Ethno-medicinal survey of plants used by Magar (Kham) community, Rolpa district, Western Nepal

Shanta Budha-Magar, Prabin Bhandari, Suresh Kumar Ghimire


Background: Medicinal plants (MP) are the primary source of health care in developing countries like Nepal. Specially, indigenous people depend on MP species for their basic livelihood. In this study, we aimed to document MP species and assess their indigenous use among Magar (Kham) community in Western Nepal.

Methods: A list of MP species was prepared through empirical ethnobotanical study and their indigenous use was assessed using a set of questionnaires. The data collected was generalized for MP species diversity, use categories, and life forms. Informant consensus factor (Fic), Use Frequency (UF) and Use Value (UV) were used to find the cultural importance of MP species.

Results: We recorded 82 MP species, belonging to 45 families and 75 genera of which nine species cited in Magar (Kham) community are ethnobotanically new to Nepal. Informant consensus factor value was found to be high (1) for eight ailment categories; cancer, warts, pneumonia, dandruff, frightening, anesthetic, skin disease, eye irritation and leeches. Based on use value index, the most important ethnomedicinal species were Bergenia ciliata, Swertia chirayta, Acorus calamus and Aconitum gammiei.

Conclusions: This study provides complete document of indigenous uses of MP species among Magar (Kham) community of Thabang Rural Municipality (RM), Rolpa district. Nine MP species were reported with new uses for the first time in Nepal. There is further possibility of recording of new use reports in other villages adjoining to the present studied Magar Kham community. The species with high cultural values must be tested further for their pharmacological properties.

Key words: Rolpa district, Jaljala Mountain, Indigenous Uses, Quantitative ethnobotany, Use Value Index

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