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A survey of medicinal plants used by folk medicinal practitioners of Paschim Shawra and Palordi villages of Gaurnadi Upazila in Barisal district, Bangladesh.

Introduction

Traditional medicine in various cultures approaches cure of diseases from a holistic view point where the human being and the ailments that he is suffering from is dynamically related to his culture, biota, and the environment.

Instead of a simple patient-disease-medicine concept; the traditional healer takes a number of factors into account including the patient's cultural beliefs, his ancestry, and various inter-related socioeconomic and psychological factors, which may have contributed to the disease process. As such, treatment can be simple or often complicated. Folk medicinal healers are a group of traditional medicinal healers who usually rely on simple procedures for treatment of diverse ailments. The major weapon of folk medicinal healers of Bangladesh, otherwise known as Kavirajes, is use of medicinal plants for treatment of diseases. A single plant or plant part or a combination of plants or plant parts are used in the form of decoctions, paste, or pills and administered to the patient orally or topically depending on the disease. The proficiency that a Kaviraj attains during his practice is obtained from a member of the immediate family from an earlier generation, and is supplemented with knowledge that the Kaviraj gains from his practice, and is passed to an immediate member of the next generation or to a trusted disciple. With time, the medicinal plants used by Kavirajes become highly divergent and can vary immensely between Kavirajes of even adjacent areas.

Our ethnomedicinal surveys carried out amongst different tribes and in various regions of the country strongly point to such divergent uses of medicinal plants by the Kavirajes (Rahmatullah et al., 2010; Hossan et al., 2010; Nawaz et al., 2009; Rahmatullah et al., 2009; Rahmatullah et al., 2009; Mia et al., 2009). Since Bangladesh has over 86,000 villages, with nearly each village containing one or more Kavirajes (depending on the village population), it is important to survey as many villages as possible to get a comprehensive view of medicinal plant usage by the Kavirajes.

In many cases, the sources of modern drugs have been plants used by indigenous people (Cotton, 1996). The medicinal plants used by traditional healers have a history of usage which dates back centuries ago. It has been shown that the average success rate of obtaining new medicines from plant sources is 1 in 125 (McCaleb, 1997), while the success rate of obtaining efficacious medicines from synthetic chemicals is about 1 in 10,000 (Chadwick and Marsh, 1994). Since the advent of modern or allopathic medicine, researchers had for the most part overlooked medicinal plants. However, in recent years, the emphasis is shifting back to medicines from plant sources, because of the emergence of various drug-resistant microorganisms, serious side-effects observed with a number of modern drugs, and because modern medicine does not have any effective cures for diseases like diabetes and arthritis, to name only two common diseases affecting millions of people throughout the world today.

The objective of the present study was to conduct a randomized ethnomedicinal survey among the Kavirajes of two villages, namely Paschim Shawra and Palordi in Gaurnadi Upazila of Barisal district, Bangladesh. Since village Kavirajes form the primary sources of such ethnomedicinal information, these particular villages were selected following a preliminary survey of villages in the area. In the preliminary survey, it was observed that the villages with a population approaching three thousand was serviced by three Kavirajes, who were noted for their practices in both the villages as well as adjoining areas. The villages also had both primary and secondary forests in the general area, which formed effective pools of medicinal plants, which were collected and used by the Kavirajes.

Materials and Methods

Area of Survey:

Gaurnadi Upazila (22.9736[degrees]N, 90.2306[degrees]E) lies in the south-western part of Bangladesh and is part of Barisal Division. The Upazila (sub-district) has an area of 144.14 square kilometers. The annual average temperatures range from a high of 33.3[degrees]C to a minimum of 12.1[degrees]C; annual rainfall is 2506 mm. The villages surveyed, namely, Paschim Shawra and Palordi lie within Chandshi Union of Gaurnadi Upazila. Agriculture (35.74%) and agricultural laborer (25.62%) forms the main occupation of the village people.

Data Collection and Mode of Survey:

Paschim Shawra and Palordi villages of Gauranadi Upazila were serviced by three Kavirajes namely Debola Nag, Md. Ahsanullah and Ramprassad. Initially, informed consent was obtained from each Kaviraj. The Kavirajes were informed about the purpose of the survey and consent taken for dissemination of the obtained data both nationally and internationally. Surveys were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field walks method as described by Martin (1995) and Maundu (1995). In this method, one or more Kavirajes took the interviewers on guided field-walks through areas from where they collected their medicinal plants.

Plants were pointed out to the interviewers along with provision of local names and description of their uses. Plant specimens as pointed out by the Kavirajes were collected on the spot, dried, and brought to Bangladesh National Herbarium for identification.

Result:

It was observed that the Kavirajes of Paschim Shawra and Palordi villages used 51 plants for treatment of various ailments. These plants were classified as belonging to 33 families. The Fabaceae family contributed 6 plants, followed by the Lamiaceae with 4 plants, and Lythraceae and Zingiberaceae families with 3 plants per family. The results are summarized in Table 1. With the exception of certain plants, most plants were collected from the wild (62.75%), which included primary forests, secondary vegetative growth, and weeds, that would grow by the wayside, around homesteads, or on fields in between cultivation. The plants that were cultivated for commercial purposes as well as used as medicinal plants included Spondias pinnata (J.G. Konig ex L. f.) Kurz., Ananas sativus Schult. & Schult. f., Ipomoea mauritiana Jacq., Momordica charantia L., Manihot esculenta Crantz., Lawsonia inermis L., Punica granatum L., Piper betle L., Aegle marmelos (L.) Corr., Santalum album L., Amomum subulatum Roxb., Curcuma longa L., Tamarindus indica L., Centella asiatica (L.) Urb., and Zingiber officinale Roscoe. Curcuma longa and Zingiber officinale were cultivated for their rhizomes, which were also used as spices, and Piper betle cultivated, because the leaves were chewed by a substantial number of the village population as a habit.

The Kavirajes, in their formulations, used virtually all plant parts, but not necessarily from the same plant or plants. The various plant parts used included whole plants, leaves, stems, barks, roots, flowers, fruits, seeds, gum, and rhizomes. Leaves constituted the major plant part used (43%), followed by whole plants (12%), rhizomes (6%). The results are shown in Table 2.

The mode of preparation of plants or plant parts for oral or topical administration was juice (extracted through crushing of the plant, e.g. Justicia adhatoda), powder of dried plant part(s) (e.g. leaf of Mucuna pruriens and Aristolochia indica), paste (e.g. Lawsonia inermis), or boiled plant or plant part e.g. Spondias pinnata. When fruits were used as medication, for the most part, the patients were advised to consume the fruit directly (e.g, Amomum subulatum). Usually skin disorders, cuts and wounds (sometimes accompanied by bleeding) had topical applications, while in the case of other ailments, administration was usually oral.

It was noted that a plant or plant part may be administered in combination with other plant part(s) or substances. For example, juice obtained from leaves of Justicia adhatoda was orally administered with honey for treatment of coughs. Juice obtained from macerated leaves of Litsea glutinosa was mixed with molasses and taken on an empty stomach for the treatment of stomach ache, debility, constipation, and flatulence. For treatment of jaundice, Glycosmis pentaphylla roots were fretted with stone and taken with raw milk and molasses; for infections, crushed roots were applied to affected areas. Again juice obtained from macerated whole plant of Eclipta alba was taken with coconut water for jaundice. Juice obtained from crushed leaves of Ananas sativus was taken with lime water to treat helmintic infestations. Powder from dried leaves and stems of Stephania glabra was mixed with cold water and honey and taken orally for the treatment of gout and arthritis. Powder from bark or wood of Santalum album was mixed with coconut fruit pulp and taken regularly as remedy for leucorrhea.

For the most part, a single plant part was observed to be used for treatment of a single or multiple ailments. For instance, the leaves of Justicia adhatoda were used for treatment of a single ailment, namely asthma. On the other hand, whole plant of Centella asiatica was used for the treatment of indigestion, flatulence, helminthiasis, and diarrhea. Occasionally, two different plant parts from the same plant may be used for treatment of two different ailments. To cite one instance, juice from young leaves of Punica granatum was topically applied to infections of inter-digital space of feet, while bark was boiled in water and the decoction was mixed with sugar and taken orally to treat blood dysentery.

There were a few instances of a combination of plant parts used for treatment of a single or multiple ailments. For skin diseases, crushed leaves of Azadirachta indica were mixed with macerated rhizomes of Curcuma longa and applied topically to affected areas. Again vegetable soup made from whole plants of Phyla nodiflora, Andrographis paniculata, and Solanum xanthocarpum, along with leaves of Justicia adhatoda, Nyctanthes arbor tristis, Stephania glabra, and Aegle marmelos was used to treat long-term fever with abnormally high body temperature.

Discussion:

Studies on the indigenous or folk medicinal use of medicinal plants are important from the scientific point of view in that it enables rapid scientific studies towards finding and development of newer drugs from centuries old practical use-derived knowledge of medicinal plants. In the present study, it was observed that a considerable number of plants on which scientific studies have been conducted are validated in their uses by the Kavirajes. Table 3 shows that plants like Andrographis paniculata, Justicia adhatoda, Ipomoea mauritiana, Centella asiatica, Alstonia scholaris, Ocimum gratissimum, Mikania cordata and Mucuna pruriens have been studied in greater details and the findings are well in agreement with their folk medicinal uses in the two villages of Gaurnadi Upazila.

It may be pointed out in this respect, that not all medicinal plants reported by the Kavirajes have been studied yet; in fact, scientific studies on most plants remain preliminary at the best and there is an enormous potential for conducting further scientific experiments regarding their pharmacological activities and their phytochemical constituents. Doubtlessly, more studies have the probability of validating the uses of more medicinal plants reported in the present survey.

The second aspect that is of concern is that most medicinal plants are rapidly becoming endangered in their wild habitat. Serious efforts need to be made for their conservation and rapid scientific studies, before they become highly endangered or totally extinct. It is hoped that this ethnomedicinal survey shall lead to wider public and Governmental recognition of these medicinal plant species and spur conservation efforts towards saving both plants and the folk medicinal knowledge.

References

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(1) Anup Biswas, (1) Wahid Mozammel Haq, (2) Mira Akber, (1) Dilara Ferdausi, (1) Syeda Seraj, (1) Farhana Israt Jahan, (1) Anita Rani Chowdhury, (1) Mohammed Rahmatullah

(1) Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Development Alternative, Dhanmondi, Dhaka-1205, Bangladesh.

(2) Department of Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh.

Corresponding Author: Mohammed Rahmatullah, University of Development Alternative House No. 78, Road No. 11A (new) Dhanmondi R/A, Dhaka-1205 Bangladesh

Fax: 88-02-8157339

E-mail: rahamatm@hotmail.com
Table 1: Medicinal plants used by Kavirajes of Paschim Shawra and
Palordi villages, Gaurnadi Upazila, Barisal district, Bangladesh.

Serial   Scientific Name             Family Name        Local Name
Number

1        Andrographis paniculata     Acanthaceae        Kalomegh
         (Burm. F.) Wall. ex Nees

2        Justicia adhatoda L.        Acanthaceae        Bashok

3        Aloe barbadensis Mill.      Aloaceae           Ghritokumari

4        Spondias pinnata            Anacardiaceae      Amra
         (J.G. Konig ex L. f.)
         Kurz.

5        Alstonia scholaris (L.)     Apocynaceae        Chaitan
         R.Br.

6        Aristolochia indica L.      Aristolochiaceae   Icha

7        Eclipta alba (L.) Hassk.    Asteraceae         Khuchkhuchia

8        Mikania cordata (Burm.f.)   Asteraceae         Refugee
         B. L. Robinson

9        Ananas sativus Schult..     Bromeliaceae       Anarosh
         & Schult. f

10       Ipomoea mauritiana Jacq.    Convolvulaceae     Bhui kumra

11       Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.)    Crassulaceae       Pathorkuchi
         Pers.

12       Coccinia grandis (L.)       Cucurbitaceae      Telakochu
         J. Voigt

13       Momordica charantia L.      Cucurbitaceae      Korola

14       Manihot esculenta Crantz.   Euphorbiaceae      Kasaba

15       Adenanthera pavonina L.     Fabaceae           Rokto chondon

16       Cassia alata L.             Fabaceae           Daudraj

17       Cassia tora L.              Fabaceae           Charkada

18       Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC.    Fabaceae           Alkushie

19       Tamarindus indica L.        Fabaceae           Tetul

20       Saraca asoca (Roxb.)        Fabaceae           Ashok
         De Wilde.

21       Clerodendrum viscosum       Lamiaceae          Vaidir gach
         Vent.

22       Ocimum gratissimum L.       Lamiaceae          Babu tulshi

23       Ocimum tenuiflorum L.       Lamiaceae          Krishna tulshi

24       Litsea glutinosa (Lour.)    Lauraceae          Lode piple
         C.D.Robins.

25       Couroupita guianensis       Lecythidaceae      Naglingam
         Aubl.

26       Lagerstroemia speciosa      Lythraceae         Jarul
         (L.) Pers.

27       Lawsonia inermis L.         Lythraceae         Mendi

28       Punica granatum L.          Lythraceae         Dalim

29       Abelmoschus moschatus       Malvaceae          Lota kosturi
         Medik.

30       Azadirachta indica A.       Meliaceae          Neem
         Juss.

31       Stephania glabra Miers      menispermaceae     Pir guruch

32       Ficus hispida L.f.          Moraceae           Dumur

33       Boerhaavia diffusa L.       Nyctaginaceae      Punnalova

34       Piper betle L.              Piperaceae         Paan

35       Plumbago indica L.          Plumbaginaceae     Rokto chita

36       Neolamarckia cadamba        Rubiaceae          Kodom
         (Roxb.) Bosser

37       Aegle marmelos (L.) Corr.   Rutaceae           Bel

38       Glycosmis pentaphylla       Rutaceae           Aidoli
         (Retz.) Corr.

39       Santalum album L.           Santalaceae        Shet chondon

40       Madhuca indica J.F. Gmel.   Sapotaceae         Mohua

41       Bacopa monnieri (L.)        Scrophulariaceae   Brammoni
         Pennell

42       Scoparia dulcis L.          Scrophulariaceae   Michripana

43       Smilax zeylanica L.         Smilacaceae        Kumari lota

44       Solanum xanthocarpum        Solanaceae         Kontikari
         Schrad. & Wendl.

45       Abroma augusta L.f.         Sterculiaceae      Ulot kombol

46       Centella asiatica (L.)      Umbelliferae       Thankuni
         Urb.

47       Nyctanthes arbor            Verbenaceae        Shefali
         tristis L.

48       Phyla nodiflora (L.)        Verbenaceae        Koi okra
         Greene

49       Amomum subulatum Roxb.      Zingiberaceae      Boro elach

50       Curcuma longa L.            Zingiberaceae      Holud

51       Zingiber officinale         Zingiberaceae      Ada
         Roscoe

Serial   Utilize Part        Ailment
Number

1        Whole plant, leaf   Fever, intestinal and hepatic disorders.
                             Juice obtained from macerated leaves is
                             given during fever; the whole plant is
                             orally administered for intestinal and
                             hepatic disorders.
                             Long-term fever with abnormally high
                             body temperature. Vegetable soup made
                             from whole plants of Phyla nodiflora,
                             Andrographis paniculata, and Solanum
                             xanthocarpum, along with leaves of
                             Justicia adhatoda, Nyctanthes arbor
                             tristis, Stephania glabra, and Aegle
                             marmelos is taken orally twice daily for
                             1 week.

2        Leaf                Upper respiratory tract infections,
                             chest pain with coughs, bronchitis. Leaf
                             juice is taken twice daily for 7 days.
                             When administered to infants, honey may
                             be added.
                             Long-term fever with abnormally high
                             body temperature.
                             Vegetable soup made from whole plants of
                             Phyla nodiflora, Andrographis
                             paniculata, and Solanum xanthocarpum,
                             along with leaves of Justicia adhatoda,
                             Nyctanthes arbor tristis, Stephania
                             glabra, and Aegle marmelos is taken
                             orally twice daily for 1 week.

3        Leaf                Debility (general weakness), high blood
                             pressure, gastrointestinal problems
                             (irregular stool emanation). The soft
                             pulp from leaves is taken orally.

4        Leaf, bark          Blood dysentery, dysentery. Bark or leaf
                             is boiled in water. Two teaspoonful of
                             the decoction is taken with sugar for 34
                             days.

5        Bark                Malaria (symptoms: fever with chill and
                             body ache), fever. Barks are soaked
                             overnight in water, and the water is
                             taken orally in the morning on an empty
                             stomach.

6        Leaf                Internal body injury, body ache, cancer,
                             external tumor, asthma (symptoms:
                             breathing difficulty with whistling
                             sound). Dried leaf powder is added to
                             milk and taken for 2 months.

7        Whole plant         Jaundice (symptoms: abdominal pain,
                             bitter taste in mouth, loss of
                             appetite), leucorrhea (symptoms:
                             discharge of whitish mucous material
                             from vagina or urethra). Juice obtained
                             from macerated whole plant is taken with
                             coconut water for jaundice. Juice from
                             macerated whole plant is taken with
                             sugar every morning before breakfast for
                             leucorrhea.

8        Leaf, stem          Gastric problems (symptoms: abdominal
                             pain with continuous gas emission),
                             bleeding from cuts and wounds. One cup
                             of juice obtained from macerated leaves
                             and stems is taken orally for gastric
                             problems. Juice obtained from macerated
                             leaves and stems is applied to cuts and
                             wounds to stop bleeding.

9        Leaf (white part)   Helminthiasis (symptoms: excessive
                             salivation, abdominal pain). Juice
                             obtained from crushed leaves is taken
                             with 2 drops of lime water once daily (2
                             teaspoonful) for 3 days.

10       Rhizome             Heart diseases (symptoms: chest pain),
                             sexual weakness.
                             Rhizomes are cooked and eaten as
                             vegetable.

11       Leaf                Diarrhea (symptoms: frequent and watery
                             bowel movements), irregular urination,
                             dysuria or urinary tract infection
                             (symptoms: sudden abdominal pain,
                             burning sensations in urinary tract).
                             Juice obtained from macerated leaves is
                             taken orally with salt in the morning on
                             an empty stomach thrice daily for 21
                             days.

12       Whole plant         Diabetes (symptoms: frequent urination),
                             dysentery (symptoms: intestinal cramping
                             or disturbances). Juice obtained from
                             macerated whole plant is taken orally (1
                             cup) in the morning on an empty stomach.
                             To increase palatability, sugar may be
                             added.

13       Leaf                Severe diarrhea, dysentery, acidity,
                             blood purifier. Two teaspoonful of juice
                             obtained from macerated leaves is taken
                             orally for 7 days.

14       Leaf, tuber         Debility, to boost up immune system
                             after long-term fever. Leaves are cooked
                             and taken as vegetable. Tubers can be
                             eaten directly.

15       Wood                Blood purifier. Powder from dried wood
                             is taken orally.

16       Leaf                Skin diseases like tinea infections
                             (symptoms: persistent itching appearing
                             as discolored skin patches), scabies,
                             and herpes. Crushed leaves are applied
                             topically to affected areas of skin once
                             daily for 10 days.

17       Seed                Tinea infections (symptoms: persistent
                             itching and skin irritation), itches.
                             Fine powder obtained from crushed seeds
                             is applied topically to affected areas
                             with a few drops of oil.

18       Leaf, seed          Neurological disorder (symptoms: memory
                             loss due to ageing), acidity, debility,
                             diabetes, anemia, ageing, burning
                             sensation or pain in the stomach after
                             one to four hours following a meal,
                             polyuria. Powder from crushed leaves or
                             seeds is taken orally with tea or
                             coffee. Mature seedsare also cooked and
                             taken as vegetable.

19       Leaf of young       Dysentery, severe diarrhea, whooping
         tree before         cough (symptoms: presence of mucus,
         fruiting            prolonged cough, noise during
                             breathing after cough), chest pain. Juice
                             obtained from macerated leaves is taken
                             with table salt thrice daily for 1
                             sweek.

20       Bark                Inflammation occurring through insect
                             bites with subsequent infections,
                             menstrual problems, wounds. Bark juice
                             is taken once every morning for 14 days
                             for menstrual problems. Bark juice is
                             applied to affected areas in case of
                             insect bites.

21       Leaf                Sialorrhea or ptyalism (symptoms:
                             excessive salivation), helminthiasis
                             (symptoms: abdominal pain). Pellets made
                             from crushed leaves are taken once daily
                             for 7 days.

22       Leaf                Chest pain, coughs, and respiratory
                             tract infections (symptoms: chest pain
                             and coughs with sputum, mucus in stool).
                             Juice obtained from macerated leaves is
                             taken thrice daily for 7 days.

23       Leaf                Respiratory tract infections (symptoms:
                             long-term cold and coughs). Juice
                             obtained from macerated leaves is taken
                             thrice daily for 7 days.

24       Leaf                Stomach ache, debility, constipation,
                             flatulence. Juice obtained from
                             macerated leaves is mixed with molasses
                             and taken on an empty stomach once daily
                             for 7 days.

25       Leaf, bark          Snake bite. Macerated mixture of leaf
                             and bark is applied to bitten area.

26       Leaf                Diabetes (symptoms: frequent urination
                             with polyuria, i.e. large volumes of
                             urine). Juice obtained from macerated
                             leaves is taken once daily.

27       Leaf                To keep head cool (symptoms: getting
                             excited over a trifle matter). Crushed
                             leaves are soaked in water and applied
                             to scalp.

28       Immature leaf,      Infections of inter-digital space of
         bark                feet, blood dysentery. Juice from young
                             leaves is applied to infections. Bark is
                             boiled in water and the decoction is
                             mixed with sugar. Two teaspoonfuls of
                             the mixture is taken thrice daily for
                             3-4 days for blood dysentery.

29       Leaf, seed          Sexual weakness, cancer. Powder obtained
                             from dried leaf or seed is taken orally
                             with tea or coffee.

30       Leaf                Skin diseases like scabies (symptoms:
                             persistent itching with skin
                             irritations), eczema, gum diseases
                             (loosening of tooth, tooth ache). For
                             skin diseases, crushed leaves of
                             Azadirachta indica are mixed with
                             macerated rhizomes of Curcuma longa and
                             applied topically to affected areas. For
                             gum diseases, powder obtained from dried
                             leaves are taken with rice or applied to
                             base of tooth.

31       Leaf, stem          Gout, arthritis (symptoms: pain and
                             stiffness in toe), leucorrhea (symptoms:
                             discharge of white mucous material from
                             the vagina). Powder from dried leaves
                             and stems is mixed with cold water and
                             honey. One teaspoonful of the mixture is
                             taken twice daily for 2 weeks. Long-term
                             fever with abnormally high body
                             temperature. Vegetable soup made from
                             whole plants of Phyla nodiflora,
                             Andrographis paniculata, and Solanum
                             xanthocarpum, along with leaves of
                             Justicia adhatoda, Nyctanthes arbor
                             tristis, Stephania glabra, and Aegle
                             marmelos is taken orally twice daily for
                             1 week.

32       Mucilage (gum),     Persistent itching, skin irritation,
         fruit               swelling, inflammation. Gum is topically
                             applied to affected areas. Fruits are
                             cooked and eaten as vegetable.

33       Leaf, stem          Anemia (symptoms: paleness of body,
                             fatigue), inflammation, irregular
                             urination. Two teaspoonful of juice
                             obtained from crushed leaves are taken
                             orally. Alternately, leaves and stems
                             are cooked and eaten as vegetable.

34       Young leaf          Skin diseases like tinea infections,
                             scabies, herpes (symptoms: persistent
                             itching, painful blisters on the skin).
                             Crushed leaves are applied to affected
                             areas twice daily for 7 days.

35       Leaf                Blood purifier. Young leaves are taken
                             orally.

36       Young leaf          Gastric problem (symptoms: generalized
                             abdominal pain, especially due to
                             acidity). Juice obtained from macerated
                             leaves is taken with salt twice daily
                             for 7 days.

37       Leaf                Long-term fever with abnormally high
                             body temperature. Vegetable soup made
                             from whole plants of Phyla nodiflora,
                             Andrographis paniculata, and Solanum
                             xanthocarpum, along with leaves of
                             Justicia adhatoda, Nyctanthes arbor
                             tristis, Stephania glabra, and Aegle
                             marmelos is taken orally twice daily for
                             1 week.

38       Root                Jaundice (symptoms: yellowing of the
                             skin, bitter taste of edible things,
                             abdominal pain, whiteness of eyes), any
                             kind of infection. For jaundice, roots
                             are fretted with stone and taken with
                             raw milk and molasses for 3-4 days. For
                             infections, crushed roots are applied to
                             affected areas.

39       Bark, wood          Leucorrhea (symptoms: discharge of
                             mucous material from vagina), sexual
                             weakness (symptoms: passing of semen in
                             urine). Powder from bark or wood is
                             mixed with coconut fruit pulp and taken
                             regularly.

40       Leaf                Flatulence. Powder obtained from dried
                             leaves is taken orally with honey.

41       Leaf                Loss of memory (symptoms: mental
                             distress, loss of thinking ability.
                             Juice from macerated leaves is taken
                             orally with raw milk once daily for 7
                             days.

42       Whole plant         Aphrodisiac, sexual disorders (passing
                             of semen in urine), dysentery, and
                             diabetes (symptoms: frequent urination).
                             Juice obtained from macerated whole
                             plant is taken orally once daily on an
                             empty stomach for 7 days.

43       Stem                Gonorrhea (symptoms: infrequent and
                             painful urination, pain around the
                             urethra), loss of libido (symptoms:
                             reduced sexual desire), diabetes. Stem
                             is chewed; alternately, juice obtained
                             from macerated stem is taken orally.

44       Whole plant         Long-term fever with abnormally high
                             body temperature. Vegetable soup made
                             from whole plants of Phyla nodiflora,
                             Andrographis paniculata, and Solanum
                             xanthocarpum, along with leaves of
                             Justicia adhatoda, Nyctanthes arbor
                             tristis, Stephania glabra, and Aegle
                             marmelos is taken orally twice daily for
                             1 week.

45       Leaf, flower,       Leucorrhea (symptoms: discharge of
         root                whitish mucous material from vagina),
                             problem with urination (symptoms:
                             burning sensations in the urinary
                             tract), menstrual problems. Juice
                             obtained from a mixture of macerated
                             leaves and flowers is taken for 7-14
                             days for leucorrhea. Roots are sliced
                             and soaked in water overnight. The water
                             is taken the following morning. This is
                             continued for 7 days for treatment of
                             problem with urination and menstrual
                             problems.

46       Whole plant         Indigestion, flatulence, helminthiasis,
                             diarrhea. VV cup of juice obtained from
                             macerated whole plant is taken orally
                             every morning on an empty stomach.
                             Alternately, the whole plant is cooked
                             and eaten as vegetable.

47       Leaf                Long-term fever, night fever, weight
                             loss. Juice obtained from macerated
                             leaves is taken orally once daily till
                             cure. Long-term fever with abnormally
                             high body temperature. Vegetable soup
                             made from whole plants of Phyla
                             nodiflora, Andrographis paniculata, and
                             Solanum xanthocarpum, along with leaves
                             of Justicia adhatoda, Nyctanthes arbor
                             tristis, Stephania glabra, and Aegle
                             marmelos is taken orally twice daily for
                             1 week.

48       Whole plant         Long-term  fever with abnormally high
                             body temperature. Vegetable soup made
                             from whole plants of Phyla nodiflora,
                             Andrographis paniculata, and Solanum
                             xanthocarpum, along with leaves of
                             Justicia adhatoda, Nyctanthes arbor
                             tristis, Stephania glabra, and Aegle
                             marmelos is taken orally twice daily for
                             1 week.

49       Fruit               Loss of taste, e.g. after fever,
                             appetizer. Fruits are eaten.

50       Rhizome             Skin diseases like scabies (symptoms:
                             persistent itching with skin
                             irritations), eczema, gum diseases
                             (loosening of tooth, tooth ache). For
                             skin diseases, crushed leaves of
                             Azadirachta indica are mixed with
                             macerated rhizomes of Curcuma longa and
                             applied topically to affected areas. kin
                             diseases (symptoms: persistent itching
                             and skin irritation), scabies, boils.
                             Crushed rhizomes are topically applied
                             to affected areas.

51       Rhizome             Abdominal pain, dry cough. % teaspoonful
                             of juice obtained from crushed rhizome
                             is taken orally.

Table 2: Percent use of whole plant or plant parts by the Kavirajes of
Paschim Shawra and Palordi villages.

Plant part                Percent Use (%)

Leaf                      43
Bark                      4
Whole plant               12
Rhizome                   6
Stem                      2
Seed                      2
Root                      2
Wood                      2
Fruit                     2
Synergistically used      25

Table 3: Relevant scientific findings on several medicinal plants used
by Kavirajes of Paschim Shawra and Palordi villages.

Plant                 Ailments treated   Relevant scientific findings
                      by the Kavirajes

Andrographis          Hepatic disorder   Hepatoprotective effect of
paniculata (Burm.                        andrographolide against
f.) Wall. ex Nees                        hexachlorocyclohexane-
                                         inducedoxidative injury;
                                         protective activity of
                                         andrographolide and
                                         arabinogalactan proteins from
                                         the plant against ethanol-
                                         induced hepatic and renal
                                         toxicity in mice (Singha,
                                         2007); hepatoprotective effect
                                         of the plant against carbon
                                         tetrachloride-induced liver
                                         damage (Rana and Avadhoot,
                                         1991); hepatoprotective and
                                         antioxidant property of the
                                         plant in BHC induced liver
                                         damage in mice (Trivedi et
                                         al., 2007)

Ipomoea               Heart diseases     Hypoglycemic,
mauritiana Jacq.      (symptoms: chest   hypocholesterolemic and
hypotriglyceridemic   pain)              activity of tuber roots of
                                         Ipomoea mauritiana Jacq.
                                         (Convolvulaceae) when
                                         administered to rats
                                         (Rahmatullah et al., 2010).

Justicia adhatoda     Upper              Antitussive effect of Adhatoda
L.                    respiratory        vasica extract on mechanical
                      tract              chest pain with coughs,
                      infections,        bronchitis or chemical
                                         stimulation-induced coughing
                                         in animals (Dhuley, 1999).

Centella asiatica     Dysentery,         Healing effects of plant
(L.) Urb.             stomach            extract and a phytochemical
                      problems.          (asiaticoside) isolated from
                                         the plant against acetic acid-
                                         induced gastric ulcers in rats
                                         (Cheng et al., 2004);
                                         protective action of the plant
                                         against ethanol-induced
                                         gastric mucosal lesions in
                                         rats (Cheng and Koo, 2000).

Alstonia              Malaria            Preliminary evaluation of
scholaris (L.)        (symptoms:fever    extracts of Alstonia scholaris
R.Br.                 with chill and     bark for in vivo antimalarial
                      body ache)         activity in mice (Gandhi et
                                         al., 1990).

Mikania cordata       Gastric            Protective effects of Mikania
(Burm.f.) B. L.       problems, blood    cordata root extract against
Robinson              clotting agent     physical and chemical factors-
                                         induced gastric erosions in
                                         experimental animals (Bishayee
                                         and Chatterjee, 1994).

Mucuna pruriens       Neurological       Assessment of symptomatic and
(L.) DC.              disorder           neuroprotective efficacy of
                      (symptoms:         Mucuna pruriens seed extract
                      memory loss due    in rodent model of Parkinson's
                      to ageing),        disease (Kasture et al.,
                      acidity,           2009); neuroprotective effects
                      debility,          of Mucuna pruriens (Manyam et
                      diabetes           al., 2004); hypoglycemic
                                         effect of Mucuna pruriens seed
                                         extract on normal and
                                         streptozotocin-diabetic rats
                                         (Bhaskar et al., 2008).

Ocimum gratissimum    Chest pain,        Stability of cough linctus
L.                    coughs, and        (streptol) formulated from
                      respiratory        infections. (symptoms: chest
                      tract with         pain and coughsOcimum
                      sputum, mucus in   gratissimum plant extracts
                      stool)             (Iwu et al., 2009).
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Title Annotation:Original Articles
Author:Biswas, Anup; Haq, Wahid Mozammel; Akber, Mira; Ferdausi, Dilara; Seraj, Syeda; Jahan, Farhana Israt
Publication:American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9BANG
Date:Jan 1, 2011
Words:5332
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