Ethnobotanical inventory and medicinal applications of plants used by the local people of Cholistan desert, Pakistan



Background: The Cholistan desert has been inhabited by people who have a long tradition of utilizing medicinal plants to heal human diseases. The current study includes a detailed ethnobotanical inventory and the traditional therapeutic applications of medicinal plants in the Cholistan desert.

Methods: The primary data was obtained through field observations, interviews, and questionnaires between December 2021 and March 2022. Informant Consensus Factor (ICF), Relative frequency citation (RFCs), and fidelity level (FL) were used to access the relevance of medicinal plants. Pearson’s chi-square test, One-way ANOVA and multiple logistic regression were performed to compare indigenous knowledge among respondents of various socio-demographic groups.

Results: 93 plants from 31 families were recorded. The Fic was calculated for sixteen different disease categories value range (0.82 to 0.50). Heliotropium strigosum, Grewia villosa, and Capparis decidua exhibited high RFCs value (0.49). The FL of Chenopodium album and Farsetia hamiltonii were 92.9 and 91.4%. Gender, age, educational status, and source of livelihood showed a significant positive impact (p-value < 0.001) on the respondents' indigenous knowledge about medicinal plants. Multiple logistic regression analysis confirmed that gender and education significantly affect (p-value < 0.001) the level of respondents’ indigenous knowledge followed by age and source of livelihood.

Conclusion: This investigation revealed that traditional medicine based on ancient indigenous knowledge is still practiced as the first line of health care in the study area. Women are having vast ethnobotanical knowledge as compared to men and there is a significant gap in transmission of information from elder to younger generations.

Keywords: Medicinal plants, Indigenous Knowledge, Ethnobotanical indices, Socio-demographic factors, Regression analysis

Author Biographies

Muhammad Farooq Azhar, Department of Forestry and range management Bahauddin Zakariya university Multan, Pakistan

Associate professor department of forestry and range management bahauddin zakariya university multan, pakistan

Rainer W. Bussmann, Department of Botany, State Museum of Natural History, Karlsruhe, Germany and Department of Ethnobotany, Institute of Botany, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia

Professor, Institute of Botany and Bakuriani Alpine Botanical Garden, Department of Ethnobotany, Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia




How to Cite

Ali, E., Azhar, M. F., & Bussmann, R. W. . (2023). Ethnobotanical inventory and medicinal applications of plants used by the local people of Cholistan desert, Pakistan. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 25. Retrieved from



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