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Ethnomedicinal survey of Bheramara area in Kushtia district, Bangladesh.

Introduction

The use of plants for medicinal purposes date back a long time ago and probably happened when primitive people noticed that animals like chimpanzees partake of certain plants when they got sick. Sofowara (1982) reported that even around some 3000 years B.P., human beings were aware of the medicinal properties of plants. Historical surveys have indicated that the eastern region of the Mediterranean has always been a rich source of medicinal plants and that indigenous Arab medicine was a major contributor to the development of modern medicine in Europe (Saad et al., 2005). A number of alternative medicine systems exist in the Indian subcontinent, of which the chief form is the Ayurvedic system of medicine. The Ayurveda, which has been claimed to date back to over 7000 years, contain description of 2000 plant species and their therapeutic potentials. Overall, the various alternative medicinal systems of India uses more than 7500 plant species Mukherjee and Wahile, (2006). Balick and Cox (1996) observed that a number of important modern pharmaceuticals have been derived from, or are plants used by indigenous people. Modern drugs like aspirin, atropine, ephedrine, digoxin, morphine, quinine, reserpine and tubocurarine are examples, which were originally discovered through observations of traditional cure methods of indigenous peoples Gilani and Rahman, (2005).

Bangladesh has also a rich history of traditional medicinal practices (alternately known as alternative or complementary medicine). Besides the established systems of Ayurveda and Unani, traditional medicinal practitioners in Bangladesh (known variously as Kavirajes or Vaidyas) follow their own system, which can be termed as 'folk medicinal system'. In folk medicine, each Kaviraj has his own unique formulations of medicinal plants based on partly his own experience and partly on the basis of plants growing in his own vicinity. This knowledge is rarely written down, but is closely guarded within the family and passed on from generation to generation. Each successive generation adds to the formulations, so that at the end of several generations, if the family still clings to the medicinal practice, a considerable amount of knowledge on the medicinal properties of plants is accumulated. Since this folk medicinal preparations and use of plants can vary considerably between the Kavirajes of different regions of the country, the objective of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among the Kavirajes of Bheramara area, Kushtia district, Bangladesh to learn about medicinal plants used in that region. Kushtia district of Bangladesh adjoins India and is well known for its folk medicinal practices.

Materials and methods

2.1. the Study Area:

Bheramara sub-district is located within Kushtia district, Bangladesh and falls roughly within 23[degrees]40 -24[degrees]10 N and 88[degrees]45 -89[degrees]20 E. The town of Bheramara has an area of 3.26 sq. km and a population of 20,676. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people and the major crops are paddy, wheat, mustard, sweet potato, sunflower, onion, garlic, betel leaf, tobacco, and sugarcane. The survey was conducted in Bheramara town and its immediate vicinity.

2.2. Data Collection and Sampling Techniques:

A total of six Kavirajes were interviewed for this survey. Informed consent was obtained from all Kavirajes and the survey was explained to them in details including the information that the survey results may be published internationally. The Kavirajes agreed to provide information on medicinal plants but requested that the exact formulations be not provided in the manuscript since that may cause financial losses to them when disseminated before a wide public. At their request, the Kavirajes were interviewed as a group and not separately. Semi-structured interviews based on note-taking while interviewing the informants (also known as guided field walk) as described by Martin (1995) and Maundu (1995) was followed in collecting the ethnomedicinal data. Briefly, in this system, the informant (Kaviraj) takes the observer on a guided field walk through areas from where he collects his medicinal plants during daytime. Medicinal plants are shown to the observer with a detailed description of their uses. The information was later cross-checked and every item verified in evening meetings held with the Kavirajes. Plant specimens, as pointed out by the informants (Kavirajes) were collected, pressed and dried on site. All collected specimens were later brought to the Bangladesh National Herbarium for complete identification.

Results and Discussion

Plants and Their Distribution into Families:

The result of the present study shows that 58 species of plants are used by the Kavirajes of Bheramara area in Kushtia district, Bangladesh. These medicinal plants belong to 50 genera and 38 families (Table 1). The Leguminosae family provided the largest number of species (5), followed by the Euphorbiaceae family (4). Not all plants were obtained from the wild. Several plants were cultivated for home consumption of fruits; the fruits were also sold commercially. These plants are Spondias dulcis, Terminalia belerica, Terminalia chebula, Diospyros discolor, Phyllanthus emblica, Tamarindus indica, Syzygium aqueum, Syzygium cumini, Citrus acida, Citrus grandis, Punica granatum and Capsicum annuum. Three plants, namely Eryngium foetidum, Curcuma longa and Zingiber officinale were also cultivated for use as spices. Several other plants were also occasionally grown around homesteads either for their medicinal properties or as ornamentals. These plants include Andrographis paniculata, Aloe vera, Polyalthia longifolia, Catharanthus roseus, Calendula officinalis, Codiaeum variegatum, Ocimum gratissimum, Ocimum tenuiflorum, Hibiscus rosa chinensis, Azadirachta indica, and Bougainvillea spectabilis.

Plant Parts Used and Mode of Preparation:

The various plant parts used included whole plants, leaves, stems, roots, barks, flowers, fruits, and rhizomes. In total, 71 uses of whole plants or plant parts were reported for the 58 species collected in the present survey. Table 2 displays the results on medicinal plant parts used to treat various ailments. Leaves and roots formed the part of the plant most frequently used followed by fruits and whole plant. The Kavirajes use several different types of preparation for a particular plant or plant part. To obtain the juice of a particular plant or plant part, it is crushed with the help of a shil-nora (a flat slab of stone on which the plant is repeatedly crushed with another long and rounded stone) or a haman-dista (tall iron mortar with iron pestle). The crushed plant or plant part is then strained through cloth and the juice may be administered either orally or used for topical applications. For topical applications, the juice is usually mixed with various oils. For instance, to treat rheumatic pain, juice obtained from the leaves of Cordyline fruticosa is mixed with mustard oil and sesame seed oil and then applied to affected areas. The crushed leaves of Codiaeum variegatum are mixed with mustard oil and applied to affected areas as remedy for pain. To treat skin infections or snake and insect bites, the plant or plant part is simply crushed on a shil nora and the crushed parts applied onto the affected or bitten area. Crushed whole plant or plant parts may also be administered orally as is done for Eryngium foetidum (to treat indigestion). In cases of oral administration of juice, it may be mixed with sugar, sugarcane juice, molasses, milk, honey or salt to lessen the bitterness or make it more palatable (e.g. Bombax ceiba, Tradescantia spathacea, Ipomoea quamoclit, Kalanchoe pinnata, Cycas rumphii, Coleus blumei). Occasionally, whole plant or plant part may be crushed and mixed with a spice and then taken orally. Instances are Mapania caudata (crushed roots are taken with black cumin for helminthiasis) and Aphanamixis polystachya (roots and flowers are taken with coriander to reduce obesity).

Medical Applications:

It was observed that occasionally a single plant was used to treat a single ailment. However, a plant may also be used to multiple ailments, and a combination of plants may be used to treat a single ailment. Ocimum tenuiflorum presents an example where a single plant is used to treat diverse ailments like malaria, erectile dysfunction, coughs and colds. The fruits of Citrus grandis are also used as a carminative, to increase strength and for indigestion. Some examples of a single plant being used to treat a single ailment include Cordyline fruticosa (rheumatic pain), Eryngium foetidum (indigestion), Bombax ceiba (to increase sperm count), Tradescantia spathacea (blood in urine of women), Ipomoea quamoclit (passing of semen with urine), Kalanchoe pinnata (kidney stones), Cycas rumphii (debility), Diospyros discolor (diabetes), Codiaeum variegatum (pain), Smilax china (erectile dysfunction), and Cissus quadrangularis (bone fracture).

It was observed that for treatment of complicated or serious ailments, the Kavirajes usually use a combination of plants. For instance, to treat snake bites, roots of Morinda citrifolia are mixed with roots of Polyalthia longifolia and rhizomes of Curcuma longa and administered orally. For treatment of erectile dysfunction, the fruits of Terminalia belerica, Terminalia chebula, and Phyllanthus emblica are mixed with roots of Abrus precatorius and administered with cow milk. As an antidote to poison or for gall bladder pains, the leaves and roots of Desmodium motorium, Uraria picta and Aristolochia indica are crushed and the juice taken orally.

Eight plants were used to treat gastrointestinal disorders (including bloating, constipation, indigestion, dysentery) and eight plants were also used as sex stimulant or to treat impotency (including erectile dysfunction). Seven plants were used to treat skin infections, six to treat reproductive and urinary tract problems, and five to treat gall bladder problems or cough, cold, mucus and fever. Four plants were used to treat weakness and three plants as remedy for sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea or syphilis.

Discussion:

Leaves and roots generally form the most frequently used plant parts in traditional medicine (Giday et al., 2003; Wondimu et al., 2007). Our survey results showed a similar profile of plant parts used in Bheramara area, where leaves or roots formed 29.58% each of the total uses (71). Fruits formed 15.49% of the uses, while whole plant use formed 14.08% of the total uses. It is interesting to note that seeds were not at all used by the Kavirajes of this area.

A number of plants used by the Kavirajes of Bheramara area are also reported to be used in the traditional medicinal systems in other parts of the world, although the ailments treated may be different. Some of the uses have also been validated through modern scientific research. Andrographis paniculata and Aristolochia indica is used by indigenous groups of southern parts of Tamilnadu, India for treatment of snake bite (Samy et al., 2008). Andrographis paniculata is used by the Kavirajes of Bheramara to treat helminthiasis, dysentery, rectal diseases, coughs, colds, mucus and fever, as well as an antidote to poison. A preliminary study conducted in the United States of America concluded that Andrographis paniculata may help in the prevention and treatment of colds Roxas and Jurenka (2007). Administration of this plant also reportedly decreased nasal secretion in upper respiratory tract-infected children Carr and Nahata (2006). Aloe vera is considered a medicinal plant in South Africa and various Aloe species are used in that country for treatment of infections, internal parasites, digestive ailments and injuries (Graee et al., 2008). The Kavirajes of Bheramara use the plant to treat constipation. Traditional Chinese medicine uses the plant for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease Langmead and Rampton, (2006). In the ethnomedicine of Trinidad and Tobago, the plant is used to treat hypertension Lans, (2006).

Polyalthia longifolia is also considered a medicinal plant in India and its analgesic activity has been validated through scientific studies (Maiairajan et al., 2006). The plant is used by the Bheramara Kavirajes to treat skin infections and snake bite. Catharanthus roseus, used by the Kavirajes to treat toothache, is considered an anti-diabetic plant in the ethnomedicine of Trinidad and Tobago Lans, (2006). Azadirachta indica, used by the Kavirajes to treat fever is also considered a medicinal plant in the traditional medicinal systems of India, and reportedly demonstrated anti-bacterial activity against six bacterial strains, namely Pseudomonas testosteroni, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Bacillus subtilis, Proteus morganii, and Micrococcus flavus (Nair et al., 2007). The plant thus may be of value against fever arising out of bacterial infections. In Oyo state of southwestern Nigeria, the plant is also used in their traditional medicine system to treat fever (Ajaiyeoba et al., 2003). Cassia alata, used by the Kavirajes as remedy for wet dreams is considered a medicinal plant by the Caribs of Guatemala (Giron et al., 1991).

Tamarindus indica is used by the Kavirajes for syphilis and urinary tract infections. This species is considered to possess considerable medicinal properties in a number of countries' traditional medicinal systems. It is considered a medicinal plant in Yemen where it is used to treat common infections. Scientific studies have shown that various extracts of the plant possess considerable anti-microbial activity, being active against three Gram-positive and two Gram-negative bacteria (Al-Fatimi et al., 2007). The plant is also used to treat trypanosomiasis in Kaduna state of Nigeria (Atawodi et al., 2002) and in North African countries to treat inflammation; its anti-inflammatory properties have also been validated through scientific studies (Rimbau et al., 1999).

Traditional medicine has always been an excellent source for modern drug discoveries. Plants contain many chemical substances like terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins as well as other compounds, a number of which have now been identified by modern research to be effective drugs. Terpenoids for instance, which serves in plants as a chemical defense against environmental stress has been shown to suppress the process of inflammation and cancer (Salminen et al., 2008). The use of turmeric in the traditional Ayurvedic medicine system of India and the traditional medicine system of China to treat inflammatory diseases dates back thousands of years. Curcumin, a compound isolated from turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been shown to modulate a number of cellular targets and so has become a potential candidate to treat arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease and cancer (Shishodia et al., 2005). The 58 plant species as used by the Kavirajes of Bheramara have the potential for novel drug discoveries, which can serve as excellent remedies for a diverse number of ailments. At the same time, scientific validation of the various medicinal plant's use by the Kavirajes can go a long way towards conservation and cultivation of these plant species, some of which are getting endangered because of increase in human habitat.

Acknowledgements

This survey was made possible through internal funding by the University of Development Alternative.

References

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(1) Mohammed Rahmatullah, (1) Dilara Ferdausi, (1) Md. Ariful Haque Mollik, (1) Md. Nur Kabidul Azam, (2) M. Taufiq-Ur-Rahman, (1) Rownak Jahan

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

(2) Department of Pharmacology University of Cambridge Tennis Court Road CB2 'PD Cambridge, UK

Corresponding Author: Dr. Mohammed Rahmatullah, University of Development Alternative House No. 78, Road No. 11A (new) Dhanmondi R/A, Dhaka-1205, Bangladesh Phone: 88-02-9136285: Fax: 88-02-8157339

E-mail: rahamatm@hotmail.com
Table 1: Listing of medicinal plants obtained from the traditional
medicinal practitioners of Bheramara area, Kushtia district,
Bangladesh.

Serial    Scientific Name             Family Name        Local Name
Number

1         Andrographis                Acanthaceae        Kalo-megh
          paniculata Nees.

2         Cordyline fruticosa         Agavaceae          Chaya-bon
          (L.) Goepp.

3         Aloe vera L.                Aloaceae           Ghrito-kumari

4         Spondias dulcis             Anacardiaceae      Amra
          Sol. ex Parkinson

5         Polyalthia longifolia       Annonaceae         Devdaru
          (Sonn.) Thwaites (PL)

6         Eryngium foetidum L.        Apiaceae           Dhonia

7         Catharanthus roseus         Apocynaceae        Noyon-tara
          (L. G. Don.

8         Aristolochia indica L       Aristolochiaceae   Ishwarmul

9         Calendula                   Asteraceae         Ganda
          officinalis L.

10        Stereospermum               Bignoniaceae       Niil-parul
          suaveolens DC.

11        Bombax ceiba L.             Bombacaceae        Shimul

12        Mesua ferrea L.             Clusiaceae         Nageshwaar

13        Terminalia belerica         Combretaceae       Bohera
          (Gaertn.) Roxb.

14        Terminalia                  Combretaceae       Horitoki
          chebula Retz.

15        Tradescantia                Commelinaceae      Sthol-shapla
          spathacea Sw.

16        Ipomoea                     Convolvulaceae     Vhui-cumra
          mauritiana Jacq.

17        Ipomoea                     Convolvulaceae     Pushpo-rani
          quamoclit L.

18        Kalanchoe pinnata           Crassulaceae       Pathorkuchi
          (Lam.) Pers.

19        Coccinia cordifolia         Cucurbitaceae      Telamoon,
          (L.) Cogn.

20        Cycas revoluta Thunb.       Cycadaceae         Cycas

21        Cycas rumphii               Cycadaceae         Moni-raaj
          Miquel

22        Mapania caudata             Cyperaceae         Chiruni-bahar
          Kuk.

23        Diospyros discolor          Ebenaceae          Bilati-gab
          Willd.

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

25        Euphorbia                   Euphorbiaceae      Kata-shaz
          antiquorum L.

26        Euphorbia tirucalli L.      Euphorbiaceae      Dood-kora
          antiquorum L.

27        Phyllanthus                 Euphorbiaceae      Amloki
          emblica L.

28        Abrus precatorius L.        Fabaceae           Josthimodhu

29        Mimosa diplotricha C. Fabaceae                 Lojjaboti
          Wright ex Sauvalle

30        Coleus blumei Benth.        Lamiaceae          C hikunda

31        Ocimum                      Lamiaceae          Radha-tulsi
          gratissimum L.

32        Ocimum                      Lamiaceae
          tenuiflorum L.

33        Cassia alata L.             Leguminosae        Guru-chondal

34        Cassia occidentalis L.      Leguminosae        Kalka-sunda

35        Desmodium motorium          Leguminosae        Turok chondal
          (Houtt.) Merrill                                 Leaf, root

36        Tamarindus indica L.        Leguminosae        Tetul

37        Uraria picta                Leguminosae        Rahu-chondal
          (Jacq.) DC.

38        Asparagus racemosus         Liliaceae          S hotomool
          Willd.

39        Curculigo orchioides        Liliaceae          Taal-mool
          Gaertn.

40        Punica granatum L.          Lythraceae         Dalim

41        Hibiscus rosa               Malvaceae          Rokto-joba
          sinensis L.

42        Aphanamixis                 Meliaceae          Piit-raaz
          polystachya
          (Wall.) R. Parker

43        Azadirachta                 Meliaceae          Neem
          indica A. Juss.

44        Ficus hispida L.f.          Moraceae           Full-dumur

45        Syzygium aqueum             Myrtaceae          Jamrul
          (Burm.f.) Alston

46        Syzygium cumini             M yrtaceae         Jaam
          (L.) Skeels

47        Bougainvillea               Nyctaginaceae      Bagan-bilash
          spectabilis Willd.

48        Piper longum L.             Piperaceae         Pipul

49        Ixora coccinea L.           Rubiaceae          Rongon

50        Morinda citrifolia L.       Rubiaceae          Boro-chad

51        Citrus acida Roxb.          Rutaceae           Lebu

52        Citrus grandis              Rutaceae           Jambura
          (L.) Osbeck

53        Smilax china L.             Smilacaceae        Bili-hachra

54        Capsicum annuum L.          S olanaceae        M orich

55        Cissus                      Vitaceae           Haar-jora
          quadrangularis L.

56        Hedychium                   Zingiberaceae      Moyur-rupee
          coronarium J. Konig.

57        Curcuma longa L.            Zingiberaceae      Holud

58        Zingiber                    Zingiberaceae      Ada
          officinale Roscoe

Serial    Utilized Part
Number

1         Whole plant

2         Leaf

3         Leaf

4         Fruit

5         Whole plant,
          root

6         Leaf, root,
          fruit

7         Leaf

8         Leaf, root

9         Leaf juice

10        Leaf

11        Root

12        Whole plant

13        Fruit

14        Fruit

15        Leaf

16        Root

17        Root

18        Leaf

19        Telakuchi Leaf

20        Whole plant

21        Root tops

22        Root

23        Fruit

24        Leaf

25        Stem

26        Leaf, stem

27        Fruit

28        Root

29        Root

30        Root

31        Leaf

32        Krishno-tulsi

33        Whole plant

34        Leaf

35        Leaf, root

36        Leaf

37        Whole plant,
          leaf, root

38        Whole plant

39        Root

40        Fruit

41        Flower

42        Root, flower

43        Leaf, root

44        Root

45        Root

46        Fruit, bark

47        Leaf

48        Leaf

49        Leaf, root

50        Root

51        Fruit

52        Fruit

53        Whole plant

54        Fruit

55        Stem

56        Leaf

57        Rhizome

58        Rhizome

Serial    Ailment/Uses/Side-effects/Precautions
Number

1         Anthelmintic, dysentery, rectal
          diseases, cough, cold,
          mucus, fever. Whole plant juice
          is taken with molasses or
          sugar. Side-effects: too much
          medication can lead to large
          intestinal worms.

2         Rheumatic pain. Leaf juice is mixed
          with mustard oil, sesame seed oil and
          applied to affected areas. Side-
          effects: may cause coughs, colds
          and mucus.

3         Constipation. Inner portions of leaf
          are taken with water.

4         Increase eye sight and decrease eye
          infections (stye disease, Bangla:
          anjali). Crushed fruits are taken.

5         Skin infections, snake bite. Crushed
          whole plant is applied to skin infections.
          Roots of Morinda citrifolia are mixed
          with Polyalthia longifolia roots and
          rhizomes of Curcuma longa and taken as
          remedy for snake bite. Side-effects:
          there will be more desire for urination.

6         Indigestion. Leaves, roots and fruits
          are crushed and taken.
          Side effects: may cause hardening
          of stool.

7         Toothache. Leaves are chewed.
          Side-effects: may cause salivation.

8         Gall bladder pain, skin infections,
          antidote to poison. Leaves and roots
          of Desmodium motorium, Uraria picta
          and Aristolochia indica are crushed and
          the juice taken as remedy. Precautions:
          yoghurt must be taken after the
          medication.

9         Ear ache, skin infections, insect
          bite. Leaf juice is applied to ears
          or applied to infections and insect
          bites.

10        Gonorrhea. Leaves are mixed with
          sugar cane molasses and water and
          taken. Precautions: patient should
          not take salty or hot food while
          on this medication.

11        Increase sperm count. Root juice is
          taken with sugar.

12        Skin diseases.

13        Erectile dysfunction. The fruits
          of Terminalia belerica, Terminalia
          chebula, and Phyllanthus emblica
          are mixed with Abrus precatorius
          root and taken with cow's milk.

14        Erectile dysfunction. The fruits of
          Terminalia belerica, Terminalia chebula,
          and Phyllanthus emblica are mixed
          with Abrus precatorius root and taken
          with cow's milk.

15        Blood in urine of women (Bangla:
          rokto-prodor). Leaf juice is mixed
          with sugarcane juice and taken.
          Side-effects: may cause rheumatism.

16        Increase lactation. Crushed and
          powdered roots are taken. Precautions:
          when chewed directly may cause
          vomiting.

17        Passing of semen with urine. Crushed
          roots are taken with sugar.

18        Kidney stones. The leaves are chewed
          with salt.

19        Whitish discharge in urine (men).
          Leaves are mixed with leaf juice
          of Aegle marmelos and molasses or
          sugar and taken. Side-effects: frequent
          medication can lead to loss of sexual
          strength.

20        Skin infections. Leaves are crushed and
          applied to affected areas. Precautions:
          must not be applied too frequently.

21        Debility. Root tops are crushed and taken
          with sugar or milk. Side-effects:
          may cause mucus in stool.

22        Anthelmintic. Roots are crushed
          with black cumin (Nigella sativa seed)
          and taken. May cause frequent stool.

23        Diabetes. Ripe fruits are taken.

24        Pain. Crushed leaves are applied
          with mustard oil to affected areas.
          Side-effects: may cause rheumatism
          and gall bladder problems.

25        Cuts and wounds. Stem juice is applied
          to cuts and wounds. Side-effects: may
          cause ulceration of stomach.

26        Increase lactation in cows and
          buffaloes. Leaves and stems are
          fed to cattle.

27        Erectile dysfunction. The fruits of
          Terminalia belerica, Terminalia chebula,
          and Phyllanthus emblica are mixed with
          Abrus precatorius root and taken with
          cow's milk.

28        Erectile dysfunction. The fruits of
          Terminalia belerica, Terminalia chebula,
          and Phyllanthus emblica are mixed with
          Abrus precatorius root and taken with
          cow's milk.

29        Sex stimulant. Root juice is taken.

30        Piles, blood coming out through rectum.
          Root juice is taken with sugar.
          Side-effects: may cause constipation and
          gall bladder pain.

31        Colds, coughs. Leaves of Ocimum
          gratissimum and Ocimum tenuiflorum are
          crushed and the juice taken.

32        Leaf, root Malaria, erectile dysfunction,
          coughs, colds. 1/2 inch roots are chewed
          with betel leaf as remedy for erectile
          dysfunction. 1 tola * leaf juice is taken
          for malaria. Leaf juice is taken with honey
          for coughs and colds.

33        Wet dream. Whole plants are crushed and
          the juice taken.

34        Body poisoning, gall bladder problems,
          constipation. Leaf juice is taken with 1
          tola * (approximately 1 teaspoonful)
          honey for gall bladder problems. Leaf
          juice is taken with warm water daily as
          remedy for constipation. 2 tolas * leaf
          juice is taken with cold water as remedy
          for body poisoning.

35        Gall bladder pain, skin infections, antidote
          to poison. Leaves and roots of Desmodium
          motorium, Uraria picta and Aristolochia
          indica are crushed and the juice taken.
          Precautions: yoghurt must be taken after
          the medication.

36        S yphilis, infections within the penis,
          difficulties in urination, burning
          sensations during urination. Leaves of
          Tamarindus indica are mixed with Piper
          longum leaves, crushed and the juice
          taken. Penis has to be cleaned with the
          help of a syringe.

37        Antidote to poison, skin infections.
          Also: leaves and roots of Desmodium
          motorium, Uraria picta and Aristolochia
          indica are crushed and the juice taken as
          remedy for the above-mentioned ailments or
          gall bladder pain. Precautions: yoghurt
          must be taken after the medication.

38        Stone lodged in penis, diabetes. Whole plant
          is mixed with rhizome of Curcuma longa and
          taken to get rid of stone deposition in
          penis. Plant juice is taken for diabetes.
          Side-effects: may cause vomiting.

39        Passing of semen with urine. Roots are taken
          with sugar cubes. Side-effects: may cause
          excess sleeping.

40        Increase strength, debility. Fruit
          juice is taken.

41        Menstrual disorders. Flowers are crushed
          in cold water and taken.

42        Obesity (Bangla: medh). The roots and
          flowers are taken with coriander
          (Coriandrum sativum) juice. Side-effects:
          may cause frequent urination.

43        Fever, fever arising from gall bladder
          disorders. Leaf and root juice is taken.

44        Gall bladder diseases. The roots are cooked
          with roots of Citrus acida, ginger and
          mustard oil and taken. Side-effects:
          may cause constipation.

45        Anthelmintic. Roots are crushed
          and taken. Side-effects: may cause
          frequent urination.

46        Digestive aid, rheumatoid arthritis. Roots
          and bark is taken with salt. Side-effects:
          may cause chronic dysentery.

47        Anthelmintic. Leaf juice is mixed with
          rhizomes of Curcuma longa and taken.
          Side-effects: may cause obesity and
          excessive sleeping.

48        Syphilis, infections within the penis,
          difficulties in urination, burning sensations
          during urination. Leaves of Tamarindus indica
          are mixed with Piper longum leaves, crushed
          and the juice taken. Penis has to be cleaned
          with the help of a syringe.

49        Dysentery. Crushed leaves and roots are
          taken with ginger juice. Side-effects: may
          cause frequent urination.

50        Snake bite. Roots of Morinda citrifolia are
          mixed with Polyalthia longifolia roots and
          rhizomes of Curcuma longa and taken.
          Side-effects: there will be more desire
          for urination.

51        Carminative, gall bladder diseases.
          Fruit juice is taken.

52        Increase strength, carminative, indigestion.
          Fruits are taken with salt. Side-effects:
          may cause loosening of stool.

53        Erectile dysfunction. Whole plant is taken.

54        Vitamin C source, respiratory problems.
          Powdered fruits of Capsicum annuum are
          mixed with black pepper, lemon, and Piper
          longum root, crushed and the juice taken as
          remedy for respiratory problems.

55        Bone fracture. Crushed stems are applied
          to fractures.

56        Stomachache. Leaves are chewed.

57        Snake bite. Roots of Morinda citrifolia are
          mixed with Polyalthia longifolia roots and
          rhizomes of Curcuma longa and taken as remedy
          for snake bite. Side-effects: there will be
          more desire for urination.

58        Debility, digestive aid. Rhizomes are mixed
          with salt and taken after food.

* Tola. Local measure. 1 tola is approximately equivalent to 11.4g.

Note that some of the disease names are given in bold in the local
(Bangla) language. The nearest equivalent English terminology for
the disease is also given along with.

Table 2: Parts of medicinal plants used to treat various ailments.

              Number of
Parts used    species      Percentage

Whole plant   10           14.08
Leaf          21           29.58
Root          21           29.58
Rhizome       2            2.82
Bark          1            1.41
Stem          3            4.23
Flower        2            2.82
Seed          0            0.00
Fruit         11           15.49
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Original Article
Author:Rahmatullah, Mohammed; Ferdausi, Dilara; Mollik, M.D. Ariful Haque; Azam, Md. Nur Kabidul; Taufiq-Ur
Publication:American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9BANG
Date:Sep 1, 2009
Words:4949
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