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Inter-country exchanges of folk medicinal practices: a case study of a folk medicinal practitioner of Savar in Dhaka District, Bangladesh.

Introduction

Folk medicinal practice is the most common and one of the ancient forms of various traditional medicinal practices in Bangladesh. Folk medicinal practitioners, otherwise known as Kavirajes, can be found in almost every village of the 86,000 villages of the country, as well as in small towns and cities. Kavirajes form the first tier of primary health-care provision, particularly in rural Bangladesh, where the population is essentially poor and cannot afford or lacks access to modern medical facilities and allopathic doctors. Kavirajes essentially use simple formulations of medicinal plants or plant parts in the form of juice, paste or decoctions to treat a wide variety of ailments including complicated diseases like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. The formulations and practices of Kavirajes mostly remain undocumented to this day. This is an unfortunate situation from two aspects. First, the knowledge of medicinal plants and their properties are usually kept by the Kaviraj within his or her immediate family, and is transmitted through successive generations. As a result, over time, a Kaviraj can acquire considerable knowledge on the medicinal properties of plants, particularly those found in the vicinity of his or her habitat. Second, the selection of medicinal plants for treatment of the same ailment or symptoms varies widely between Kavirajes of even adjacent areas. Thus documentation of these knowledge can not only be of importance in proper identification of the medicinal plants of Bangladesh, but also can spur scientific research and conservation of these plants, which are fast disappearing because Bangladesh is a densely populated country with very little forest region left.

Towards a thorough documentation of medicinal plants used by the Kavirajes, we had been conducting ethnomedicinal surveys among the Kavirajes of the mainstream population in various parts of the country as well as tribal medicinal practitioners of the country 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-g; Akber et al., 2011; Biswas et al., 2011a-c; Haque et al., 2011; Islam et al., 2011; Jahan et al., 2011; Rahmatullah et al., 2011a,b; Sarker et al., 2011; Das et al., 2012; Rahmatullah et al., 2012ad). Besides documentation of medicinal plants, a further question asked of the Kavirajes and the tribal medicinal practitioners (TMPs) was to where and how they gained their knowledge on these plants. The answer usually has been diverse; for instance, some Kavirajes mentioned that they gained this knowledge from their ancestors, some in their dreams, some prescribe plants based on the physical appearance of the plants and color of leaves or flowers, and yet others mentioned that they have obtained this knowledge from books, but have failed to produce such books. There also had been vague references by some Kavirajes that they obtained this knowledge through apprenticeship and training with a 'guru' at Kamrup-Kamakhya, which denotes the Indian state of Assam and borders Bangladesh.

The Indian sub-continent, which presently comprises of the countries of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, was not the same in recent or past historical periods. Although there have been occasions of the presence of numerous states in the Indian sub-continent at different historical periods, at other times of the sub-continent's history, it has formed essentially one unit like both under the Mughal rule and the later British rule in comparatively recent times. This means that the all parts of the sub-continent throughout their histories must have had different forms of exchanges and travels of the inhabitants, and these exchanges could conceivably include exchanges of information on traditional medicinal practices. Certainly this is reflected in the influence of Ayurvedic medicinal practice on folk medicine and vice-versa. Even to this date, a number of tribes exist on both sides of the border of Bangladesh and India and since these tribes are the same, there regularly occur travels between them. In earlier instances of our ethnomedicinal surveys, we have also found evidences of plant or animal materials being brought from India by tribal people or even Kavirajes. Assam and Tripura, two states of India bordering Bangladesh, regularly sees such visits to and from both the mainstream and the tribal people on the borders. Assam, from historic times, had been known to Bengal (previously a full province of the undivided Indian sub-continent, presently the eastern part being Bangladesh) as a place where various types of magic are practiced including the 'magic' of treatment with medicinal plants. This has been more so because Assam and its sister states contain huge forested regions, have low population density, and are inhabited by numerous tribes. It can be said that selection of medicinal plants for treatment of a disease is always a continuous process (Caniago and Siebert, 1998; Garro, 1986; Trotter and Logan, 1986) and such selections contain both 'etic' and 'emic' influences (i.e. can be inter-cultural or intra-cultural). As such it cannot be discounted that the process is ongoing even now, with Kavirajes from across the border in India influencing the plant selections by the Kavirajes of Bangladesh, although such instances may be relatively few.

During our ethnomedicinal surveys, we came across a female Kaviraj who claimed to have received her folk medicinal training from Assam in India. Since this appeared to be an interesting instance, the objective of the present study was to interview and document the medicinal formulations of this particular Kaviraj in Savar of Dhaka district in Bangladesh.

Materials and Methods

Informed consent was initially obtained from the Kaviraj, namely Aziza Khanam, age around 50 years, and who practices in Savar on the outskirts of Dhaka city in Dhaka district of Bangladesh. The Kaviraj claimed that she obtained her training in Assam state of India, which borders Bangladesh and where she served a period of several years as an apprentice to a 'guru'. Consent was obtained that the information that she provided would be provided readily without any reservations and that such information may be disseminated in national or international publications. Actual interviews were conducted in the Bengali language (same language spoken by the Kaviraj as well as the interviewers) with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method of Martin (1995) and Maundu (1995). In this method, the Kaviraj took the interviewers on guided field-walks through areas from where she collected her medicinal plants, pointed out the plants, and described their uses. All plant materials were collected on the spot, dried and brought back for identification by Mr. Manjur-Ul-Kadir Mia, ex-Curator and Principal Scientific Officer of the Bangladesh National Herbarium at Dhaka.

Results and Discussion

The Kaviraj used a total of 31 formulations for treatment of various ailments, which included fever (including dengue and malarial fever), helminthiasis, gastrointestinal disorders (diarrhea, dysentery, constipation, and gastric problems), diabetes, skin diseases, pain, respiratory tract disorders (coughs, asthma), cuts and wounds, liver problems, edema, urinary tract infections, kidney stones, whitish discharge in urine of women, sexual weakness, hair loss, and measles. The results are shown in Table 1. A total of 36 plant species belonging to 31 families were used in her formulations. This is shown in Table 2. Besides medicinal plants, the Kaviraj also used bovine milk, meat of Bengal fox and spider web in her formulations, which will be discussed later. An interesting aspect of some formulations of this Kaviraj was that dosage varied according to age (see for instance Serial Number 1), which has been seldom seen in interviews with other Kavirajes in our various ethnomedicinal surveys. It is possible that this consciousness of dosage variation according to age is a particular sophistication learned from Assam and reflects a more refined form of practice of folk medicine.

Nyctanthes arbor-tristis was used by the Kaviraj for treatment of fever and helminthiasis (Serial Number 1). In Indian traditional medicines, the plant is also used for fever, and 50% ethanolic extract of leaves, flowers, seeds and roots were observed to be inhibitory to Entamoeba histolytica in rats (Khare, 2007). The indigenous people of Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh in India use the roots of this plant for the treatment of fever (Sah and Verma, 2012). In other scientific studies, leaf extract of the plant has been shown to have analgesic, antipyretic and immunostimulant activities (Saxena et al., 1987; Puri et al., 1994), which properties could be beneficial in reducing fever, and pain associated with particularly dengue fever. Scoparia dulcis was used by the Kaviraj for treatment of diabetes and gastrointestinal problems (Serial Number 2). In Indian traditional medicine, the plant is also used for treatment of diabetes, and it is known to contain an anti-diabetic compound amellin in its leaves and stems. Modern scientific research has also found the relevancy of this plant as an anti-diabetic. Important scientific findings of the plant's anti-diabetic efficacy include increase of glucose transport properties in L6 myotubes by extract of the plant (Beh et al., 2010); anti-diabetic effect observed with scoparic acid D isolated from the plant in streptozotocin diabetic male Wistar rats (Latha et al., 2009); antihyperlipidemic effect (reduction of blood glucose, serum and tissue cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids, phospholipids, and LDL-cholesterol) of aqueous extract of the plant reported in streptozotocin diabetic rats (Pari and Latha, 2006); anti-oxidant effect reported for aqueous extract of the plant in streptozotocin diabetic rats (Pari and Latha, 2005); reported increase in total circulating erythrocytes membrane insulin binding sites and significant increase in plasma insulin by aqueous extract of plant in streptozotocin diabetic male Wistar rats using circulating erythrocytes as a model system (Pari et al., 2004); protective action of plant extract against oxidative stress induced by streptozotocin in male Wistar rats and in Rat insulinoma cell lines (RINm5F) and isolated islets (Latha et al., 2004); protective role of plant extract on brain antioxidant status and lipid peroxidation in streptozotocin diabetic male Wistar rats (Pari and Latha, 2004); modulatory role of plant extract in oxidative stress-induced lipid peroxidation in streptozotocin diabetic rats (Latha and Pari, 2003); free radical scavenging activity reported for plant extract (Babincova and Surivong, 2001); hypoglycemic activity of aqueous extract of plant as demonstrated by reduction in blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin in alloxan diabetic rats (Pari and Venkateswaran, 2002).

Cassia fistula was used by the Kaviraj for treatment of eczema and coughs (Serial Number 3). The leaves of this plant have been mentioned in Ayurvedic literature to be used as an anti-microbial and for coughs and to treat skin disorders like ringworm infections as well as general skin infections (Rizvi et al., 2009; Neelam et al., 2011). In fact, eczema has been described in Ayurveda as 'vicharchika' and the plant is used as the first step in Ayurveda for treatment of eczema (Kaur and Chandola, 2010). To be noted is that the Kaviraj prescribed topical application of leaves fried in mustard oil for treatment of eczema. Oil not only has an anodyne effect, but it also helps to spread the ingredients smoothly over the skin and will further be beneficial in the absorption of lipidsoluble phytochemicals through the skin. As such, the use of oil in topical applications shows that the Kaviraj is quite knowledgeable about the values of oil for topical applications. Also to be noted is that a related species, Cassia tora, is also used in Ayurveda for the treatment of ringworm, coughs and bronchitis (Mazumder et al., 2005). The treatment of eczema with Musa paradisiaca fruit seems to be a novelty of Assam traditional medicine, because in our experiences we have not observed use of fruits of this plant for the same purpose in Bangladesh. Piper cubeba and Piper nigrum was used by the Kaviraj for treatment of asthma (Serial Number 4). In Ayurveda, Piper cubeba is known as 'kankola' and in the Unani traditional medicine system of India it is known as 'kabaabchini'. In both systems of traditional medicines, the plant is used for treatment of coughs and asthma (Khare, 2007). Notably, the plant is also used in Indonesian traditional medicines for treatment of asthma, which treatment has been validated by isolation of tracheopasmolytic compounds from the fruits (Wahyono et al., 2003). Piper nigrum, known in Ayurveda as 'maricha' and in Unani as 'safed' is also considered anti-asthmatic in both systems of traditional medicine. In vitro anti-asthmatic activity of fruit extract of Piper nigrum has also been reported (Parganiha et al., 2011).

Anti-edematogenic and analgesic activities have been reported for Ficus benghalensis (Mahajan et al., 2012), used by the Kaviraj for toothache and strengthening the base of teeth (Serial Number 5). Analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties have been reported for the plant Chromolaena odorata (Vaisakh and Pandey, 2012), a plant used by the Kaviraj for treatment of cuts and wounds to stop bleeding and pain (serial Number 7). Ayurvedic tradition supports the use of Allium sativum for reduction of lipid levels in blood, i.e. loss of obesity, which is precisely the same purpose for which the plant was used by the Kaviraj (Serial 8). Leaf extract of Mangifera indica (another plant used in combination with Allium sativum and Capsicum frutescens by the Kaviraj to reduce fat in the body) reportedly caused inhibition of lipid metabolic enzymes (Moreno et al., 2006). Root bark of Moringa oleifera is used for analgesic purposes in Indian traditional medicinal system; the Kaviraj used bark of the plant for treatment of joint pain (Serial Number 10). In Bangladesh, the common use of the plant by Kavirajes is for treatment of diabetes; the other described uses of leaves of the plant by the Kaviraj for treatment of constipation and liver problems have been possibly picked up from Assam. It is to be noted that the seed oil of this plant is a traditional remedy in Assam for joint pain (Nath et al., 2011). Leaves of Coccinia grandis (used by the Kaviraj for treatment of diabetes, Serial Number 12) are known for their anti-diabetic properties both traditionally, as well as being validated in scientific reports (Tamilselvan et al., 2011).

Stems of Mikania cordata was used by the Kaviraj for treatment of blood dysentery. In India, the plant is more used for treatment of itches and wounds, while in Bangladesh the plant is used in dyspepsia, dysentery, and gastric ulcer (Chowdhury et al., 2011). Centella asiatica, used by the Kaviraj to increase memory (Serial Number 15), has been described in Ayurvedic medical texts as a plant used for improving memory and overcoming mental confusion (Khare, 2007). This claim has also been scientifically validated (Jared, 2010). In Bangladesh, the plant is mostly used for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, so the memory enhancer treatment has most probably been Assam-derived. Boerhavia coccinea, used by the Kaviraj for treatment of edema (Serial Number 16) is used by the inhabitants of the northeast region of Brazil for the same purpose (Agra et al., 2008). The use of Commelina benghalensis for treatment of abscess (Serial Number 17) is not known, but a related species, Commelina diffusa is used in Asia including the tribes of Amarkantak region of Madhya Pradesh in India for treatment of abscess (Isaac and Brathwaite, 2007; Srivastava et al., 2012). Flowers of Leucas aspera are given to children for common colds and coughs in Indian traditional medicine, the Kaviraj of Bangladesh did the same but used the leaves of this plant for treatment of the same ailment in adults (Serial Number 18). The common use of this plant in Bangladesh by other Kavirajes is for the treatment of pain. It is possible that the Kaviraj's treatment with flowers has been derived from Assam, and treatment with leaves being her own modification.

Kalanchoe pinnata was used by the Kaviraj to treat kidney stones (Serial Number 19); it is interesting that while no such uses has been reported for traditional medicinal systems of India, the plant is used for treatment of bladder stones in ethnomedicinal practices of Trinidad and Tobago (Lans, 2006). The leaves of Piper betle are used for treatment of constipation in children in India (Shalini et al., 2012); the Kaviraj used it to treat constipation in adults (Serial Number 20). In Ayurveda, the leaves of the plant are considered as carminative. Cynodon dactylon was used by the Kaviraj for treatment of diverse diseases like whitish discharge in urine of women, gastric problems, sexual weakness, and to stop bleeding from cuts and wounds (Serial Number 21). In Ayurveda, the plant is used to treat cuts and wounds, and for diseases like menorrhagia and burning micturation. In the Siddha system of medicine in India, the plant is believed to bring relief from chronic diseases (Ram et al., 2009). Thus this treatment by the Kaviraj strongly indicates Indian influences. Azadirachta indica (Serial Numbers 6 and 22) is used in Ayurveda for treatment of gum inflammation and for skin problems like acne; the Kaviraj prescribed this species for treatment of the same conditions. The hepatoprotective potential of Clerodendrum infortunatum (synonym of Clerodendrum viscosum) has been reported (Sannigrahi et al., 2009); the Kaviraj used the plant to treat liver problems (Serial Number 23).

In Ayurveda, oil containing fruit juice of Phyllanthus emblica are used to prevent hair loss; the Kaviraj used it for the same purpose (Serial Number 24). Peel extracts of Punica granatum reportedly possess anti-bacterial and anti-fungal activities (Abdollahzadeh et al., 2011), which may explain the use of the leaves of this plant for treatment of skin sores (Serial Number 25). Naphthalene is a pesticide, which can kill head lice. Its application in coconut oil for treatment of head lice (Serial Number 26) shows an innovation on the part of the Kaviraj, but any resultant toxic effects on the person on whom the naphthalene is applied remains to be scientifically determined. This is the first time that we have come across this mode of therapy in Bangladesh, and so this could have possibly originated from Assam. Roots of Bombax ceiba, as used by the Kaviraj (Serial Number 27) are also used traditionally in India to treat sexual weakness (Verma et al., 2011). Although the use of Cyperus kyllinga for treatment of diarrhea appears to be novel (Serial Number 28), a related species, Cyperus rotundus, is considered anti-diarrheal in Ayurveda.

The use of spider webs to stop bleeding (Serial Number 29) and is practiced in many countries of the world. However, it is unscientific and can lead to infections. The Kaviraj used the meat of the Bengal fox to treat rheumatic pain (Serial Number 30); members of the Nyishi and Galo tribes in Arunachal Pradesh of India (near the Bangladesh border with India) use the fat of this animal for treatment of rheumatism (Chakravorty et al., 2011). The use of cow milk for treatment of measles (Serial Number 31) is quite an uncommon procedure and not previously observed by us in our numerous ethnomedicinal surveys, and so could reflect either the Kavirajes own innovation or something borrowed from Assam.

Overall, it can be concluded that the various formulations used by the Kaviraj in the present survey can be classified into three groups--first, formulations which are common in Bangladesh and may have local origins; second, formulations, which show Indian traditional medicinal influences and could have originated from various Indian traditional medicinal systems and come to the Kaviraj via Assam, where she obtained her training; and third, some which may be considered as the Kavirajes own innovations. Our survey strongly suggests that folk medicinal practices in Bangladesh is closely related to folk medicinal practices in India, at least with areas in India close to the Bangladesh border. Irrespective of the origin, it is of importance that the formulations be studied scientifically with the objective of discovering novel and better medicines. Scientific reports have already validated the Kavirajes use of some of the plants, and more scientific research can lead to more validations and spur conservation efforts to save the plant and animal species.

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(1) Sophia Hossain, (2) Safayat Mahmud, (1) Mohammed Rahmatullah

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

(2) UniMed UniHealth Pharmaceuticals, Lalmatia, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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 Phone: 88-01715032621; Fax: 88-02-8157339; E-mail: rahamatm@hotmail.com
Table 1: Formulations used for treatment of various diseases by the
Assam-trained Kaviraj of Savar in Dhaka district, Bangladesh.

Serial   Ailment with         Formulation and dosage
Number   symptoms

1        Fever including      For fever, leaves of Nyctanthes
         dengue fever and     arbor-tristis L. (Oleaceae) are
         malarial fever,      macerated with rhizomes of Zingiber
         helminthiasis.       officinale Roscoe (Zingiberaceae) to
                              obtain juice, which is strained and
                              taken with honey twice daily in the
                              morning and evening. For children aged 6
                              months to 2 years, 3 leaves are
                              macerated, for children aged 2-5 years,
                              5 leaves are macerated, and for persons
                              above 5 years age, 7 leaves are
                              macerated. For children, the amount of
                              honey is Y teaspoonfuls, for adults it
                              is 1 teaspoonful.

                              For helminthiasis, leaves are macerated
                              with table salt and taken in the morning
                              on an empty stomach. Dosage is 3 leaves
                              for children aged 6 months to 2 years, 5
                              leaves for children aged 2-5 years, and
                              7 leaves for persons above 5 years.

2        Gastric problems,    One handful of leaves of Scoparia dulcis
         dysentery,           L. (Scrophulariaceae) is washed,
         diabetes.            macerated to obtain juice, which is
                              strained and taken with water twice
                              daily in the morning and evening (one
                              spoonful of juice each time).

3        Eczema, waist        For eczema, young leaves of Cassia
         pain, coughs and     fistula L. (Fabaceae) are macerated and
         whooping coughs.     fried in mustard oil [oil obtained from
                              seeds of Brassica juncea (L.) Czern.
                              (Cruciferae)] and applied to affected
                              areas (1). Alternately, one large fruit
                              of Musa paradisiaca L. (Musaceae) is
                              macerated with table salt and applied to
                              affected area and the area tied with a
                              piece of cloth overnight. In the
                              morning, the affected area is washed
                              with water (2), and the concoction
                              mentioned in (1) is applied. Application
                              2 is done for one day only followed by
                              application 1 till cure.

                              For waist pain, a piece of stem (1 inch)
                              of Cassia fistula is tied around the
                              waist.

                              For coughs and whooping coughs, pulp of
                              a ripe fruit of Cassia fistula is
                              sucked.

4        Asthma.              About 25g of Piper cubeba L.
                              (Piperaceae) whole plant is mixed with a
                              small amount of camphor [obtained from
                              the wood of Cinnamomum camphora (L.) J.
                              Presl. (Lauraceae), macerated and taken
                              in the morning on an empty stomach for
                              21 days.

                              Alternately, 50g of seeds of Piper
                              nigrum L. (Piperaceae) is mixed with
                              250g taal-mishri [crystalline sugar
                              obtained from the sap of Borassus
                              flabellifer L. (Arecaceae)] and the
                              mixture is macerated and taken with
                              honey and warm water at night for 21
                              days.

5        Toothache,           Sap obtained from young leaves of Ficus
         loosening of         benghalensis L. (Moraceae) is applied to
         tooth.               base of tooth.

6        To strengthen base   Four leaves of Azadirachta indica A.
         of tooth.            Juss. (Meliaceae) are chewed daily in
                              the morning.

7        To stop bleeding     Leaves of Chromolaena odorata (L.) King
         and pain from        & H. Rob. (Asteraceae) are rubbed onto
         external cuts and    cuts and wounds.
         wounds.

8        To reduce fat in     Young leaves of Mangifera indica L.
         the body.            (Anacardiaceae) are mashed with cloves
                              of garlic [Allium sativum L.
                              (Liliaceae)] and fruits of Capsicum
                              frutescens L. (Solanaceae) and eaten.

9        To keep body cool.   Stems of Abroma augusta L.f.
                              (Sterculiaceae) are soaked in water
                              overnight and then taken the following
                              morning on an empty stomach.

10       Constipation,        For constipation and liver problems,
         liver problems,      leaves of Moringa oleifera Lam.
         joint pain.          (Moringaceae) are fried and eaten. For
                              joint pain, juice is extracted from
                              boiled or raw bark and one cup of the
                              juice is taken in the morning for 7
                              consecutive days.

12       Burning sensations   Leaves of Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt.
         in the body,         (Cucurbitaceae) are applied to areas of
         diabetes.            the body with burning sensations. For
                              diabetes, leaves are either taken in the
                              macerated form or fried and eaten.

13       Gastric problems,    Three leaves of Scindapsus aureus
         gastric ulcer.       (Linden & Andre) Engl. (Araceae) are
                              taken and the vein in the middle of each
                              leaf is removed. The leaves are then
                              macerated with water, which is then
                              strained and taken in the morning on an
                              empty stomach. This is continued for 7
                              days.

14       Blood dysentery,     One handful of young stems of Mikania
         blood coming out     cordata Burm.f. (Asteraceae) is
         from anus.           macerated to obtain juice (about one
                              glass), which is then taken with sugar
                              or molasses every morning for 3 days on
                              an empty stomach.

15       To increase          Y cup of juice obtained from macerated
         memory.              leaves of Centella asiatica (L.) Urb.
                              (Umbelliferae) is taken in the morning.

16       Edema (legs,         Leaves of Boerhavia coccinea Mill.
         body).               (Nyctaginaceae) are fried and taken with
                              rice in the afternoon for three
                              consecutive days.

17       Abscess.             Leaves and stems of Commelina
                              benghalensis L. (Commelinaceae) are
                              macerated with rhizomes of Zingiber
                              officinale Roscoe (Zingiberaceae), seeds
                              of Coriandrum sativum L. (Umbelliferae)
                              and table salt. The mixture is applied
                              to the top of the abscess or the whole
                              abscess for 3 days.

18       Common cold.         For adults, the leaves of Leucas aspera
                              (Willd.) Link. (Lamiaceae) are to be
                              fried and eaten for 3 consecutive days.
                              For children, flowers are macerated with
                              honey and juice obtained from rhizomes
                              of Zingiber officinale Roscoe
                              (Zingiberaceae) and orally administered
                              for 3 consecutive days.

19       Urinary tract        4-5 leaves of Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.)
         infections, kidney   Pers. (Crassulaceae) are macerated and
         stones.              rubbed onto the lower abdomen in case of
                              urinary tract infections. For kidney
                              stones, juice obtained from macerated
                              7-8 leaves (about 1 glass) is taken with
                              sugar or honey in the morning on an
                              empty stomach for 1 month.

20       Constipation.        One leaf of Piper betle L. (Piperaceae)
                              is macerated and Piper betle: Paan pata
                              taken with table salt once daily.

21       Whitish discharge    One handful of leaves of Cynodon
         in urine of women,   dactylon (L.) Pers. (Poaceae) is
         gastric problems,    macerated and the juice obtained is
         sexual weakness,     taken with water (one glass) in the
         to stop bleeding     morning for 7 consecutive days.
         from external cuts
         and wounds.

22       Acne.                Equal amount of leaves of Aegle marmelos
                              (L.) Corr. (Rutaceae) and Azadirachta
                              indica A. Juss. (Meliaceae) are
                              macerated together and applied to acnes
                              once daily. The mixture is to be applied
                              for 20 minutes each time.

23       Liver problems.      One handful of leaf buds of Clerodendrum
                              viscosum Vent. (Verbenaceae) is
                              macerated and taken with honey or sugar
                              in the morning for 3 consecutive days.

24       Hair loss.           1 kg of fruits of Phyllanthus emblica L.
                              (Euphorbiaceae) is heated with coconut
                              oil [oil obtained from fruit pulp of
                              Cocos nucifera L. (Arecaceae)] and then
                              cooled and applied to the head at night.

25       Skin sores.          Leaves of Punica granatum L.
                              (Punicaceae) are macerated, mixed with
                              coconut oil [oil obtained from fruit
                              pulp of Cocos nucifera L. (Arecaceae)]
                              and applied to sores for 7 consecutive
                              days.

26       Head lice.           Oil obtained from fruit pulp of Cocos
                              nucifera L. Cocos nucifera: Narkel
                              (Arecaceae) is mixed with 4 powdered
                              balls of naphthalene and applied to the
                              head. A piece of cloth is tied tightly
                              to the head and kept in place for 3-4
                              hours. The hair is then combed and
                              shampooed.

27       Sexual weakness.     Roots of Bombax ceiba L. (Bombacaceae)
                              and roots of Borassus flabellifer L.
                              (Arecaceae) are macerated together and
                              taken with honey once daily in the
                              morning for 7 consecutive days.

28       Diarrhea.            Tubers of Cyperus kyllinga Endl.
                              (Cyperaceae) are washed, macerated and
                              taken with sugar. Dosage is 1 tuber for
                              children and 2 for adults.

29       To stop bleeding     Spider (any type) web is held onto cuts
         from external cuts   and wounds.
         and wounds.

30       Rheumatic pain.      The meat of Bengal fox (Vulpes
                              bengalensis LC) is cooked and eaten (one
                              piece of meat for 7 consecutive days).

31       Measles.             Raw cow milk is applied to whole body.

Serial   Local name of plants/ingredients
Number   used

1        Nyctanthes arbor-tristis: Sheuli, Shefali

         Zingiber officinale: Ada

2        Scoparia dulcis: Chini shakkor

3        Cassia fistula: Bandor lori, Bandor lathi

         Brassica juncea: Shorisha

         Musa paradisiaca: Bichi kola

4        Piper cubeba Cof chini, Kabab chini

         Cinnamomum camphora: Korpur
         Piper nigrum: Kalo gol morich
         Borassus flabellifer: Taal

5        Ficus benghalensis: Bot

6        Azadirachta indica: Neem

7        Chromolaena odorata: Ful khori

8        Mangifera indica: Aam
         Allium sativum: Roshun
         Capsicum frutescens: Morich

9        Abroma augusta: Ulot kombol

10       Moringa oleifera: Sojne gach

12       Coccinia grandis: Telakochu

13       Scindapsus aureus: Money plant

14       Mikania cordata: Jarmany lota

15       Centella asiatica: Thankuni pata

16       Boerhaavia coccinea: Kunil ibba

17       Commelina benghalensis: Kanai
         Zingiber officinale: Ada
         Coriandrum sativum: Dhonae

18       Leucas aspera: Dondo kolosh
         Zingiber officinale: Ada

19       Kalanchoe pinnata: Pathorkuchi

20       Piper betle: Paan pata

21       Cynodon dactylon Dubla ghas

22       Aegle marmelos: Bael
         Azadirachta indica: neem

23       Clerodendrum viscosum: Bite gach

24       Phyllanthus emblica: Amloki
         Cocos nucifera: Narkel

25       Punica granatum: Dalim gach
         Cocos nucifera: Narkel

26       Cocos nucifera: Narkel

27       Bombax ceiba: Shimul gach
         Borassus flabellifer: Taal

28       Cyperus kyllinga: Vadaleya gach

29

30       Vulpes bengalensis: Shiyal

31

Table 2: Medicinal plants used by the Kaviraj of Savar in Dhaka
district, Bangladesh.

Serial Number   Plant                       Family

1               Mangifera indica            Anacardiaceae
2               Scindapsus aureus           Araceae
3               Borassus flabellifer        Arecaceae
4               Cocos nucifera              Arecaceae
5               Chromolaena odorata         Asteraceae
6               Mikania cordata             Asteraceae
7               Bombax ceiba                Bombacaceae
8               Commelina benghalensis      Commelinaceae
9               Kalanchoe pinnata           Crassulaceae
10              Brassica juncea             Cruciferae
11              Coccinia grandis            Cucurbitaceae
12              Cyperus kyllinga            Cyperaceae
13              Phyllanthus emblica         Euphorbiaceae
14              Cassia fistula              Fabaceae
15              Leucas aspera               Lamiaceae
16              Cinnamomum camphora         Lauraceae
17              Allium sativum              Liliaceae
18              Azadirachta indica          Meliaceae
19              Ficus benghalensis          Moraceae
20              Moringa oleifera            Moringaceae
21              Musa paradisiaca            Musaceae
22              Boerhaavia coccinea         Nyctaginaceae
23              Nyctanthes arbor-tristis    Oleaceae
24              Piper betle                 Piperaceae
25              Piper cubeba                Piperaceae
26              Piper nigrum                Piperaceae
27              Cynodon dactylon            Poaceae
28              Punica granatum             Punicaceae
29              Aegle marmelos              Rutaceae
30              Scoparia dulcis             Scrophulariacese
31              Abroma augusta              Sterculiaceae
32              Capsicum frutescens         Solanaceae
33              Centella asiatica           Umbelliferae
34              Coriandrum sativum          Umbelliferae
35              Clerodendrum viscosum       Verbenaceae
36              Zingiber officinale         Zingiberaceae
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Author:Hossain, Sophia; Mahmud, Safayat; Rahmatullah, Mohammed
Publication:American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9BANG
Date:Oct 1, 2012
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