadirachta indica (A.Juss).

Meliaceae

Vaipamaram

(Neem)

Bark

 

15.

 

Acacia catechu (Linnf.)Willd

(Khair)

Mimosaceae

Karunkali

Leaves

16.

Bambusa arundinacea, (Willd).

Poaceae

Mungil

Flower

17.

Cassia auriculata L.

Caesalpiniaceae

Aavaram poo

Entire plant

18.

 

Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.

 

Poaceae

 

Arugampul

 

Entire plant

 

19.

Catharanthus roseus G. Don.

Apocynaceae

Nithyakalyani

Entire plant

20.

Cissus quadrangularis L.

Vitaceae

Pirandai

Seed

21.

Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.)

S. W.

Caesalpiniaceae

Mailkondarai

Leaves

22.

Cardiospermum halicacabum L.

Sapindaceae

Mudakkaththan

Leaves

23.

 

Centella asiatica L.

 

Apiaceae

 

Vallarai

 

Leaves

 

24.

Cataranthus pusillus (Murr).

Apocynaceae

Mukkuthipoo

Leaves

25.

Caesalpinia bonducella, (Flem).

Caesalpiniaceae

Kalakaai

Latex

26.

Calotropisgigantea,

(L.) R. Br.

Asclepidaceae

 

Erukku

 

Root

 

27.

Clitoria ternatea L.

Fabaceae

Sangu Pushpam

Latex

28.

Carica papaya L.

Caricaceae

Pappaali

Leaves

29.

Coccinia grandis (L.) J. Voigt

Cucurbitaceae

Kovai

Leaves

30.

Datura metel L.

Solanaceae

Oomathai

Root

31.

Dioscorea oppostifolia L

Dioscoreaceae

Valli kizhangu

Leaves

32.

Euphorbia hirta, L.

Euphorbiaceae

Ammanpachcharisi

Leaves

33.

Eclipta prostrataL.

Asteraceae

Manjal Karisalankanni

Leaves

34.

 

Eclipta alba L.

 

Asteraceae

 

Karisalaanganni

 

Leaves

 

35.

 

Eucalyptus tereticornis (Smith)

 

Myrtaceae

 

Thailamaram

 

Leaves and

Flower

36.

Erythrina indica,

(Lam).

Papilionaceae

 

Kalyana murungai

 

Stem latex

 

37.

Ficus benghalensis L.

Moraceae

Alamaram

Leaves

38.

Ficus religiosa L.

Moraceae

Arasu

Leaves

39.

Gymnema sylvestre (Retz).

Asclepiadaceae

Sirukurinchan

Tuber and

Leaves

40.

Gloriosa superba L.

Liliaceae

Kanuvalikodi

Leaves

41.

Hemidesmus indicus,(R. Br).

Asclepidaceae

Nannari

Leaves

42.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.

Malvaceae

Semparuththi

Flower

43.

Ixora coccinea L.

Rubiaceae

Idlipoo

Leaves and

Flower

44.

Jasminum angustifolium.(L). Wild

Oleaceae

Malligai

Leaves

45.

Lawsonia inermis L.

Lythraceae

Maruthani

Leaves

46.

Leonotis nepetaefolia (L.) R. Br.

Lamiaceae

Theanthumpai

Leaves

47.

Leucas aspera (Willd).

Lamiaceae

Thumbai

Leaves

48.

Marsilea minuta L.

Marsileaceae

Aarakkerai

Leaves

49.

Mimosa pudica L

Mimosaceae

Thottasurungi

Leaves

50.

Mukia maderaspatana (L.)

M. Roemer

Cucurbitaceae

 

Musumusukai

 

Leaves

 

51.

Morinda tinctoria Roxb.

Rubiaceae

Nuna

Leaves

52.

Moringa oleifera (Lam).

Moringaceae

Murungai

Leaves

53.

 

Musa paradisiaca L.

 

Musaceae

 

Vazhai

 

Leaves

 

54.

Mangifera indica L.

Anacardiaceae

Maamaram

Tender leaves

55.

Murraya koenigii�� L. Sprengel

 

Rutaceae

 

Karuveppilai

 

Fruits,

leaves & seed

56.

 

Momordica charantia L.

 

Cucurbitaceae

 

Pavakai

 

Bark

 

57.

Melia azedarach L.

Meliaceae

Malaivembu

Stem bark

58.

Nerium oleander (Sol).

Apocynaceae

Arali

Fruit edible

59.

Opuntia dillenii (Haw).

Cactaceae

sappathikalli

Leaves

60.

Ocimumamericanum, L.

Lamiaceae

Naaithulasi

Flower and

bark

61.

Prosopis cinearia L.

Mimosaceae

Vanni maram

Seed

62.

Pongamia pinnata L.

Fabaceae

Pungam

Leaves

63.

 

Phyllanthus amarus, Schum. &

Thonn.

Euphorbiaceae

 

Kizhanelli

 

Leaves and

root

64.

Polycarpaea corymbosa L.

Caryophyllaceae

Malligaimottuchedi

Leaves

65.

Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Poiret

Fabaceae

Agaththi

Leaves

66.

Solanum torvum L.

Solanaceae

Sundaikai

Leaves

67.

 

Solanum trilobatum,L.

 

Solanaceae

 

Thuthuvalai

 

Leaves and

Fruit

68.

Solanum nigrum, L.

Solanaceae

Mana thakkaali

Seed

69.

Syzygium cumini L.

Myrtaceae

Navel

Leaves

70.

Sida cordata

Malvaceae

Arrival manippundu

Seed

71.

Tamarindus indica L.

Caesalpiniaceae

puliyamaram

Tender fruit

72.

Thespesia populnea (L.)

Malvaceae

Poovarasu

Leaves

73.

Vitex negundo L.

Verbenaceae

Notchi

Rhizome

74.

Zingiber roseum( Rosc).

Zingiberaceae

Inji

 

 

Enumeration of species with their uses:

Albizia lebbeck (L.) Benth

A leaf paste is applied to cure eczema.

Aegle marmelosCorr.ex .Roxb

A Leaf paste is applied topically to heal wounds. The dried and powdered leaves are used��

for diabetes.

 

Alstonia venenata(R.Br).

The milky latex is used to heal wounds and cuts.

 

Ammannia baccifera L.

A leaf paste is applied to relieve swelling

 

Anisomeles malabarica (L.) R. Br. ex Sims.

A paste of the leaves is applied to cure eczema.

 

Annona squamosa L

The young fruits are dried and made into a powder. A spoonful of this powder, mixed

with water, is taken internally to cure dysentery.

 

Argemone mexicana L.

The yellow latex is used to cure ulcers of the lips and pimples and for wound healing.

 

Andrographis paniculata (Burm.f.) Wallich ex Nees

A handful of leaves is taken and an extract is made, which, mixed with milk, is taken

internally to cure snakebites.

 

Abrus precatorius L.

A paste of the seeds is used to cure eczema.

 

Aloe vera, (Linn.)Burm.

Fresh juice is used as cathartic and for cooling. It is also used in treating fever eye��

infections and ulcer.

 

Achyranthes aspera L.

The boiled leaves are consumed to relieve internal piles and the roots are used as a brush

to relieve pain and clean the teeth.

 

Acalypha indica L

A leaf paste, mixed with common salt, is used to cure eczema and chest pain.

 

Alternanthera sessilis L.

It is used as a treatment for headaches. It is also used to treat hepatitis and asthma.

 

Azadirachta indica (A.Juss).

Seed oil is used in skin diseases and in lice. Bark is useful in malarial fever. Tender twigs

are used as tooth brush. Leaf paste applied for mumps.

 

Acacia catechu (Linnf.)Willd (Khair)

The bark of the tree is used in chronic diarrhoea

 

Bambusa arundinacea, (Willd).

Young leaves and terminal bud of bamboo along with turmeric and the leaves. Aloe Vera

is ground and the paste is applied to the fractured bones for two weeks to join quickly.

 

Cassia auriculata L.

Dried and powdered flowers are used for cleaning the hair, reducing body heat and cures

diabetes.

 

Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.

The juice of the whole plant is used to reduce body heat and to lower the blood pressure.

 

Catharanthus roseus G. Don.

Whole plant is powdered and mixed with cow's milk and taken orally to treat diabetes.

 

Cissus quadrangularis L.

A paste of the whole plant is taken for improving the digestion and inducing appetite.

 

Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) S. W.

A seed paste is applied to inflamed teeth to cure toothache.

 

Cardiospermum halicacabum L.

A leaf paste is applied for joint pain or leaves are prepared in the form of a soup and��

consumed to cure rheumatic pains.

 

Centella asiatica L.

The dried plant is powdered and this powder, mixed with hot water, is taken for gas��

troubles; the fried plants are used in the diet of children for improving their memory.

 

Cataranthus pusillus (Murr).

A leaf paste is applied externally for tumors����

�����������������������������������������������������������������

Caesalpinia bonducella, (Flem).

A decoction of the leaf is used as nutritional tonic.

 

Calotropisgigantea, (L.) R. Br.

Milky latex is applied on the wounds on legs of livestock.

 

Clitoria ternatea L.��������

Root powder is mixed with water and taken orally to treat indigestion, eye diseases and

headache.

 

Carica papaya L.

The milky latex of the plant is applied to teeth in order to relieve inflammatory pain.

 

Coccinia grandis (L.) J. Voigt

The leaf extract, mixed with milk, is used in cases of jaundice.

 

Datura metel L.����������� �����

Few drops of leaf juice is poured into ear to treat earache.

 

Dioscorea oppostifolia L

Boiled root tubers are taken orally to reduce body heat.

 

Euphorbia hirta, L.

Leaf paste mixed with goat�s milk is consumed to stop diarrhea and dysentery.

 

Eclipta prostrataL.

A leaf extract is applied to the head to relieve dandruff and to blacken gray hair.

 

Eclipta alba L.

Plant is used for the treatment of hepatitis.

 

Eucalyptus tereticornis (Smith)

The vapours of boiled leaves are inhaled for coughs and a cold. The oil from the plant,��

mixed with coconut oil, is applied to the chest to relieve a dry cough and chest pain.

 

Erythrina indica, (Lam).

The leaves and flowers, are used to cure epidemic skin diseases.

 

Ficus benghalensis L.��������

Stem latex is applied topically on heel cracks.

 

Ficus religiosa L.�����������

Dried leaf powder is mixed with water�� and takes normally to get relief from body pain.

Gymnema sylvestre (Retz).

Leaves dried in shade and powdered is taken for Diabetes to reduces Blood sugar.

 

Gloriosa superba L.

The pasted tubers are used as an abortifacient. Leaves are used to destroy head lice.

 

Hemidesmus indicus, (R. Br).

The leaf, root extract is used for blood purification.

 

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.

Shade dried and powdered flowers are used for cleaning the hair and to prevent hair loss.

 

Ixora coccinea L.

Hundred grams of the dried flowers are boiled in coconut oil and the oil extract is applied��

externally twice a day to treat eczema.

 

Jasminum angustifolium.(L). Wild

Leaves and flowers made into a paste and applied externally to remove the clot of Breast��

Milk.����

 

Lawsonia inermis L.

A leaf paste is applied to cracks of the feet .it also has a cooling effect on the body.

 

Leonotis nepetaefolia (L.) R. Br.

A leaf paste is used for eczema.

 

Leucas aspera (Willd).

The vapours from the boiled leaves are inhaled to relieve coughing and colds.

 

Marsilea minuta L.

The dried and powdered leaves, mixed with hot water, are taken in cases of diabetes.

 

Mimosa pudica L .

Pinch of leaves paste is applied topically to cuts and wounds.

 

Mukia maderaspatana (L.) M. Roemer.

The leaf extract is taken internally to cure piles; it is applied to the hair of the head to

blacken gray hair.

 

Morinda tinctoria Roxb.

The leaf extract is used to cure dysentery.

 

Moringa oleifera .Lam.

The boiled leaves and flowers are eaten to increase fertility in men. A handful of bark

juice of the plant is used to cure stomach pain.

 

Musa paradisiaca L .

A plant extract is given for snake bite and also for burns.

 

Mangifera indica L .

Mixture of � of the seed ground with cow�s milk is taken to arrest excess bleeding during��

mensus.

 

Murraya koenigii�� L . Sprengel���

Juice of tender leaves is taken orally to arrest vomiting. Juice taken tender leaves, is taken

orally to arrest vomiting.

 

Momordica charantia L .

Local peoples uses for the fruit, seeds, vines and leaves include gastroenteritis, diabetes,

tumors and some viral infections.

 

Melia azedarach L .

The juice of the bark is taken internally in the early morning for three days in order to

relieve stomach pain; it is also employed as an anthelmintic.

 

Nerium oleander (Sol).

Juice prepared from the stem bark Is boiled with gingelly oil and two drops are poured

into ear to treat ear pain.

 

Opuntia dillenii (Haw).

Fruits edible used in whooping cough. Pulp also applied in ophthalmic and control

spasmodic cough and expectoration

 

Ocimumamericanum, L .

Leaf juice is taken for stomach upset.

 

Prosopis cinearia L .

The plant flower is pounded, mixed with sugar and used during pregnancy as safeguard

against miscarriage. The bark is used as a remedy for rheumatism, in cough colds,��

asthma. The bark is prescribed for scorpion sting.

 

Pongamia pinnata L .

The seed oil is used to cure rheumatic pains and swellings.

 

Phyllanthus amarus, Schum. & Thonn.

Leaf juice is administered to cure fever and jaundice.

 

Polycarpaea corymbosa L .

Roots leaves paste is applied externally.

 

Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Poiret

The leaves prepared in the form of a soup are taken as a vermifuge and also to cure peptic

ulcer.

 

Solanum trilobatum,L .

The leaf juice is used to treat cough and cold.

 

Solanum nigrum, L.

The leaf and fruit extract is used for deworming and treating fever.

 

Syzygium cumini L.

The dried and powdered seeds, mixed with hot water, are taken for reducing the Blood

sugar level.

 

Sida cordata, (Burmn. f.) Borssum

The leaf juice is effective in treating diarrhoea during pregnancy. The pounded leaves are

applied locally to relieve cuts and bruises.

 

Tamarindus indica L .������

A paste of the seed coat is applied to a scorpion bite to relieve pain or the scratched seed

is placed in a warm condition on the area of a scorpion bite to relieve pain.

 

Thespesia populnea (L.)

Tender fruit mixed with castor oil and made in to a paste applied externallyfor skin

disease.

 

Vitex negundo L.

Inhale boiled leaves vapour to relieve headache.

 

Zingiber roseum( Rosc).

The juice of the rhizome, mixed with honey, is taken internally to improve digestion and

to relieve giddiness.

��

Acknowledgements

����������� The authors are cordially grateful to the people inhabiting in different localities of Vellore Districtbecause of their kind support and co-operation during the field surveys.������������������ ����������������

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