Traditional usage of plant resources in Ethnoveterinary practices in Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh, North western Himalayas India
Background: To best of our knowledge it is first quantitative study of ethnoveterinary practices from Spiti valley of Northwestern Himalayas. Spiti valley lies in cold arid zone of Himachal Pradesh and most of the high-altitude villages in this region remains cut off from rest of the world during a major part of the year (November-May).
Methods: A total of 48 respondents, 45-80 years old and including farmers, shepherds, housewives and herbalists familiar with livestock problems and use of conventional recipes, were interviewed and their responses recorded in detail. The data was analyzed by using three different quantitative indices viz. Use value (UV), Informant consensus factor (ICF) and Fidelity level (FL %).
Results: A total of 26 species were used in ethnoveterinary practices, distributed among 17 families and 25 genera. The UV was found to be highest in Brassica campestris (UV=0.95) followed by Lactuca macrorhiza (UV=0.62). The FL was found to be highest (100%) in Bunium persicum, Oxytropis lapponica, Sassurea bractaeta, Lactuca macrorhiza and Cousinia thomsonii for its use in treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, wound healing, neck sore, as a galactagogue and for the treatment of local swellings. Highest ICF was found in case of anestrus, animal bite followed by galactagogue.
Conclusion: Study concluded that 26 plant species used in ethnoveterinary practices to cure the various ailments. Scientific validation of different plant species with high UV and FL should be conducted in future for the optimum utilization of these species in animal health care.
Keywords: Amchis, Cold desert, Ethnoveterinary, Medicinal plants, Spiti valley
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