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An ethnoveterinary survey of medicinal plants used to treat cattle diseases in Birishiri area, Netrakona district, Bangladesh.

Introduction

Pastoralists and cattle farmers in various under-developed regions of the world have long relied on and still use medicinal plants for treatment of cattle diseases. Partly this has been due to lack of access to modern veterinarians and price of modern medicines; however, in part these traditional practices are continuing because the users believe that medicinal plants are more efficacious for treatment of cattle ailments than modern medicines. The use of 20 medicinal plants for treatment of ruminant diseases has been described in the ethnoveterinary practices of Trinidad and Tobago (Lans, C. and G. Brown, 1998). Ethnoveterinary medical practice has been reported to be widespread among herdsmen and village livestock producers in northern Nigeria. Traditional remedies in this area include plant extracts and various plant parts (Alawa, J.P., 2002). The Setswana-speaking people in the Madikwe area of the North West Province of South Africa utilize 45 plant species belonging to 24 families to treat cattle diseases (D. van der Merwe, 2001).The local people of Bulamogi county, Uganda utilize 38 plant species distributed in 37 genera and 28 families to treat cattle diseases prevalent in their cattle (Tabuti, J.R., 2003). In the southern Punjab region of Pakistan, the herdsmen use a number of plants like Lamium amplexicaule, Mallotus philippinensis, Withania somnifera, Azadirachta indica, and Citrullus colocynthis as anthelmintics for their cattle (Jabbar, A., 2006). It has been reported that the Tsonga speaking people of South Africa utilize 19 plant species belonging to 12 families as remedies for cattle diseases (Luseba, D. and D. Van der Merwe, 2006).

Ethnoveterinary use of 128 plants has been documented in British Columbia, Canada for treatment of ruminants (Lans, C., 2007). An ethnoveterinary survey conducted at the Bale Mountains National Park and adjacent areas, Ethiopia observed the use of 74 veterinary medicinal plant species for treatment of 25 animal ailments (Yineger, H., 2007). The use of 66 plant species has been documented to treat reproductive disorders of cows and buffaloes in Sargodha district of Pakistan (Dilshad, S.M., 2008). It has been reported that the people of Karamoja of northern Uganda chiefly rely on ethnoveterinary knowledge to control common livestock health problems. The use of 209 plant species has been documented from that region (Grade, J.T., 2009).

Bangladesh is primarily an agricultural country with the majority of the population residing in rural areas. Their main occupation is agriculture. Cattle (cows, goats, and buffaloes) is kept in most households primarily for ploughing fields (cows, buffaloes), but also as means of transport (bullock or buffalo-drawn carts are still a common sight in most villages). The animals also serve as a source of milk and meat for both home consumption as well as selling to the urban population. Other uses include using cattle dung as fertilizer and fuel. Cows are also used to thresh paddy in a substantial number of rural households. The number of cattle kept in individual households is not many; on average a middle income household may have 2-4 animals. Large scale cattle farming is virtually absent in Bangladesh. Treatment of cattle diseases with medicinal plants has been practiced in Bangladesh over the centuries. Even with the advent of modern medicines for treatment of veterinary diseases, most farmers still rely to some extent on veterinary traditional medicinal healers for treatment of cattle ailments. This is because of the higher price of modern medicines and also because of the lack of accessibility to a modern veterinarian in the rural areas. The ethnoveterinary practices in Bangladesh remains to be documented. This poses serious concerns because traditional cattle healing knowledge is passed on within the healer's immediate family from generation to generation, and the newer generations are fast losing interest in the traditional ways and practices. It was the objective of the present study to document the uses of medicinal plants for treatment of cattle diseases in the Birishiri area of Netrakona district, Bangladesh.

Materials and Methods

An initial survey was carried out among the farmers of Birishiri area to identify the traditional healers. Information on medicinal plants was obtained from the healers with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and through open-ended interviews and guided dialogue techniques. Cattle ailments and symptoms as described by the healers were properly identified with the help of a trained veterinarian, who accompanied the interviewers throughout the present survey. A guided field-walk method (Maundu, P., 1995; Bachaya, H.A., 2009) was followed where the healers showed plants used by them to the interviewers and described their uses. All plant specimens as pointed out by the healers were collected and identified at the Bangladesh National Herbarium.

Results and Discussion

A total of 42 plant species distributed into 28 families were found to be used by the traditional cattle healers of Birishiri. The results are summarized in Table 1. The Anacardiaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, and Piperaceae families were represented by three plants per family. The various plant parts used included whole plant, leaf, stem, root, bark, seed, trunk, fruit, and flower. Leaves constituted the major portion of plant parts used (34.1%), followed by barks (15.9%) and whole plant (13.6%). The administration of plants included both oral and topical; for most diseases, oral administration was followed. We observed that for oral administration, the plant or plant parts was mixed with molasses to make the plant more palatable to cattle. The usual method was to cut up the plant or plant part into small pieces, mix it with molasses and given to the cattle mixed with water, mustard cake and rice bran. For topical administrations, crushed plant part, or juice obtained from crushed plant would be applied following mixing with oil. An exception was that of Coffea benghalensis, where the juice obtained from freshly plucked flowers were directly applied to eyes of cattle for treatment of cataract.

In general, the treatment did not vary between cows, goats and buffaloes. It was observed that only one plant--Ipomoea quamoclit was used for exclusive treatment of common cold in goats. The most common cattle ailments observed were fever, meningitis, gastrointestinal disorders, and helminthiasis. 8 plants were used for treatment of fever, 6 plants for treatment of meningitis, 5 plants for treatment of diarrhea or dysentery, and three plants for treatment of helminthiasis. Three plants were also used to treat loss of hair in cattle. The farmers expressed additional concerns about loss of hair because it also decreased the commercial value of animals. Four plants were used to treat body ache--a common occurrence in cattle because of their use in ploughing, drawing heavily laden carts, and threshing paddy for hours on end.

It is interesting to note that the plants used to treat some common ailments in cattle at Birishiri are quite different from other regions of the world that have been reported, even though the same plant may be present in Bangladesh. For instance, Acacia nilotica is used as an anthelmintic in traditional veterinary medicine of Pakistan and its efficacy has been scientifically validated (Farooq, Z., 2008). The plant is available in nearly all parts of Bangladesh; however, it is not used by the cattle rearers of Birishiri. Among the 18 plants reported to be used for treatment of parasitic diseases in livestock in Cholistan desert, Pakistan, several are very common in Bangladesh and even in the Birishiri area. These plants include Azadirachta indica, Brassica campestris, Capsicum annuum, Cyperus rotundus, Nicotiana tabacum, Solanum surratense, and Zingiber officinale [14]. It is to be noted that at Birishiri, Cyperus rotundus is used for treatment of fever, and Zingiber officinale for treatment of dysentery (Table 1). The plants Withania somnifera and Azadirachta indica are used as anthelmintics in the southern Punjab region of Pakistan (Jabbar, A., 2006). These two plants are common plants in Bangladesh with Azadirachta indica being very common at Birishiri. However, none of these two plants are used for treatment of any cattle ailments at Birishiri.

Overall, our survey indicates that the traditional cattle healers of Birishiri use quite different variety of plant species to treat cattle ailments. Thus our findings present considerable potential for further scientific research on these plant species, which can lead to development of cheaper and more efficacious drugs. Cattle farmers do not always avoid modern veterinary drugs because of their higher prices or lack of accessibility; they often do so because in their actual observations they have found that use of medicinal plants for treatment of certain cattle ailments can provide better efficacy (Luseba, D. and D. Van der Merwe, 2006). Modern research has also started to validate at least some of the veterinary uses of medicinal plants (Farooq, Z., 2008). It is therefore of utmost importance to document ethnoveterinary findings from all parts of the world, including Bangladesh before the knowledge disappears either because of endangerment of plants in the wild or because of the loss of knowledge among the newer generation of traditional healers due to loss of interest.

References

Alawa, J.P., G.E. Jokthan and K. Akut, 2002. Ethnoveterinary medical practice for ruminants in the subhumid zone of northern Nigeria. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 54: 79-90.

Bachaya, H.A., Z. Iqbal, M.N. Khan, Z.U. Sindhu and A. Jabbar, 2009. Anthelmintic activity of Ziziphus nummularia (bark) and Acacia nilotica (fruit) against Trichostrongylid nematodes of sheep. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 123: 325-329.

D. van der Merwe, G.E. Swan and C.J. Botha, 2001. Use of ethnoveterinary medicinal plants in cattle by Setswana-speaking people in the Madikwe area of the North West Province of South Africa. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, 72: 189-196.

Dilshad, S.M., Najeeb-Ur-Rehman, Z. Iqbal, G. Muhammad, A. Iqbal and N. Ahmad, 2008. An inventory of the ethnoveterinary practices for reproductive disorders in cattle and buffaloes, Sargodha district of Pakistan. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 117: 393-402.

Farooq, Z., Z. Iqbal, S. Mushtaq, G. Muhammad, M.Z. Iqbal and M. Arshad, 2008. Ethnoveterinary practices for the treatment of parasitic diseases in livestock in Cholistan desert (Pakistan). Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 118: 213-219.

Grade, J.T., J.R. Tabuti and P. Van Damme, 2009. Ethnoveterinary knowledge in pastoral Karamoja, Uganda. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 122: 273-293.

Jabbar, A., M.A. Raza, Z. Iqbal and M.N. Khan, 2006. An inventory of the ethnobotanicals used as anthelmintics in the southern Punjab (Pakistan). Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 108: 152-154.

Lans, C. and G. Brown, 1998. Ethnoveterinary medicines used for ruminants in Trinidad and Tobago. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 35: 149-163.

Luseba, D. and D. Van der Merwe, 2006. Ethnoveterinary medicine practices among Tsonga speaking people of South Africa. Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, 73: 115-122.

Lans, C., N. Turner, T. Khan, G. Brauer and W. Boepple, 2007. Ethnoveterinary medicines used for ruminants in British Columbia, Canada. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 3: 11.

Martin, G.J., 1995. Ethnobotany: a 'People and Plants' Conservation Manual, Chapman and Hall, London, pp: 268.

Maundu, P., 1995. Methodology for collecting and sharing indigenous knowledge: a case study. Indigenous Knowledge and Development Monitor, 3: 3-5.

Tabuti, J.R., S.S. Dhillion and K.A. Lye, 2003. Ethnoveterinary medicines for cattle (Bos indicus) in Bulamogi county, Uganda: plant species and mode of use. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 88: 279-286.

Yineger, H., E. Kelbessa, T. Bekele and E. Lulekal, 2007. Ethnoveterinary medicinal plants at Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 112: 55-70.

(1) Md. Harun-or-Rashid, (1) Rabiea Tanzin, (1) Khokon Chandra Ghosh, (1) Rownak Jahan, (1) Mst. Afsana Khatun, (2) Mohammed Rahmatullah

(1) Department of Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering, University of Development Alternative, Dhanmondi, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

(2) Present address: Dept. of Pharmacy, Lincoln College, Mayang Plaza, Block A, No 1, Jalan SS 26/2, Taman Mayang Jaya, 47301, Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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 Email: rahamatm@hotmail.com Fax: 88-02-8157339
Table 1: Medicinal plants used in Birishiri area, Netrakona
district, Bangladesh for treatment of cattle diseases

Botanical name    Family           Local name

Justicia          Acanthaceae      Harbashok
adhatoda L.

Justicia          Acanthaceae      Birjabon
gendarussa L.

Allium cepa L.    Alliaceae alt.   Piaz
                  Liliaceae

Amaranthus        Amaranthaceae    Khuira kanta
spinosus L.

Crinum            Amaryllidaceae   Gu-roshun
asiaticum L.

Lannea            Anacardiaceae    Zigar
coromandelica
(Houtt.)
Merrill

Mangifera         Anacardiaceae    Aam
indica L.

Spondias          Anacardiaceae    Amra
pinnata (J.
Koenig ex L.
f.)

Kurz (wild
variety)

Alocasia indica   Araceae          Bish fhen
(Lour.) Spach

Ananas comosus    Bromeliaceae     Anarosh
(L.) Merr.

Cannabis          Cannabaceae      Ganja
sativa L.

Ipomoea           Convolvulaceae   Gongasagor
aquatica
Forssk.

Ipomoea           Convolvulaceae   Gate ful
quamoclit L.

Cyperus           Cyperaceae       Kelnaboe
rotundus L.

Codiaeum          Euphorbiaceae    Pata bahar
variegatum (L.)
A.Juss.

Ricinus           Euphorbiaceae    Hader (shada)
communis L.
(white variety)

Ricinus           Euphorbiaceae    Henda
communis L.
(red variety)

Mimosa pudica     Fabaceae         Shada lajjaboti
L.

Pterocarpus       Fabaceae         Chondon
santalinus L.

Sesbania sesban   Fabaceae         Jointhe
(L.) Merr.

Swertia chirata   Gentianaceae     Chirota
Buch.-Ham. ex
Wall.

Clerodendrum      Lamiaceae alt.   Bait
viscosum Vent.    Verbenaceae

Leucas aspera     Lamiaceae alt.   Domkolosh
(Willd.) Link.    Labiatae

Stephania         Menispermaceae   Techamoti
japonica
(Thunb. ex
Murray) Miers.

Musa sapientum    Musaceae         Aita kola
L.

Syzygium          Myrtaceae        Long
aromaticum (L.)
Merr. & Perry

Syzygium jambos   Myrtaceae        Golap jam
L.

Nyctanthes        Oleaceae         Sheuly
arbor-tristis
L.

Cocos             Palmae alt.      Narikel
nucifera L.       Arecaceae

Piper betle L.    Piperaceae       Pan

Piper longum      Piperaceae       Pipul

Piper nigrum L.   Piperaceae       Gol morich

Nigella sativa    Ranunculaceae    Kalo jeera
L.

Coffea            Rubiaceae        Cori ful
benghalensis
Roxb. ex
Schult.

Paederia          Rubiaceae        Bon bhadilia
foetida L.

Aegle marmelos    Rutaceae         Bel
(L.) Corr.

Datura            Solanaceae       Dhutura
stramonium L.

Solanum           Solanaceae       Kontikori
capsicoides
Allioni

Trema             Ulmaceae         Jigne
orientalis (L.)
Blume

Cuminum cyminum   Umbelliferae     Jeera
L.

Tectona grandis   Verbenaceae      Shegun
L.f.              alt. Labiatae

Zingiber          Zingiberaceae    Ada
officinale
Roscoe

Botanical name    Parts used       Ailment(s) treated
                                   and Administration
                                   (O = oral, T =
                                   topical)

Justicia          Leaves           Bone fever (O).
adhatoda L.

Justicia          Leaves           Stiffening of
gendarussa L.                      muscles (T).

Allium cepa L.    Stems            Fever (O).

Amaranthus        Whole plant      Increase milk
spinosus L.                        production (O).

Crinum            Roots            Fever (O).
asiaticum L.

Lannea            Barks            Leg fractures (T).
coromandelica
(Houtt.)
Merrill

Mangifera         Barks            Wound infections (T).
indica L.

Spondias          Barks            Diarrhea (O).
pinnata (J.
Koenig ex L.
f.)

Kurz (wild
variety)

Alocasia indica   Whole plant      Meningitis (O).
(Lour.) Spach

Ananas comosus    Leaves           Helminthiasis (O).
(L.) Merr.

Cannabis          Leaves           Wound infections (T.
sativa L.

Ipomoea           Whole plant      Meningitis (O).
aquatica
Forssk.

Ipomoea           Whole plant      Common cold (goat
quamoclit L.                       only) (O).

Cyperus           Whole plant      Fever (O).
rotundus L.

Codiaeum          Leaves           Enlargement of liver
variegatum (L.)                    (O).
A.Juss.

Ricinus           Seeds            Body ache, maintain
communis L.                        good health (O).
(white variety)

Ricinus           Leaves           Loss of hair (O).
communis L.
(red variety)

Mimosa pudica     Roots            Increase milk
L.                                 production (O).

Pterocarpus       Barks            Diarrhea (O).
santalinus L.

Sesbania sesban   Leaves           Retention of urine
(L.) Merr.                         (O).

Swertia chirata   Fruits           Asthma, fever (O).
Buch.-Ham. ex
Wall.

Clerodendrum      Leaves           Body ache, diarrhea
viscosum Vent.                     (O).

Leucas aspera     Leaves, stems    Retention of urine
(Willd.) Link.                     (O).

Stephania         Leaves           Diarrhea, body ache,
japonica                           mumps (O).
(Thunb. ex
Murray) Miers.

Musa sapientum    Trunk            Helminthiasis (O).
L.

Syzygium          Barks            Meningitis (O).
aromaticum (L.)
Merr. & Perry

Syzygium jambos   Barks            Wound infections
L.                                 (T).

Nyctanthes        Flowers,         Mumps (O),
arbor-tristis     leaves
L.

Cocos             Fruits           Diarrhea (O).
nucifera L.

Piper betle L.    Stems            Body ache (O), wound
                                   infections (T).

Piper longum      Leaves           Loss of hair (O).

Piper nigrum L.   Seeds            Fever, meningitis,
                                   hair loss (O).

Nigella sativa    Seeds            Meningitis (O).
L.

Coffea            Flowers          Cataract (T).
benghalensis
Roxb. ex
Schult.

Paederia          Whole plant      Wound infections T),
foetida L.                         bone fever (O).

Aegle marmelos    Leaves           Body ache (O), wound
(L.) Corr.                         infections (T),
                                   fever (O).

Datura            Leaves           Loss of hair (O).
stramonium L.

Solanum           Barks            Asthma (O).
capsicoides
Allioni

Trema             Leaves           Glossitis (O).
orientalis (L.)
Blume

Cuminum cyminum   Seeds            Helminthiasis,
L.                                 maintain good health
                                   (O).

Tectona grandis   Roots            Meningitis, loss of
L.f.                               hair (O).

Zingiber          Roots            Dysentery (O).
officinale
Roscoe

Unless otherwise mentioned, plants were used for treatment of
diseases in cows, goats, and buffaloes.
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Title Annotation:Original Article
Author:Harun-or-Rashid; Tanzin, Rabiea; Ghosh, Khokon Chandra; Jahan, Rownak; Khatun, Afsana; Rahmatullah,
Publication:Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9BANG
Date:Jan 1, 2010
Words:2630
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