Quantitative ethnobotanical appraisal of medicinal plants used by indigenous communities of District Malakand, Pakistan
Background: Medicinal plants are the only possible solution to facilitate and treat different complications of human beings. The local residents of District Malakand are dependent on medicinal plants for their primary healthcare. The aim of this study was to document medicinal plants and associated traditional knowledge of District Malakand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Methods: The area was frequently visited from March to August in 2018-2019, during the peak flowering season for the collection of specimens and semi-structured interviews on the uses of medicinal plants. A total of 150 participants selected randomly and the demographic information (age, gender) and status of conservation was aggregated using a semi-structured questionnaire collected from each site. Informants were interviewed in their local language (Pashto).
Results: A total of 62 ethno-medicinal plant species belonging to 37 families were recorded. A considerable proportion of the ethno-medicinal plant species were used for gastro-intestinal disorders. Relative Frequency of Citation (RFC) ranged from 0.48 to 0.3. The highest RFC value was registered for Jasminum officinale 0.48. Similarly, the UV (Use Value) range from 0.92 to 0.35, with highest values for Citrus medica (0.92), Lagenaria siceraria (0.55), and Lycopersicum esculentum (0.5). Older participants from 55-70 years of age showed higher knowledge about plants, followed by the age group 45–55.
Conclusion: In the present study, some plants were of key importance i.e., Citrus medica, Lagenaria siceraria, Lycopersicum esculentum, Lactuca sativa and Brassica rapa. This documentation of medicinal plants and their uses shows the rich tradition in ethno-medicinal knowledge of the District Malakand, Pakistan.
Keywords: Indigenous community, Quantitative ethnobotany, medicinal plants, Malakand, Pakistan
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