Medicinal plant diversity of Hindubaig Mountain, Lalku Valley, District Swat, Pakistan
Background: Continuous studies and surveys on medicinal plants used by local communities in different parts of the world are needed for the documentation of local knowledge and for the development of modern pharmaceuticals. This study aiming on the documentation of knowledge about medicinal plants diversity in northern Pakistan was conducted during summer 2018. During the survey, it was found that medicinal plants still are of paramount importance in the everyday life and are extensively used for medicinal purposes.
Methods: By using semi-structured interviews with questionnaires, medicinal information was collected from 150 respondents in the area. The respondents involved in the interview were mostly older people, but young people and children were also included in the interviews. During interviews the information about plants used by the local population for medicinal purposes was collected.
Results: The current study found 53 medicinal plants of 38 genera belonging to 25 families. Medicinally dominant family wereRanunculaceae with 9 species, followed by Rosaceae 7 species, Primulaceae have 5 plants species, Fumeriaceae, had 1 species. These plants were used for treating different disorders through the traditional system of medicine.The Hakims in the area had higher knowledge about medicinal plants than other members of the population. Similarly, elders had more knowledge than younger people, and children and women showed less knowledge than men in the community.
Conclusion: The present study revealed that traditional knowledge of medicinal plants is still very common in the study area. The majority of the species were still known to most people, but overexploitation of plants and overgrazing in the area are dangerous for future plant life. The current study suggests that there is a need teach awareness and understanding of plant management to the people of the area in order to ensure proper collection and to control on overgrazing. These measures will ensure protection of the available medicinal herbs diversity and is also necessary for threaten species to increase their number.
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