Millennial traditions - Exploration of ethno-medicinal knowledge among different ethnic groups of Northern part Kashmir Himalaya, India
Background: Traditional use of medicinal plants is an important aspect of Himalayan culture, and these approaches have evolved to include the primary health-care purpose and treatment of a wide range of ailments.
Methods: Snowball sampling method was used to interview 300 informants using semi-structured questionnaire to document the uses of indigenous species. Principal component analysis was used to analyze the data using PAST software ver.3.14.
Results: The present study reported a total of 67 medicinal plants belonging to 44 families with Asteraceae as dominant family. The majority of the species were herbaceous (81%) followed by trees (10%) and shrubs (9%). Leaves were the most commonly used plant part accounting for (16%), followed by roots (10%). The medicinal plants were used to cure various ailments, especially intestinal problems, skin diseases, stomach problems, respiratory problems, diabetes, bone and joint problems. The majority of people preferred to prepare herbal medicines on their own rather than obtaining these from traditional health practitioners. 63.11%, 55.15%, 45.61% respondents believed that the medicinal plants were highly effective from the site I, II, III respectively.
Conclusions: According to the findings of the current study, local people have a profound cultural link to the flora, as the use of medicinal plants to treat various illnesses plays an important role in meeting the primary health care needs. Due to urbanization and exploitation, it has become imperative to preserve the traditional medicinal knowledge before it becomes extinct.
Keywords: Health care, Knowledge, Medicinal plants, Traditional therapeutic use
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