An Ethnomedicinal Appraisal of Medicinal Plants Used in COVID-19 Pandemic in Buddhabumi Municipality, Southern Nepal


  • Vivek Thapa Chhetri Institute of Forestry, Pokhara
  • Pabitra Jha
  • Surya Kumar Maharjan


Background: Currently, the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is posing a serious threat to global health. Although approved COVID-19 vaccines have been claimed to provide a high degree of protection against getting seriously ill and dying from the disease, they are not in the approach of all people especially those from the least developed countries like Nepal. Desperation within people has led to increased use of medicinal plants to cure the miscellaneous symptoms of COVID-19 and to prevent infection without proper knowledge of their phytochemical and pharmacological properties.

Methods: Based on the online and interpersonal inquiries with 59 COVID-19 survivors and 111 inhabitants of Buddhabhumi Municipality, Kapilvastu, Nepal, the ethnomedicinal data were collected and summarized using descriptive statistics like frequency, percentage tables, and graphs. For each medicinal plant species, the frequency of citation (FC) and relative frequency of citation (RFC) were calculated along with a radar chart for the top 15 cited species with their phytochemical and pharmacological properties.

Results: This study documented 41 species of medicinal plants belonging to 24 different families and 37 genera were used. Herbs were predominant among other life-forms and leaves were highly used among other plant parts. Turmeric (Curcuma longa, with the highest frequency of citation of 0.80) was the most frequently used species. Most of the respondents (44%) obtained medicinal plants from their home gardens. Family, friends, and neighbors were the primary sources of information the respondents followed. Interestingly, all of the 15 most frequently cited medicinal plants were reported to have both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties and 14 of them were proclaimed to be immunomodulatory.

Conclusion: Therefore, we conclude from the survey and available literatures that medicinal plants play a significant role against viral infections.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory, Antiviral, Immunomodulatory, Pharmacology, Phytochemical




How to Cite

Chhetri, V. T., Jha, P., & Maharjan, S. K. (2021). An Ethnomedicinal Appraisal of Medicinal Plants Used in COVID-19 Pandemic in Buddhabumi Municipality, Southern Nepal. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 22, 1–19. Retrieved from