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A survey of plant items eaten by the low income groups of the rural population of Talbunia Village in Bagerhat District, Bangladesh with an account of their folk medicinal applications.


Bangladesh is a small developing country with a population of about 150 million. By all economic indicators, although the country is achieving economic growth, there still remains a huge section of the population living below the poverty line in particularly the rural areas and the urban slums. Around 40% of

the population live in poverty, and 25% of them are classified by the Government of Bangladesh as extremely poor (Holmes, 2008). About 56 million people fall below the threshold level, for calorie intake of 2,122 kilocalories/person/day, as estimated in 2005 (Japan Bank for International Cooperation, 2007). The incidence of poverty is highest, in Khulna Division; however, poverty is overwhelmingly seen in all Bangladesh's rural areas. Occurrences of flooding and other adverse weather conditions; limited transportation options; illiteracy; lack of power and other infrastructure--all contribute to this severe poverty (Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), 2005). Furthermore, the above noted 25.2% of people living under extreme poverty are landless, while another 39.2% people living under extreme poverty owns less than 0.05 acre of land (Japan Bank for International Cooperation, 2007). As a consequence of this extreme poverty, the poorer households suffer from chronic food scarcity.

In poverty-stricken households, it is mainly the elderly, the women, and the children who are most vulnerable both to malnutrition, and the occurrence of various diseases. In a survey conducted on 457 randomly selected individuals aged 60 or older, in a rural area of Bangladesh, it was observed that 26% were undernourished and 62% were at risk of malnutrition (Ferdous, 2010). It has been also observed that household food security is a primary determinant of successful growth of children, in rural Bangladesh (Saha, 2009). In another survey conducted among 383 pregnant women, in the poor urban areas of the country, it was observed that about 40% of the women were anemic and 45% had low serum vitamin A levels; significantly, these facts also correlated highly, with the level of literacy among these women (Ahmed, 2003). Chronic energy deficiency (stemming from lack of intake of adequate kilocalories) has been noted in women from rural Bangladesh and which was more prevalent among the poor (Ahmed, 1998). There are seasonal dimensions to the rural poverty, with the wet season being the primary context, for food shortages, lack of work, malnutrition, and sicknesses (Chambers, 1979).

The staple food of the affluent people of Bangladesh is rice. Rice is eaten in the boiled form along with lentils, leafy vegetables, potatoes, fish and meat. The poorer populations usually eat rice with lentils and vegetables. Hot peppers are eaten with it, to make the rice more palatable, especially in the absence of vegetables or lentils. For breakfast, the farmers eat what is called "panta bhat" before setting off to work in the fields. Panta bhat is rice which has been soaked in water the previous evening and consumed the following morning. Usually such rice is mixed with hot peppers and salt to improve its taste. The affluent sections of the rural and urban population eat at least three times, if not more within a 24 hour time period. The three major meals are breakfast, lunch, and dinner with snack items in between these. The poorer sections of the population, particularly among the rural areas, and the urban slums, often have only one meal per day.

Because a substantial number of the population lives below the poverty level income of US$ 1 per day, procurement of rice becomes difficult, due to lack of cash. This situation is aggravated, when the cost of rice become dearer as a result of a decrease in the rice harvest or a loss of livelihood among the people. The high rate of unemployment and low wages make such non-affordability, a common hardship, among millions of people of Bangladesh. Moreover, the northern regions of the country suffer an annual seasonal famine known as Monga (Jahan, 2010). During Monga, the poorer sections of the population rely on various non-conventional food items (mostly plant-derived) as a substitute for the daily diet of rice, vegetables and lentils. Although malnutrition is a well-documented fact, death due to the absence of commonly eaten foods, is scarcely reported. Given the absence of mortality, during the Monga famine as well as during times of food scarcity (which is quite common among the poor people), it is of interest to find out more about the non-conventional food items that the poorer people take on almost daily basis, since these mostly plant-derived non-conventional items are somehow enabling the poorer population to survive. Accordingly, a survey was carried out among the poor families of Talbunia village in Bagerhat district of Khulna Division to identify the non-conventional food plants that they eat to survive and mitigate hunger. In fact, non-conventional plant-derived items form practically the exclusive source of nourishment, for these people during periods of annual food scarcity.

The authors had been conducting ethnomedicinal surveys, in various regions of Bangladesh, including the tribal population, for quite some time (Rahmatullah, 2009; Rahmatullah, 2009; Rahmatullah, 2009; Rahmatullah, 2009; Rahmatullah, 2009; Hossan, 2009; Hanif, 2009; Nawaz, 2009; Rahmatullah, 2010; Hossan, 2010; Mollik, 2010; Rahmatullah, 2010; Rahmatullah, 2010). During the above survey at Talbunia village, it was recognized that many of the plants or plant-derived parts, consumed by the poor people as substitutes for rice also are used by folk medicinal and tribal practitioners, for treatment of various ailments--a fact that had been observed, in numerous other surveys the authors had conducted throughout Bangladesh. Clearly, the nonconventional plant food resources consumed by the less affluent sections of Talbunia village satisfy multiple purposes--mitigating hunger, providing nutrition requirements, and therapeutic assistance, for a number of medical ailments. The present report, therefore, will document plants or plant products consumed for food, by the poorer sections of the rural people of Talbunia village as well as describe their folk medicinal uses.

Materials and Methods

A preliminary survey of various villages in Bagerhat district, Bangladesh was conducted, which identified Talbunia village as one of the poorer villages. The main occupations, of the poorer people of this village are agriculture and agriculture laborer. Agricultural laborer refers to people who work on other people's land, in exchange for a cash wage or a portion of the harvest; agriculture refers to farmers who own and work their own land. Other forms of occupation are virtually absent, except for cultivation of the saltwater shrimp, Penaeus monodon in shrimp enclosures. Shrimp farming is mainly practiced by the affluent villagers, who have enough land to build shrimp farms and can afford the purchase of shrimp fries and shrimp food. Agriculture cannot be practiced, on a large-scale, because of the saline quality of the water. Paddy (rice) and vegetables are the main crops grown, during the rainy season, when enough monsoon rains reduce the salinity of the land and surface water. A preliminary survey of the village households was conducted to identify the least affluent. Around one hundred and twenty of these households (mainly agricultural laborers and marginal farmers) were selected, for extensive interviews. Interviews were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire, by means of which information was gathered about the household members, their economic statuses and particularly the food items which they consumed, when rice in the households is non-existent or below subsistence levels. Major attention was given to plants consumed during severe food scarcity which, apart from the post-monsoon rice harvest, was quite common during the rest of the year. Information was obtained about the local names of plants, plant parts consumed and how those entire plants or plant parts were cooked and eaten. Identification of plant specimens were done at the Bangladesh National Herbarium at Dhaka.

Ethnomedicinal survey data and the mode of obtaining such data have been reported previously (Rahmatullah, 2009; Rahmatullah, 2009; Rahmatullah, 2009; Rahmatullah, 2009; Rahmatullah, 2009; Hossan, 2009; Hanif, 2009; Nawaz, 2009; Rahmatullah, 2010; Hossan, 2010; Mollik, 2010; Rahmatullah, 2010; Rahmatullah, 2010). Briefly, interviews were conducted, with folk medicinal practitioners (known as Kavirajes by Bengali-speaking population) as well as tribal medicinal practitioners, with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method of Martin (1995) and Maundu (1995).

Results and Discussion

As noted, food scarcity can result from both insufficient cash income as well as inadequate harvest. Inadequate harvest can cause food scarcity among the landed class of farmers, while both inadequate harvest and very limited or no cash can be the causes of food scarcity among people who do not have or have only small pieces of land and generally owe their income, by working on other people's land or from the sale of home-made items. Scarcity of food was observed to be a common feature of the poverty-stricken households in Talbunia village for most of the year. The poverty was attributed by them to lack of land, lack of jobs, lack of markets for home-made products, as well as inadequate pay when working on somebody else's land. Moreover, when working on another's land, the job was not guaranteed throughout the year. Employment tended to be seasonal, and such people were mainly employed during planting of crops and during harvesting, when demand for labor was at its highest. It was observed that a total of 25 plants or plant parts were consumed by the poverty-stricken households of Talbunia village when there was insufficient rice to adequately feed family members. The plant parts primarily consumed were leaves and stems (new stems). These are summarized in Table 1. Quite a number of these plants can be classified as non-conventional plants. Two types of non-conventions can be distinguished at this point. The first related to consumption of plants that were simply not consumed or rarely consumed (by the latter it is meant they were consumed may be on a few occasions per year, i.e. eaten on a few days in the year, when seasonally available and the price affordable) during normal day to day conditions of living, but were consumed during acute food scarcity as replacements, for rice as a nutrient source; or merely to mitigate hunger. Plants or plant parts belonging to this category were Asteracantha longifolia, Alternanthera sessilis, Centella asiatica, Enydra fluctuans, Chenopodium album, Dryopteris filix-mas, Lathyrus sativus, Tamarindus indica (leaves only, fruits are edible and consumed regularly), Glinus oppositifolius, Oxalis corniculata, Bacopa monnieri, and Cissus trifoliata. The second type of non-conventional plants relates to the cooking procedure used. In general the cuisine of Bangladesh is fairly elaborate and involves addition of at least three or four spices, if not more, to even a simple dish. During times of food scarcity, the poor villagers, for financial reasons, cut down on the spices and so the cooking of vegetables was seen to be a simple affair. Most plants or plant parts were cooked by boiling with water till they got soft and then eaten with the addition of a little salt. Plants or plant parts were also eaten, after being fried; as soup; or mashing them. In these forms, the use of spices was found to be much reduced. As noted, boiling is the primary preparation technique after which the plants are eaten with a small amount of water; as soup; or fried in a little oil; or mashing them. Salt was the common ingredient used to season the food and make it more palatable. In three instances, raw plant parts were consumed e.g., leaves of Centella asiatica; leaves and new stems of Bacopa monnieri; and fruit pulp of Trapa bispinosa. In the case of the first two plants, plant parts were squeezed to extract the juice, which was then eaten as such; or the plant part was simply chewed.

Among the other plants listed in Table 1, Amaranthus gangeticus is a popular leafy vegetable in Bangladesh. It is easy to grow and is grown throughout the country. Being common, it is less pricey than other leafy vegetables and so is consumed by poor people, more so during times of food scarcity. However, it is to be noted that during times of food scarcity, the mode of cooking and consuming it were quite different from the methods used during normal times. Colocasia esculenta and Typhonium trilobatum, two plants consumed more during times of limited or no income and food scarcity were also consumed during normal times, but less frequently, because some varieties cause allergic reactions such as an itching of the throat following consumption. It also needs to be pointed out, in this regard, that food scarcity need not be caused by adverse weather conditions or floods but can also be caused by loss of entitlements ensuing from non-availability of jobs or land; or lack of demand for cottage industry items produced by a particular household. In fact, these latter are the reasons why a number of villagers in Talbunia had income much below the poverty level income of US$ 1 per day and had to depend on non-conventional food plant consumption for survival.

Basella alba is a leafy vegetable common throughout Bangladesh and is highly prized and normally fetches a higher price. The vegetable is cultivated on a large scale, but almost every household in rural Bangladesh has several plants growing by the homestead throughout the year. Since it is a climber plant, the plant can easily climb to top of roofs and spread out from there. The plant is usually sold to urban affluent and middle income consumers but, during times of food scarcity, the rural poor of Talbunia village fall back on consumption of this plant themselves. Once again, it is to be noted that consumption of the plant by the poor households at Talbunia, was different from that of affluent households. In affluent households, the plant is usually cooked with fish or shrimp and not taken as soup or mashed, as was observed in the poorer households of Talbunia. Ipomoea aquatica grows beside bodies of water while Nymphaea nouchali grows in water itself. Both plants grow under wild conditions. The plants are eaten during times of food scarcity by the village poor, but they are sometimes also consumed during other times and form a cheap source of nutritious vegetables. Regarding prices, they are one of the cheapest vegetables offered in the market. The succulent root of Raphanus sativus (radish) is normally consumed. However, in times of food scarcity, the leaves are consumed by the poor people, while the roots are sold at a higher price. Corchorus capsularis and Corchorus olitorius are also two plants not often consumed by the people of Bangladesh, but consumed by poor villagers of Talbunia, as well as the poor sections of the urban slums, during times of food scarcity or when they were unable to afford costlier vegetables. The fruits of Lagenaria vulgaris are normally consumed by the Bangladesh people; the leaves were usually eaten by the poorer sections of the population of Talbunia during when food is scarce. The consumption of tubers of Dioscorea bulbifera is almost exclusively restricted to the rural and urban poor. Seeds of Lathyrus sativus are the part consumed by the poor households of Bangladesh; at times of food scarcity, the poverty-stricken people of Talbunia village were observed to consume the leaves as well. The consumption of the fruits of Trapa bispinosa is also almost exclusive to the poor people of the country.

It was of interest to note that, out of the 25 plants listed in Table 1, as consumed during times of food scarcity, 21 plants were also used by the folk medicinal and tribal medicinal practitioners throughout Bangladesh. The list of plants with medicinal properties and the ailments they are used to treat are shown in Table 2. It can be seen from Table 2 also that some plants used by folk and tribal medicinal practitioners have a direct bearing on health consequences resulting from food scarcity. For instance, Alternanthera sessilis, Amaranthus gangeticus, Colocasia esculenta, Chenopodium album, Lagenaria vulgaris, and Trapa bispinosa are often prescribed by the folk medicinal practitioners to provide necessary vitamins. Deficiency of vitamins, particularly vitamin A and other micronutrients is prevalent among the population of rural Bangladesh (Faruque, 2006; Alam, 2010; Jamil, 2008), and these deficiencies are likely to be exacerbated during times of food scarcity. As such, the above plants can be good sources for some daily vitamin requirements and provide relief from different manifestations of micro-nutrient deficiency. One such manifestation is anemia. Anemia has been widely reported in both children and adults in rural Bangladesh (Faruque, 2006; Akhter, 2010; Shakur, 2010; Ziauddin Hyder, 2001). Among the non-conventional plants, consumed by poor households, in Talbunia, Amaranthus gangeticus, Centella asiatica, Basella alba, Lagenaria vulgaris, Nymphaea nouchali, and Trapa bispinosa are used by folk medicinal practitioners for treating anemia. Thus these plants can also play a vital role in eradicating consequences of food deficiency.

Enydra fluctuans is also used by the folk medicinal practitioners to assuage malnutrition. Thus consumption of this plant can be of direct benefit to the people of Talbunia during periods of food scarcity. Other ethnomedicinal plants--Amaranthus gangeticus and Chenopodium album are prescribed by the folk medicinal practitioners as energy stimulants. Consumption of these plants can also then be useful during times of food scarcity when the body's energy level is low, due to insufficient caloric intake. Various plants like Amaranthus gangeticus, Centella asiatica, Enydra fluctuans, Basella alba, Dioscorea bulbifera, and Bacopa monnieri are prescribed by the folk medicinal practitioners as tonic, which is understood as invigorating the physical and mental state of people.

Because of the general lack of sanitation and due to poor quality of drinking water, helminthiasis and gastrointestinal disorders are endemic in rural Bangladesh. A study with 123 Bangladeshi children aged 2-5 years showed a prevalence of Ascaris lumbricoides in 78% of the children, a prevalence of Trichuris trichiura in 65%, and a prevalence of hook worm in 4% of the children (Northrop-Clewes, 2001). Helminthiasis has been observed to decrease nitrogen absorption from food (Brown, 1980). Children with hook worm infection are also prone to iron deficiency anemia (Persson, 2000). Thus, a vicious cycle can develop, when malnutrition occurring from food scarcity can lower the body's immune status making the people more susceptible to disease(s), and such diseases like helminthiasis or gastrointestinal disorders can adversely affect proper utilization or absorption in the body of nutrients of whatever food the affected people eat. Interestingly, among the plants consumed by the poor villagers of Talbunia mostly during food scarcity, six plants, namely, Centella asiatica, Colocasia esculenta, Typhonium trilobatum, Chenopodium album, Ipomoea aquatica, and Lagenaria vulgaris are also used by the folk medicinal practitioners for treatment of helminthiasis. Fifteen plants consumed by the poor people of Talbunia during times of food scarcity are also used by the folk medicinal practitioners to treat various gastrointestinal disorders.

Overall, findings suggest that the choice of plants consumed by the poverty-stricken people of Talbunia during times of food scarcity may not be haphazard choices but, rather, choices made upon careful selection of plants which probably is based upon many years of trial and error-based experiences. These plants need careful evaluation of their contents, as a basis for providing their wider use, among the population at large.


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(1) Alok Kumar Paul, (1) Hasan Al Arif, (1) Syeda Seraj, (1) Aynun Nahar, (1) Dilruba Nasrin, (2) Majeedul H. Chowdhury, (1) Farhana Islam, (1) Rownak Jahan, (1) A.B.M. Anwarul Bashar, (1) Robert Freedman, (1) Mohammed Rahmatullah

(1) Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Development Alternative, Dhanmondi, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2) Present address: New York City College of Technology The City University of New York 300 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA.

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


Fax: 88-02-8157339
Table 1: Non-conventional plant items eaten during food
scarcity by the poorer segments of the rural population of
Talbunia village, Rampal Upazilla (sub-district), Bagerhat
district, Bangladesh.

SN   Scientific Name

1    Asteracantha longifolia (L.) Nees syn.
     Hygrophila auriculata (Schumach.) Heine
     English: Hygrophila, Marsh Barbel

2    Alternanthera sessilis (L.) DC syn.
     Alternanthera nodiflora sensu Stewart,
     Alternanthera repens Gmel,
     Illecebrum sessile (L.) L.
     English: Sessile Joyweed

3    Amaranthus gangeticus L. syn.
     Amaranthus tricolor L.
     English: Chinese amaranth,
     Chinese spinach, Joseph's coat,
     Summer-poinsettia, Tampala

4    Centella asiatica (L.) Urb. syn.
     Hydrocotyle asiatica L.,
     Hydrocotyle erecta L. f.
     English: Asian pennywort, Asiatic coinwort,
     Asiatic pennywort, Indian pennywort,
     Indian water navelwort, Marsh penny, Marsh
     pennywort, Pennyweed, Sheep-rot, Spadeleaf,
     Thick-leaved pennywort, Water pennywort, White rot

5    Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott syn.
     Arum esculentum L., Caladium esculentum
     (L.) Vent., Colocasia antiquorum
     Schott , Colocasia antiquorum
     Schott var. esculenta (L.) Schott
     English names: Cocoyam, Dasheen,
     Eddo, Elephant's ear, Taro, Taro potato

6    Typhonium trilobatum (L.)
     Schott syn. Arum trilobatum
     L. (basionym)
     English: Bengal arum, Lobed
     leaf Typhonium

7    Enydra fluctuans Lour. syn.
     Cryphiospermum repens P. Beauv.,
     Enydra anagallis Gardner,
     Meyera fluctuans (Lour.) Spreng.

8    Basella alba L. syn. Basella
     cordifolia Lam., Basella rubra L.
     English: Malabar nightshade,
     Malabar climbing spinach,
     Malabar spinach

9    Chenopodium album L. syn.
     Anserina candicans Montandon,
     Atriplex alba (L.) Crantz, Blitum
     viride Moench, Chenopodium viride L.
     English: Common lamb's quarter,
     Fat hen, Lamb's quarter, Lamb's quarters,
     Meldweed, White goosefoot

10   Spinacia oleracea L. syn.
     Spinacia domestica Borkh.
     English: Spinach, Cultivated spinach

11   Ipomoea aquatica Forssk. syn.
     Ipomoea reptans (L.) Poiret, nom. Invalid.
     English: Chinese water spinach, Water
     convolvulus, Water spinach, Swamp
     cabbage, Swamp morning glory,
     Tropical spinach

12   Raphanus sativus L.
     English: Radish

13   Lagenaria vulgaris Ser. syn. Lagenaria
     siceraria (Molina) Standl., Cucurbita
     lagenaria L., Cucurbita siceraria Molina,
     Lagenaria leucantha Rusby, Cucurbita
     leucantha Duchesne
     English: Bottle gourd

14   Dioscorea bulbifera L. syn.
     Dioscorea sativa Thumb auct. non LD
     English: Air potato, Air yam, Bitter yam

15   Dryopteris filix-max (L.) Schott syn.
     Polypodium filix-mas L., Lastrea filix-mas
     (L.) C. Presl., Aspidium filix-mas (L.)
     Swartz, Filix-Mas filix-mas Farwell,
     Polystichum filix-mas (L.) Roth,
     Tectaria filix-mas Cav., Thelypteris
     filix-mas Nieuwl.
     English: Common male Fern, Male Fern

16   Lathyrus sativus L.
     English: White pea, Grass pea

17   Tamarindus indica L. syn. Tamarindus
     occidentalis Gaertn., Tamarindus
     officinalis Hook., Tamarindus umbrosa
     English: Indian date, Sweet tamarind,

18   Glinus oppositifolius (L.) Aug.
     DC. syn. Mollugo oppositifolia
     L., Mollugo spergula L.
     English: Bitter leaf (Australia)

19   Nymphaea nouchali Burm.f. syn.
     Castalia acutiloba (DC.) Hand.-Mazz.,
     Castalia stellaris Salisb., Castalia stellata
     (Willd.) Blume, Leuconymphaea stellata
     (Willd.) Kuntze, Nymphaea acutiloba DC.
     English: Blue lotus

20   Oxalis corniculata L. syn. Oxalis
     micrantha Bojko, Oxalis repens
     Thunberg, Xanthoxalis corniculata Small
     English: Yellow wood-sorrel, Creeping
     wood-sorrel, Creeping oxalis, Creeping
     lady's sorrel, Procumbent yellow-sorrel
21   Bacopa monnieri (L.) Pennell syn.
     Bacopa monnieri (L.) Wettst,
     Bramia monnieri (L.) Pennell,
     Bramia monniera (R. Br.) Pennell,
     Gratiola monnieri L, Herpestis monniera
     (L.) Kuntze, Lysimachia monnieri
     L., Septas repens Lour.
     English: Bacopa, Brain plant, Coastal
     waterhyssop (Wang) , Herb of grace,
     Indian pennywort, Moneywort, Monnier's
     bacopa,  Thyme-leaved gratiola, Water
     hyssop, White hyssop

22   Corchorus capsularis L. syn.
     Corchorus cordifolius Salisb.,
     Corchorus marua Buch.-Ham.,
     nom. Nudum
     English: Bangla white jute
     (India), Jute, White jute

23   Corchorus olitorius L. syn. Corchous
     catharticus Blanco, Corchous
     decemangularis Roxb., Corchous
     lobatus Wildem., Corchous
     quinquelocularis Moench
     English: Bangla tossa jute (India), Bush
     okra, Jew's mallow, Long-fruited jute,
     Nalta jute, Nalita jute, Red jute,
     Tossa jute, West African sorrel

24   Trapa bispinosa Roxb. syn.
     Trapa natans L. var. Bispinosa
     (Roxb.) Makino, Trapa bicornis
     Osbeck var. bispinosa (Roxb.) Nakano
     English: Singhara nut

25   Cissus trifoliata (L.) L. syn.
     Vitis trifoliata (L.) Morales,
     Sicyos trifoliata L., Cissus
     incisa (Nutt. ex Torr. &
     A. Gray) Des Moul.
     English: Arizona Grape
     Ivy, Sorrelvine

SN   Family Name            Local Name             Plant part(s) eaten

1    Acanthaceae            Kule khara             Leaf, new stems

2    Amaranthaceae          Malancha               Leaf, new stems

3    Amaranthaceae          Lal shak               Leaf

4    Apiaceae               Thankuni               Leaf

5    Araceae                Kochu                  Leaf, rhizome

6    Araceae                Ghatkul, Ghetkun       Leaf

7    Asteraceae             Helencha               Leaf, new stems

8    Basellaceae            Pui shak               Leaf

9    Chenopodiaceae         Beto shak              Leaf, new stems

10   Chenopodiaceae         Palong shak            Leaf

11   Convolvulaceae         Kolmi                  Leaf, new stems

12   Cruciferae             Mula shak              Leaf

13   Cucurbitaceae          Lau shak               Leaf

14   Dioscoreaceae          Matae alu              Tuber

15   Dryopteridaceae        Dheki shak             Leaf, new stem

16   Fabaceae               Keshari shak           Leaf

17   Fabaceae               Tetul                  Leaf, fruit pulp

18   Molluginaceae          Ghema shak             Leaf, new stems

19   Nymphaeaceae           Shapla                 Flower stems

20   Oxalidaceae            Ambali shak            Leaf

21   Scrophulariaceae       Brahmi                 Leaf, new stems

22   Tiliaceae              Pat shak               Leaf

23   Tiliaceae              Pat shak               Leaf

24   Trapaceae              Panifol                Fruit pulp

25   Vitaceae               Amla lota              Matured fruit
                                                   pulp Soup.

SN   Mode of eating

1    Cooked, fried.

2    Cooked, fried, soup.

3    Cooked, fried, soup.

4    Cooked, fried,
     soup, raw intake.

5    Cooked, fried.

6    Cooked, fried, soup.

7    Cooked1, fried2,
     soup3, mashed4.

8    Cooked, fried,
     soup, mashed.

9    Cooked, fried,
     soup (with
     addition of
     tamarind, i.e.
     fruit of
     indica added).

10   Cooked, fried,

11   Cooked, fried,
     soup, mashed.

12   Cooked, fried, soup.

13   Cooked, fried, soup,

14   Cooked, fried, soup.

15   Cooked, fried.

16   Boiled5.

17   Soup.

18   Cooked, fried, soup.

19   Cooked, fried, soup
     (with fish if it
     can be afforded).

20   Cooked, fried, soup.

21   Cooked, fried,
     soup, mashed,
     raw extract6.

22   Cooked, fried, soup.

23   Cooked, fried, soup.

24   Raw intake,
     cooked, fried.


(1) Cooked. At times of food scarcity and in poverty-
stricken households, cooking usually takes the form of
boiling the washed plant part(s) or vegetables in water till
they gets soft enough to eat. The plant part(s) are then
eaten with a little added salt. Under normal cooking
conditions for vegetables, raw or powdered dried pepper,
ginger, garlic, cumin, onion, coriander, turmeric and salt
is added to hot oil at first and fried a little followed by
addition of vegetable and water, which is then cooked for
some time. Shrimp and fish pieces form normal additions to
cooked vegetables and are added to vegetables during

(2) Fried. At times of food scarcity and in poverty-stricken
households, frying usually takes the form of turning over
washed plant part(s) in a little hot oil with the addition
of salt. Under normal cooking conditions, plant part(s),
i.e. vegetables are fried usually in the following manner.
Vegetables are first boiled along with hot peppers, turmeric
and salt; then garlic, onion and cumin is added to the
boiled portion and the mix is fried in oil. Very affluent
households use ghee (clarified butter) for frying.

(3) Soup. At times of food scarcity and in poverty-stricken
households, soup usually takes the form of boiling washed
plant part(s) in water with the addition of a little salt
and turmeric, the latter being added as a spice. Normally,
in affluent households, soup making is an elaborate process
utilizing various spices like ginger, hot peppers, garlic,
onion, coriander, cumin and slow cooking over a low flame.
Corn flour is added also as a thickener. Soups in affluent
households are usually of fish or meat; vegetable soup apart
from lentil soup is not a usual food item in Bangladesh.

(4) Mashed. At times of food scarcity and in
poverty-stricken households, mashed items usually take the
form of boiling plant part(s) i.e. vegetables in water till
they are soft. The plant part(s) are then taken out and
grinded with a shil-nora (flat piece of stone on which
materials are grinded with another piece of stone). They are
then made into a dough-like shape with hands and eaten.
Salt, oil, hot peppers and onion slices may be added to the
mash depending on financial ability of the household. In
normal times and in poverty non-stricken households, mashed
items can include leafy vegetables, tubers like potatoes,
fish or even meat. The vegetable is first cooked with spices
beforehand before mashing, and then mustard oil is usually
added to the mash prior consumption. The vegetable can be
fried slightly after mashing (as with potatoes), and more
spices like onion added during the mash making process.

(5) Boiled. The leaves are simply boiled in water and eaten.

(6) Raw extract is taken only during times of food scarcity.
The plant or plant part is crushed to squeeze the juice and
the juice taken orally. Occasionally, the whole plant or
plant part may be chewed in the raw state.

Table 2: Folk medicinal uses of various plants consumed by the
poor people of Talbunia village during times of food scarcity.

Scientific      Plant                  Ailments treated by
name of         parts used             folk and tribal
plant                                  medicinal

Asteracantha    1. Seed                1. Insomnia, kidney stones.
(L.) Nees       2. Seed                2. Low sperm count. Gum of
                                       Lannea grandis is mixed with
                3. Fruit               seeds of Asteracantha
                                       longifolia and soaked with
                                       water overnight. The following
                                       morning, the water is drunk as
                                       treatment for low sperm count.

                                       3. To increase libido. Pills
                                       are made from a mixture of
                                       crushed bark of Alstonia
                                       scholaris and fruits of
                                       Asteracantha longifolia.
                                       1 pill is taken with honey
                                       thrice daily.

Alternanthera   1. Whole plant         1. Poultice used for boils,
sessilis                               eye trouble.
(L.) DC
                2. Whole plant         2. Tiger bite, colic.

                3. Whole plant         3. Anal pain, diarrhea.

                4. Whole plant         4. Strong spasms, fever.

                5. Leaf, root          5. Stomachache.

                6. Root                6. Analgesic, blood clotting.

                7. Leaf                7. Gonorrhea, low semen,

                8. Whole plant         8. Snake bite, eczema,
                                       fistula, vitamin source,

                9. Whole plant         9. Stomachic, skin eruption,
                                       poultice, wound, insect
                                       repellent, cough.

                10. Whole plant        10. Red eyes.

                11. Whole              11. Dysentery. The whole plant
                plant, leaf            or leaves are cooked and eaten
                                       for 3 days.

Amaranthus      1. Leaf, stem,         1. Anti-hemorrhagic, vitamins,
                bark                   skin diseases.

gangeticus      2. Leaf, stem,         2. Tonic, vitamins, colic,
                root                   stop bleeding.

L.              3. Whole plant         3. Increase blood, energy

                4. Leaf                4. Dysentery.

Centella        1. Whole plant         (1.) Tonic,
                2. Whole plant         sedative, fever,
asiatica        3. Whole plant         cold, leucorrhea,
(L.) Urb.       4. Whole plant         anxiolytic.
                5. Whole plant
                6. Whole plant         (2.) Dog bite,
                7. Whole plant         asthma, carminative,
                8. Leaf                itch, leucorrhoea,
                9. Root                malaria, tumor,
                10. Leaf               wound.
                11. Leaf
                12. Whole plant        (3.) Diarrhea
                13. Leaf               (child), liver
                14. Whole plant        disease, itch,
                15. Whole plant        constipation,
                16. Leaf               increases blood.
                17. Leaf,
                whole plant            (4.) Dysentery,
                18. Whole              lunacy.
                plant, leaf
                19. Whole plant        (5.) Carminative,
                20. Whole plant        sexual disorder.
                21. Leaf
                22. Leaf               (6.) Dysentery,
                23. Whole plant        fever, wound.
                24. Whole plant
                25. Leaf               (7.) Dysentery.
                26. Whole plant
                27. Whole plant
                28. Whole plant        (8.) Dysentery, eye
                29. Whole plant        sight improvement,
                30. Leaf               headache, burning
                31. Whole plant        sensation in hand or
                32. Leaf               leg.
                33. Whole plant
                34. Whole plant        (9.) To control
                35. Whole plant        urine, increase eye
                36. Leaf               sight, sex
                37. Leaf, root         stimulant.
                38. Leaf juice
                39. Whole              (10.) Diuretic,
                plant, root            stomach disorders.
                40. Root
                41. Leaf, root         (11.) Helminthiasis,
                42. Whole plant        stomachache.
                43. Whole
                plant, leaf            (12.) Body ache,
                44. Leaf               dysentery.
                juice, whole plant
                45. Whole plant        (13.) Indigestion,
                46. Whole plant        stomach infection.
                47. Leaf, root
                                       (14.) Skin diseases,
                                       improving memory.

                                       (15.) Carminative,

                                       (16.) Stomach ache,

                                       (17.) Common cold
                                       (leaf); rabies,
                                       gastric ulcer,
                                       intestinal disorders
                                       (whole plant).

                                       (18.) Tonic,
                                       cleansing herb for
                                       skin problems,
                                       dysentery, digestive
                                       disorders; cataract,
                                       eye problems (leaf).

                                       (19.) Bone fracture.

                                       (20.) Acne,
                                       dysentery, energy

                                       (21.) Blood
                                       disorders, fever.

                                       (22.) Dysentery.

                                       (23.) Lack of breast
                                       milk after

                                       (24.) Insecticide,
                                       blood dysentery,
                                       tumor, virility,
                                       tuberculosis, boil.

                                       (25.) Gastric
                                       disorder, stomach
                                       pain, diarrhea,
                                       blood dysentery,
                                       fever, cough.

                                       (26.) Intestinal
                                       disease, cataract
                                       and other eye
                                       disease, wound,

                                       toothache, laxative,
                                       leucorrhoea, eczema.

                                       (28.) Eye disease,
                                       fever, colic.

                                       (29.) Tuberculosis,
                                       cholera, nerve

                                       (30.) Passing of
                                       semen with urine.

                                       (31.) Fever, mucus,
                                       skin diseases,
                                       dysentery, increase
                                       strength, appetite
                                       digestive, pain,
                                       children's fever and
                                       mucus (very fast

                                       (32.) Blood
                                       purifier, fever,
                                       diabetes. Leaves are
                                       boiled in water and
                                       the decoction taken
                                       with honey to purify
                                       blood. Leaf juice is
                                       mixed with leaf
                                       juice of Nyctanthes
                                       arbor tristis and a
                                       little sugar to cure
                                       fever. Crushed
                                       leaves are taken
                                       with powdered mishri
                                       as remedy for

                                       (33.) Dysentery,
                                       stimulate brain

                                       (34.) Dysentery,
                                       intestinal pain.

                                       (35.) Dysentery,

                                       (36.) Diarrhea,
                                       gastric problems.

                                       (37.) Cataract in
                                       goats (leaf), to
                                       keep head cool
                                       (leaf), diabetes
                                       (leaf), swelling in
                                       eyes, conjunctivitis
                                       (root). Leaf juice
                                       is applied with salt
                                       to eyes of goats.
                                       Leaf juice is
                                       applied to head to
                                       keep it cool. Leaf
                                       juice is taken to
                                       control diabetes.
                                       Roots are tied
                                       around the ear
                                       (right ear for
                                       problems in the left
                                       eye and vice-versa;
                                       if problem is in
                                       both eyes, root
                                       should be tied
                                       around both ears)
                                       for swelling in eyes
                                       or conjunctivitis.

                                       (38.) Dysentery,
                                       fever, coughs.

                                       (39.) Dysentery
                                       (whole plant),
                                       stoppage of
                                       menstruation (root).

                                       (40.) Piles.

                                       (41.) Leprosy,
                                       fever, blood
                                       dysentery, diarrhea.

                                       (42.) Indigestion,
                                       appetite stimulant.

                                       (43.) Dysentery,
                                       stomachache, to
                                       increase memory.

                                       (44.) Dysentery,
                                       cataract, stomach

                                       disorders. Whole
                                       plant is either
                                       boiled or cooked and
                                       eaten once daily for
                                       1 day.

                                       (46.) Ulcer. Seeds
                                       of Carum copticum
                                       are soaked in water
                                       and the water taken
                                       every night followed
                                       by taking of
                                       Centella asiatica
                                       juice in the

                                       (47.) Anemia,
                                       vomiting, stomach
                                       pain. Leaves and
                                       roots of Centella
                                       asiatica are
                                       macerated with whole
                                       plants of Cynodon
                                       dactylon and mishri
                                       (crystalline sugar).
                                       One teaspoonful of
                                       the decoction is
                                       taken with one
                                       teaspoonful of honey
                                       twice daily.

                                       Infection of the
                                       uterus. Leaves and
                                       roots of Centella
                                       asiatica are
                                       macerated with whole
                                       plants of Cynodon
                                       dactylon, Amaranthus
                                       spinosus and mishri
                                       (crystalline sugar).
                                       The decoction is
                                       taken with a little
                                       sugar for 21 days.

Colocasia       1. Leaf,               1. Indigestion, cancer,
esculenta       root, stem             baldness, abortion,
(L.)            2. Whole plant         piles, tuberculosis.
Schott          3. Whole plant
                4. Whole plant         2. Cancer, edema, stomach
                5. Whole plant         ache, boil.
                6. Whole plant
                7. Leaf, stem          3. Piles, diarrhea,
                8. Whole plant         dysentery, wound,
                9. Leaf                cow's/goat's dysentery or
                juice, stem            cooling.
                10. Whole plant
                11. Whole plant        4. Indigestion,
                12. Plant sap          anti-poisonous.
                13. Whole plant
                14. Whole              5. Allergic disorders.
                plant, stem
                15. Leaf, stem         6. Tonic, gastritis,
                16. Whole plant        piles, alopecia.
                17. Tuber
                                       7. Alopecia,
                                       constipation, tumor.

                                       8. Astringent, vitamin,
                                       colic, dermatitis.

                                       9. Astringent, vegetable,
                                       carminative, scar, tumor,
                                       to induce male/female

                                       10. Indigestion,
                                       stimulate energy, colic,
                                       scar, dermatitis,
                                       poultice, wound.

                                       11. Astringent,
                                       dermatitis, carminative,
                                       tiger bite,
                                       helminthiasis, emetic.

                                       12. To stop bleeding.

                                       13. Colic, indigestion.

                                       14. Anti-hemorrhagic
                                       (whole plant), blood
                                       purifier, to strengthen
                                       bones (stem).

                                       15. Rheumatic pain,

                                       16. Severe jaundice,
                                       digestive aid,

                                       17. Rheumatic pain,
                                       paralysis. Tubers are
                                       fried in ghee (clarified
                                       butter) or mustard oil
                                       and massaged onto
                                       affected areas.

Typhonium       1. Stem, bark,         1. Tonic,
trilobatum      leaf                   cancer, piles,
(L.)                                   boil.
                2. Whole plant         2. Rheumatoid

                3. Whole plant         3. Snake bite,
                                       male/female sex

                4. Leaf                4. Appetite

                5. Leaf, tuber,        5. Cancer,
                tuber root             tumor,

                6. Leaf,               6. Cattle ulcer.
                petiole, root

                7. Leaf                7. Rheumatism.

                8. Whole plant         8. Body ache,

                9. Leaf, stem          9. Body ache.

                10. Leaf               10. Eczema.

                11. Whole plant        11. Tonic, piles.

                12. Whole plant        12. Piles,
                                       liver disease,

                13. Whole plant        13.
                                       antidote to
                                       poison, spleen

                14. Leaf               14. Loss of

                15. Leaf juice         15. Body ache.

                16. Leaf, stem         16. Blood

Enydra          1. The whole plant     1. Nervous disorders,
fluctuans       2. Whole plant         hepatitis, edema, skin
Lour.           3. Whole plant         diseases, colic.
                4. Whole plant
                5. Whole plant         2. Dermatitis,
                6. Whole plant         astringent.
                7. Whole plant
                8. Leaf, stem          3. Dysentery.
                9. Whole plant
                10. Whole plant
                11. Whole plant        4. Liver disease,
                12. Whole plant        stomachache, tiger bite.
                13. Whole plant
                14. Leaf               5. Tonic, dysentery.
                15. Leaf juice
                16. Whole plant
                17. Leaf, stem         6. Hepatitis.
                18. Leaf
                19. Leaf juice
                20. Stem               7. Skin diseases,

                                       8. Chicken pox.

                                       9. Anti-inflammatory,
                                       liver diseases, boil,

                                       10. Nerve disorders,

                                       11. Tonic, stomachache,

                                       12. Rabies, CNS cooling,
                                       carminative, vegetable,

                                       13. Rheumatoid arthritis,
                                       constipation, itch,
                                       virility, appetizer,

                                       14. Diabetes, low semen
                                       density, debility,

                                       15. Poisoning of body.

                                       16. Biliary problems,
                                       burning sensations in
                                       hands and legs, eye sight

                                       17. Malnutrition.

                                       18. Any ailment related
                                       to blood, leucorrhea.

                                       19. Gastric ulcer. %
                                       glass juice obtained from
                                       squeezed leaves of Enydra
                                       fuctuans is mixed with %
                                       glass juice obtained from
                                       crushed whole plants of
                                       Scoparia dulcis and taken
                                       every morning on an empty
                                       stomach for 3 weeks.

                                       20. To keep head cool,
                                       burning sensations in the
                                       body. Roots of Coccinia
                                       grandis are macerated
                                       with roots of Costus
                                       speciosus, stems of
                                       Ipomoea aquatica and
                                       Enydra fluctuans and
                                       applied to the head to
                                       keep head cool and reduce
                                       burning sensations in the

Basella         1. Leaf, stem, bark    1. Syphilis, intestine
alba L.         2. Whole plant         disorders, tumor,
                3. Mucilaginous cooked leucorrhoea, acne.
                4. Leaf, immature      2. Carminative, dwarf
                seeds (fruit)          tonic.
                5. Whole plant
                6. Whole plant         3. Intestinal disorders.
                7. Whole plant
                8. Leaf, seed
                9. Leaf, root, seed    4. Intestinal disorders.
                10. Leaf juice, seed
                11. Whole plant
                12. Leaf, stem         5. Insomnia.
                13. Leaf
                14. Leaf, stem
                                       6. Syphilis, stomachache,

                                       7. Cancer, indigestion.

                                       8. Earache, carminative,
                                       syphilis, itch

                                       9. Syphilis, sore throat,
                                       acne, itch, liver

                                       10. Vegetable, blood
                                       producer, scabies, colic.

                                       11. Tonic, tumor, stop
                                       bleeding, burn.

                                       12. Anemia in women,
                                       coughs, cold (leaf with
                                       stem), old infections
                                       (leaf). Leaf and stem is
                                       eaten as remedy for
                                       anemia in women, coughs,
                                       and cold. Leaf juice is
                                       applied to old

                                       13. Burns, to increase
                                       weight (fattiness).

                                       14. Acne, abscess, skin

Chenopodium     1. Whole plant         1. Liver diseases,
album L.        2. Whole plant         analgesic, helminthiasis,

                                       2. Hepatic disorder,
                                       tiger bite, scar, energy
                                       increaser, vitamin

Ipomoea         1. The whole plant     1. Ecbolic, nervous
aquatica        2. Whole plant         disorders, helminthiasis,
Forssk.         3. Whole plant         piles, hurt.
                4. Leaf
                5. Leaf, whole plant   2. Boil,
                6. Leaf                anti-inflammatory,
                7. Leaf, stem          eczema.
                8. Whole plant
                9. Leaf, stem          3. Blood purifier.
                10. Whole plant
                11. Whole plant
                12. Root               4. Chicken pox.
                13. Leaf
                14. Whole plant
                15. Stem               5. Stop bleeding from
                                       external wounds.

                                       6. Rheumatic swelling.

                                       7. Diabetes.

                                       8. Helminthiasis, edema,

                                       9. Vegetable, snake bite,
                                       astringent, skin

                                       10. Snake bite, piles,
                                       indigestion, burns.

                                       11. Gall bladder stones.
                                       Juice from crushed whole
                                       plant is mixed with
                                       powdered Polyalthia
                                       longifolia and taken. The
                                       mixture should not be
                                       taken too often.

                                       12. Diabetes.

                                       13. Increase lactation in
                                       nursing mothers,

                                       14. Gonorrhea, low sperm

                                       15. To keep head cool,
                                       burning sensations in the
                                       body. Roots of Coccinia
                                       grandis are macerated
                                       with roots of Costus
                                       speciosus, stems of
                                       Ipomoea aquatica and
                                       Enydra fluctuans and
                                       applied to the head to
                                       keep head cool and reduce
                                       burning sensations in the

Raphanus        1. Root (fleshy portion1. Expectorant,
sativus L.      2. Leaf, fruit         indigestion, liver
                3. Root                diseases, insomnia.
                4. Root
                5. Root                2. Gastritis, blood
                                       dysentery, sexual

                                       3. Kidney disorders.

                                       4. Increases digestion,
                                       decreases acidity. Roots
                                       are eaten.

                                       5. Edema.

Lagenaria       1. Leaf, seed, fruit   1. Tonic, helminthiasis,
vulgaris        2. Leaf, stem, fruit   acne.
Ser.            3. Leaf, seed, fruit
                4. Leaf, fruit, seed   2. Earache, gastritis,
                5. Leaf                edema, gout, heart
                6. Fruit               disorder.
                7. Leaf juice
                                       3. Jaundice, cooling,
                                       fever, cough.

                                       4. Swelling, rheumatoid
                                       arthritis, small pox, eye
                                       disorder, dermatitis.

                                       5. Ear disease (pus
                                       formation in ears).

                                       6. To keep head cool,
                                       cholera in children. The
                                       juice that comes out
                                       while cutting the fruit
                                       is applied to head to
                                       keep head cool. The same
                                       juice is taken with
                                       orange peels as remedy
                                       for cholera in children.

                                       7. Pain in the umbilicus
                                       due to worm, vitamin
                                       source, anemia.

Dioscorea       1. Leaf, stem, fruit   1. Goiter, cancer,
bulbifera       2. Leaf, seed, fruit   syphilis,
L.              3. Fruit, tuber root   anti-hemorrhagic,
                4. Leaf, fruit         antidote, piles.
                5. Root, fruit
                6. Leaf, fruit         2. Cancer, syphilis,
                7. Leaf, fruit         goiter, hurt, piles,
                8. Root, fruit         hernia, astringent, itch.
                9. Root, fruit
                10. Root, fruit        3. Anti-inflammatory,
                11. Fruit              tumor, scabies.
                12. Fruit
                13. Whole plant        4. Syphilis, diarrhea.
                14. Root
                15. Fruit
                16. Fruit              5. Goiter, sex stimulant,

                                       6. Elephantiasis.

                                       7. Vegetable, diarrhea,

                                       8. Cancer, hernia,

                                       9. Hernia, stimulate sex.

                                       10. Tonic, goiter,

                                       11. Goiter,
                                       anti-hemorrhagic, gargle,
                                       carminative, diarrhea,

                                       12. Nutritive, sexual

                                       13. Sprain,

                                       14. To increase sexual

                                       15. Diarrhea,
                                       indigestion. Boiled
                                       fruits are mixed with
                                       salt and boiled rice and
                                       pills are made from the
                                       mixture the size of
                                       marbles. 1 pill is taken
                                       thrice daily.

                                       16. To increase libido.
                                       Roots of Urena lobata are
                                       mixed with fruit of
                                       Disocorea bulbifera,
                                       roots of Asparagus
                                       racemosus and
                                       Aristolochia indica,
                                       whole plants of Rauwolfia
                                       serpentina, Rauwolfia
                                       tetraphylla, and Cyperus
                                       rotundus, milk, sugar,
                                       and honey and cooked. The
                                       cooked product is taken
                                       once daily for 7 days.

Lathyrus        1. Leaf, bark, seed    1. Antidote, wound,
sativus L.      2. Seed                dysentery, carminative.

                                       2. Scabies, eczema,
                                       allergy. 4-5 leaves of
                                       Datura metel are boiled
                                       with 1 poa (local measure
                                       approximating 250g) seeds
                                       of Lathyrus sativus in
                                       water in a vessel till
                                       the water dries up. The
                                       vessel is then tilted to
                                       one side, when juice
                                       flows from the dried
                                       portion to the tilted
                                       side. 4 drops of that
                                       juice is taken twice
                                       daily in the morning and
                                       night time on an empty
                                       stomach for 3 weeks.

Tamarindus      1. Leaf, fruit, seed   1. Diabetes, appetizer,
indica L.       2. Leaf, fruit, seed   jaundice, eczema,
                3. Leaf, fruit, seed   conjunctivitis.
                4. Leaf, seed
                5. Whole plant         2. Conjunctivitis,
                6. Fruit, seed         rheumatoid arthritis,
                7. Fruit, seed         heart diseases, piles.
                8. Fruit juice, seed
                9. Fruit               3. Sperm mortality,
                10. Fruit, seed        analgesic.
                11. Leaf juice, fruit
                12. Gum                4. Dysentery, skin
                13. Seed               disease.
                14. Leaf, fruit
                15. Fruit, seed        5. Diabetes, anorexia,
                16. Fruit, seed        insect repellent,
                17. Stem, fruit, seed  cow's/goat's inability to
                18. Fruit, seed        move tongue, cattle
                19. Whole plant        dysentery.
                20. Leaf
                21. Leaf               6. Jaundice,
                22. Leaf, fruit        anti-inflammatory,
                23. Fruit              diuretic.
                24. Seed
                25. Ripe fruit         7. Diabetes, fever.
                26. Leaf
                27. Leaf juice, flower
                28. Fruit              8. Gastritis, diabetes,
                29. Gum                cold, anorexia,

                                       9. Skin infections.

                                       10. Diabetes, fever.

                                       11. Rheumatoid arthritis,
                                       carminative, obesity.

                                       12. Lack of milk in women
                                       before and after

                                       13. Diabetes.

                                       14. Gynecological
                                       disorders, hurt,
                                       appetizer, colic.

                                       15. Rheumatoid arthritis,
                                       appetizer, itch.

                                       16. Blood and gall
                                       bladder diseases,
                                       cooling, to increase
                                       semen, sex stimulant,
                                       strengthen heart, aids

                                       17. Jaundice, anorexia,
                                       diabetes, sore throat,
                                       piles, diarrhea in cows
                                       and pigs.

                                       18. Fever, stop vomiting
                                       (fruit), asthma (seed).

                                       19. Diabetes, jaundice,
                                       anorexia, waist pain,
                                       malaria, dysentery,
                                       cow's/sheep's loss of
                                       tongue movement.

                                       20. Syphilis, infections
                                       within the penis,
                                       difficulties in
                                       urination, burning
                                       sensations during

                                       21. Dysentery, burning
                                       sensations during

                                       22. Chronic dysentery,
                                       rheumatic pain, cold,
                                       oral lesions (leaf),
                                       burning sensations in
                                       hands or feet (fruit).
                                       Leaves, boiled in water
                                       are taken for chronic
                                       dysentery. Boiled leaves
                                       are applied to areas of
                                       rheumatic pain. Boiled
                                       leaves are taken with a
                                       little salt for cold.
                                       Water in which leaves
                                       have been boiled is
                                       gargled for oral lesions.
                                       Water in which fruit has
                                       been soaked is taken
                                       every morning to treat
                                       burning sensations in
                                       hands or feet.

                                       23. Coughs.

                                       24. Diabetes.

                                       25. Spleen problems, to
                                       reduce obesity.

                                       26. Bleeding due to

                                       27. Eye diseases,
                                       cataract, rheumatism,

                                       28. High blood pressure.
                                       Fruits are soaked in
                                       water and the water taken
                                       once daily on an empty

                                       29. To increase milk
                                       production in cows. Roots
                                       from small Melia
                                       azedarach plants are
                                       mixed with gum of
                                       Tamarindus indica and fed
                                       to cows twice daily for 7

Glinus          1. Leaf                1. Digestive aid.
oppositifolius  2. Whole plant
(L.) Aug.       3. Leaf
                4. Leaf, root          2. Stomachic, itch, skin
                                       diseases, earache.

                                       3. To keep the body cool.
                                       Leaves are cooked and

                                       4. Burning sensations in
                                       hands, feet or head.
                                       Stems of Ipomoea aquatica
                                       and leaves and roots of
                                       Glinus oppositifolius are
                                       macerated together and
                                       applied to hands, feet or

Nymphaea        1. The whole plant     1. Indigestion, perfume,
nouchali        2. Whole plant         heart diseases, anti-
Burm.f.         3. Stem                hemorrhagic.
                4. Immediate upper
                portion of root        2. Stomachache, heart
                5. Root tops           disease.
                6. Root cluster
                7. Whole plant         3. Cancer.
                8. Whole plant
                9. Whole plant
                10. Leaf, flower       4. Menstruating women and
                11. Stem               men having urinary

                                       5. Urinary problem,

                                       6. Urinary problem,
                                       burning sensations in
                                       urinary tract, leucorrhea
                                       in women.

                                       7. Stomachache,
                                       menstruation control.

                                       8. Astringent,
                                       menstruation control,
                                       diarrhea, indigestion.

                                       9. Indigestion, diabetes.

                                       10. Anti-hemorrhagic,

                                       11. Anemia, biliary
                                       disorders, menstrual

Oxalis          1. Leaf                1. Indigestion in cattle.
corniculata     2. Whole plant
L.                                     2. Carminative, dysentery.

Bacopa          1. Whole plant         1. Nervous disorders,
monnieri        2. Whole plant         epilepsy, rheumatoid
(L.)            3. Whole plant         arthritis, asthma.
Pennell         4. Whole plant
                5. Whole plant         2. Tonic, nervous
                6. Leaf                stimulant.
                7. Whole plant
                                       3. Insomnia, brain tonic,

                                       4. Tonic, nervous
                                       disorders, rheumatoid
                                       arthritis, coughs.

                                       5. To keep brain healthy,
                                       to increase memory.

                                       6. Memory improvement,
                                       epilepsy, mucus, broken

                                       7. Blood pressure,
                                       dyspnea (labored or
                                       difficult breathing).

Corchorus       1. Whole plant         1. Indigestion, edema,
capsularis      2. Leaf                diarrhea, itch,
L.                                     cow's/goat's dysentery or

                                       2. Stomachache.

Trapa           1. Tuber or            1. Cancer, bronchitis,
bispinosa       tuber root             edema, astringent, fever,
Roxb.                                  dysentery.
                2. Fruit
                                       2. Vitamin C source,
                                       iron-deficiency diseases.

Information on the various folk medicinal uses described for
the plants in Table 2 have been collected from folk
medicinal and tribal medicinal practitioners throughout
various regions of Bangladesh.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Original Articles
Author:Paul, Alok Kumar; Al Arif, Hasan; Seraj, Syeda; Nahar, Aynun; Nasrin, Dilruba; Chowdhury, Majeedul H
Publication:Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9BANG
Date:Mar 1, 2011
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