A Comparative Analysis of Medicinal Plants Used by Folk Medicinal Healers in Three Districts of Bangladesh and Inquiry as to Mode of Selection of Medicinal Plants
AbstractAn ethnomedicinal survey conducted in two sub-districts (upazillas) each of three districts of Bangladesh revealed that there is both inter- and intra-district variation between the choices of medicinal plants selected by folk medicinal healers (kavirajes) to treat any specific ailment. The variations cannot be accounted for by differences in climate or plant availability for most of the plants used by the kavirajes are available in all six upazillas where the survey was conducted. Most kavirajes claimed that they obtained information on medicinal plants either from ‘gurus’ or from elderly members of their family. However, it was also revealed by the kavirajes that further modes for acquiring medicinal plant knowledge were through initial experiments conducted on animals and poultry, dreams, and a perceived similarity between plants or plant parts and human body features. It is concluded that such selections are, and were, primarily made through initial experiments by traditional healers on animals and birds. Dreams and perceived similarities between plant parts and human body parts may also play an important role in such selection.
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