Quantitative ethnomedicinal studies of wild edible fruits used by the indigenous people of the Surghar Range, Pakistan
Background: Surghar range is one of Pakistan's backward and less explored areas with numerous wild edible fruit species. Indigenous people lack basic medical facilities and mostly depend upon wild edible fruits for their food requirements and health care.
Objectives: The present research work was aimed to document and preserve the valuable pool of indigenous knowledge about the medicinal uses of wild edible fruits of the Surghar range, Pakistan.
Methods: Ethnomedicinal information was collected from 55 respondents (aged 40-85 years) belonging to 16 different localities of the Surghar range, Pakistan. Research work was started in July 2021 and completed in January 2023. Compelling semi-structured interviews were conducted with the respondents, and complete data were recorded on questionnaires. Quantitative indices such as fidelity level (FL) and relative frequency of citation (RFC) were used to determine the medicinal significance of wild edible fruits of the Surghar range.
Results: This research work provided ethnomedicinal information about 43 wild edible fruits belonging to 16 families. These wild edible fruit species were used to treat 36 human and animal diseases in the Surghar range. Moraceae, with 7 species (16.27%), was recorded as the dominant dicot family. Arecaceae (6.97 %) was the dominant monocot family. The maximum RFC was reported for Berberis lycium (0.763), and the lowest value was calculated for Morus macroura (0.072). The highest FL was documented for Grewia tenax (69.23%), and the lowest was recorded for Bauhinia variegata (8.69%).
Conclusion: Recent research work demonstrated that all the wild edible fruit plants had medicinal potential but Berberis lycium, Grewia tenax, Tinospora cordifolia, Salvadora persica, Cordia myxa, and Sideroxylon mascatense were recorded as highly medicinal in the Surghar range. This research work will be useful for the local inhabitants to conserve these medicinal plants.
Keywords: Wild edible fruits, Relative frequency of citation, Fidelity level, Moraceae, Surghar range
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