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Medicinal plants used by folk medicinal practitioners of six villages in Thakurgaon District, Bangladesh

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Folk medicinal practitioners, otherwise known as Kavirajes form an important component of the primary health-care system of Bangladesh. Almost every village of the 86,000 villages of the country has one or more practicing Kavirajes. Kavirajes also practice in the towns and cities; however, their patients mainly consist of the rural population of the country. The major distinction separating the Kavirajes from other forms of traditional medicinal practices of Bangladesh is their almost exclusive reliance on medicinal plants in their formulations, which are simple and mainly consist of plant juice, decoctions or pastes that is administered orally or topically depending upon the ailment. In previous ethnomedicinal surveys, we have observed considerable differences in the selection of medicinal plants for treatment of the same ailment among Kavirajes of even adjoining villages. Thus to get a comprehensive view of the medicinal plants used by the Kavirajes and their mode of use, one has to survey the Kaviraj population of Bangladesh. The objective of the present study was to conduct a survey among the Kavirajes of six villages, namely Akhanagar, Akcha, Goualia, Raipur, Uttar Thakurgaon, and Vungapara, which falls in Thakurgaon district in the northern part of the country. It was observed that a total of 110 plants were used by the Kavirajes, the plants being distributed into 63 families. Virtually all plant parts were used in treatments; however, leaves constituted 44.6% of the total uses. Other major plant parts used were whole plants (8.1%), roots (13.5%), fruits (10.8%), and stems (6.1%). The Kavirajes treated a wide variety of ailments. From the number of plants used (29), gastrointestinal disorders appeared to be the most common ailment treated. Respiratory tract disorders like cold, coughs and asthma were treated with 19 plant species, and fever was treated with 10 plant species. The Kavirajes had 11 plants for treatment of diabetes, 10 plants for pain in various forms, 10 plants for jaundice, 9 plants for treatment of urinary problems like dysuria or polyuria, and 8 plants for treatment of sex-related disorders. Other ailments treated by the Kavirajes included skin disorders, cancer, fungal infections, eye problems, cuts and wounds, burns, helminthiasis, paralysis, heart disorders, hypertension, alopecia, gout, rheumatism, debility, menstrual problems, cholera, hemorrhoids, gall bladder and kidney stones, snake bite, insect bite, rabies, epistaxis, mumps, chicken pox, and bone fractures. Since the Kavirajes' medicinal plant repertoire included plants which were used for treatment of diseases difficult to cure with modern allopathic medicine like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and rheumatism, these plants merit further scientific studies towards discovery of new drugs, which can prove beneficial in the treatment of some major diseases affecting millions of people throughout the world.
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American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 5(3): 332-343, 2011
ISSN 1995-0748
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Corresponding Author: Dr. Mohammad Rahmatullah, Pro-Vice Chancellor University of Development Alternative, House
No. 78, Road No. 11A(New) Dhanmondi R.A, Dhaka- 1205, Bangladesh.
E-mail: rahamatm@hotmail.com; Tel: 88-01715032621; Fax: 88-027157339
Medicinal Plants Used by Folk Medicinal Practitioners of Six Villages in Thakurgaon
District, Bangladesh
1Sanjoy Sarker, 1Syeda Seraj, 2Mohammad Mafruhi Sattar, 1Wahid Mozammel Haq, 3Majeedul
H. Chowdhury, 1Ishtiaq Ahmad, 1Rownak Jahan, 1Farhana Jamal, 1Mohammed Rahmatullah
1Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Development Alternative, Dhanmondi, Dhaka-1205, Bangladesh.
2Department of Pharmacy, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka-1342, Bangladesh.
3Present address: New York City College of Technology, The City University of New York, Broooklyn, NY,
11201, USA.
Sanjoy Sarker, Syeda Seraj, Mohammad Mafruhi Sattar, Wahid Mozammel Haq, Majeedul H.
Chowdhury, Ishtiaq Ahmad, Rownak Jahan, Farhana Jamal, Mohammed Rahmatullah: Medicinal
Plants Used by Folk Medicinal Practitioners of Six Villages in Thakurgaon District, Bangladesh.
ABSTRACT
Folk medicinal practitioners, otherwise known as Kavirajes form an important component of the primary
health-care system of Bangladesh. Almost every village of the 86,000 villages of the country has one or more
practicing Kavirajes. Kavirajes also practice in the towns and cities; however, their patients mainly consist of
the rural population of the country. The major distinction separating the Kavirajes from other forms of
traditional medicinal practices of Bangladesh is their almost exclusive reliance on medicinal plants in their
formulations, which are simple and mainly consist of plant juice, decoctions or pastes that is administered orally
or topically depending upon the ailment. In previous ethnomedicinal surveys, we have observed considerable
differences in the selection of medicinal plants for treatment of the same ailment among Kavirajes of even
adjoining villages. Thus to get a comprehensive view of the medicinal plants used by the Kavirajes and their
mode of use, one has to survey the Kaviraj population of Bangladesh. The objective of the present study was to
conduct a survey among the Kavirajes of six villages, namely Akhanagar, Akcha, Goualia, Raipur, Uttar
Thakurgaon, and Vungapara, which falls in Thakurgaon district in the northern part of the country. It was
observed that a total of 110 plants were used by the Kavirajes, the plants being distributed into 63 families.
Virtually all plant parts were used in treatments; however, leaves constituted 44.6% of the total uses. Other
major plant parts used were whole plants (8.1%), roots (13.5%), fruits (10.8%), and stems (6.1%). The Kavirajes
treated a wide variety of ailments. From the number of plants used (29), gastrointestinal disorders appeared to be
the most common ailment treated. Respiratory tract disorders like cold, coughs and asthma were treated with 19
plant species, and fever was treated with 10 plant species. The Kavirajes had 11 plants for treatment of diabetes,
10 plants for pain in various forms, 10 plants for jaundice, 9 plants for treatment of urinary problems like
dysuria or polyuria, and 8 plants for treatment of sex-related disorders. Other ailments treated by the Kavirajes
included skin disorders, cancer, fungal infections, eye problems, cuts and wounds, burns, helminthiasis,
paralysis, heart disorders, hypertension, alopecia, gout, rheumatism, debility, menstrual problems, cholera,
hemorrhoids, gall bladder and kidney stones, snake bite, insect bite, rabies, epistaxis, mumps, chicken pox, and
bone fractures. Since the Kavirajes’ medicinal plant repertoire included plants which were used for treatment of
diseases difficult to cure with modern allopathic medicine like cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and rheumatism,
these plants merit further scientific studies towards discovery of new drugs, which can prove beneficial in the
treatment of some major diseases affecting millions of people throughout the world.
Key words: Medicinal plants, folk medicine, Thakurgaon, Kaviraj, Bangladesh.
Introduction
Traditional medicinal practices exist in a number of countries of the world including the Indian sub-
continent comprising the countries of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Among the various systems of traditional
medicinal practices existing in Bangladesh, the major systems are Ayurvedic, Unani, homeopathy, and the folk
medicinal system. Unlike the first three traditional medicinal practices, which have their defined procedures for
diagnosis and treatment of diseases, folk medicine is practiced by practitioners, otherwise known as Kavirajes or
Vaidyas, who rely almost exclusively on medicinal plants for treatment and to a great extent these selection of
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Am.-Eurasian J. Sustain. Agric., 5(3): 332-343, 2011
medicinal plants used for treatment depends upon the individual Kaviraj. Each Kaviraj keeps his knowledge of
medicinal plants and formulations to himself and this knowledge is usually passed on from generation to
generation within the family. As such, to obtain a comprehensive view of the medicinal plants used by the
Kavirajes, one has to interview more or less all Kavirajes of the country. The Kavirajes usually practice in the
rural areas and the 86,000 villages of Bangladesh almost all have one or more practicing Kavirajes, depending
upon the village population. Kavirajes are also present in the towns and cities, where they are more frequented
by slum dwellers and the poorer sections of the people, who cannot afford visits to allopathic doctors and
purchase allopathic medicines. Quite a number of the practicing Kavirajes are known to treat diseases for which
allopathic medicine has no known cure like cancer, rheumatism and diabetes. As such, many affluent people
also visit the Kavirajes as a last resort when their diseases or conditions have been given up as untreatable by
allopathic doctors.
Allopathic medicine has generally treated traditional medicinal practices with disdain because such
practices lack the rigorous scientific procedures necessary to establish and market any allopathic drug.
Traditional medicinal knowledge has always been based on centuries’ year old experiences and which has been
and still is dependent on the traditional medicinal practitioner’s experiences with the plant kingdom. In recent
years, recognizing the facts that not all diseases can be cured with allopathic medicine and that a number of
allopathic drugs have serious side-effects and that a number of allopathic drugs have developed disease-resistant
vectors, modern science is increasingly turning its attention to the plant kingdom as a potential source for future
efficacious drugs. It is also recognized that many modern medicines are plant-based and have been discovered
through carefully observing the traditional medicinal practices of indigenous people (Cotton, 1996). In fact,
considering the more than 250,000 plant species that exist throughout the world, it may be confidently said that
quite a number of these plants, which are yet to be scientifically studied, contains secondary metabolites or
phytochemicals, which can form the basis of new medicines.
Bangladesh has over 5,000 floral species and many of them are in use by the Kavirajes in folk medicine. In
our previous ethnomedicinal studies conducted among folk and tribal medicinal practitioners of the country, we
have noticed considerable variation between the medicinal plants selected by different Kavirajes for treatment of
a given ailment. This variation exists even between Kavirajes practicing in adjoining villages with identical
flora. A number of these studies have been documented (Nawaz et al., 2009; Rahmatullah et al., 2009a-c; Hasan
et al., 2010; Hossan et al., 2010; Mollik et al., 2010a,b; Rahmatullah et al., 2010a-g; Jahan et al., 2011). The
inescapable conclusion is that if one has to obtain a comprehensive picture of the medicinal plants used by the
folk medicinal practitioners, then as many Kavirajes as possible need to be interviewed to learn about the
diseases treated, medicinal plants used, and the formulations of their administration. The objective of the present
study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among the Kavirajes of six villages of Thakurgaon district,
which lies in the northern region of Bangladesh.
Materials and Methods
The present survey was conducted among the Kavirajes of six villages of Thakurgaon district in the
northern part of Bangladesh, namely Akhanagar, Akcha, Goualia, Raipur, Uttar Thakurgaon, and Vungapara.
Each village (other than Raipur) had one practicing Kaviraj. Raipur had two practicing Kavirajes. The Kavirajes
were Sree Jitendra Nath Barman (Akhanagar), Noidar Chan (Akcha), Mohammad Kafil Uddin (Goualia), Nepali
Rani Barman (Raipur), Sree Harilal Barman (Raipur), Jagadish Chandra Barman (Uttar Thakurgaon), and
Kalicharan Barman (Vungapara). Of the seven Kavirajes, six belonged to the Hindu religion, while one,
Mohammad Kafil Uddin was Muslim. It may be mentioned in this regard that Kavirajes in Bangladesh, till
recent times, belonged mostly to the Hindu religion.
Informed consent was obtained at first from the Kavirajes. All Kavirajes were informed thoroughly about
the nature and purpose of our visit and consent obtained to disseminate their provided information both
nationally and internationally. Interviews were conducted of the Kavirajes with the help of a semi-structured
questionnaire and the guided field-walk method of Martin (1995) and Maundu (1995). In this method, the
Kavirajes took the interviewers on guided field-walks through areas from where they collected their medicinal
plants, pointed out the plants and described their uses. Interviews were conducted in the Bengali language,
which was spoken by both interviewers and interviewees alike. All provided information was double-checked
with the Kavirajes in later evening sessions. Plant specimens were collected and dried on the spot and brought
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back to Dhaka to be identified at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. The ex-Curator and Principal Scientific
Officer of the Bangladesh National Herbarium, Mr. Manjur-Ul-Kadir Mia also helped in the identification of
plant samples.
Results and Discussion
The seven Kavirajes of the six villages surveyed in Thakurgaon district used 110 plant species distributed
into 63 families for treatment of various diseases. The results are shown in Table 1. Major families contributing
plant species towards treatment of various diseases included the Apocynaceae, Combretaceae, Euphorbiaceae,
Fabaceae, Moraceae, Piperaceae, and Poaceae families (Table 2). Some plant families like the Berberidaceae,
Loranthaceae, and the Urticaceae family plants were not usually observed to be used by other Kavirajes in other
regions of Bangladesh (see our earlier reports, References above). The large number of plant species used for
treatment of diseases testified to the Kavirajes’ knowledge of the medicinal properties of plants growing within
the surveyed area. As mentioned earlier, the practice of the Kavirajes is generational; as a result, knowledge is
accumulated over successive generations resulting in the formation of a large data base within the Kaviraj as to
the medicinal properties of various plants growing within an extended area of the Kavirajes’ habitat.
It was observed that virtually all parts of plants were used for treatment. Leaves constituted the plant part
most frequently used, forming 44.6% of total uses. Leaves were followed by roots at 13.5% and fruits at 10.8%.
Whole plants were used 8.1% of the time, while barks formed 9.5% of total uses. Other plant parts used
included stems, flowers, seeds, plant sap, rhizome and gum. The results are shown in Table 3.
The mode of treatment of the Kavirajes was quite simple. In most cases juice would be extracted from the
whole plant or plant part through macerating, crushing or boiling in water followed by administration of the
juice either topically or orally, depending on the disease. Skin infections, cuts, wounds, burns or eye diseases
usually had topical applications of plant parts; for other diseases, the mode of administration was mostly oral.
With two exceptions, the Kaviraj used a single plant for treatment of a single disease. However, various parts
from the same plant were observed to be used to treat different diseases. A single plant part also would be used
for treatment of multiple diseases. To cite one instance of each, the bark of Lannea coromandelica was used for
treatment of diabetes. The barks of Mangifera indica were used for treatment of diarrhea, while young leaves of
the same plant were used for treatment of headache. The leaves of Aloe barbadensis were used for treatment of
two highly different ailments like dysuria and constipation. The two instances where parts from multiple plants
were used for treatment were a combination of fruits of Piper longum, seeds of Piper nigrum and rhizomes of
Zingiber officinale for treatment of jaundice, and a combination of leaves of Centella asiatica, rhizomes of
Zingiber officinale and fruits of Piper nigrum for treatment of cold.
Table 1: Medicinal plants used for treatment of various ailments by the seven Kavirajes of six villages surveyed in Thakurgaon district,
Bangladesh.
Serial
Number
Scientific Name Family Name Local Name Utilize Part Ailment
1 Andrographis
paniculata (Burm.
F.) Wall. ex Nees
Acanthaceae Niltong,
Kalomegh
Whole plant Fever. Juice obtained from macerated
whole plant is taken thrice daily up to 7
days.
2 Justicia adhatoda L. Acanthaceae Har baksha,
Bashok
Leaf Cold, fever, jaundice. 100g juice
obtained from macerated leaves is taken
orally with honey thrice daily for 7 days.
3 Aloe barbadensis
Mill.
Aloaceae Ghee kumari Leaf Dysuria (burning sensations during
urination), constipation. Leaves are
boiled in water. Two teaspoonful of the
decoction is taken with sugar for 14 days.
4 Achyranthes aspera
L.
Amaranthaceae Dhanshisari,
Coscoria
Leaf Abdominal pain. 3 ml juice obtained
from crushed leaves is taken once daily
for 7 days.
5 Amaranthus
spinosus L.
Amaranthaceae Kanta khoria Root Urinary problems (burning sensation
during urination). Crushed roots are
taken twice daily for 7 days.
6 Lannea
coromandelica
(Houtt.) Merr.
Anacardiaceae Jiga Bark Diabetes. Bark is cut into small pieces
and soaked overnight in water. The water
is then taken 1-3 times daily.
7 Mangifera indica L. Anacardiaceae Aam Young leaf,
bark
Diarrhea, headache. Juice obtained from
crushed bark is orally administered for
diarrhea. Young leaves are mixed with
salt and massaged on the forehead or
eaten as remedy for headache.
8 Polyalthia longifolia
(Sonn.) Thwaites
(PL)
Annonaceae Debdaru Bark Dysentery, itch, scabies. Decoction made
from powdered bark is taken with honey
for dysentery. Powdered bark is mixed
with mustard oil and applied to affected
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areas as treatment for itch and scabies.
9 Alstonia scholaris
(L.) R.Br. Apocynaceae Chatim gach Stem, bark Charu gha (scurvy) - local term
indicating ulceration and sometimes
accompanied by swellings of mouth,
mouth ulcer. Sap obtained from stem is
applied to affected area. Crushed bark is
taken for mouth ulcer.
10 Carissa carandas L. Apocynaceae Koromcha Leaf, fruit Cold. Leaves are boiled in water to make
a syrup, which is then taken twice daily
for 7 days. Fruits are eaten when in
season.
11 Catharanthus roseus
(L.) G. Don Apocynaceae Noyon tara Leaf, flower Cancer, diabetes, fungal infection.
Crushed leaves and flowers are boiled
and the decoction taken twice daily for 9
days. Taking 2-3 leaves orally with water
daily can control blood sugar.
12 Holarrhena
antidysenterica (L.)
Wall. ex A. DC.
Apocynaceae Kutishwer Bark, seed Diarrhea. Juice obtained from macerated
bark and seeds is taken twice daily with
honey until cure.
13 Nerium indicum
Mill.
Apocynaceae Korobi Leaf Skin disorders. Crushed leaves are
applied topically once daily for 10 days.
14 Alocasia
macrorrhizos (L.) G.
Don.
Araceae Mana,
Mankochu
Whole plant,
leaf
Iron deficiency, vision problem, jaundice,
constipation. For iron deficiency, vision
problem and jaundice, leaves are cooked
and eaten as vegetable. For constipation,
whole plants are cooked and eaten as
vegetable.
15 Typhonium
trilobatum (L.)
Schott
Araceae Taka lai Whole plant Gastric problems (symptoms: formation
of gas inside stomach). Whole plants are
cooked and taken as vegetable.
16 Areca catechu L. Arecaceae Supari gach Root Toothache. Crushed root is mixed with
salt and used for brushing teeth.
17 Aristolochia indica
L.
Aristolochiaceae Ishwar mul Leaf, root Allergy, skin disorders. Juice obtained
from boiled leaves and roots is taken
twice daily for 7 days.
18 Calotropis procera
(Ait.) Ait.f. Asclepiadaceae Akondo Leaf Jaundice. Juice obtained from crushed
leaves is taken twice daily till cure.
19 Tagetes erecta L. Asteraceae Gada phool Leaf Wounds. Paste made from crushed leaves
is applied to wounds.
20 Berberis asiatica
Roxb. ex DC. Berberidaceae Dar holdi Root Severe ulceration. Juice obtained from
crushed roots is taken 1-2 times per week
until cure.
21 Bombax ceiba L. Bombacaceae Shimul Leaf, root Sexual weakness. Leaves and roots are
soaked in water overnight followed by
drinking the water early in the morning.
This is continued for 7 days.
22 Heliotropium
indicum L.
Boraginaceae Hatishur Leaf Conjunctivitis. A few drops of juice
obtained from macerated leaves is
topically applied to the eyes.
23 Ananas comosus
(L.) Merr.
Bromeliaceae Anarosh Young leaf Helminthiasis. Young leaves are chewed
and the juice taken orally twice a week.
24 Opuntia dillenii
(Ker-Gawl.) Haw. Cactaceae Monsha debi Whole plant Paralysis. Juice obtained from macerated
whole plant is massaged onto the
paralyzed area twice daily for 4 weeks.
25 Carica papaya L. Caricaceae Papay Fruit Fever, blood dysentery. 200 ml fruit juice
is taken twice daily for 5 days.
26 Mesua nagassarium
(Burm. F.) Kosterm. Clusiaceae Nageshwar Flower Fever. Flowers are soaked in water for 3
days and then the water taken.
27 Terminalia arjuna
(Roxb. ex DC.)
Wight & Arn.
Combretaceae Arjun Leaf, bark Low sperm count, dysentery, heart
disease. Barks are soaked in water and
the water taken once daily on an empty
stomach for 4 days for dysentery and 41
days for low sperm count. 50g powder
obtained from dried leaves is taken with
20g sugar twice daily for heart disease.
28 Terminalia belerica
(Gaertn.) Roxb. Combretaceae Bohera Leaf, fruit Coughs, indigestion. Leaves and fruits
are boiled and the decoction taken thrice
daily for 7 days.
29 Terminalia catappa
L.
Combretaceae Kath badam Leaf Skin disorder. Juice obtained from
crushed leaves is applied topically.
30 Terminalia chebula
Retz. Combretaceae Horitoki Leaf Fungal infection. Crushed leaf is boiled
and the juice taken thrice daily for 8
days.
31 Tradescantia Commelinaceae Chakkhu ratan Leaf Blood purifier. Juice obtained from
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zebrina Heynh. ex
Bosse crushed leaves is taken early in the
morning regularly for 7 days.
32 Ipomoea fistulosa
Mart. ex Choisy Convolvulaceae Dhol kolmi Leaf, flower Peptic ulcer. Tablet made from 50g dried
leaf powder and 20g dried flower powder
is taken once daily for 14 days.
33 Ipomoea mauritiana
Jacq. Convolvulaceae Vui kumra Leaf, root Sexual disorders. Juice from boiled
leaves and roots is taken twice daily for
21 days.
34 Ipomoea quamoclit
L.
Convolvulaceae Berati phool Whole plant Wounds, burns. Paste made from whole
plant is applied topically.
35 Kalanchoe pinnata
(Lam.) Pers.
Crassulaceae Heam kancha Leaf Cold, polyuria (excessive urination),
abdominal pain. Juice obtained from
crushed leaves is taken during common
cold. For polyuria, 3-4 leaves are chewed
in the morning and afternoon. For
abdominal pain, leaf is chewed with salt.
36 Coccinia grandis
(L.) J. Voigt Cucurbitaceae Telakuch pata Leaf Hypertension, diabetes. Juice obtained
from crushed leaves is taken thrice daily
for 7 days for hypertension. Leaves are
chewed every morning to keep blood
sugar under control during diabetes.
37 Momordica
charantia L.
Cucurbitaceae Usta Leaf, fruit Diabetes, cancer, headache, skin
disorder. One teaspoonful of juice
obtained from crushed leaves and fruits is
taken daily for diabetes and cancer. For
headache and skin disorder, boiled leaves
are applied topically to head or skin.
38 Cuscuta reflexa
Roxb.
Cuscutaceae Alok lota Stem Jaundice. 2 ml juice obtained from
macerated stems is taken twice daily for
4 days.
39 Dillenia indica L. Dilleniaceae Chalta Leaf Sex stimulant. 25 ml juice obtained from
crushed leaves is taken once daily for 15
days.
40 Croton
bonplandianum
Baill.
Euphorbiaceae Bishollo
koroli
Leaf Burns. Paste prepared from leaves is
applied topically.
41 Euphorbia tirucalli
L.
Euphorbiaceae Dudh zaron Leaf Cancer, coughs. Juice obtained from
macerated leaves is taken once daily for
cancer and twice daily for coughs.
42 Phyllanthus emblica
L.
Euphorbiaceae Amloki Leaf, bark,
fruit
Alopecia, indigestion. Decoction of
crushed leaves, roots and bark is taken
thrice daily for 14 days.
43 Ricinus communis L. Euphorbiaceae Venna gach Leaf, fruit Pain, inflammation. Juice obtained from
macerated leaves and fruits is slightly
warmed and applied to affected areas.
44 Tragia involucrata
L.
Euphorbiaceae Bischatu Leaf, root Diabetes. Small pieces of leaves and
roots are soaked in water overnight and
the water taken the following morning.
This is continued for a long time.
45 Abrus precatorius L. Fabaceae Josthi modhu Leaf Cold, coughs. One ounce juice obtained
from crushed leaves is taken daily till
cure.
46 Clitoria ternatea L. Fabaceae Aparajita Leaf, root Burns, pimples. Juice obtained from
crushed leaves and roots is applied
topically.
47 Mimosa pudica L. Fabaceae Lojjaboti Root Jaundice. 50g crushed root is taken twice
daily for 30 days.
48 Mucuna pruriens
(L.) DC.
Fabaceae Shoashing,
Alkushi
Seed Sexual problems, gout. Crushed seed
powder is taken (3-4 teaspoonful) for 10
days.
49 Senna alata (L.)
Roxb.
Fabaceae Bormo
chondal
Root Liver diseases. Juice obtained from
crushed roots is taken with honey 1-2
times daily till cure.
50 Leucas indica L. Lamiaceae Dulfi Leaf Gout. Leaves are cooked and taken as
vegetable for 2 days.
51 Mentha arvensis L. Lamiaceae Pudina Leaf Dysentery, indigestion. Juice obtained
from crushed leaves is taken thrice daily
for 7 days.
52 Ocimum
gratissimum L.
Lamiaceae Tulshi Leaf, root Coughs, antibiotic. Juice obtained from a
combination of macerated leaves and
roots is considered antibiotic. Juice
obtained from crushed roots is taken with
honey for coughs.
53 Cinnamomum verum Lauraceae Kabak chini Leaf, stem Arthritis (joint pain). Juice obtained from
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J.Presl. macerated leaves and stems is applied to
affected areas twice daily for 7 days.
54 Litsea glutinosa
(Lour.) C.D.Robins. Lauraceae Pipulti, Khara
jora gach
Leaf, fruit Burning sensations during urination.
Juice obtained from a combination of
crushed leaves and fruits is taken twice
daily for 1 week.
To increase physical strength,
constipation. Leaves are boiled in water
followed by straining the water. The
water is taken every morning for 21 days.
55 Leea macrophylla
Roxb. ex Hornem Leeaceae Hati kana Leaf, root Rheumatism. Paste prepared from
crushed leaves and roots are applied to
affected areas.
56 Asparagus
racemosus Willd.
Liliaceae Shotomul Leaf, root Debility (in case of males). Leaves and
roots are boiled together and the
decoction taken twice daily for 14 days.
57 Urginea indica
Kunth.
Liliaceae Bon piyaz Leaf, fruit Rheumatism, acidity, dysentery. Juice
obtained from macerated leaves is
slightly warmed and applied to affected
areas twice daily for 4 days for
rheumatism. Juice obtained from
macerated leaves and fruit is taken on an
empty stomach thrice daily for 14 days
for acidity and dysentery.
58 Dendrophthoe
falcata (L.f) Etting. Loranthaceae Manda Leaf, bark Skin diseases, asthma, menstrual
problems. Leaf paste is used for skin
diseases. Juice obtained from squeezed
bark is taken for asthma and menstrual
problems.
59 Lygodium flexuosum
(L.) Sw. Lygodiaceae Shangi var Whole plant Lower back pain. Juice obtained from
macerated whole plant is applied
topically.
60 Punica granatum L. Lythraceae Dalim Bark Dysentery. About 100g bark is grinded,
mixed with salt and water and taken
twice daily for 7 days.
61 Sida acuta Burm. f. Malvaceae Boirally Leaf Dysuria (burning sensations during
urination). Juice obtained from crushed
leaves is taken with honey twice daily for
3 days.
62 Azadirachta indica
A. Juss. Meliaceae Neem Stem Toothache. Young stems are crushed and
applied to tooth.
63 Stephania japonica
(Thunb.) Miers Menispermaceae Cherakee Leaf Sexual problems. 100g juice obtained
from crushed leaves is taken orally with
honey till cure.
64 Tinospora crispa
(L.) Hook.f. &
Thoms.
Menispermaceae Gorincha Leaf Fever, diabetes, cholera. Leaves are
boiled in 3 glasses of water for 20
minutes. ½ glass of the decoction is taken
thrice daily before meals.
65 Artocarpus
heterophyllus Lam. Moraceae Kathal Gum Dry cracked heels, hemorrhoids. Gum is
applied to affected areas.
66 Ficus benghalensis
L.
Moraceae Bot Sap Kidney pain. Sap is taken with one
teaspoonful of honey for a week.
67 Ficus hispida L.f. Moraceae Joggo dumur
gach
Leaf, fruit To keep healthy, diabetes. Crushed
leaves and fruits are taken to keep
healthy. Fruits are taken for diabetes.
68 Ficus racemosa L. Moraceae Dumra Fruit Jaundice, diabetes. Fruits are cooked with
mustard oil and taken as vegetable.
69 Ficus rumphii
Blume
Moraceae Ashok, Pakur Bark Hematuria (passing of blood with urine).
Juice obtained from crushed bark is taken
with honey.
70 Streblus asper Lour. Moraceae Shaora gach Leaf Fever. ½ cup of juice obtained from
squeezed leaves is taken twice daily for 5
days.
71 Moringa oleifera
Lam.
Moringaceae Sajna gach Leaf Diabetes, acidity, hypertension. Juice
obtained from macerated leaves is taken
until cure.
72 Musa sapientum L. Musaceae Aita kola Young leaf Diarrhea, diabetes, blood purifier,
coughs, dysentery, insect bite. Juice
obtained from macerated young leaves is
taken for diarrhea, dysentery, diabetes,
coughs, and as a blood purifier. Crushed
young leaves are applied topically to
insect bites.
73 Psidium guajava L. Myrtaceae Piyara gach Leaf Menstrual problems. Juice obtained from
338
Am.-Eurasian J. Sustain. Agric., 5(3): 332-343, 2011
crushed leaves is taken twice daily.
74 Syzygium
aromaticum (L.)
Merr. & L. M. Perry
Myrtaceae Lobongo Leaf, flower Coughs, to increase mental strength.
Crushed leaves and flowers are taken
with honey for 7 days.
75 Syzygium cumini
(L.) Skeels
Myrtaceae Jaam Leaf, bark,
seed
Tooth caries, dysentery, diabetes, stone
in kidney or penis. Leaves are mixed
with salt and used to brush teeth during
tooth caries. Crushed bark is eaten with
honey for dysentery. Seeds are soaked in
water overnight and the water taken the
following morning for diabetes or stones
in kidney or penis.
76 Geodorum
densiflorum (Lam.)
Schltr.
Orchidaceae Shonkho muni Whole plant Meho (urinary problems arising from
endocrinological disorders or diabetes).
Juice obtained from crushed whole plant
is mixed with honey and taken 2-3 times
daily for a month.
77 Averrhoa carambola
L.
Oxalidaceae Kamranga Fruit Cold, cough, dandruff. For colds and
coughs, 1-2 mature fruits are taken daily
till cure. For dandruff, juice obtained
from fruits is rubbed on head.
78 Piper betle L. Piperaceae Paan pata Leaf Sexual problems. Juice obtained from
crushed leaves is taken with honey twice
daily for 1 week.
79 Piper chaba W.
Hunter
Piperaceae Aishta pata Leaf Stone accumulation or formation in gall
bladder, dysuria. Juice from crushed
leaves is taken regularly till cure.
80 Piper longum L. Piperaceae Pipul Fruit Jaundice. A mixture of powdered Piper
longum fruit, Piper nigrum seeds, and
Zingiber officinale rhizome is taken
orally.
81 Piper nigrum L. Piperaceae Gol morich Fruit, whole
plant
Cold. For common cold, the leaves of
Centella asiatica are taken with rhizomes
of Zingiber officinale and fruits of Piper
nigrum.
Jaundice. A mixture of powdered Piper
longum fruit, Piper nigrum seeds, and
Zingiber officinale rhizome is taken
orally.
Rabies, gastric problems, ulcer,
dysentery. Whole plant is administered
orally.
82 Bambusa oldhamii
Munro
Poaceae Bansh Young stem Cold. Young stems are cooked and eaten
as vegetable.
83 Cynodon dactylon
(L.) Pers.
Poaceae Durba ghash Leaf To keep body healthy, to stop bleeding
from external cuts and wounds. Juice
from crushed leaves is taken to keep
body healthy. Crushed leaves are applied
to cuts and wounds to stop bleeding.
84 Milium effusum L. Poaceae Nol twin Whole plant Wounds. Juice from crushed whole plant
is applied to wounds.
85 Saccharum
officinarum L.
Poaceae Kushul, Aakh Stem juice Indigestion. Preserved stem juice (2-3
years old) is taken orally.
86 Vetiveria zizanioides
(L.) Nash
Poaceae Binnar mura Root Epistaxis (nose bleed). Juice obtained
from crushed roots is taken through nose.
87 Drynaria quercifolia
(L.) J. Smith Polypodiaceae Ponkhi raj Rhizome Diarrhea, coughs. Juice obtained from
crushed rhizomes is taken 2-3 times daily
till cure.
88 Eichhornia
crassipes (Mart.)
Solms
Pontederiaceae Kochuripana Leaf, root Fever. Juice obtained from macerated
leaves and roots is taken twice daily for 7
days.
89 Zizyphus mauritiana
Lam. Rhamnaceae Boroi Leaf Toothache. 100g leaf is boiled in water
containing common salt and taken twice
daily for 21 days.
90 Anthocephalus
chinensis (Lam.) A.
Rich. ex Walp.
Rubiaceae Kodom Leaf, bark Fever. Juice obtained from macerated
leaves and bark is mixed with honey and
taken twice daily for 7 days.
91 Ixora coccinea L. Rubiaceae Langon Root Dysentery. Crushed roots are taken twice
daily till cure.
92 Paederia foetida L. Rubiaceae Gondho vadal,
Paad pata
Leaf Indigestion. Leaves are cooked with salt
like vegetable and taken once daily for 1
week.
93 Aegle marmelos (L.)
Corr.
Rutaceae Bel Fruit Dysentery, constipation, excessive
bleeding during menstruation. Mature
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Am.-Eurasian J. Sustain. Agric., 5(3): 332-343, 2011
fruit pulp is mixed with water and sugar
or honey and taken for 1 week.
94 Santalum album L. Santalaceae Shet chondon Leaf, stem Dysentery. Juice obtained from crushed
leaves and stems is taken with honey
once daily for 15 days.
95 Mimusops elengi L. Sapotaceae Bokul Bark Coughs, toothache. Juice obtained from
macerated bark is orally administered for
coughs. Bark is chewed for toothache.
96 Scoparia dulcis L. Scrophulariaceae Chini mitha Leaf Gastric problems, ulcer. Juice obtained
from macerated leaves is taken orally for
a considerable period of time.
97 Smilax zeylanica L. Smilacaceae Kumra khata Whole plant Sexual problems. Juice obtained from
macerated whole plant is taken with
honey 1-2 times per week.
98 Capsicum frutescens
L.
Solanaceae Ghiya morich Fruit Gastric problems, ulcer. Fruits are
cooked and taken as vegetable for 15
days.
99 Datura metel L. Solanaceae Dhutra Leaf, root Coughs, mumps, chicken pox. 100g of
leaf paste is mixed with 50g of mustard
oil and massages on the chest thrice daily
for 3 days for coughs. 30g dried and
powdered root is mixed with 50g water
and taken daily for 5 days for mumps. In
case of chicken pox, 20g root paste is
applied to pustules.
100 Solanum torvum
Swartz Solanaceae Kontikari Leaf, stem To prevent chicken pox. One handful of
leaves and stems is soaked in a glass of
water and the water taken the following
morning on an empty stomach.
101 Solanum violaceum
Orteg. Solanaceae Tit baegun Root, fruit Snake bite, itches. For snake bite, juice
obtained from macerated root is mixed
with water and mustard oil and applied
topically to bitten area. Crushed fruits are
boiled with water and massaged onto
affected areas for itches.
102 Abroma augusta L.f. Sterculiaceae Ulot kombol Bark Menstrual problems, meho (local term
used by the Kavirajes denoting urinary
problem arising from endocrinological
disorder or diabetes). If too little blood
comes out or there is pain during
menstruation, juice obtained from
macerated bark is mixed with black
peppers and orally administered. The
same application is followed for meho.
103 Triumfetta
rhomboidea Jacq. Tiliaceae Golmorich
chorchoria
Root Irregular menstruation. Juice obtained
from macerated roots is taken 2-3 times
daily for 5 days.
104 Centella asiatica
(L.) Urb.
Umbelliferae Thankuni Whole plant,
leaf
Cold, rabies, gastric problems, ulcer,
dysentery. For common cold, the leaves
of Centella asiatica are taken with
rhizomes of Zingiber officinale and fruits
of Piper nigrum. For the rest, the whole
plant is administered orally.
105 Fleurya interrupta
Gaud. Urticaceae Bichuti Root Cold. Crushed roots are orally taken with
honey twice daily for 5 days.
106 Clerodendrum
viscosum Vent.
Verbenaceae Vauti Soft leaf Jaundice, fever. 5-7 crushed leaves are
mixed with honey and taken twice daily
for 7 days.
107 Vitex negundo L. Verbenaceae Nishinda gach Leaf Debility, mosquito repellent. Juice
obtained from crushed leaves is taken for
debility. Leaves are burnt to repel
mosquitoes.
108 Cissus
quadrangularis L.
Vitaceae Harjora Whole plant Bone fracture. 100g paste of whole plant
is applied to the fractured area twice
daily for 7 days.
109 Diplazium
esculentum (Retz.)
Sw.
Woodsiaceae Dheki shak Leaf, stem Fever. Leaves and stems are cooked and
eaten as vegetable.
110 Zingiber officinale
Roscoe
Zingiberaceae Ada Rhizome Cold. For co mmon cold, the leaves of
Centella asiatica are taken with rhizomes
of Zingiber officinale and fruits of Piper
nigrum.
Jaundice. A mixture of powdered Piper
longum fruit, Piper nigrum seeds, and
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Am.-Eurasian J. Sustain. Agric., 5(3): 332-343, 2011
Zingiber officinale rhizome is taken
orally.
Rabies, gastric problems, ulcer,
dysentery. Whole plant is administered
orally.
Table 2: Plant families and number of plants per family.
Family Number of
plants
Family Number of
plants
Family Number of
plants
Acanthaceae 2 Crassulaceae 1 Oxalidaceae 1
Aloaceae 1 Cucurbitaceae 2 Piperaceae 4
Amaranthaceae 2 Cuscutaceae 1 Poaceae 5
Anacardiaceae 2 Dilleniaceae 1 Polypodiaceae 1
Annonaceae 1 Euphorbiaceae 5 Pontederiaceae 1
Apocynaceae 5 Fabaceae 5 Rhamnaceae 1
Araceae 2 Lamiaceae 3 Rubiaceae 3
Arecaceae 1 Lauraceae 2 Rutaceae 1
Aristolochiaceae 1 Leeaceae 1 Santalaceae 1
Asclepiadaceae 1 Liliaceae 2 Sapotaceae 1
Asteraceae 1 Loranthaceae 1 Scrophulariaceae 1
Berberidaceae 1 Lygodiaceae 1 Smilacaceae 1
Bombacaceae 1 Lythraceae 1 Solanaceae 4
Boraginaceae 1 Malvaceae 1 Sterculiaceae 1
Bromeliaceae 1 Meliaceae 1 Tiliaceae 1
Cactaceae 1 Menispermaceae 2 Umbelliferae 1
Caricaceae 1 Moraceae 6 Urticaceae 1
Clusiaceae 1 Moringaceae 1 Verbenaceae 2
Combretaceae 4 Musaceae 1 Vitaceae 1
Commelinaceae 1 Myrtaceae 3 Woodsiaceae 1
Convolvulaceae 3 Orchidaceae 1 Zingiberaceae 1
Table 3: Plants parts and their percentage uses in the various formulations of the Kavirajes.
Plant part Percentage of use
Whole plant 8.1
Leaf 44.6
Stem 6.1
Root 13.5
Bark 9.5
Flower 2.7
Fruit 10.8
Seed 2.0
Sap 0.7
Rhizome 1.4
Gum 0.7
Occasionally plant juice or plant part would be mixed with sugar, salt or honey prior to oral administration,
usually to make the juice more palatable, but also sometimes for additional therapeutic purposes. A decoction of
leaves of Aloe barbadensis was advised to be taken with sugar. Powder prepared from dried leaves of
Terminalia arjuna were also advised to be taken with sugar as treatment for heart disease. For treatment of
abdominal pain, leaves of Kalanchoe pinnata were advised to be chewed with salt. Notably, abdominal pain can
result from gas formation, which can be relieved by taking a little bit of salt (this is a common home remedy in
Bangladesh). In this instance, the salt, besides making the leaves palatable can also serve a therapeutic purpose.
Juice obtained from macerated leaves of Justicia adhatoda was prescribed to be taken with honey as treatment
for cold, fever, and jaundice. Honey is usually considered a medicine by the Kavirajes, and is commonly
advised to be taken for cold. The use of honey in this instance can serve a synergistic purpose on top of the
effects of the leaf juice in relieving cold. In the case of fever and jaundice (when the body is weak), honey can
also serve as a good source for energy.
A remarkable thing about the Kavirajes was their claim to have effective treatments for cancer, diabetes,
and rheumatism. These are diseases for which allopathic medicine has no easy cure or no cure at all. The
Kavirajes had no proper diagnostic procedures for cancer or diabetes. Any unusual or unexplainable swelling of
any body part together with gradual wasting away of body was determined to be cancer. Diabetes was usually
determined through report of frequent urination and sweet taste of urine. Cancer was treated with three plants,
namely, Catharanthus roseus, Momordica charantia, and Euphorbia tirucalli. Diabetes was treated with eleven
plants, namely Lannea coromandelica, Catharanthus roseus, Coccinia grandis, Momordica charantia, Tragia
involucrata, Tinospora crispa, Ficus hispida, Ficus racemosa, Moringa oleifera, Musa sapientum, and
Syzygium cumini. Irrespective of the lack of modern diagnostic procedures among the Kavirajes, it is interesting
that out of the three plants used by the Kavirajes to treat cancer, scientific research has already shown the
341
Am.-Eurasian J. Sustain. Agric., 5(3): 332-343, 2011
anticancer activity present in two of the plants - Catharanthus roseus and Momordica charantia (Roepke et al.,
2010; Ray et al., 2010). The antidiabetic activities of whole plants or plant parts of Catharanthus roseus,
Coccinia cordifolia, Momordica charantia, Tinospora crispa, Ficus racemosa, Moringa oleifera, Musa
sapientum, and Syzygium cumini have been also reported (Rasineni et al., 2010; Islam et al., 2009; Hafizur et
al., 2011; Sangsuwan et al., 2004; Ahmed and Urooj, 2010; Jaiswal et al., 2009; Adewoye et al., 2009; Pandey
and Khan, 2002). The scientific validation of medicinal plant usage by the Kavirajes indicate that folk medicinal
knowledge is not only not to be ignored but modern science can benefit a lot through extensive investigation of
the plants used by folk medicinal practitioners and their mode of usage. One further comment in this regard is
that scientific studies are usually carried out with plant extracts; it is possibly time for scientific studies to be
carried out with formulations as exactly used by the folk medicinal practitioners to get relevant results.
The Kavirajes were observed to use a number of plants for treatment of the same disease or symptoms. As
pointed out earlier, eleven plants were used for treatment of diabetes. This was because all plants were not
available throughout the year, or plant parts like fruits were highly seasonal. The versatility of the Kavirajes was
also shown in the observation that they not only used wild plants in their treatment, but also many plants which
were cultivated or which could be easily found to be grown as ornamental plants in various village homesteads.
Examples of cultivated plants included Mangifera indica, Carissa carandas, Alocasia macrorrhizos, Typhonium
trilobatum, Areca catechu, Bombax ceiba, Ananas comosus, Carica papaya, Terminalia belerica, Terminalia
chebula, Momordica charantia, Phyllanthus emblica, Mentha arvensis, Cinnamomum verum, Punica granatum,
Azadirachta indica, Artocarpus heterophyllus, Moringa oleifera, Musa sapientum, Psidium guajava, Syzygium
aromaticum, Syzygium cumini, Averrhoa carambola, Piper betle, Piper nigrum, Saccharum officinarum,
Zizyphus mauritiana, Aegle marmelos, Capsicum frutescens, Centella asiatica, and Zingiber officinale. Most of
these plants were cultivated or grown in homesteads for their edible fruits; however, some were used as spices
or vegetables. Saccharum officinarum was cultivated to obtain sugar and molasses, while a number of the
people of Bangladesh have the habit of chewing Piper betle leaves with nuts from Areca catechu, especially
after meals both as mouth freshener as well as a digestive aid.
Another interesting aspect of the Kavirajes of the surveyed villages in the present study was that they
advised several plants or plant parts to be cooked and eaten as vegetable as remedy for several ailments. The
leaves of Alocasia macrorrhizos were advised to be cooked and eaten as remedy for iron deficiency, vision
problem, and jaundice. Notably, the plant is rich in iron as well as in vitamin A; the latter can prove beneficial
as remedy for night blindness, a common problem in Bangladesh. Other plants or plant parts advised to be taken
in the cooked form were Typhonium trilobatum, Leucas indica, Ficus racemosa, Capsicum frutescens, and
Diplazium esculentum. Leucas indica was used as remedy for gout; the plant is extremely bitter and is eaten as a
home remedy in the cooked form for alleviation of pain. In this case, the plant could be serving a similar
purpose in alleviating pain arising from gout. One plant, namely, Solanum torvum, was observed to be used by
the Kavirajes not for therapeutic purposes, but to serve as a preventive purpose to prevent chicken pox.
Scientific validation of medicinal plants used by the Kavirajes to treat cancer and diabetes suggest that other
plants may be scientifically validated in their traditional uses, when examined for relevant bioactivities. In fact,
Justicia adhatoda, a plant used by the Kavirajes to treat cold and fever has been shown to contain alkaloids,
which exert a beneficial effect on inflammatory diseases (Chakraborty and Brantner, 2001); a bronchodilator
alkaloid, vasicinone has also been reported to be present in the plant (Amin and Mehta, 1959). The scientific
results suggest that the other medicinal plants used by the Kavirajes merit scientific attention for further studies
leading to possible discovery of lead compounds and efficacious drugs. At the same time, considerable attention
must be paid such that wild plants do not become endangered or extinct through inappropriate harvesting. Plants
whose roots are used in folk medicine gets destroyed totally when the whole plant is uprooted to collect roots; as
such if proper conservation efforts are absent these plants can quickly be lost. Thus a two-pronged approach is
necessary - to conduct scientific studies on medicinal plants, and to spur conservation efforts of the same plants.
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Vertical gardening is a common concept nowadays for sustainable design and space quality enrichment. With the flow of time, these modules and concepts are becoming more efficient and functional day by day. For different contexts, weather conditions and surrounding facts the choice of plants and soil mixture differs. This study mainly aims to introduce an easy and cost effective installation module for the context of Khulna City which is not only eco-friendly, energy saving and temperature controlling but also has a high aesthetic value and timeless texture for simple domestic buildings especially in warm humid climate. In this study we have tried to develop the module and taken care of every step such as frame making, soil mixing, plantation etc. and observed them closely day by day in natural weather and sun conditions. By trying and observing different plant growth rate, soil retention level and need of care we have selected a particular plant which gives the best result for plantation on a vertical tile module. Through the steps of research we have studied various literatures, reviews, theories and modular systems. This study involves contextual materials, plants and ingredients to develop a module of vertical green tile which is comparatively cheaper than most of the quality tile modules we usually use as finish materials on outdoor, semi-outdoors. This unique module and its cost effectiveness compared to normal tiles will encourage people to develop mass production and use them as finish material in the context of Khulna city in future which will not only bring them weather protection and aesthetic value but also will enrich the space quality, thermal comfort and architectural values.
... Menispermacea Gorincha Leaf Yes [22,198,199] ...
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The use of conventional drugs to treat metabolic disorders and the pathological consequences of diabetes further increases the complications because of the side effects, and is sometimes burdensome due to relatively higher costs and occasionally painful route of administration of these drugs. Therefore, shifting to herbal medicine may be more effective, economical, have fewer side effects and might have minimal toxicity. The present review amasses a list of ethnomedicinal plants of 143 species belonging to 61 families, from distinctive domestic survey literature, reported to have been used to treat diabetes by the ethnic and local people of Bangladesh. Leaves of the medicinal plants were found leading in terms of their use, followed by fruits, whole plants, roots, seeds, bark, stems, flowers, and rhizomes. This review provides starting information leading to the search for and use of indigenous botanical resources to discover bioactive compounds for novel hypoglycemic drug development.
... However, accurate documentation of these plant species through actual field surveys is more or less absent. Towards a thorough documentation of the medicinal plants used by traditional medicinal practitioners in their formulations, we had been conducting ethnomedicinal surveys among the traditional medicinal practitioners, including both folk and tribal medicinal practitioners for a number of years ((Nawaz et al., 2009;Rahmatullah et al., 2009a-c;Chowdhury et al., 2010;Hasan et al., 2010;Hossan et al., 2010;Mollik et al., 2010a,b;Rahmatullah et al., 2010a-g;Akber et al., 2011;Biswas et al., 2011a-c;Haque et al., 2011;Islam et al., 2011;Jahan et al., 2011;Rahmatullah et al., 2011a,b;Sarker et al., 2011;Shaheen et al., 2011;Hasan et al., 2012;Hossan et al., 2012;Khan et al., 2012;Rahmatullah et al., 2012a-d;Sarker et al., 2012). ...
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Bhola district is an administrative district in southwestern Bangladesh, which includes Bhola Island, the largest island of Bangladesh. An ethnomedicinal survey conducted among folk medicinal herbalists of seven villages in Bhola district resulted in the finding of 51 plants distributed into 36 families used by the herbalists (practitioners). The various plants were used for the treatment of ailments like
... The Kavirajes used medicinal plants for treatment of many chronic ailments like paralysis, tuberculosis, endocrinological problems, tract disorders, hepatic disorders, disorders of the spleen, diabetes, sexual disorders, gall bladder problems, allergy, teeth problems, disorders of the ear, pain, snake bite, dog bite, and chicken pox [12][13][14][15] . Along with the progress of human civilization and the accumulation of knowledge, people have become more concerned with their eating habits. ...
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Medicinal plants are invaluable natural resources of Bangladesh. Several studies were conducted in different region of Bangladesh about the medicinal plants and its benefit. In this study, data were collected from the 24 different kavirajes of Dhunat Upazila of Bogra district in the division of Rajshahi about the traditional medicinal plant which they used in the treatment of many ailments. Practitioners of this region use more-than 74 plants for their traditional medicinal practice that are distributed into 51 families. The objective of our present study was to show the importance of medicinal plants, there uses and the importance of documentation of the information as well as to help the regional people to get knowledge about these types of plants which are available in their surroundings nature for using these as primary treatment. Among these 74 plants, 14 plants were used for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, 21 plants were used for male and female sexual problems; 11 were used in asthma and skin diseases. Beside these, 7 plants were used to cure kidney diseases, 5 plants were used to overcome mental depression, 4 plants were used for hypertension and diabetes and three plants were used for ailment of heart disease. Additionally, these plants were used to treat many other diseases. For the country like Bangladesh medicinal plants is a vital asset and has significant role in people health care system. So the awareness towards the conventional use of medicinal plants needs to be increased among the local people. Proper and developed cultivation process must be needed for improving and maintaining the quality and growth of these indigenous medicinal plants. Additionally, proper research should be conducted for using these medicinal plants in new drug design and many other pharmaceutical benefits.
... The plant is beneficial as an emetic, expectorant, vermifuge and to relieve asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, intermittent fiver, gastritis and psychiatric disorders. [30,31] The leaves boiled in coconut oil are applied to heal bruises and wounds and on the abdomen of women with menstrual problems. [20,32,33] The leaves contained β-sitosterol acetate, 1-isopentyl-3,4dioxomethylene-2-phenol, 2-acetyl-3H-chromene-2-one and 3-(2-hydroxyphenyl)-1-(piperidin-1-yl)propan-1one. ...
Article
Aegle marmelos (L.) Corrêa (Rutaceae) grows in the Indian subcontinent, Thailand and Malesia as a tree. Its fruits are ingested to cure constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis, nausea, peptic ulcer, piles, tuberculosis and urinary diseases. Clutia lanceolata Forssk (Euphorbiaceae, Peraceae) is found in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and East tropical Africa. It is useful to treat diarrhoea, evil eyes, diabetes, hypoglycemia, jaundice, rheumatism, dandruff and eczema. Ficus rumphii Blume (Moraceae) is distributed in tropical Asia. Its leaves are utilized to relieve bruises, wounds and menstrual problems. Our study was planned to isolate phytoconstituents from the fruits of A. marmelos and the leaves of C. lanceolata and F. rumphii and to characterized their structures. The air-dried powders of the plant materials were exhaustively extracted with methanol and the concentrated methanol extracts were chromatographed over silica gel columns separately. The columns were eluted with petroleum ether, chloroform and methanol successively to isolate the chemical constituents. Phytochemical investigation of the methanolic extract of the stem bark of A. marmelos led to isolate 1-decanyl godoleate (capryl 9Z-eicosenoiate, 1), behenyl oleate (1-docosanyl cis-9-octadecenoate, 2), 2,6,10,14-tetramethyl dec-15-en-14-olyl salicylate (isophytyl salicylate, 3) and lacceroic acid (4). Column chromatography of the methanolic extract of the leaves of C. lanceolata afforded 2-methyl protocatechuic acid (2-methyl-3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, 5) and emodin (6). The methanol extract of the leaves of F. rumphii furnished menadione (7), 1-isopentanyl-3,4-dioxymethylene-2-phenol (8) and β-sitosterol acetate (9). The structures of these phytoconstituents have been established on the basis of spectral data analysis and chemical reactions.
... Towards preparing a comprehensive database on the medicinal plants of the country, we had been conducting ethnomedicinal surveys among the traditional medicinal practitioners as well as the tribal medicinal practitioners for a number of years (Nawaz et al., 2009;Rahmatullah et al., 2009a-c;Chowdhury et al., 2010;Hasan et al., 2010;Hossan et al., 2010;Mollik et al., 2010a,b;Rahmatullah et al., 2010a-g;Akber et al., 2011;Biswas et al., 2011a-c;Haque et al., 2011;Islam et al., 2011;Jahan et al., 2011;Rahmatullah et al., 2011a,b;Sarker et al., 2011;Shaheen et al., 2011;Das et al., 2012;Hasan et al., 2012;Hossan et al., 2012;Khan et al., 2012;Rahmatullah et al., 2012a-d;Sarker et al., 2012). It is of importance to prepare this database not only to learn more about the medicinal plants of the country but also to ensure that such a database can serve as a platform for maintaining the intellectual property rights of the indigenous communities in general and the country as a whole. ...
Article
The Murmu tribal community is one of the smallest indigenous communities of Bangladesh. Although some anthropologists believe them to be a clan of the much larger Santal tribe, the Murmus claim themselves to be a distinct tribal community of their own. Ethnomedicinal reports on indigenous communities are rare, and this is more so for the approximately hundred or so small communities, who are fast losing their cultural identities either because of declines in population or being in the process of assimilation with the mainstream Bengali-speaking population. A Murmu community was located in Kashiadanga village in Rajshahi district, which is in the northern part of Bangladesh. An ethnomedicinal survey was carried out among the tribal medicinal practitioners of this community to document their use of medicinal plants and formulations for treatment of various ailments. Altogether twenty five medicinal plants or plant parts were used by the two tribal healers of the Murmu community. These medicinal plants were distributed into twenty families. The various ailments treated with these plants included abscess, puerperal fever, pain, snake bite, paralysis, gastrointestinal disorders, diabetes, skin infections, vomiting, tongue lesions, tooth infections, jaundice, physical weakness, insanity, and bone fracture. There was one formulation consisting of plant parts of Physalis micrantha and Nigella sativa for treatment of flatulency in cows or buffaloes. Traditional medicinal knowledge of indigenous communities has always played an important role in allopathic medicine towards discovery of efficacious drugs. As such, the traditional medicinal plant formulations of the Murmus are not only important from an anthropological view point but also for further scientific studies leading to possible discovery of better drugs and possible isolation of novel bio-active compounds.
... Santal tribal practitioners also use medicinal plants as their main ingredient in their traditional medicinal formulations. We had been conducting ethnomedicinal surveys among Kavirajes of different districts of Bangladesh as well as various tribes of Bangladesh over a number of years (Nawaz et al., 2009;Rahmatullah et al., 2009a-c;Chowdhury et al., 2010;Hasan et al., 2010;Hossan et al., 2010;Mollik et al., 2010a,b;Rahmatullah et al., 2010a-g;Akber et al., 2011;Biswas et al., 2011a-c;Haque et al., 2011;Islam et al., 2011;Jahan et al., 2011;Rahmatullah et al., 2011a,b;Sarker et al., 2011;Shaheen et al., 2011;Das et al., 2012;Rahmatullah et al., 2012a-d). Since the Santals and the mainstream population has co-existed side by side over centuries, it was of interest to determine whether the medicinal practices, particularly the medicinal plants used by the two groups of practitioners, namely the Ojhas and the Kavirajes have influenced each other, or still remain as separate entities. ...
Article
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Bangladesh has a number of traditional medicinal systems among which folk medicinal practitioners constitute the majority and who can be found practicing in virtually every village, town and city of the country. Bangladesh also has over a hundred different tribes scattered throughout the country, who have their own tribal medicinal practitioners. Some of these tribes have maintained their unique cultural traditions, while others are in various stages of assimilation with the mainstream Bengali-speaking population. The common feature between folk medicinal and tribal medicinal practitioners is that both groups rely on medicinal plants as the major ingredient in their medicinal formulations. The Santals are one of the largest tribes in north-western districts of Bangladesh. While some Santal communities reside in their separate villages apart from the villages of the mainstream population, other Santal communities can be found living among the mainstream population. It was of interest to determine whether such close proximity of living between Santal and non-Santal people have led to mutual exchanges of medicinal information regarding choice of medicinal plants for treatment of common ailments. An ethnomedicinal survey was therefore carried out among a Santal practitioner of Dabidubi village in Dinajpur district, and a mainstream folk medicinal practitioner of Goreya Bazaar village in Thakurgaon district, the two villages being in close proximity. It is to be noted that both villages were inhabited by a heterogeneous population consisting of both people from the Santal tribe as well as mainstream Bengali-speaking people. Altogether 76 formulations were obtained from the two healers, the Santal healer providing 44 formulations and the mainstream folk healer providing 32 formulations. Both healers used medicinal plants as the chief ingredient in their formulations. The Santal healer used a total of 50 plant species in his formulations, while the non-Santal healer used a total of 44 plant species in his formulations. Surprisingly, although many ailments treated by the two healers were in common, the formulation used by the Santal healer differed totally from the non-Santal mainstream healer, even though all plant species used by the two healers could be found in both the villages of their residences. Only one plant species, namely Aegle marmelos, was used in common by both healers as a stomachic and for the treatment of dysentery, but even then the formulations were different. A second plant species, Syzygium cumini, used in common by both healers, were used for treatment of different ailments. The same applied to two other plant species, Nigella sativa and Piper nigrum, which though commonly used by the healers were used in different types of formulations for treatment of different diseases. The results not only suggest that the Santals have their own unique repertoire of medicinal plants but also suggests that despite centuries of living in close proximity to each other, tribal medicinal practitioners and mainstream folk medicinal practitioners have evolved their medicinal plant selections separately and which are clearly distinguishable from each other. The results further highlight the study of traditional healers among all communities and villages of Bangladesh to obtain a comprehensive account of the various medicinal plants used and their purpose of use.
... It is therefore of importance to document the ethnomedicinal wisdom of particularly the small indigenous communities and more so of their still smaller clans and sub-clans before this knowledge is totally lost to science. Towards a comprehensive documentation of traditional and tribal medicinal practices in Bangladesh, we have been conducting ethnomedicinal surveys among the various sections of traditional and tribal healers for the last few years (Nawaz et al., 2009;Rahmatullah et al., 2009a-c;Chowdhury et al., 2010;Hasan et al., 2010;Hossan et al., 2010;Mollik et al., 2010a,b;Rahmatullah et al., 2010a-g;Akber et al., 2011;Biswas et al., 2011a-c;Haque et al., 2011;Islam et al., 2011;Jahan et al., 2011;Rahmatullah et al., 2011a,b;Sarker et al., 2011;Shaheen et al., 2011;Das et al., 2012;Hasan et al., 2012;Hossan et al., 2012;Khan et al., 2012;Rahmatullah et al., 2012ad;Sarker et al., 2012). Although substantial progress has been made in the documentation process, there still remains a huge body of work to be done to obtain a total picture of the traditional and tribal medicinal practices existing within the country. ...
Article
An ethnomedicinal survey was carried out among the Tudu sub-clan of the Kisku clan of the Santal tribe in Joypurhat district, Bangladesh. This sub-clan is almost on the verge of disappearance and presently numbers only about 200 people. Their ethnomedicinal wisdom is also on the point of complete disappearance, and so it was important to document whatever remaining ethnomedicinal knowledge existed among this sub-clan. Only ten medicinal formulations were obtained from the sole tribal practitioner. These formulations included ten medicinal plants distributed into ten families. The various ailments treated with these formulations included gastrointestinal disorders, bleeding, oral lesions, blood purification, and 'meho', the last being a set of conditions usually identified by allopathic doctors as indicative of endocrinological disorders, and more particularly diabetes. Meho is an Ayurvedic term but also used by the folk medicinal practitioners of Bangladesh, who practice among the mainstream Bengali-speaking population of the country. The low number of ailments treated by the Tudu practitioner suggests that most of the tribal ethnomedicinal knowledge has been lost (a point acknowledged also by the practitioner). The study underscores the importance of documenting ethnomedicinal knowledge of the various small tribes of Bangladesh and their clans and sub-clans before this knowledge is totally lost.
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Heritage, folk medicine and traditional medical practices are very closely related to each other. Preservation of heritage is about making sense of our past and developing a sense of identity. Traditional medicine (TM), a form of intangible cultural heritage (ICH), constitutes a part of cultural identity of the communities, while traditional medical knowledge (TMK) is the complex manifestation of their culture and religion, the ecology they live in, the beliefs they hold and the rituals (physical activities, exercise/yoga, music, dance, and prayers) they practice. Studies in medical anthropology help to understand the direct effects of culture, society and ecology on physiology and biological process, to know how local practitioners use their cultural practices to address their health problems, or to know more about various cultural concepts in health, health care and the expression of illness (Brown, 1998; Baer et al., 2003; Ernst, 2002; Janzen, 1978& 2002).Studies in ethno-botany confirm the significant contribution of natural and plant-based folk medicine in curing diseases and prolonging lives. In Bangladesh, except for some ethno-botanical studies(Ghani, 1998; Khan et al., 2002; Sarker et al., 2011; Islam et al., 2011; Biswas et al., 2011; Hossain et al., 2009; Mia et al., 2009 &Lahan et al., 2011), there is hardly any medical anthropological study on the traditional medical practices (TMPs)in Bangladesh. The present paper based on primary ethnographic study in three different geographical locations (remote hill areas, remote villages and in the peri-urban locations closed to the city centers) intended to examine the status of traditional medical practices, use of medicine and the prevalence of folk healers in three different locations.
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Aegle marmelos (L.) Corrêa (Rutaceae) grows in the Indian subcontinent, Thailand and Malesia as a tree. Its fruits are ingested to cure constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis, nausea, peptic ulcer, piles, tuberculosis and urinary diseases. Clutia lanceolata Forssk (Euphorbiaceae, Peraceae) is found in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and East tropical Africa. It is useful to treat diarrhoea, evil eyes, diabetes, hypoglycemia, jaundice, rheumatism, dandruff and eczema. Ficus rumphii Blume (Moraceae) is distributed in tropical Asia. Its leaves are utilized to relieve bruises, wounds and menstrual problems. Our study was planned to isolate phytoconstituents from the fruits of A. marmelos and the leaves of C. lanceolata and F. rumphii and to characterized their structures. The air-dried powders of the plant materials were exhaustively extracted with methanol and the concentrated methanol extracts were chromatographed over silica gel columns separately. The columns were eluted with petroleum ether, chloroform and methanol successively to isolate the chemical constituents. Phytochemical investigation of the methanolic extract of the stem bark of A. marmelos led to isolate 1-decanyl godoleate (capryl 9Z-eicosenoiate, 1), behenyl oleate (1-docosanyl cis-9-octadecenoate, 2), 2,6,10,14-tetramethyl dec-15-en-14-olyl salicylate (isophytyl salicylate, 3) and lacceroic acid (4). Column chromatography of the methanolic extract of the leaves of C. lanceolata afforded 2-methyl protocatechuic acid (2-methyl-3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid, 5) and emodin (6). The methanol extract of the leaves of F. rumphii furnished menadione (7), 1-isopentanyl-3,4-dioxymethylene-2-phenol (8) and β-sitosterol acetate (9). The structures of these phytoconstituents have been established on the basis of spectral data analysis and chemical reactions.
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Folk medicinal practitioners (Kavirajes) provide primary health care to the rural population of around 86,000 villages in Bangladesh. Every village has at least one or more practicing Kavirajes. The Kavirajes rely almost exclusively on medicinal plants for treatment of various ailments. It was of interest to find out whether differences exist among the Kavirajes of the same as well as adjoining villages in the type of ailments treated and the species of medicinal plants used for treatment of any specific ailment. Interviews were conducted of the folk medicinal practitioners with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and using the guided field-walk method. Plant specimens as pointed out by the practitioners were collected and pressed on the field and identification completed at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. The survey was conducted among the five Kavirajes practicing in the adjoining villages of Uttar Musrat Madati and Kisasat Madati in Lalmonirhat district, Bangladesh. The five Kavirajes of the two surveyed villages used 85 plant species distributed in to 51 families for treatment of various ailments. While some similarity was noted in the plant species and formulations used for treatment of a specific ailment, overall, the Kavirajes differed considerably as to the selection of plants and the formulations used for treatment. Each Kaviraj also specialized in his own unique list of ailments, which ailments were not treated by the other Kavirajes. Each Kaviraj seemed to have his own unique repertoire of plant species for treatment of ailments, a knowledge which was not shared usually with other Kavirajes. Moreover, available scientific literature validated the traditional use of a number of plants and indicated that they can be potential sources of newer drugs.
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Sylhet division lies in the north-eastern corner of Bangladesh and comprises of four districts - Sylhet, Habiganj, Sunamganj, and Moulvibazar. The division contains a diversity of floral species, some of which are quite distinct from the rest of the country. A randomized ethnomedicinal survey was conducted among the folk medicinal practitioners of Komolganj in Moulvibazar district, Gulapganj of Sylhet district, and Chunarughat of Habiganj district. Informed consent was obtained from the healers and the survey was conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire. In the present survey, the methodology employed was that of the guided field-walk, where the healers took the interviewers to localities from where they collected their medicinal plants and pointed out the plants besides describing the plant parts used and the ailments that they were used for. Plant specimens were collected from the field, dried in situ and identification completed at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. Information on 107 plant species distributed into 53 families was obtained. The Asteraceae family contributed the largest number of plant species (seven) followed by the Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae and Rutaceae families (six each). Leaves comprised the major plant part used for the treatment of different ailments (48.3%) followed by fruit (15.9%) and bark (10.3%). Most plants were used to treat common ailments like gastrointestinal disorders, helminthiasis, debility, pain, skin problems, respiratory problems, fever, bleeding from cuts and wounds, urinary tract problems and sexual disorders. However, a number of plants were also used to treat more complicated ailments like cardiovascular disorders, hepatic disorders, epilepsy and cancer or tumors. In the majority of cases, a single plant part was used for treatment of any given ailment. Folk medicine in Bangladesh has a history of usage going back thousands of years. The medicinal plants used by the folk medicinal healers thus possess considerable potential for discovery of lead compounds or novel compounds that may serve as the source of effective modern drugs.
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Folk medicinal practitioners (Kavirajes) are the primary health-care providers to substantial segments of the rural population as well as the urban population of Bangladesh. Every village of Bangladesh has at least one practicing Kaviraj. The Kavirajes rely primarily on simple formulations of medicinal plants for treatment of ailments. While overall, simple ailments are treated by the Kavirajes, occasionally complicated ailments, which are hard to cure with allopathic medicine, are also treated by them. In previous ethnomedicinal surveys, we have observed considerable variation in the use of medicinal plants by the Kavirajes of different regions of Bangladesh, which extended to Kavirajes of even the same village or adjoining villages. To get a comprehensive picture of the medicinal plants used by the Kavirajes, it is therefore necessary to conduct surveys of individual villages. The objective of the present study was to conduct a survey among Kavirajes of seven villages in Ishwardi Upazilla (sub-district), which is in Pabna district of Bangladesh. A total of 80 plants distributed into 45 families were observed to be used by the Kavirajes. The Euphorbiaceae and the the Lamiaceae family contributed 7 plants per family, followed by the Apocynaceae family with 5 plants, and the Araceae, Asteraceae, Combretaceae, Menispermaceae, and Solanaceae family with 3 plants each. The Kavirajes used both whole plant as well as plant parts for treatment of ailments. Leaves constituted 35.1% of the total uses, followed by roots at 17.5%, and barks and fruits at 11.4% each. Twenty one plants were used for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders like constipation, dysentery, loss of appetite, and acidity. Thirteen plants were used to treat skin disorders like eczema, pimples, and itches, while twelve plants were used for treatment of respiratory tract disorders like asthma, coughs, and colds. The Kavirajes also treated hepatic disorders (e.g. jaundice), sexual disorders, pain, fever, bleeding from cuts and wounds, bone fractures, eye disorders, ear problems, toothache, loss of hair, hemorrhoids, gonorrhea, infections, physical weakness, helminthiasis, leprosy, vomiting, snake bite, gall bladder stones, burns, chicken pox, malaria, rheumatic fever, diphtheria, anemia, rheumatism, menstrual problems, urinary problems, and physical weakness. Other complicated diseases treated by the Kavirajes, included diabetes, hypertension, heart disorders, tumors, malnutrition of fetus, and leukemia. The medicinal plants used by the Kavirajes can form a rich source of plants for further scientific studies leading to discovery of novel therapeutic compounds.
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An ethnomedicinal survey was carried out at Station Purbo Para village of Jamalpur Sadar sub-district in Jamalpur district of Bangladesh. Information on 121 medicinal plant species was obtained from the folk medicinal practitioners. All plants were screened in the scientific databases and scientific journals for pharmacological activities or presence of phytochemicals, which could be relevant to their folk medicinal uses. 61 plants (50.4%) of the total were found to have relevant pharmacological activities consistent with their uses. The actual number of relevant plants can increase further for a number of plants used by the folk medicinal practitioners are yet to be studied through relevant scientific experiments. The results suggest that the medicinal plants used by the folk medicinal practitioners of Bangladesh cannot be dismiised as irrelevant; in fact, the present study demonstrates that a substantial percentage of plants should be scientifically studied as soon as possible in a thorough manner for they can be sources of potentially important and efficacious drugs.
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Rajshahi district falls within the Rajshahi division of Bangladesh. It is bordered by Naogaon district on the north, Kushtia district on the south, Natore district on the east and Nawabganj district on the west. Bangladesh has 64 districts; the predominantly rural populations of these districts rely on traditional medicinal practitioners for treatment of various ailments. These practitioners are experts in the knowledge of medicinal plants and their properties. Each has his own formulations and dosages based on the practitioner's individual experience, and this information is passed from generation to generation and not usually shared with other practitioners. We are conducting a district-wise ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used to treat various ailments, which varies considerably from district to district. Interviews were conducted with a number of traditional medicinal practitioners in Rajshahi district using a semi-structured questionnaire. Detailed information was collected as to plants, plant parts or combination of plants used, formulation of medicines, dosages as well as ailments for which the plants are used. Plant specimens as pointed out by the traditional medicinal practitioners were collected and brought to Bangladesh National Herbarium for complete identification. Detailed information was obtained on 32 plant species belonging to 24 families. These plant species (ailments for which they are used given within parentheses) include Achyranthes aspera (jaundice), Amaranthus spinosus (dysentery, rabies), Vinca rosea (diabetes), Typhonium trilobatum (body ache), Calotropis procera (edema in pregnant women), Heliotropium indicum (antidote to poisoning, bone fracture), Cannabis sativa (insomnia, coughs, sexual stimulant), Terminalia bellerica (loss of appetite, acidity, hair loss, intestinal worms), Terminalia chebula (loss of appetite, acidity), Commelina bengalensis (poisoning), Coccinia cordifolia (diarrhea, blood dysentery, dizziness from sunstroke), Emblica officinalis (digestive aid, acidity), Swertia chirata (fever), Ocimum sanctum (malaria, coughs, gonorrhea), Clerodendrum viscosum (stomach pain, acidity, fever), Clitoria ternatea (urinary problems), Cassia alata (low sperm count, skin disorders), Cassia tora (flatulence, abdominal pain from intestinal worms, blood poisoning, eczema), Erythrina variegata (eye itch), Abutilon indicum (lack of breast development in females), Sida cordifolia (nerve weakness, low sperm count, cloudy urine), Azadirachta indica (gall bladder and pancreatic disorders, chicken pox), Moringa oleifera (cancer), Nyctanthes arbor-tristis (fever), Piper longum (hypertension), Cynodon dactylon (bleeding from mouth, stomach disorders, wounds, blood with vomit, irregular menstruation), Aegle marmelos (indigestion), Scoparia dulcis (oral lesions, frequent urination in children), Datura metel (swellings, pain, abscess), Nicotiana plumbaginifolia (piles), Abroma augusta (weakness, hypertension) and Centella asiatica (blood disorders, fever).
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Folk medicinal practitioners (Kavirajes) provide medical care to substantial segments of the rural and urban population of Bangladesh. The Kavirajes specialize in the use of medicinal plants for treatment of ailments or their symptoms. Besides use of medicinal plants for therapeutic purposes, the Kavirajes also prescribe medicinal plants for preventive purposes, which may include plants for maintenance of overall good health, or to maintain various parts of the body and their functions in a healthy state. As such, the latter group of medicinal plants can be classified as functional foods or nutraceuticals. This latter aspect of the Kavirajes, although quite commonly practiced, has rarely been documented or reported. It was the objective of the present study to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among the Kavirajes of three villages in Sreepur Upazilla (subdistrict) of Magura district, Bangladesh to gather information on medicinal plants used by the Kavirajes for both therapeutic as well as preventive purposes. Information was collected from the Kavirajes with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. It was observed that the Kavirajes used a total of 54 plants, among which a number of plants served both therapeutic and preventive purposes. The plants were distributed into 37 families; the Fabaceae and the Lamiaceae families provided 4 plants per family, followed by the Combretaceae family with 3 plants. Leaves were the major plant part used, constituting 41.4% of total uses. It was further observed that all medicinal plants used by the Kavirajes served to treat multiple ailments. 38 plants were used for treatment of respiratory tract disorders, 33 plants for hepatic disorders, 36 plants for gastrointestinal tract problems, and 26 plants for treatment of various types of sexual disorders. 17 plants were used for treatment of fever, 16 for treatment of leprosy, 19 for treatment of piles, 15 for treatment of edema, and 16 for treatment of skin disorders. 17 plants were used as astringent, 11 plants used as bitter, and 12 plants as blood purifier. Other ailments treated by the Kavirajes included tuberculosis, cuts and wounds, rheumatism, helminthiasis, menstrual problems, urinary problems, heart disorders, tumor, burning sensations in body, spleen disorders, vaginal diseases, goiter, eye problems, leucorrhea, insanity, infections, throat diseases, fractures, vomiting, obesity, pain, and anal diseases. The various uses of medicinal plants as functional foods included to maintain healthy brain functions, to regularize urine and stool, to maintain good eyes, to maintain healthy hair, to improve voice, to increase intelligence and memory, and to increase longevity. The plants used for both therapeutic and preventive purposes by the Kavirajes have obvious potentiality for scientific studies, which can lead to discoveries of better medicines as well as functional foods. The latter is important, because it can lessen the incidences of diseases and provide a cost-effective way to maintaining the body and its vital organs in good health.
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Bagerhat district is in the southern portion of Bangladesh and contains a portion of the world's largest mangrove forest, the Sunderbans. The Rupsha River flows through the district and falls into the Bay of Bengal after passing through the Sunderbans forest. Because of the coastal position of the district and the presence of the Sunderbans forest, the plants occurring in this estuarine region are considerably different from the plants in other districts of Bangladesh. The occupations of the people of the villages adjoining the Rupsha River are mainly agriculture, agricultural laborer, and extracting timber and other forest products from the Sunderbans forest. In absence of modern medicinal facilities, the people rely on folk medicinal practitioners for treatment of their ailments. It was the objective of the present study to conduct a survey among the folk medicinal practitioners (Kavirajes) in two villages on the banks of the Rupsha River, namely Chanpur and Andabaaz, to learn about the medicinal plants used. The Kavirajes rely almost exclusively on medicinal plants for treatment of diverse ailments. Since the plant species of the Sunderbans forest are unique to the region, it was expected that the medicinal plants used by the Kavirajes of the two villages surveyed would be distinct from plant species used by Kavirajes in other regions of Bangladesh. Our survey revealed that 50 plant species and one mushroom species distributed into 32 families were used by the Kavirajes of the two villages. The Euphorbiaceae family provided 5 species, followed by the Araceae family with 4 species, and the Asteraceae,Combretaceae and Fabaceae families with 3 species, each. Even though the number of plant species used was small, a wide variety of ailments were treated by the Kavirajes. The highest number of plant species, twenty five, was used for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. Skin disorders were treated with 22 plant species; respiratory tract disorders with 14 plant species, and sexual disorders treated with 11 plant species. Because the inhabitants of the two villages work often in the Sunderbans forest, they are exposed to snake and tiger bites. Ten plant species were used for treatment of snake bites, and six for treatment of tiger bites. Other ailments treated included heart disorders, sexually transmitted diseases, malaria, helminthiasis, rheumatoidarthritis, encysted dropsy, tuberculosis, hemorrhoids, hepatic disorders, cancer or tumor, fever, cuts and wounds, burns, epilepsy, anemia, obesity, menstrual disorders, gynecological problems, leprosy, inflammation, chicken pox, diabetes, paralysis, fistula, eye disorders, hypertension, typhoid, tooth problems, rabies, headache, and typhus. Three plants were used as astringents, four plants as tonic, one plant for treatment of vitamin C deficiency, three plants as antidote to poisoning, five plants as stimulants of the central nervous system, and one plant as an abortifacient. Two plants used to be prescribed for treatment of small pox, when the disease was still prevalent. Given the number of diseases treated and the uniqueness of a number of the plant species used for treatment, we conclude that it is important to conduct further scientific studies with these plants. Such studies have enormous potential towards discovery of novel drugs for treatment of a number of ailments, which cannot be treated currently with allopathic medicine.
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Folk medicinal practitioners (Kavirajes) are possibly the most ancient practitioners of traditional medicine in Bangladesh and in general are the primary health-care providers to a majority of the rural population and a substantial segment of the urban population in the country. The major characteristic that separates the folk medicinal practitioners from other systems of existing medicinal practices is their almost exclusive use of simple preparations of medicinal plants for treatment of various ailments. Since the population of Bangladesh is primarily rural, village Kavirajes form the major unit from whom ethnomedicinal data can be obtained. The objective of the present study was to conduct a randomized ethnomedicinal survey among the Kavirajes of four villages, Kalakandi, Gorashal, Kadamtoli, and Gunjar, all villages being situated in Daudkandi sub-district of Comilla district in Bangladesh. Informed consent was obtained from the Kavirajes and surveys were carried out with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method, where the Kavirajes took the interviewers to places from where they collected their medicinal plants, pointed out the plants and described their uses. All plant specimens were collected and identified at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. It was observed that the Kavirajes of the four villages surveyed used 44 plant species distributed into 32 families. The Lamiaceae family contributed 4 plants, followed by the Leguminosae, Rutaceae, and Solanaceae families with 3 plants each. Leaves constituted the major plant part used (45.3%), followed by roots (13.2%), and whole plants, fruits, and seeds (7.5% each). The various ailments treated included respiratory tract problems, gastrointestinal disorders, sexual problems, fever, cardiovascular disorders, mental disease, diabetes, loss of hair, vomiting, menstrual problems, skin disorders, hepatic disorders, piles, leprosy, calcium deficiency, dental diseases, cracked foot, bleeding, insect bites, mumps, rabies, chicken pox, body ache, and bone fracture.Cumulatively, the plants obtained in the present survey present considerable potential for further scientific research towards discovery of lead compounds and more efficacious drugs.
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The rural population of Bangladesh has traditionally depended on folk medicinal healers for treatment of their ailments. These healers use medicinal plants as their primary source of medicinal formulations. Rural patients are more dependent on traditional or folk medicinal healers for treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) for a number of reasons including lack of access to modern medical facilities, clinging to traditional approaches, and finally hesitancy to relate this form of illnesses in front of unknown doctors. Since the traditional healer usually resides in the same village or in an adjoining area, the patient is more comfortable in seeking them for treatment. We conducted an ethnomedicinal survey among the traditional healers of various ethnic groups and in several regions of the country to obtain information on medicinal plants used to treat UTIs and STDs. Interviews were conducted in the local dialect or language about plant parts used, ailments treated, formulations, and dosages. Thirty-one species were reported by traditional healers as being used for UTIs, including leucorrhea, frequent or infrequent urination, cloudy urination and burning sensations during urination. Ten species were reported to be used against STDs like syphilis and gonorrhea.
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