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1 23
Genetic Resources and Crop
Evolution
An International Journal
ISSN 0925-9864
Genet Resour Crop Evol
DOI 10.1007/s10722-012-9799-5
Studies on wild edible fruits of Mizoram,
India used as ethno-medicine
T.K.Hazarika, Lalramchuana &
B.P.Nautiyal
1 23
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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Studies on wild edible fruits of Mizoram, India used
as ethno-medicine
T. K. Hazarika
Lalramchuana
B. P. Nautiyal
Received: 29 September 2011 / Accepted: 15 January 2012
Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012
Abstract The traditional knowledge system has
gained a prime importance in context with conservation,
utilization and sustainable development of plant
resources. The ethno-medicinal plants play a major role
amongst the tribal and rural people in their traditional
healthcare system. Considering the importance of
ethno-medicines amongst the tribal people, a study
was undertaken to enumerate the ethno-medicinal uses
of wild edible fruits among the Mizo tribes of Aizawl
district, Mizoram, India. The study was based on
extensive eld surveys, plant collection and the inter-
views with the traditional healers. Altogether 60 wild
edible fruit species belonging to 35 families have been
enumerated in this paper. The documented wild edible
fruits are mostly used to cure gastrointestinal disorders,
dermatological problems, respiratory problems, cardio-
vascular compliance, ENT diseases, mental problem,
muscular illness, bone diseases, gynecological problem,
cancers,snake bite, allergyand malaria. This indigenous
system of treatment based on wild edible fruits is still an
important part in Mizo social life and culture but this
traditional knowledge of the local people has been
transferred orally from generation to generation without
proper documentation. Therefore, the claimed
therapeutic values of the reported species are to be
critically studied to establish their safety and effective-
ness and to preserve these high valued wild edible fruits.
Keywords Ethno-medicine India Mizoram
Traditional healers Wild edible fruits
Introduction
Biodiversity is the very basis of human survival and
economic well being and constitutes the resources
upon which families, communities, nations and future
generations depend (Singh et al. 1994). The status and
characteristics of biodiversity prevalent in a country/
state/region is dependent on the land (soil, topogra-
phy), climate and people (their habitats and population
density) inhabiting the region (Nayar 2011). India is
one of the 33 hotspots of the world (Conservation
International 2007) and over 17 000 species of higher
plants are reported to occur, of which 7 500 are used
for healthcare by various ethnic communities (Shiva
1996). About 600–700 species are in much use mostly
by the tribal and the rural population. About 60% of
the population of the world and 80% of the population
in developing countries relay on traditional medicines,
mostly plant drugs for their primary healthcare needs.
In India, 70% of the population dependent on tradi-
tional plant based medicines as primary healthcare
sources (Anonymous 2003a). India has rich
T. K. Hazarika (&) Lalramchuana B. P. Nautiyal
Department of Horticulture, Aromatic and Medicinal
Plants, School of Earth Sciences and Natural Resources
Management, Mizoram University, Tanhril, Aizawl
796 004, India
e-mail: tridip28@gmail.com
123
Genet Resour Crop Evol
DOI 10.1007/s10722-012-9799-5
Author's personal copy
concentration of 500 tribal communities living in
remote places in close association of forests since time
immemorial. These people use locally available
medicinal plants to meet their daily healthcare needs.
The plant based traditional knowledge has become a
recognized tool in search for new sources of drugs and
nutraceuticals. The use of locally available medicinal
plant is often an economically inevitable alternative to
expensive medicines.
In the different circum-mediterranean regions and
countries (Leonti et al. 2006; Rivera et al. 2006;
Hadjichambis et al. 2008) many wild edible plants
have favoured survival in times of food shortage and
scant resources, offering an important supplement to
daily nutrition (Gonzalez et al. 2011). From nutritional
point of view, these plants play a major role in
supplementing staples with micronutrients in many
areas (Grivetti and Ogle 2000; Herzog et al. 1994;
Maundu 1996). Wild edible fruits are obtained from
the wild plants found naturally here and there in the
forests or marginal lands of rural areas without
commercial cultivation. These fruits are nutritionally
rich and can supplement nutritional requirements
especially vitamins and micronutrients to the human
beings (Ogle and Grivetti 1985; Maundu et al. 1999).
Nutritional analysis of these wild fruits demonstrates
that in many cases the nutritional quality of these fruits
are comparable and in some cases even superior to
domesticated varieties of high demanding fruits. They
represent cheap but quality nutrition for large seg-
ments of the population in both urban and rural areas
(Dansi et al. 2008). Many wild edible fruits are still
unknown or insufficiently exploited, despite their
nutritional values. Most of these fruits have medicinal
properties including antioxidant effects. The tribal
people have been consuming these fruits since time
immemorial without knowing their ethno-medicinal
values. Many of these fruits are being used by the
traditional healers of rural areas as a source of ethno-
medicine in tribal healthcare system. The knowledge
of valuable heritage of these fruits is orally handed
over from one generation to other generation years
after year. Nevertheless, the folk and ethno-medicines
particularly in rural and tribal areas of India are still
playing a great role in treatment of diseases but now
the traditional knowledge and practices are disappear-
ing and losing their intrinsic values at an alarming rate
due to one or other reasons including the shrinkage of
forest areas due to wider adoption of shifting
cultivation and disappearance of indigenous culture.
The vast store of information on indigenous knowl-
edge, practices and technologies is being eroded as a
result of rapid urbanization, over-exploitation of
resources, unscientific land use, change of lifestyles
and behavior (Joshi and Joshi 2005). As reported by
Blanco (2004), regarding issues of traditional culture
the process of oral transmission has broken down and
most traditional knowledge can only be found in the
memory of the elderly and is gradually fading as these
repositories of ancestral knowledge received from
parents and grandparents succumb to age. The loss of
indigenous knowledge has also been recognized as one
of the general factors affecting biological diversity
(Keller et al. 2006). Replacing traditional foods by
‘modern feeding habits’ results in the loss of genetic
diversity in traditional food species and a decline in
cultural diversity (Bonnet and Valle‘s 2002; Maundu
1994). It is now generally recognized that the latter
have more chances to succeed when they take into
account the local population’s knowledge and inter-
ests (Ayantunde et al. 2008; Gemedo-Dalle et al. 2005;
Zambrana et al. 2007). Therefore, studying indigenous
knowledge on plant uses and resource management
practices is thus extremely important to support
biodiversity conservation programs (Termote et al.
2011). Moreover, to sustain food agrobiodiversity in a
meaningful way, the rights of indigenous populations
to their knowledge and traditions transmitted over
generations should be fully recognized (Pieroni et al.
2005). Hence, priority ought to be given to document
these useful wild edible fruit plants having ethno-
medicinal values from the area of high abundance
before the inhabitants shift over to modern lifestyles.
Keeping in view, the importance of such invaluable
knowledge in healthcare management and develop-
ment of new and novel medicaments, the present
investigation has been taken up.
The north-eastern hill region (NEH), being one of
the hot-spots of biodiversity in the Indian gene centre,
is also known for its richness in ethnic diversity and
traditional culture (Nayar 1997). Mizoram, one of the
eight states in NEH region, has the highest proportion
of tribal population (94.8%), and is mainly inhabited
by Mizos, Maras, Lais, Pangs, Bawms, Hmars, Paites,
Brus, Chakmas, and Mogs (Lalramnghinglova and Jha
1999; Lalramnghinglova 2003). The state is an
expanse of blue green hills and the 23rd state of
Indian union in the extreme of the Himalayan ranges
Genet Resour Crop Evol
123
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and covers an area of 21 087 km
2
, is situated between
Myanmar and Bangladesh (Fig. 1). It is located in
between 21858
0
N and 24835
0
N latitudes and 92816
0
E
and 93829
0
E longitudes and bounded by Cachar
district of Assam in the North, Manipur in the North-
east, Myanmar in the East and South and Bangladesh
and the state of Tripura in the West. The state
comprises mostly hilly terrains with deep gorges in
between the hill ranges run in North–South direction
with an average height of 920 m above msl. The
mountain ranges run in north to south direction,
intercepted by narrow deep valleys and criss-crossed
by innumerable small hillocks. The study was con-
ducted in Aizawl district of Mizoram with a total
geographic area of 3 577 km
2
, with a population of
339 812. The district lies between 23.73°N latitude
and 92.72°E longitude with an altitude of 1 018 m
from mean sea level. The socio-economic life of the
rural people depends on their ambient vegetation from
where they derive all their material requirements viz
timber, food, fuel wood, medicinal plants etc. The
majority of the population is rural and prefers to grow
primitive landraces of crop plants by shifting cultiva-
tion (‘‘Jhum’ farming). In order to fulfill their basic
requirements, they depend on the wild economic
species and to make these resources easily accessible,
cultivate some of these plants in their kitchen gardens
(Bhat et al. 2009). The tribal people of the district have
been consuming these wild fruits since very ancient
time without knowing their nutritive and medicinal
value (Lalfakzuala et al. 2007; Lalramnghinglova
2003). Considerable diversity exists among these
indigenous fruit species including variation in plant
type, morphological and physiological characteristics,
reactions to diseases and pests, adaptability and
distribution. Besides used as fruit, they are also used
as a very good source of ethno-medicines for a number
of diseases by the traditional healers. However, so far,
there is no any proper documented study on the ethno-
medicinal values of these valuable wild edible fruits of
Mizoram. Again, due to the prevailing shifting culti-
vation in the state and current deforestation trends,
which threaten the existence of medicinally important
plants makes it inevitable that this information be
made available and encourage preservation of their
traditional knowledge, conservation and sustainable
utilization of the wild edible fruit plant wealth
occurring in the study area. Hence, the present study
was undertaken to study the ethno-medicinal value of
wild edible fruits and to evaluate the unexplored
traditional medicinal practices of the Mizo tribes of
Aizawl district of Mizoram, North-East India.
Methodology
An attempt has been undertaken to enumerate the wild
edible fruits of Aizawl district of Mizoram used as
ethno-medicine by the Mizo tribe for treatment of
various ailments in traditional healthcare system. For
this, the preliminary survey and collection of wild
edible fruits of the Aizawl district of Mizoram was
conducted during 2009–2010. The data regarding
ethno-medicinal uses of wild edible fruits were
Fig. 1 The study area
Genet Resour Crop Evol
123
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collected by filling questionnaire, personal interviews
with the traditional healers or local practitioners by
field visits (Jain and Goel 1995). Standard guidelines
were followed for ethno-medicinal information among
the ethnic groups. Information on wild edible fruits,
parts used and medicinal values against different kinds
of diseases, methods of preparation, dose and duration
of treatment were collected. A total of 38 individuals
from 18 villages among different age groups
(45–75 years) were interviewed who were identified
with the help of local administrators and community
leaders. The collected specimens were identified with
the help of literature and by using various floras and
monographs including regional flora and the data
collected were compared and cross checked with other
recommended literature (Sharma et al. 1993; Hooker
1897; Singh et al. 2002) and after proper identification,
the plant specimens were processed, dried and
herbarium specimens were prepared according to the
conventional herbarium techniques (Mitra 1974).
Voucher specimens of the collected plant species
were deposited in the department of Horticulture, Aro-
matic and Medicinal Plants, Mizoram University.
Results and discussion
Indigenous knowledge refers to the cumulative and
complex bodies of knowledge know-how, practices and
representations that are maintained and developed by
local communities, who have long histories of interac-
tion with the natural environment (Anonymous 2003b).
The use of plants for traditional medicine is established
in all indigenous societies in the world. In Mizoram, the
knowledge is intrinsic among indigenous tribal people
and is inherited from their great ancestors by oral
communications. In the present study, an attempt has
been made to demonstrate the ethno-medicinal uses of
wild edible fruits in traditional healthcare system. A
total of 60 wild fruits distributed to 50 genera and 35
families were cited for treatment of various diseases and
ailments (Table 1). Among the documented medicinal
species, the family Moraceae was most frequently
represented with a total of 8 species, followed by
Euphobiaceae (7), Rosaceae (5), Anacardiaceae (4),
Burseraceae, Dilleniaceae, Myrsinaceae, Myrtaceae,
Sapindaceae, Sapotaceae, Solanaceae and Tiliaceae (2
each) and others with one species (Fig. 2). The data on
the medicinally important wild edible fruits indicates
that 25 species were used to treat gastrointestinal
disorders, 17 species for dermatological problems, 17
for respiratory problem, 14 for cardiovascular, 16 for
ENT, 12 for urogenital, 10 for minor ailments, 8 for
mental problem, 6 for muscular illness, 6 for bone
diseases, 6 for gynecological problem, 4 for cancers,3 as
antivenom, 1 each against allergy and malaria. Most of
the plants are used in the form of decoction while others
are used as paste, powder, juice and latex. Almost all
part of the plant was used for preparation of medicines.
The highest used plant part was fruit in 46 spp.
(76.67%), followed by leaf with 23 spp. (38.33%), bark
22 spp. (36.67%), root 15 spp (25.00%), seed 7 spp.
(11.67%), wood/Stem 6 spp. (10.00%), flowers 5 spp.
(8.33%). Parts like latex, whole plant, twig, kernel and
pod were used in 1 species with 1.67 per cent each
(Fig. 3).
These wild edible fruits are being used by the tribal
people of the hilly state from very ancient times and
almost all the fruits have one or more ethno-medicinal
uses. The tribal settlements are generally in the remote
areas of forest and there is prevalence of common
diseases like stomach problem, fever, wounds, boils,
eye problems, snake bite etc. The prevalence of
diseases can be attributed to unhygienic conditions,
poor quality of food, lack of clean drinking water etc.
In addition, tribal people do not get in time and proper
treatment even for common diseases. Therefore, for
getting relief from these problems, they mostly rely on
easily available traditional herbal medicines. It was
also observed that, the most popular medicinal prep-
aration are infusion, decoction, paste, juice and dry
powder and it is based on approximation, not
standardized. Since, these indigenous system of treat-
ments based on wild edible fruits with medicinal value
is still an important part in Mizo social life and culture
in village areas but this traditional knowledge of the
local people has been transferred orally from gener-
ation to generation without proper documentation.
Therefore, the claimed therapeutic values of the
reported species are to be critically studied to establish
their safety and effectiveness and to preserve these
high valued wild edible fruits, which may otherwise
loss due to deforestation.
During the last few years, some initiatives have
been taken by the government for sustainable
management of medicinal plants and their resources.
Despite the implementation of various activities for
the conservation and documentation of the species,
Genet Resour Crop Evol
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Table 1 Wild edible fruits with ethno-medicinal values used by Mizo tribes of Mizoram
Plant name/family/local name Uses
Aegle marmelos (Correa) Linn.; Rutaceae; Belthei Decoction of root is used in diarrhoea, dysentery and indigestion. Leaves
are crushed and used in opthalmia, deafness, inflammations, diabetes
and asthmatic complaints. Unripe fruits are used in diarrhoea and
dysentery. The orange coloured sour pulp is pounded to paste and
mixed with water. The mixture is taken to allay thirst and used as anti-
dysenteric, stomachic and digestive.
Agalia edulis (Roxb.) Wallich; Meliaceae; Raithei Juice of fruit is used against in the initial stage of cancer.
Amomum dealbatum Roxb.; Zingiberaceae; Aidu Fruits are used for lowering high blood pressure. Stems used in diarrhoea
and dysentery. Decoction of root for curing boil and against
hypertension
Annona squamosa L.; Annonaceae; Theiarbawm
(Also cultivated in home gardens)
Fruits juice is used to increase muscular strength, remove burning
sensation and to relieve vomiting
Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng.; Phyllanthaceae; Tuaitit Matured leaves used against snake bite and young leaves are boiled and
used in syphilis and skin disorders.
Aporosa octandra (Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don) Vickery;
Euphorbiaceae; Chhawntual
Decoction of bark is used in stomach disorder and low blood pressure.
Infusion of bark coat is taken orally for colic and stomachache @
cup twice or thrice daily.
Ardisia macrocarpa Wall.; Myrsinaceae; Vahrit thei Fruits are used for treatment of skin diseases and urinary disorders.
Artocarpus chama Buch.–Ham.; Moraceae; Tatkawng Inner coat of bark is chewed and the juice is swallowed against diarrhoea.
The bark is ground to powder and mixed with little water and made into
paste. The paste is applied on sores and pimples.
Artocarpus lakoocha Roxb.; Moraceae; Theitat Bark is used to cure septic wounds and dermatological problem.
Averrhoa carambola L.; Averrhoaceae; Theiherawt
(Also cultivated in home gardens)
Dried fruits are crushed and used in fever. A poultice of fruits or raw
fruits is used as remedy for bleeding piles. 3–4 slices of the fruit are
taken for jaundice or juice of crushed fruit is taken orally for jaundice
@ cup 3 times daily. Infusion of leaves is taken against enlargement
of liver as tea once daily.
Baccaurea ramiflora Lour.; Euphorbiaceae; Pangkai
(Also cultivated in home gardens)
2–3 young leaves are chewed 3 times a day for toothache. Infusion of
bark is taken against stomachache. Juice of bark is taken against food
allergy
Bischofia javanica Blume; Euphorbiaceae; Khuangthli Decoction of bark is used to treat cholera @ cup twice daily. Juice of
young shoots and tender leaves is applied externally on throat pain.
Infusion of young shoots and leaves is taken orally for diphtheria and
pharyngitis @ tablespoonful (10 ml) twice daily and leaf juice is used
in eye infections and also in stomach disorders.
Bridelia monoica (Lour.) Merr.; Euphorbiaceae; Phaktel Roots in combination with roots of Smilax ovalifolia and Ardisia
paniculata is grind and the paste is collected in a cup of water. The
mixture is boiled and taken orally against jaundice. Decoction of roots
is used in rheumatism and body pains.
Bruinsmia polysperma (C.B.Clarke) Steenis; Styraceae;
Theipaling/Kawh/Theirelchhin/Theichhinkhup
Fruit is used for treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery and other stomach
problems.
Carallia brachiata (Lour.) Merr.; Rhizophoraceae;
Theiria
Bark is used for treatment of itching, cuts and wounds, oral ulcers and
stomachache. The extracts of pulp mixed with turmeric and rice flour is
use for blood poisoning. Fruit is use for treatment of contagious ulcers.
Catunaregam spinosa (Thunb.) Tirveng.; Rubiaceae;
Sazukthei
Juice of fruit is used for diarrhoea, dysentery, body pain, boils,
gonorrhea, ear problems, malaria, rheumatism and wounds.
Choerospondias axillaris (Roxb.) B.L.Burtt et A.W.Hill;
Anacardiaceae; Theikhuangchawm
Fruit is used for treatment of wounds and second degree burns.
Chrysophyllum lanceolatum Casar.; Sapotaceae;
Theipabuan
Barks are used in stomach disorders, dysentery and diarrhoea.
Coix lacryma-jobi
L.; Poaceae; Mim Roots are used in menstrual disorders of women. Seeds are used as diet
drinks and also for pneumonia as well as pectoral diseases
Genet Resour Crop Evol
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Table 1 continued
Plant name/family/local name Uses
Castanopsis tribuloides (Sm.) A.DC.; Fagaceae;
Thingsia
Juice of stem is used against infection of mouth and tongue.
Casearia tomentosa Roxb.; Flacourtiaceae; Vakithei Decoction of root is used for diabetes.
Cyphomandra betacea (Cav.) Miers; Solanaceae;
Thingtomato
Fruits are used for treatment of respiratory diseases and anemia.
Daemonorops jenkinsiana (Griff.) Mart.; Palmae;
Raichhawk
Fruits are used for treatment of intrinsic hemorrhage.
Dillenia indica L.; Dilleniaceae; Kawrthindeng (Also
cultivated in home gardens)
Decoction of bark is taken orally against diarrhoea and dysentery @
cup twice daily. The powder prepared from blaze is applied externally
on sores and ulcers. Fruit is used in abdominal pain. Fruit juice mixed
with sugar and used in fever and cough. The mucilaginous substance of
the fruit is mixed with spadix of banana and mixture is taken with water
against cholera.
Dillenia pentagyna Roxb.; Dilleniaceae; Kaihzawl Decoction of bark is taken orally for diabetes and cancer @ 2–4
tablespoonfuls twice daily. It can also be used against colic and
stomach ulcer @1/4 cup twice daily. The paste is made of bark is
applied externally on rheumatic pain. Leaves are boiled and water is
taken orally for piles @ cup twice daily in morning and evening for
7 days.
Docynia indica (Wall.) Decne.; Rosaceae; Sunhlupui Fruit juice is used against stomach ache @ cup twice daily.
Eleagnus caudata Schltdl. ex Momiy.; Eleagnaceae;
Sarzuk
(Also cultivated in home gardens)
Infusion of root is taken orally against retained placenta @ –1 cup
(50–100 ml) twice daily for 1–2 days after child birth. Juice of crushed
root is taken for easy labour and as cure after childbirth. Infusion of
leaves is taken orally for strengthening the function of uterus.
Elaeocarpus lanceifolius Roxb.; Tiliaceae; Kharuan Unripe fruits are crushed and used in blood dysentery.
Elaeocarpus tectorius (Lour.) Poir.; Tiliaceae; Um-khal Roots are used for treatment of tuberculous infection of skin of neck,
headache, arthritis, heart disease, asthma, back pain and diarrhoea.
Flowers are used as laxative.
Embelia vestita Roxb.; Myrsinaceae; Tling Decoction of leaves is used externally for chicken pox, itching, other skin
diseases and for urinary disorders.
Emblica officinalis Gaertn.; Phyllanthaceae; Sunhlu
(Also cultivated in home gardens)
Bark is crushed and juice is taken against diarrhoea and dysentery @
cup twice daily. Fresh or dry fruits are crushed and the juice is mixed
with the lemon juice and taken @ tablespoonful (10 ml) twice daily in
dysentery, nose bleeding and gum bleeding. Decoction of leaves is used
as gargle for stomatitis and gum bleeding. Juice of bark is used for
washing eyesore. Fruits are crushed and juice is strained through cloth
and taken for liver cirrhosis @ 5 ml thrice daily.
Euphoria longan (Lour.) Steud.; Sapindaceae;
Theifeimung
The aril is used for the treatment of neurasthenia, insomnia, amnesia,
boils and impetigo. Fruit is stomachic and anthelmintic.
Ficus auriculata Lour; Moraceae; Theibal Fruit juice is used for treatment of leucoderma, ringworm and other skin
diseases.
Ficus hirta Vahl; Moraceae; Sazutheipui Fruit is used as anticancer and anti-inflammatory.
Ficus racemosa L.; Moraceae; Thei-chek/Chho he Fruits are used in excessive appetite. Latex is used in skin inflammation,
piles, diarrhoea and leucoderma. Fruit extract is used for diabetes,
leucoderma and menorrhagia. Leaves used in bilious affection.
Ficus semicordata Buch.-Ham. ex Sm.; Moraceae;
Theipui
Decoction of leaves is taken orally for jaundice and hepatitis. Decoction
of bark is used in diabetes @ tablespoonful (10 ml) twice daily. Root is
given in bladder complaints and visceral disorders.
Ficus tinctoria G.Forst.; Moraceae; Hmeithaithei Decoction of leaves are used in appendicitis for relieving pain.
Genet Resour Crop Evol
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Table 1 continued
Plant name/family/local name Uses
Garcinia cowa Roxb. ex Choisy; Guttiferae; Chengkek
(Also cultivated in home gardens)
Leaves are boiled and water is taken @ cup (50 ml) twice daily for
dysentery and diarrhoea. Infusion of leaves is taken for putrid smell of
anus due to flatulence or gastritis @ three teaspoonfuls (15 ml) twice
daily.
Garcinia morella (Gaertn.) Desr.; Clusiaceae;
Kawrvawmba
Fruits cure dropsy, rheumatism, constipation, dysentery and other
intestinal problems. Seeds used to relief cough, catarrh, throat infection,
pulmonary mucous membrane and asthma. Seed oil is applied
externally to ulcers, herpetic eruptions and other skin diseases.
Garuga floribunda Decne.; Burseraceae; Tuairam Leaf astringent, used for treatment of asthma. Fruit is used for dysentery.
Bark is used for eye disorder and wounds. Root is used for skin and
venereal disorders.
Hodgsonia macrocarpa (Blume) Cogn.; Cucurbitaceae;
Khaum
Juice of crushed leaves and/or paste is applied on fresh cuts as
haemostatic and to cure the wound. Powdered leaves are used for
chronic ulcer by external application.
Morus alba L.; Moraceae; Thingtheihmu Fruit is used in fever, used in sore throat, dyspepsia and melancholia.
Bark is purgative and anthelminthic.
Mimusops elengi L.; Sapotaceae; Ramkelchal Bark is used as girdle for teeth disease, inflammation and bleeding of
gums. Tender stems are used against bleeding from urinary tract,
mucous discharge from bladder, diarrhoea and dysentery. Flowers used
for preparing lotions for wounds and ulcers. Unripe fruit is used as
masticators; seeds are used for preparing suppositories in case of
constipating in children.
Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don; Myricaceae;
Keifang
Bark is useful in catarrhal fever, cough and in affections of throat. Also
useful in asthma, urinary disorders, piles, bronchitis, tumors, anemia,
chronic dysentery and in ulcers. Flower is used in earache, diarrhoea,
inflammations and paralysis.
Phyllanthus acidus (L.) Skeels; Euphorbiaceae;
Kawlsunhlu
(Also cultivated in home gardens)
Decoction of roots used in snake bites.
Physalis minima L.; Solanaceae; Kelasairawphit Leaves mixed with water and mustard oil for ear ache.
Protium serratum (Wall. ex Colebr.) Engl.; Burseraceae;
Bil
Decoction of fruit is used to reduce pain and swelling.
Prunus domestica L.; Rosaceae; Japan theite (Also
cultivated in home gardens)
Fruit is crushed and used for treatment of asthma, cancer, pain during
menstruation, fever, leucorrhoea and osteoporosis.
Prunus undulata Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don; Rosaceae;
Theiarlung
Decoction of fruit stimulate respiration and improve digestion.
Punica granatum L.; Punicaceae; Theibuhfai Juice extracted from root and bark is used against intestinal worm of
small children. Fruit juice is used against dysentery, diarrhoea,
stomachic and fever. Seed is used to relief stomach pain.
Pyrus pashia Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don; Rosaceae; Chalthei
(Also cultivated in home gardens)
Fruit juice is used for curing eye disorders.
Rhus semialata Murray; Anacardiaceae; Khawmhma Fruits are grind with water and left for 15–30 min. The mixture is drunk
@ 1 cup (100 ml) twice or thrice daily to cure diarrhoea and colic.
Rubus ellipticus Sm.; Rosaceae; Hmutau Leaves used for easiness of labour and hastening child birth. Leaves are
also used as an astringent, external remedy as eyewash for
conjunctivitis, mouthwash, lotion for ulcers, wounds or excessive
vaginal discharge. Fruit is nutritious and mildly astringent.
Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn.; Sapindaceae; Hlingsi Fruits are used against chronic cough. Also used in epilepsy and mumps.
Semecarpus anacardium Linn. f.; Anacardiaceae;
Vawmbal-pui
Juice of leaf stalks is taken for colic, high blood pressure and
stomachache. Fruit juice is applied externally on sprains and
rheumatism.
Genet Resour Crop Evol
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there is still gap in policy, plan and implementation
of programmes. Though some initiatives have
already been taken for conservation and sustainable
utilization of useful species of wild edible fruits,
less priority is given to conserve these useful
resources in an integrated manner. Therefore, appro-
priate national policy, action plan and programme
related to conservation and sustainable utilization of
these valuable plants should be formulated. Many
parts of the biogeographical areas of the country still
remained unexplored. Hence, it is strongly recom-
mended that major thrust should be given for
intensive inventory and documentation of useful
species, their chemical constituents, habitats and
potential utilization as raw materials. Emphasis
should also be given to implement some pilot
programmes for plantation, domestication and cul-
tivation of useful species. This will help in gaining
some additional income to the local people. More-
over, top priority should be given for in situ
conservation of the species. Such steps will not
only contribute to protect the habitats but also help
to maintain the ecological processes. Emphasis
should also be given to conserve the habitats and
useful species in ex situ conservation.
Fig. 2 Dominant families with number of species
Fig. 3 Percentage of parts of plant used in different diseases
Table 1 continued
Plant name/family/local name Uses
Spondias pinnata (L.f.) Kurz; Anacardiaceae; Tawitaw
(Also cultivated in home gardens)
Decoction of bark is used in dysentery and diarrhoea @ cup (25 ml)
twice daily. Juice of crushed bark is drunk against food allergy. Juice of
leaves is used in ear ache.
Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels; Myrtaceae; Hmuipui
(Also cultivated in home gardens)
Juice of young leaves is retained in the mouth for spongy and painful
gums and in stomatitis. Pulp of fruit is sliced, put into a pot, covered
with cloth and made airtight and then kept over the fire for 2–3 days for
fermentation. The fermented liquor is poured out in a container and
drunk as laxative, cooling and as stomachic. Juice of bark is used
against fever, gastritis, constipation and in skin disorders. Leaves are
used for strengthening teeth and gums. Tender leaves are used against
vomiting. Fruits and seeds are used in diabetes, diarrhoea, pharyngitis,
disease of spleen, urinary tract infection and ringworm.
Syzygium grandis (Wight) Walp.; Myrtaceae;
Theichhawl
(Also cultivated in home gardens)
Fruits are used against severe fever, constipation and viral infections
Tamarindus indica L.; Leguminosae; Tengtere
(Also cultivated in home gardens)
Root bark is used in diarrhoea, asthma, amenorrhea, gingivitis and ulcers.
Leaves used to relieve pain and in fever. Fruits also used against fever,
constipation, antiseptic, flatulence. Seeds used against sexual weakness,
gastritis problems, constipating and tonic
Ziziphus mauritiana Lam.; Rhamnaceae; Borai/
Kawrsunhlu
(Also cultivated in home gardens)
Bark is used in dysentery, diarrhea and boils. Fruit used in
encephalopathy, opthalmopathy, cough, asthma, wounds, burning
sensation, diarrhoea, vomiting, leucorrhoea and insomnia.
Genet Resour Crop Evol
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Acknowledgments The authors are gratefully acknowledged
and thankful to the Dean, School of Earth Sciences and Natural
Resources Management, Mizoram University, Aizawl for
providing all the facilities and constant encouragement during
the course of investigation. Deep sense of gratitude is also due to
humble villagers, traditional healers of different villages of
Aizawl district of Mizoram for sharing their valuable
information and cooperation during the period of study and
help to explore the wild edible fruits with hidden traditional
ethno-medicinal knowledge.
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