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ETHNOBOTANICAL USES OF COMMON PLANT SPECIES GROWING ALONG THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY 5 FROM SOLAN TO SHIMLA IN HIMACHAL PRADESH

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  • Department of Environment, Chandigarh Administration

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An ethnobotanical survey was conducted during 2013-14 to document the traditional knowledge of medicinal plants that are used by the local communities residing along the National Highway 5 from Solan to Shimla in Himachal Pradesh in household remedies for the treatment of diseases. About 25 different plant species were recorded which were used for their medicinal values and for other remedial purposes by the local inhabitants. The common uses of the selected plant species were compiled in the form of a table along with their vernacular names and the names of the respective families of the plant species.
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Bhavika et al. World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
ETHNOBOTANICAL USES OF COMMON PLANT SPECIES
GROWING ALONG THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY 5 FROM SOLAN TO
SHIMLA IN HIMACHAL PRADESH
Bhavika Sharma1*, Sandeep Sharma1, Satish Kumar Bhardwaj2, Charles Kimani
Ndungu2 and Bhupinder Dutt2
1Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Panthaghati, Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) -171009.
2Dr.YS. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan (Himachal Pradesh)
173230, India.
ABSTRACT
An ethnobotanical survey was conducted during 2013-14 to document
the traditional knowledge of medicinal plants that are used by the local
communities residing along the National Highway 5 from Solan to
Shimla in Himachal Pradesh in household remedies for the treatment
of diseases. About 25 different plant species were recorded which were
used for their medicinal values and for other remedial purposes by the
local inhabitants. The common uses of the selected plant species were
compiled in the form of a table along with their vernacular names and
the names of the respective families of the plant species.
KEYWORDS: Ethnobotanical, Indigenous, National Highway 5,
Remedial.
INTRODUCTION
Since time immemorial, the locally available plant species have been used for curing diseases
and ailments by utilizing the traditionally accepted remedies. Various plants have been used
by village and forest dwellers in one form or the other. Even countries like China, Cuba,
India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and a few others have endorsed the official use of traditional
system of medicines in their health care programme (Pala et al., 2010). The World Health
Organisation estimates that some 80% of the developing world relies on traditional medicines
and of these, 85% use plants or their extracts as the active substance (Sheldon et al., 1998).
WORLD JOURNAL OF PHARMACY AND PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES
SJIF Impact Factor 2.786
Volume 4, Issue 02, 1210-1218. Research Article ISSN 2278 4357
Article Received on
10 Dec 2014,
Revised on 04 Jan 2015
Accepted on 28 Jan 2015
*Correspondence for
Author
Bhavika Sharma
Himalayan Forest
Research Institute,
Panthaghati, Shimla
(Himachal Pradesh) -
171009.
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Bhavika et al. World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Indian subcontinent is being inhabited by over 53.8 million tribal people in 5,000 forest
dominated villages of tribal community and comprising 15% of the total geographical area of
Indian landmasses, representing one of the greatest emporia of ethno-botanical wealth.
Himachal Pradesh is one of the hilly states of North India that comprises a good heritage of
ethnobotanical flora and natural wealth (Prakash and Aggarwal, 2010).
The knowledge of traditional uses of plant species has paved way for endless discoveries of
modern medicines which are now being widely used for treating various diseases. Therefore
documentation of such plant species is urgently required, especially because of the changing
scenario of rapid development and climate. Therefore, an attempt was made to document the
important uses of common plant species growing along the National Highway 5 from Solan
to Shimla which is proposed to undergo major changes with the passing of proposal of four
laning of the Highway and is also subjected to the changing climatic situations. With over
more than 13,000 vehicles plying daily on the National Highway in the stretch of Solan to
Shimla, this Highway is one of the busiest highways and holds an important position in the
tourism and trade industry. Moreover, the curative properties of certain plant species of this
region are yet to be explored to their full potential. Thus, the study was undertaken to
document the traditional knowledge which might be lost with the course of time as a result of
continuous process of today’s modernization.
METHODOLOGY ADOPTED
3.1. Study site
The study was conducted along the stretch of National Highway 5 from Solan, the Mushroom
city of India to the capital of Himachal Pradesh (Shimla) covering various small towns and
villages. The stretch of this highway is situated at an altitude of 1450-2205 metres above
mean sea level. The average annual rainfall of the region is around 1150 mm and the
temperature varies from around 10C in winters to 320C in summers. The terrain in the area is
hilly with steep slopes having shallow, gravely and light textured soils with low water
retentivity. The area is fragile and is prone to soil erosion.
3.2. Methodology
A field survey was conducted in the villages falling alongside the National Highway 5 from
Solan to Shimla. These villages were randomly selected. The common plant species were
collected and preserved and were got identified and verified in the herbarium section of the
Department of Forest Products, Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry,
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Nauni. Two broad approaches of ethnobotanical studies were followed including direct and
indirect methods. In case of direct method, the extensive and intensive fieldwork in the
villages was carried out by direct contacts with villagers and interviewing them regarding the
ethnobotanical uses of plants. The first hand information was collected from all the study
sites by following this approach. As a direct method, 35 persons were selected from various
villages along the highway and they were questioned using a semi structured questionnaire.
In case of indirect approach, information was obtained by various sources Such as traditional
local doctors/hermits etc. The data collected from these two methods was later compiled to
present the information in a tabular form.
The identified plants of this region were enumerated in alphabetical order followed by family
name, vernacular names and uses. In order to assess the range of utility of the species found
growing in this part of Himalayan region in the present article, uses reported earlier on folk
medicine from different parts of the country as mentioned in the Dictionary of Indian Folk
Medicine and Ethnobotany (Jain, 1991) and information on commercial importance of plants
as mentioned in the Compendium of Indian Medicinal Plants (Rastogi and Mehrotra, 1980-
1984) have also been mentioned along with the recorded uses.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
The basic information About the identified plants was recorded with regards to their
vernacular names, parts used and ethnobotanical uses. The list of the common plants species
along with their family, vernacular names and their common uses in this region is listed in
Table 1. In every ethnic group, there are certain traditional methods which are even
recognized by the WHO for the traditional health care system (Das et al., 2012).The people
belonging to rural communities still make use of medicinal herbs for the treatment of
common health problems like cough, cold and fever, headache and body ache, dysentery,
diarrhoea etc and in some cases even to treat serious ailments such as fractures and scorpion
bites. The information collected from various sources of the commonly available species
found along this Highway is very vital and can even be utilized for preparation of important
medicines by studying the underlying principle of their curative treatments. This traditional
knowledge provides useful leads for scientific research, being the key to identifying those
elements in a plant with a pharmacological value (Sharma and Sood, 2013). Further herbal
medicines have no side effects, easily available and economically viable (Gangwar et al.,
2010). Similar works have been carried out by many researchers such as Chauhan (1999),
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Uniyal (2003), Sharma and Lal (2005), Verma & Chauhan (2007) and Sharma and Sood
(2013). The traditional medicinal system has been thriving in India since thousands of years
and the need of the hour is formation of a management system where all such recorded
information is managed at a single place. India’s share in the global market of traditional or
herbal medicines is estimated to be around 100 USD (Tondon, 2014). With the help of such
management systems, the Indian economy can be further boosted.
Table 1. List of common plants along with their vernacular names and uses
Plant name
Vernacular
name
Uses
Bauhinia variegata
Kachnar
The leaves and bark are boiled in water
and that water is used for gargles as a
treatment for ulcers in mouth.
Berberis aristata
Rasont
The roots are kept in water overnight and
the sieved water is administered for
treatment of high blood pressure and
diabetes.
Berberis lycium
Kashmal
The twigs are used for cleaning teeth in
the form of a dantun (tooth brush).The
roots are crushed and mixed with desi
ghee. This mixture is taken every day
empty stomach in the morning for a
minimum of 1 month for curing diabetes
Cannabis sativa
Bhang
Paste prepared from its leaves is used for
the treatment of piles. A paste of fresh
leaves is used to cure Tumours. The leaf
powder is used for dressing wounds while
the resinous exudates commonly called
Charas is used as a sedative and is also
used to treat cramps and epilepsy. The
crushed leaves are applied on the body
part which is stung by a bee. The leaves
are made into pea sized balls and are
taken with water (twice) for indigestion.
Canna orientalis
Shivdarshan
The juice extract of leaves is warmed
slightly and is applied for treatment of ear
aches.
Cedrus deodara
Devdar
The heartwood oil is applied on the skin
for treatment of boils and for curing skin
itching. It is also used externally for
treatment of dermatitis.
Debregeasia
hypoleuca
Siaru
The leaves are crushed and boiled in
water. The decoction prepared is then
applied on the body part to get relief from
pain. A paste prepared from its leaves and
Ashwagandha leaves (Withania
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somnifera) is mixed with jaggery and
black pepper, which is used to treat fever
in cattle.
Euphorbia nerifolia
Thuhar, Suru
Used to ease out the process of tooth
removal in children when the tooth is soft
and clings loosely to the enamel.
It is used for the treatment of cough after
burning out the leaves and taking out the
exudates (in the form of milk) and adding
to a glass full of water.
Ficus carica
Anjir, Fevde
The fresh leaf extract is applied in order
to take out the pricked thorns from any
part of the body.
Hypericum
oblongifolium
Peol
A decoction of stem and leaves is
administered in order to facilitate
delivery. A paste of leaves and flowers is
used as a cure against headache.
Juglans regia
Akhrot
The leaves are used for cleaning teeth.
The fruits are edible and are used as dry
fruit. The oil extracted is used for various
treatments and ayurvedic preparations.
The leaves are used as fungicides and
insecticides.
Murraya koenigii
Kadi patta
Half spoon of powdered leaves is
administered with white butter in
summers and with desi ghee in order to
treat joint aches. The powdered leaves are
used as a paste to treat tooth ache.
Nerium indicum
Kaner
The leaves are cooked in mustard oil and
the paste is applied on the body part
which is affected by a snake bite.
Pinus roxburghii
Chir
The bark paste is applied on scorpion
bites. The juice extracted out of leaves is
used as a treatment to kill worms in the
stomach.
Pistacia integrrima
Kakarsinghi
The fruit is dried and then finely
powdered. It is then mixed with honey
and is usually administered at night for
the treatment of cough.
Plumbago zeylanica
Chicha
The leaves are crushed and applied on the
body part to get relief from pain.
Punica granatum
Daaru, Anar
The dried and powdered fruit rinds are
administered with cold water for the
treatment of cough. The peels are
powdered and mixed with a paste
prepared form the roots of Berberis sp.
(Kashmal). This mixture is applied to ease
the process of emergence of teeth. The
dried seeds are sold in the market as
Anardana which is used to prepare
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chutney (sauce).
Pyrus pashia
Kainth
The fruit is crushed and is applied on a
body part stung by a bee. The fruit itself is
edible and is believed to be rich in fibres.
Quercus
leucotrichophora
Ban
The tree is used as a source of timber. The
leaves are used for browsing by animals.
A decoction of leaves (about 10 ml) is
given thrice daily in order to check
dysentery and diarrhoea.
Ricinus communis
Arand
The leaves are heated and tied over
aching joints and swellings. In stomach-
ache, the wood ash is taken with cold
water. The leaf juice is mixed with
mustard oil and is applied over burns.
Rhododendron
arboreum
Burans
The dried flowers are powdered and are
used as an effective drug to check bloody
dysentery. It is also helpful in case of
fever, wounds and headache. In case of
cardiac disorders, the flower juice is very
effective. The dried flowers are mixed
with mishri (crystallized sugar lumps),
saunf (fennel) and clove. The mixture is
grinded and is taken with cold water to
treat indigestion during summers.
Rubus ellipticus
Akhein, Heer
Popularly known as Himalayan Raspberry
as its fruits are edible and very tasty. It is
also used in constipation, vomiting and
fever. It is also used to treat diarrhoea.
Tinospora cordifolia
Giloye
The plant is cut into disc sized pieces and
is kept in water overnight and the sieved
water is taken for a month to treat
diabetes. The disc sized pieces of the stem
are crushed and boiled in water with
leaves of Withania somnifera along with
tulsi (Basil) leaves , fenugreek seeds,
honey and ajwain (Carom seeds). This
mixture is taken with water twice a day
for treatment of pneumonia till the fever
subsides.
Vitex negundo
Bana, Shimalu
The leaves are crushed and boiled in
water. The decoction prepared is then
applied on the body part to get relief from
pain.
Withania somnifera
Ashwagandha
The leaves are chewed every alternate day
for at least a month to reduce weight.
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Figure 1 Juglans regia Figure 2 Hypericum oblongifolia
Figure 3 Withania somnifera Figure 4 Canna orientalis
CONCLUSION
The study indicated that in this part of the state, the commonly growing species are still used
by the local communities residing along the National Highway; though with rapid
development and climate change scenarios, certain species were found to be vulnerable with
their distribution pattern being adversely affected. The people belonging to rural communities
still use medicinal herbs for the treatment of common health problems. There is an urgent
need of detailed investigation and documentation of indigenous knowledge which has been
an integral part of lives of people of such rural communities and has been verbally passed
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from one generation to another. Moreover conservation and cultivation of medicinal plants
can help the villagers to earn their livelihood to some extent.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors are thankful to the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India
for providing financial support to conduct the study. The authors would also like to thank all
the respondents of the villages along the National Highway 5 from Solan to Shimla who
provided valuable information.
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... Anti inflammatory, antioxidant, antiemetic, tonic, anti diabetic, cooling, hypolipidemic, hypoglycaemic, cure digestive problems, fever, toothache, dysentery, diarrhea, renal pain and aching joints (Khan, 1997;Singh and Kumar, 2000;Yadav, 2002;Khare, 2004;Seth and Sharma, 2004;Kesari et al., 2005;Iyer and Uma, 2008;Sood et al., 2009;Kumar and Choyal, 2013;Sehgal and Sood, 2013;Sharma et al., 2015) Carbazole alkaloids, coumarin, carbazole carboxylic acids and carotenoids (Jain et al., 2012) Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack, Rutaceae Strengthen gums and teeth (Chauhan, 1999; Flavonoids, indole alkaloids and coumarins (Ng et al., 2012) Origanum vulgare L., a Lamiaceae Anti hyperglycemic, hypolipemic, antifungal, cure toothache, kidney stone, flatulence, menstrual disorders, rheumatism, headache, anxiety, asthma, jaundice, diarrhea, fever, typhoid, strengthen immune system and digestive system (Singh and Kumar, 2000;Prathyusha et al., 2009;Zlatkovic et al., 2014;Shah et al., 2016) Alkaloids, saponins, glycosides, flavonoids, tannins, phenols, sterols and triterpenoids (Prathyusha et al., 2009) Oxalis corniculata L., Oxalidaceae Appetizer, cure piles, diarrhea, toothache, cough and skin diseases (Kirtikar and Basu, 1975;Singh and Kumar, 2000;Panda, 2014) Glycosides, phytosterols, phenols, tannins, flavonoids and volatile oil (Raghavendra et al., 2006) Persicaria amplexicaulis (D. Don), Ronse Decr. ...
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... Promote digestive heat, appetizer, treat sore throat, headache, rheumatism, back pain, cold, blood disorders, bone disease, vomiting, liver and skin disorders (Yonzon et al., 2005;Siwakoti, 2008;Kumar et al., 2009;Popescu and Kopp, 2013;Malik et al., 2015) Polyphenols, quinones, sterols and triterpenes (Baral et al., 2014) Ricinus communis L., Euphorbiaceae Purgative, insecticidal, antimicrobial, lactagogue, emmenagogue, cure piles, constipation, cuts, bruises, swollen joints, sprain, cholera, gastric problems, scabies, body swellings, cough, cold and regulate menstruation (Chauhan, 1999;Ong and Nordiana, 1999;Singh and Kumar, 2000;Mahmood et al., 2013;Sharma et al., 2013a;Sharma et al., 2013b;Sharma and Sood, 2013;Rampadarath et al., 2014;Ram et al., 2014;Raza et al., 2014;Sharma et al., 2015;Yadav et al., 2014) Steroids, saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoid, gallic acid, quercetin, gentisic acid, rutin, epicatechin and ellagic acid (Jena and Gupta, 2012) Roylea cinerea (D. Don) Baill., Lamiaceae Fever, malaria, skin diseases and diabetes (Rawat and Vashistha, 2013) Betulin, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, gallic acid, anthraquinone glycoside, flavonol glycoside, quercetin, betulonic acid, moronic acid, calyone, precalyone, calyenone, pentacosane, octacosanol, friedelin and β-amyrin (Rawat and Vashistha, 2013) Rynchostylis sp., Orchidaceae Insect repellent, cure rheumatism, tuberculosis, epilepsy, dysentery, menstrual disorders, gout, asthma, skin diseases, external as well as internal inflammations, ear pain, malarial fever, cuts and wounds (Basumatary et al., 2004;Kumar and Choyal, 2012;Tiwari et al., 2012;Radhika and Murthy, 2013;Subedi et al., 2013) Alkaloids, terpenoids, flavonoids, tannins, coumarins and steroids (Bhattacharjee and Islam, 2015) Saussurea costus (Falc.) ...
... It is covered by Foot hill regions of Himachal Pradesh; the elevation varies from 350 meters to 2000 meters having almost flat-lands and precipitous slopes of hill ranges. The Foot hills of Himachal Pradesh fall in humid sub tropic zone [22,23]. The rural communities have a vast knowledge of ethnobotanical and aromatic plants and their utilization. ...
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Kunihar forest division falling under district Solan boasts of rich plant diversity. The study was undertaken for making preliminary survey of the indigenous technological knowledge on the uses of medicinal plants of Kunihar forest division, district Solan, Himachal Pradesh. Important medicinal and aromatic plants with their vernacular names, family and indigenous uses have been presented.
Article
The paper documents the traditional knowledge of medicinal plants that are used by the indigenous villagers residing in remote foot-hill areas of Himachal Pradesh in household remedies. An ethnobotanical survey was conducted on lower foothills of Himachal Pradesh during 2007-08. About ten different ethnobotanical plant species were recorded for their medicinal uses and for other remedial purposes by the local inhabitants. There were seven families of which Asteraceae and Amaranthaceae families were mostly exploited by the people. Abrus precatorius is found vulnerable in Hamirpur district due to its excessive exploitation for various purposes by the local contractors. Crotolaria juncea is not only used as medicinal plant but it is also used as green manure in the fields. During survey, it is also found that some plant species such as Abrus precatorius, Eclipta alba, Deeringia amaranthoides and Physalis minima require in situ as well as ex situ conservation in the area for maintaining future germplasm source.
Dictionary of Indian Folk Medicine and Ethnobotany
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