Medicinal plants used against gastrointestinal complaints in district Budgam of Jammu and Kashmir - An ethnomedicinal study
Keywords:Medicinal plants, Ethnomedicine, Traditional knowledge, Gastrointestinal complaints, Budgam, J&K.
Background: The current study was the first to target on gastrointestinal illnesses and associated traditional recipes in Jammu and Kashmir's Budgam area. Gastrointestinal disorders affect any part of the gastrointestinal system, from the esophagus to the rectum, as well as the accessory digestive organs. The knowledge about plants used for the treatment gastrointestinal disorders is rapidly depleting in the study area and hence it becomes important to document this valuable knowledge.
Methods: Extensive surveys were conducted in the study area during March 2019 to July 2020 for the collection of medicinally important plants and the traditional knowledge associated with them. In a total 35 informants (22 males, 13 females) were interviewed aged between 29-80 years to collect the data using group discussions and semi-structured interviews. The interviews were carried out in local dialect and all the documented data was then translated into English. Various ethnobotanical indices, including informant consensus factor and use value, were employed to evaluate the gathered information.
Results: A total of 56 plant species belonging to 24 families and 47 genera were reported to be used against gastrointestinal disorders in Budgam region of Jammu and Kashmir. Among 24 families, Asteraceae was the dominant family (12 species) of the total reported taxa in the study area and leaves were the most utilized plant part with decoction as the major mode of herbal recipe preparation. Highest ICF (Informant consensus factor) of 1 was reported for vomiting and Artemisia absinthium recorded the highest UV (Use value) of 0.74.
Conclusion: Local inhabitants still prioritize herbal medicines as an effective way to treat a wide variety of ailments. Elders of the study area are well equipped with indigenous knowledge about medicinal plants, but young people are not much interested in herbal practices. Thus, valuable knowledge about the use of plants is on the verge of decline. Hence there is a dire need to document these valuable medicinal plants and the traditional treasure associated with them. In addition, plants reported with high UV should be subjected for further phytochemical and pharmacological investigation to authenticate indigenous uses.
Keywords: Medicinal plants, Ethnomedicine, Traditional knowledge, Gastrointestinal complaints, Budgam, J&K.
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