A quantitative medico-botanical expedition of Fairy Meadows National Park, Diamir, Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan
Background: This study was conducted to investigate the ethnobotanical knowledge of the population of the Fairy Meadow National Park, Diamir, Gilgit Baltistan. The study area was previously ignored due to physical barriers, and remoteness. The use of medicinal plants for various maladies, known to the elders of the community and passed orally to the younger generation was documented.
Methods: A total of 146 informants were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires. The data was quantitatively analyzed employing frequency of citation (FC), use value (UV), relative frequency of citation (RFC) along with Pearson correlation coefficient (PCC).
Results: A total of 90 species belonging to 77 genera and 49 different families has been documented. These medicinal plants are used against 55 diseases, especially stomach problems (23.3%), cough (17.7%), asthma and fever (16.6%). 31 out of 90 plants species displayed either novel use report (28 plants) or first time reported medicinal plants (3 plants). The first time reported medicinal plants include Allium gilgitensis, Astragalus gilgitensis and Pedicularia flava. Most of the documented plants were wild (86%) and herbs (60%), and leaves (27%) were the most widely used parts. The common method of preparation was powder (27%) mainly administered orally (81.7%). The highest use values were found for Berberis lyceum (5.47), Thymus linearis (5.07) and Rhododendron anthopogon (5.0), while the plants with greater relative frequency of citation were Berberis lyceum (0.97), Thymus linearis (0.89) and Rhododendron anthopogon (0.75). The Pearson correlation coefficient is 0.836 between RFC and UV showing high positive association.
Conclusion: We documented a wealth of traditional knowledge and could record the uses of various species for the first time from Pakistan. The novel uses reports and first time reported medicinal plants encourage us to explore more about the hidden treasures of medicinal plants to be exploited for the wellbeing of humans.
Keywords: Ethnobotany, Medicinal Plants, Ethnic Groups, Fairy Meadow, Diamir, Gilgit Baltistan
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