Traditional use of medicinal plants in Bangladesh to treat urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases

Shahadat Hossan, Bipasha Agarwala, Shahnawaz Sarwar, Masud Karim, Rownak Jahan, Mohammed Rahmatullah


The rural population of Bangladesh has traditionally depended on folk medicinal healers for cure of their ailments. These healers use medicinal plants as their primary source of medicinal formulations. Rural patients are more dependent on traditional or folk medicinal healers for cure of urinary tract infections (UTI) and sexually transmitted diseases (STD) for a number of reasons including lack of access to modern medical facilities, clinging to traditional approaches, and finally hesitancy to relate this form of illnesses in front of unknown doctors. Since the traditional healer usually resides in the same village or in an adjoining area, the patient is more comfortable in seeking their treatment. We conducted an ethnomedicinal survey amongst the traditional healers of various ethnic groups and in several regions of the country to obtain information on medicinal plants used to treat UTI and STD. Interviews were conducted in the local dialect or language and information gathered as to plant and plant parts used, ailments, formulations, and dosages. Plant specimens were photographed and identified at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. A total of 32 plants distributed into 23 families were reported by the traditional healers of several districts and tribes of Bangladesh as to their being used as remedy for UTIs, including leucorrhea, frequent or infrequent urination, cloudy urination and burning sensations during urination. A total of 10 plants divided into 9 families were reported to be used against STDs like syphilis and gonorrhea.

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Ethnobotany Research and Applications (ISSN 1547-3465) is published online by the Department of Ethnobotany, Institute of Botany, Ilia State University.
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