Ethnomedicinal plants used by the local people of Changunarayan Municipality, central Nepal

Authors

  • Kalpana Dulal Department of Botany, Bhaktapur Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, Bhaktapur, Nepal
  • Sujan Chaudhary Department of Botany, Amrit Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8300-4570
  • Yadav Uprety Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2654-5108
  • Neera Shrestha Department of Botany, Bhaktapur Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, Bhaktapur, Nepal
  • Sudarshana Shakya Department of Botany, Bhaktapur Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, Bhaktapur, Nepal
  • Nabin Munankarmi Department of Botany, Bhaktapur Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, Bhaktapur, Nepal https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1050-0901

Abstract

Background: For centuries, the Changunarayan municipality has been inhabited by people who have a long tradition of using medicinal plants to treat human ailments. Habitat degradation and improper harvesting are the major threats to the medicinal plant species in this area. The present study aims at documenting and identifying plant-based ethnomedicinal knowledge of the local people in order to preserve the dwindling indigenous knowledge.

Methods: The primary information on the medicinal plants were collected through field observation, interviews, and a semi-structured questionnaire. A frequency index value was determined to compare the medicinal plants that were used frequently by the local people. Moreover, the factor of informant consensus (FIC) was determined for the assessment of homogeneity on the informants’ knowledge regarding medicinal plants. A Pearson correlation test and a simple linear regression were performed to evaluate the relationship between the age of respondents and plants described by them.

Results: A total of 96 medicinal plant species belonging to 56 families and 85 genera were used for the 40 different ailments documented in the municipality. Herbs (n = 47) occurred most frequently in the study area, and the most frequently used plant part was leaves (n = 30). The majority of the species were collected from the wild (57%). Ocimum tenuiflorum and Curcuma longa had the highest frequency index of 65%. The value of Chi-square test between genders and the number of plants described by them was determined to be significant (p-value < 0.001). A positive correlation (r = 0.708) was found between the age groups of informants and the number of plants described by them. The FIC value in the study ranged from 0.4 (cardio-vascular) to 0.90 (fever).

Conclusion: The medicinal plants have been playing an enormous role in the health care of the villagers, though the study area is very close to the capital city. The plants used in the study might open the way for the development of a scientifically verified botanical derivatives for modern medicine. Valuable traditional knowledge was limited to the older generation, which indicates a huge gap in knowledge transmission from the older to the younger generation.

Keywords: Ailments, Local interventions, Threats, Traditional knowledge

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Published

2022-06-22

How to Cite

Dulal, K., Chaudhary, S., Uprety, Y., Shrestha, N., Shakya, S., & Munankarmi, N. (2022). Ethnomedicinal plants used by the local people of Changunarayan Municipality, central Nepal. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 23, 1–27. Retrieved from https://ethnobotanyjournal.org/index.php/era/article/view/3673

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Research