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Indigenous medicinal practices: medicinal plants of Chakma tribal medicinal practitioners in Rangamati district.

INTRODUCTION

Indigenous medicinal practices have always played a role in discovery of drugs from medicinal plants. The Chakma tribe residing in Rangamati, Khagrachaari and Bandarban districts of the Chittagong Hill Tracts region in the southeastern part of Bangladesh is the largest tribe of the region and is known for their traditional medicinal practices. As the medicinal flora of the region is fast diminishing because of encroachment on forest land and the tribal members are switching increasingly to allopathic medicine, it is of importance to document their traditional medicinal practices before they are totally lost.

Adequate documentation of medicinal plants and their traditional uses can serve the valuable purposes of both discoveries of novel drugs as well as conservation of such plants. Towards such documentation, we had been conducting ethnomedicinal surveys among folk medicinal practitioners (FMPs) and tribal medicinal practitioners (TMPs) for a number of years (Nawaz et al, 2009; Rahmatullah et al., 2009a-c; Chowdhury et al, 2010; Hasan et al., 2010; Hossan et al, 2010; Mollik et al., 2010a,b; Rahmatullah et al., 2010a-i; Akber et al., 2011; Biswas et al., 2011a-c; Haque et al., 2011; Islam et al., 2011a; Jahan et al., 2011a,b; Rahmatullah et al., 2011a,b; Sarker et al., 2011; Shaheen et al., 2011; Das et al., 2012; Hasan et al., 2012; Hossan et al., 2012; Khan et al., 2012; Rahmatullah et al., 2012a-d; Sarker et al., 2012; Azam et al., 2013; Kabir et al., 2013; Khatun et al., 2013; Nahar et al., 2013; Rahmatullah et al., 2013a,b; Biswas et al., 2014; Hasan et al., 2014; Malek et al., 2014a,b; Moonmoon et al., 2014; Rana et al., 2014). Because of their ancient traditional practices, which they had been continuing for possibly hundreds of years, the Chakma community can be a valuable source of information on traditional medicinal practices and medicinal plants of the Chittagong Hill Tracts region. It was therefore the objective of the present survey to document the plants and practices of three Chakma TMPs practicing in three different communities in Rangamati district.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The three Chakma TMPs from Rangamati district were Notun Bihari Chakma, male, age 72 years, Buddhist, area--Champaknagar; Alik Bishwa Chakma, male, age 68 years, Buddhist, area--Banarupa; and Srikanda Kumar Chakma, male, age 86 years, Buddhist, area--Debashishnagar. Prior Informed Consent was first obtained from the TMPs. The TMPs were explained the full purpose of our visit and consent obtained to disseminate any information provided in both national and international venues. Actual interviews were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method of Martin (1995) and Maundu (1995). In this method, the TMPs took the interviewers on guided field-walks through areas from where they collected their medicinal plants, pointed out the plants, and described their uses. Plant specimens were photographed and collected on the spot, pressed, dried and brought back to Dhaka to be identified at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. Interviews were carried out in the Bengali language, which was spoken by both the TMPs and the interviewers. It was noted that the TMPs collected most of their plants from forest areas adjoining their community residence areas.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The TMPs were observed to use a total of 33 plants distributed into 27 families in their practices. These plants were used to treat ailments like fever, pain, malaria, gastrointestinal disorders, liver complaints, spleen complaints, diabetes, phthisis, strangulation of intestine, alopecia, skin disorders, ear infection, hypertension, influenza, pneumonia, snake bite, jaundice, rheumatic fever, anemia, asthma, graying of hair, hernia, respiratory tract disorders, piles, cancer, kidney stone, tetanus, chest pain, epilepsy, scurvy, and menstrual disorders. The results are shown in Table 1.

It was of interest that the TMPs treated a difficult disease like tumor. The various plants used to treat tumors were Pancratium maritimum, Litsea monopetala, and Cissus quadrangularis. Tumors were not diagnosed with any modern diagnostic procedures. Unexplained swellings were classified as tumors. It is however, noteworthy that the TMPs were aware that tumors can turn into cancers and that certain tumors can be cancerous. Interestingly, the first plant has been reported to contain components like pancricin and pancrichromone, together with 2,4-dihydroxy-6-methoxy-3-methyl acetophenone, 5-formylfurfuryl acetate, 7-beta-Dglucosyloxy-5-hydroxy-2 -methylchromone, and ethyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside. 7-beta-D-glucosyloxy-5-hydroxy-2-methylchromone reportedly displayed antiproliferative activities against the highly metastatic human prostate cancer cell line (PC-3M) (Ibrahim et al., 2014). Pancritamine B and N-methyl-8,9 -methylenedioxyphenanthridine, isolated from fresh flowers and bulbs from the same plant showed antiproliferative and antimigratory activity against the highly metastatic human prostate cancer cell line PC-3 cells without cytotoxicity (Ibrahim et al., 2013). Stem extract of Cissus quadrangularis has also been reported to induce apoptosis in A431 skin cancer cells (Bhujade et al., 2013). Thus out of the three plants used by the TMPs, two have been reported for containing anticancer constituents or activities.

Altogether eight plants were used to treat snake bite. These plants were Typhonium trilobatum, Momordica cymbalaria, Desmodium triquetum, Curculigo latifolia, Curculigo orchioides, Hyptis capitata, Parabaena sagittata, and Datura metel. Residing in forested areas where various venomous snakes are fairly common, snake bites are also fairly common occurrences among the Chakma communities. The various plants used by the TMPs to treat snake bites, if scientifically validated, can not only prove to be useful sources of anti-venom drugs but also offer a readily affordable and available means to treat bites of venomous snakes.

Some other plants used by the TMPs like some plants to treat pain have been scientifically validated. The efficacy of Andrographis paniculata for treatment of fever, pain, and malaria has been reviewed (Jarukamjorn and Nemoto, 2008). The ameliorative potential of Vernonia cinerea has been observed on chronic constriction injury of sciatic nerve induced neuropathic pain in rats (Thiagarajan et al., 2014). The analgesic activity of ethanolic extract of leaves of Stephania japonica has also been described (Rahman et al., 2011). The analgesic activity of methanolic extract of Stephania japonica leaves has also been reported (Islam et al., 2011b). Analgesic activity has been shown for ethanol leaf extract of Cymbidium aloifolium (Howlader et al., 2011). The analgesic activity of methanol extract of Plumbago indica has also been shown (Paul and Saha, 2012).

Overall it can be concluded that the medicinal plants used by the Chakma TMPs deserve scientific attention. Indigenous medicinal plants can with proper scientific validation be an affordable and available source for medical treatment. At the same time, awareness of the medicinal potential of these plants can raise awareness about their conservation.

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Isrer Tasannun, Farhana Akter Ruba, Borhan Uddin Bhuiyan, Kazi Mahbub Hossain, Jamila Khondokar, Ishita Malek, A.B.M. Anwarul Bashar, Mohammed Rahmatullah

Department of Pharmacy, University of Development Alternative, Lalmatia, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh

Received 12 March 2015; Accepted 28 August 2015; Available online 22 September 2015

Address For Correspondence:

Professor Dr. Mohammed Rahmatullah, Pro-Vice Chancellor University of Development Alternative House No. 4/4, Block-A Lalmatia, Dhaka-1207 Bangladesh

Phone: 88-01715032621; Fax: 88-02-8157339; E-mail: rahamatm@hotmail.com
Table 1: Medicinal plants, formulations and disease(s)
treated by the Chakma TMPs.

Serial   Scientific Name                     Family Name
Number

1        Andrographis paniculata             Acanthaceae
           (Burm.f.) Wall. Nees.
2        Acorus calamus L.                   Acoraceae
3        Adiantum philippense L.             Adiantaceae
4        Cyathula prostrata (L.) Blume       Amaranthaceae
5        Pancratium maritimumL.              Amaryllidaceae
6        Catharanthus roseus L.              Apocynaceae
7        Rauwolfia serpentina                Apocynaceae
           (L.) Benth. ex Kurz.
8        Syngonium podophyllum Schott        Araceae
9        Typhonium trilobatum                Araceae
           (L.) Schott.
10       Vernonia cinerea L.                 Asteraceae
11       Oroxylum indicum Vent.              Bignoniaceae

12       Terminalia bellirica Roxb.          Combretaceae
13       Costus speciosus (J. Koenig) Sm.    Costaceae
14       Bryophyllum pinnatum                Crassulaceae
           (Lam.) Oken
15       Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt         Cucurbitaceae
16       Momordica cimbalaria                Cucurbitaceae
           Fenzl ex Naudin
17       Pedilanthus tithymaloides           Euphorbiaceae
           (L.) Poit.
18       Desmodium triquetum (L.) DC.        Fabaceae
19       Curculigo latifolia Dryand.         Hypoxidaceae
20       Curculigo orchioides                Hypoxidaceae
         Gaertn.
21       Hyptis capitata Jacq.               Lamiaceae
22       Litsea monopetala (Roxb.) Pers.     Lauraceae
23       Maranta arundinacea L.              Marantaceae
24       Campylus sinensis Lour.             Menispermaceae
25       Parabaena sagittata Miers           Menispermaceae
26       Stephania japonica (Thunb.)         Menispermaceae
           Miers
27       Helminthostachy s zeylanica L.      Ophioglossaceae
28       Cymbidium aloifolium (L.) Sw.       Orchidaceae
29       Plumbago indica L.                  Plumbaginaceae
30       Drynaria quercifolia (L.) J. Sm.    Polypodiaceae
31       Datura metel L.                     Solanaceae
32       Clerodendrum indicum L.             Verbenaceae
33       Cissus quadrangularis L.            Vitaceae

Serial   Local Name          Parts used
Number

1        Chirata             Whole plant, leaf
2        Paan raja, Boss     Leaf root
3        Goyali lota         Leaf
4        Uvo langera         Leaf, root
5        Khobarun            Leaf
6        Japani rose         Leaf
7        Sursang             Leaf, root
8        Patabahar           Leaf
9        Ghet kochu          Leaf
10       Dondo utphong       Leaf
11       Kanai dinga         Bark
12       Bohera              Fruit, bark
13       Ranga bishoma,      Leaf
           Ketoki
14       Jwash               Leaf
15       Telakochu           Leaf
16       Khedatol            Leaf
17       Borokhud            Leaf
18       Lori pata kher,     Leaf
           Salfani
19       Meloni pata         Leaf
20       Dubo meloni         Leaf
21       Chitra baishak      Leaf
22       Shurjo pata, Boro   Leaf
           kukurchita
23       Arraroot            Stem
24       Hoiccholodi         Leaf
25       Horin kan           Leaf
26       Thanda alu          Leaf
27       Somacchi            Leaf, stem
28       Surimas             Leaf, whole plant,
                               root, seed
29       Agunitita           Leaf
30       Baiddonath pata     Whole plant, root
31       Kalo dhutra         Leaf
32       Bamonhati           Leaf
33       Harjora lota        Stem, leaves,
                               young shoot

Serial   Ailments and mode of medicinal use
Number

1        Fever, pain. Leaf juice is orally taken. Malaria,
           fever, diabetes, stomachic, tonic, alterative,
           helminthiasis, cholagogue, general debility,
           dysentery, certain forms of dyspepsia, liver
           complaints mainly of children, flatulence,
           diarrhea in children, spleen complaints,
           colic, strangulation of intestine,
           constipation, diarrhea, cholera, phthisis.
           Whole plant juice is orally taken for all
           the ailments except diarrhea in children.
           For children, leaf juice is mixed with
           cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon, dried in
           the sun and made into little globules,
           which are administered to children for
           diarrhea, gripes, irregular stools and
           loss of appetite in children.
2        Constipation. Two teaspoons of leaf juice is
           orally taken twice daily. Alopecia. Root
           paste is mixed with coconut oil and applied
           topically to scalp.
3        Fever, dysentery. Leaf extract is taken orally.
4        Itching. Paste of leaf and root is topically
           applied to affected area.
5        Tumor. Leaf juice is orally taken.
6        Ear infection. One drop of leaf juice is
           applied inside infected ear daily.
7        High blood pressure. Half teaspoon leaf and
           root juice is taken orally.
8        Influenza, pneumonia. Leaf juice is orally taken.
9        Snake bite. Quarter to half cup of leaf juice is
           orally taken.
10       Rheumatic pain. Leaf paste is applied topically.
11       Jaundice, rheumatic fever. Bark paste is prepared
           with warm water and topically applied to chest.
12       Anemia, asthma, gray hair. Infusion of fruit is
           taken orally. Abdominal disease. Bark is
           boiled in water and V cup of the water is
           taken once daily orally.
13       Hernia. Leaf paste is topically applied.
14       Pneumonia, cough. Leaf paste is mixed with 250
           ml warm water and the solution is taken orally
           thrice daily.
15       Diabetes. Leaves are cooked and taken orally as
           vegetable with meals.
16       Snake bite, piles. One teaspoon leaf juice is
           orally taken once daily.
17       Pneumonia, influenza. Leaf juice (half teaspoon)
           is orally taken with warm water and honey
           thrice daily.
18       Snake bite, dysentery. Leaf juice is taken
           orally.
19       Cancer, piles, snake bite. Leaf juice is taken
           orally.
20       Snake bite. Leaf juice is taken orally.
21       Snake bite. Leaf juice is administered orally.
22       Tumor. One teaspoon of leaf juice is taken
           orally once daily.
23       Kidney stone. Freshly obtained stem extract is
           mixed with water and taken orally.
24       Fever. Leaf juice is taken orally.
25       Snake bite. Leaf juice is taken orally.
26       Stomach pain. Two teaspoons of leaf juice is
           taken orally.
27       Piles. Leaves and stems are cooked as vegetable
           and taken with meals.
28       Fever. Leaf extract (about V cup) is taken
           orally thrice daily. Tetanus. An infusion
           of Cymbidium aloifolium and Drynaria
           quercifolia whole plant is sued for
           bathing thrice daily. Chest pain. Root
           paste of Cymbidium aloifolium and Drynaria
           quercifolia is taken orally with palm
           molasses. Cuts, injury, lesions. Seed
           paste is topically applied.
29       Chest pain. Leaves are rubbed on a stone and
           the paste topically applied to chest.
30       See Cymbidium aloifolium.
31       Snake bite, anesthetic purposes. Leaf juice is
           orally taken in small quantities for snake
           bite. Leaf juice is smelt to become
           unconscious.
32       Epilepsy, sudden bouts of unconsciousness. Two
           teaspoons of leaf juice is administered orally
           twice daily.
33       Bone fracture. Paste of stems and leaves is
           applied over fractured area and covered
           with a bandage. The area is cleaned every
           2-3 days and paste re-applied. Laxative,
           stomachic, tonic, analgesic, piles, tumor,
           loss of appetite, constipation, complaints
           of back and spine, otorrhea, epistaxis,
           scurvy, irregular menstruation. Stem
           juice is orally taken. Asthma. Stem paste
           is orally taken. Stomachic. Stem boiled
           in limewater is orally taken. Dyspepsia,
           bowel complaints. Young shots burnt to
           ashes are orally taken. Alterative. Juice
           from leaves and young stems is orally taken.
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Author:Tasannun, Isrer; Ruba, Farhana Akter; Bhuiyan, Borhan Uddin; Hossain, Kazi Mahbub; Khondokar, Jamila
Publication:American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9BANG
Date:Jul 1, 2015
Words:4924
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