Mst Afsana Khatun

Lincoln College, Lincoln, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (36)70.8 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Bangladesh has a rich tradition of folk medicinal practices. Folk medicinal practitioners, known otherwise as Kavirajes, administer medicinal plants for treatment of various ailments. The Kavirajes serve as the primary health-care providers to the mainly rural population of Bangladesh as well as to a substantial number of the urban population. Since the selection of medicinal plants to treat ailments varies widely between Kavirajes of various regions, the objective of this present ethnomedicinal survey among the Kavirajes of Noakhali and Feni districts (which are adjoining districts in the southern part of the country) was to study and document the folk medicinal use of plants in these two districts. Interviews were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method, where the Kavirajes pointed out the medicinal plants and described their uses while taking the interviewer to places from where he usually collected his plants. All plant specimens were identified at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. It was observed that the Kavirajes of Noakhali and Feni districts used 101 plant species for treatment of various ailments. The Acanthaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Leguminosae, Malvaceae, Solanaceae, and Verbenaceae families provided the largest number of plants, the respective numbers being five, five, nine, six, six, and six. Leaves formed the major plant part used (33.3%), followed by whole plants (20.2%) and roots (19.1%). Other plant parts used for treating ailments included stems, barks, flowers, fruits, and seeds. Gastrointestinal disorders (diarrhea, dysentery, indigestion, constipation, bloating) were the most common ailments treated followed by pain, respiratory tract infections (coughs, cold, mucus, asthma), fever, urinary tract infections (e.g. leucorrhea), hepatic disorders (e.g. jaundice), weakness, and rheumatism. It was observed that several plants were used for treatment of cancer, hypertension, diabetes, nerve disorders, helminthiasis, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, edema, and chicken pox. Two plants were used as contraceptives. Taken together, the plants present considerable potential for scientific studies and discovery of new drugs.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
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    ABSTRACT: Malaysia has a well-developed traditional system of medicine, which has been in practice from time immemorial. The traditional medicinal practitioners use a variety of medicinal plants for treatment of various ailments. Traditional medicinal system suffers from lack of acceptance by modern allopathic doctors in the belief that traditional uses lack appropriate scientific basis for use. On the other hand, scientific validation of traditional uses of medicinal plants can become an important means through which not only low-cost medical treatment can be provided but also such treatment can be available easily to poorer segments of the population and the people living in remote areas, and as such lacking accessibility to modern medical practices. This review discusses the use of eight medicinal plants in the traditional medicinal system of Malaysia and related scientific reports on their pharmacological activities, which validate their traditional uses. The plants reviewed are Aloe vera, Morinda citrifolia, Piper sarmentosum, Acorus calamus, Andrographis paniculata, Orthosiphon aristatus, Eurycoma longifolia, and Centella asiatica. It is concluded that strong scientific evidences have emerged, which justifies the traditional medicinal uses for the plants.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
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    ABSTRACT: Bangladesh has a rich tradition of folk medicinal practices. Folk medicinal practitioners, known otherwise as Kavirajes, administer medicinal plants for treatment of various ailments. The Kavirajes serve as the primary health-care providers to the mainly rural population of Bangladesh as well as to a substantial number of the urban population. Since the selection of medicinal plants to treat ailments varies widely between Kavirajes of various regions, the objective of this present ethnomedicinal survey among the Kavirajes of Noakhali and Feni districts (which are adjoining districts in the southern part of the country) was to study and document the folk medicinal use of plants in these two districts. Interviews were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method, where the Kavirajes pointed out the medicinal plants and described their uses while taking the interviewer to places from where he usually collected his plants. All plant specimens were identified at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. It was observed that the Kavirajes of Noakhali and Feni districts used 101 plant species for treatment of various ailments. The Acanthaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Leguminosae, Malvaceae, Solanaceae, and Verbenaceae families provided the largest number of plants, the respective numbers being five, five, nine, six, six, and six. Leaves formed the major plant part used (33.3%), followed by whole plants (20.2%) and roots (19.1%). Other plant parts used for treating ailments included stems, barks, flowers, fruits, and seeds. Gastrointestinal disorders (diarrhea, dysentery, indigestion, constipation, bloating) were the most common ailments treated followed by pain, respiratory tract infections (coughs, cold, mucus, asthma), fever, urinary tract infections (e.g. leucorrhea), hepatic disorders (e.g. jaundice), weakness, and rheumatism. It was observed that several plants were used for treatment of cancer, hypertension, diabetes, nerve disorders, helminthiasis, sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, edema, and chicken pox. Two plants were used as contraceptives. Taken together, the plants present considerable potential for scientific studies and discovery of new drugs.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011
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    ABSTRACT: Neolamarckia cadamba (Rubiaceae) leaf is used in folk medicine of Bangladesh for the treatment of diabetes, but so far no scientific study has been done which may support its use in traditional medicine. The present study was carried out to evaluate the possible glucose tolerance efficacy of methanolic extract of Neolamarckia cadamba leaf using glucose-induced hyperglycemic mice. The extract at different doses was administered one hour prior to glucose administration and blood glucose level was measured after two hours of glucose administration (p.o.) using glucose oxidase method. The statistical data indicated significant oral hypoglycemic activity on glucose-loaded mice at the two highest doses of 200 and 400 mg extract per kg body weight. Maximum anti-hyperglycemic activity was shown at 400 mg per kg body weight, which was comparable to that of, glibenclamide (10 mg/kg). The methanolic extract of leaf of Neolamarckia cadamba had beneficial effects in reducing the elevated blood glucose level of hyperglycemic mice.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines
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    ABSTRACT: The bark of Saraca asoca is widely used in the folk medicinal system of Bangladesh for treatment of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and menstrual disorders. As such, the bark powder is prescribed by the folk medicinal practitioners to be taken for considerable stretches of time. It was therefore of importance to evaluate the effect of administration of methanol extract of bark powder in rats on their serum lipid profiles, as any adverse effect on such lipid profiles can lead to serious consequences in diseases like diabetes. The administration of methanol extract of Saraca asoca bark powder to rats at daily doses of 100 and 500 mg per kg body weight for 14 days did not cause any significant changes in the serum total cholesterol or triglyceride levels. However, administration of the bark powder extract led to significant and dose-dependent decreases in the levels of serum high density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol. Since HDL-cholesterol is considered as 'good cholesterol', and can be beneficial for protection against coronary disorders, our results suggest that intake of bark powder for prolonged time periods in diseases like diabetes must be re-evaluated for the possibility of causing adverse effects on the heart.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Leukorrhea is the flow of whitish, yellowish or greenish discharge from the vagina of a female, which can happen under normal conditions as well as bacterial or fungal infections. Such discharges may originate from the vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or, most commonly, the cervix. In our ongoing ethnomedicinal surveys among the various tribes and regions of Bangladesh, it was observed that leukorrhea due to infections were common among the tribal women as evidenced by the number of plants used by the tribal medicinal practitioners to treat this infective condition. The objective of the present survey was to learn more about the medicinal plants used for treatment of leukorrhea by the tribal medicinal practitioners of the Chakma, Murong and Tonchonga tribes. All three tribes reside in the southeastern forested region of Bangladesh known as the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Informed consent was obtained from the tribal medicinal practitioners and interviews were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. It was observed that the tribal medicinal practitioners of the Chakma, Murong, and Tonchonga tribes used 13 plant species distributed into 12 families for treatment of leukorrhea. Roots constituted the major plant part used (53.3%), followed by leaves (20.0%), bark (13.3%), and whole plant and stem (6.7% each). The Kavirajes did not distinguish whether the leukorrhea originated from bacterial or fungal infections of the vagina or was due to other complications of the ovary, fallopian tube or cervix. In general, any sign of especially whitish discharge from the vagina of females was treated as leukorrhea and medications prescribed accordingly. Since the tribal population in their densely forested abodes lack access to modern medicinal facilities, the medicinal plants can form a primary mode of health-care for treatment of this occasionally infective medical condition in females.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Bangladesh has over 86,000 villages spread throughout the country. The primary health-care providers of the village inhabitants are usually folk medicinal practitioners (Kavirajes) since the villagers either lack access to modern medical facilities or cannot afford the price of modern medicines. Kavirajes rely on simple preparations of medicinal plants for treatment; the use of medicinal plants can vary widely between Kavirajes of different villages. We conducted an ethnomedicinal survey among the Kavirajes of Vasu Bihar village located within Bogra district, Bangladesh to know about the folk medicinal practices of the village Kavirajes. Following obtaining informed consent from the Kavirajes, interviews were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. All medicinal plants as pointed out by the Kavirajes were collected and identified at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. It was observed that the Kavirajes of Vasu Bihar village utilized 53 plant species distributed into 31 families for treatment of various ailments. The Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae, and the Fabaceae families contributed four plants per family followed by the Rutaceae family with three plant species. 11 plants were used for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, 6 for pain, and 5 plants for skin disorders, indicating that these are possibly the most common ailments prevalent within the village. Interestingly, the Kavirajes used 3 plants for treatment of cancers or tumors and 3 plants for treatment of diabetes, which are either incurable diseases or not completely cured with modern allopathic medicine. Leaves constituted 45.1% of total uses, followed by fruits (14.1%). Other plant parts used by the Kavirajes included whole plant, stem, shoot, root, flower, fruit, seed, bark, and rhizome. The folk medicinal use of plants offers tremendous potential for scientists to conduct further research on these plants to discover lead compounds and more efficacious drugs.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
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    ABSTRACT: Bangladesh has over 86,000 villages spread throughout the country. The primary health-care providers of the village inhabitants are usually folk medicinal practitioners (Kavirajes) since the villagers either lack access to modern medical facilities or cannot afford the price of modern medicines. Kavirajes rely on simple preparations of medicinal plants for treatment; the use of medicinal plants can vary widely between Kavirajes of different villages. We conducted an ethnomedicinal survey among the Kavirajes of Vasu Bihar village located within Bogra district, Bangladesh to know about the folk medicinal practices of the village Kavirajes. Following obtaining informed consent from the Kavirajes, interviews were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. All medicinal plants as pointed out by the Kavirajes were collected and identified at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. It was observed that the Kavirajes of Vasu Bihar village utilized 53 plant species distributed into 31 families for treatment of various ailments. The Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae, and the Fabaceae families contributed four plants per family followed by the Rutaceae family with three plant species. 11 plants were used for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, 6 for pain, and 5 plants for skin disorders, indicating that these are possibly the most common ailments prevalent within the village. Interestingly, the Kavirajes used 3 plants for treatment of cancers or tumors and 3 plants for treatment of diabetes, which are either incurable diseases or not completely cured with modern allopathic medicine. Leaves constituted 45.1% of total uses, followed by fruits (14.1%). Other plant parts used by the Kavirajes included whole plant, stem, shoot, root, flower, fruit, seed, bark, and rhizome. The folk medicinal use of plants offers tremendous potential for scientists to conduct further research on these plants to discover lead compounds and more efficacious drugs.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
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    ABSTRACT: The present study was conducted to determine the anti-hyperglycemic potential of methanolic extracts of fruits and seeds of Tamarindus indica L. (Fabaceae) through glucose-tolerance tests using glucose-loaded Swiss albino mice. Significant anti-hyperglycemic activity of methanolic extract of fruits and seeds were observed at a dose of 200 mg extract/kg body weight. Methanolic extract of seeds demonstrated greater anti-hyperglycemic activity when compared to methanolic extract of fruits.
    No preview · Article · May 2010
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
    No preview · Article · May 2010 · American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
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    ABSTRACT: Folk medicinal practitioners (Kavirajes) constitute the first tier for provision of primary health care to the rural population of 86,000 villages in Bangladesh. Their treatment method for most ailments is oral or topical administration of decoctions, or direct application of whole plants or plant parts, or juices obtained from crushing or maceration of whole plant or plant parts. This practice has been going on from ancient periods and the volume of patient satisfaction suggests that the treatments are on the whole serving their purpose. The medicinal plants chosen by the Kavirajes vary considerably even between adjacent villages. To get a comprehensive view of folk medicinal practices, it is therefore important to survey as many Kavirajes of different villages as possible. The objective of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among the Kavirajes of Shetabganj village in the district of Dinajpur, which lies in the northern section of the country. Informed consent was obtained of the Kavirajes and interviews conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. All plant specimens as pointed out by the Kavirajes were collected and brought back for identification at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. It was observed that the Kavirajes of Shetabganj village used 58 plants distributed into 37 families for treatment of various ailments. The Euphorbiaceae family contributed the highest number of plants (5), followed by the Fabaceae family (4 plants) and the Acanthaceae, Apocynaceae, Lamiaceae, and Verbenaceae families (3 plants per family). Leaves constituted the major plant part used (33.3%), followed by roots (16.0%), whole plant (13.3%), and barks (13.3%). 15 plants were used for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders suggesting that this is the prevalent disorder in the area. 11 plants were used to respiratory tract disorders like asthma, tonsillitis, and coughs. 7 plants were used for treatment of rheumatism and rheumatic pain, while 6 plants were used for treatment of helminthic infections. The Kavirajes also used medicinal plants for treatment of 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. One plant was used for treatment of filariasis, which is quite prevalent in the region. Overall, the plants present considerable potential for further research, which can lead to the discovery of lead compounds and newer drugs.
    Full-text · Article · May 2010 · American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
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    ABSTRACT: Medicinal plants used by folk medicinal practitioners in three villages of Natore and Rajshahi districts, Bangladesh, Am. Eurasian J. Sustain. Agric., C(): CC-CC, 2010 ABSTRACT Folk medicinal healers (Kavirajes) form the primary health-care providers to the predominantly rural population residing in over 86,000 villages throughout Bangladesh. The Kavirajes treat various ailments with whole plants or plant parts from which they make simple decoctions or pastes, which are administered orally or topically. Their mode of treatment is simple, yet considerable variations exist between Kavirajes of even adjoining villages as to the species of plant chosen for treatment of any given ailment. The objective of the present study was to conduct a survey on folk medicinal use of plants in the village of Islampur in Natore district, Bangladesh and the villages of Itaghati and Ataibidir in Rajshahi district, Bangladesh, which are adjoining districts. 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 pointed out medicinal plants during field-walks with the interviewers and pointed out their uses. A total of 87 medicinal plants distributed into 44 families were observed to be used by the Kavirajes of the three villages surveyed. The Fabaceae family contributed the highest number of plants (9), followed by the Solanaceae family (7) and the Euphorbiaceae family with 5 plants. Whole plants constituted the majority of uses (27.0%), followed respectively, by leaves (22.7%), roots (14.9%), seeds (9.2%), and fruits (8.5%). Other plant parts used included stems, barks, flowers, and tubers. The various ailments treated included helminthiasis,, and hepatitis. Since a number of modern allopathic medicines owe their discovery to studies of medicinal practices of indigenous peoples, cumulatively these medicinal plants present significant potential for further scientific research leading to discovery of lead compounds and more efficacious drugs.
    Full-text · Article · May 2010 · American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
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    ABSTRACT: Leprosy is a chronic disease caused by the microorganisms Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. It is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract. The pauci-bacillary form of leprosy is treated with the drugs, rifampicin and Dapsone (diamino-diphenyl sulfone), while the multi-bacillary form of the disease is treated with the drugs rifampicin, clofazimine, and Dapsone. Bangladesh is one of the five countries who contribute to 82% of the sufferers from this disease world-wide. The disease is prevalent especially among the rural and urban poor, who despite provision of modern treatment often visit folk medicinal practitioners, who utilize medicinal plants for treatment of leprosy. Since the above drugs has been reported to have a number of adverse side-effects, it was of interest to document the medicinal plants used to treat leprosy in Bangladesh for such plants can prove to be valuable sources of drugs with less side-effects. Randomized ethnomedicinal surveys were therefore carried out in ten districts of Bangladesh to learn more about medicinal plants used by folk medicinal practitioners. Informed consent was obtained from the practitioners prior to interviews, which were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. The names of 16 plants were obtained, the plants being distributed into 11 families. The Combretaceae family provided the highest number of three plants followed by the Apocynaceae and Fabaceae families with 2 plants each. The various plant parts used to treat leprosy included whole plant, leaves, barks, roots, and seeds. The plants present considerable potential for discovery of novel compounds with less side-effect for treatment of leprosy and can, at least in Bangladesh, become a source of affordable and more easily available drugs.
    Full-text · Article · May 2010 · Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Chittagong Hill Tracts region is largely a forested region in the south-eastern part of Bangladesh. A number of tribes are settled in this region. Helminthiasis (infestation of intestine with parasitic worms) is fairly prevalent within the tribes because of poor sanitary conditions. The tribal people visit their own traditional medicinal practitioners to treat helminthic infections, more so because modern medicinal facilities are absent within the forested areas. Tribal traditional medicinal practitioners rely on medicinal plants for treatment of helminthiasis. The objective of the present survey was to conduct a survey among the Chak, Chakma, Marma, Murong, Rakhain and Tonchonga tribal traditional medicinal practitioners to learn more about medicinal plants used by them for treatment of helminthic infections. Helminthic infections are prevalent worldwide and medicinal plants can be a potential source for discovery of more efficacious drugs. A total of 10 plant species distributed into 8 families were observed to be used by the surveyed tribes to treat helminthiasis. The number of medicinal plants used by the Chak, Chakma, Marma, Murong, Rakhain and Tonchonga tribes to treat helminthic infections were respectively, 1, 4, 1, 3, 3, and 3. Ananas comosus (L.) Merr. was used in common by the Chak, Chakma, Rakhain, and Tonchonga tribes. Cassia alata L. was used in common by the Chakma and Murong tribes. Erythrina variegata L. was used in common by the Chakma, Marma, and Murong tribes. The various plant parts used included leaves, roots, barks, flowers, and fruits. The percent use of these plant parts were, respectively, 52.6, 15.8, 21.1, 5.3 and 5.3%. Mostly, a single plant or plant part was used for treatment of helminthiasis, although use of combinations of plant parts was also observed in three instances. There was only one instance where a combination of plant species was used. The Chakma tribe used a combination of leaves of Ananas comosus along with roots of Areca catechu L. and bark of Erythrina variegata for treatment of helminthiasis. The medicinal plants used by the various tribes of Chittagong Hill Tracts present considerable potential for scientific studies towards discovery of more effective medicines to treat helminthiasis, which can be caused by a variety of parasitic worms and is endemic throughout the different countries of the world.
    Full-text · Article · May 2010 · Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Folk medicinal practitioners form the primary line of health-care among a substantial section of the rural and urban population of Bangladesh. These practitioners (Kavirajes) use a variety of medicinal plants to treat various ailments and possess considerable expertise on use of medicinal plants. Since the medicinal plants used by the Kavirajes can differ widely even between adjoining areas, it was the objective of the present study to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey among the Kavirajes of Balidha village situated in Jessore district in the southern part of Bangladesh. Informed consent was obtained of the Kavirajes and interviews were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. A total of 73 plant species distributed into 43 families were obtained from the Kavirajes. The Fabaceae family contributed the maximum number of plants (6) followed by the Rutaceae and the Solanaceae family with 4 plants each. The Apocynaceae, Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae, Moraceae, Myrtaceae, and Zingiberaceae families contributed 3 plants per family. Leaves constituted the major plant part used (44.3%), followed distantly by roots (17.5%) and fruits (9.3%). Gastrointestinal disorders and sexual disorders formed the major disorders treated by the Kavirajes. 19 plants were used for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders and 17 plants for treatment of sexual disorders. 9 plants were used to treat pain and 7 plants for treatment of respiratory tract infections. 3 plants were used to treat diabetes. A perusal of the scientific literature showed that uses of several plants by the Kavirajes are validated by scientific studies on the pharmacological activities of the relevant plant species. Overall, the plants present considerable potential for further scientific studies leading to discovery of novel drugs.
    No preview · Article · May 2010 · American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
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    ABSTRACT: Arsenic in drinking water has been shown to affect approximately 30-40 million people in Bangladesh. The effects of chronic arsenic exposure are not so well-known in children although arsenic is known to have neurologically adverse effects in adults, which include a range of cognitive functions. The present study reports results of a cross-sectional investigation carried out with 500 school children (both males and females, ages 6-10) enrolled in Classes II-VI (n = 25 for both males or females in every Class) at Madartola Government Primary School in Bagerhat district (arsenic-affected area) versus Khorsuthi Government Primary School in Faridpur district (an arsenic non-affected area). Children’s intellectual functions were analyzed from standardized questionnaires, which were pre-tested among school children in Dhaka district, Bangladesh. Along with children’s intellectual functions, the heights and weights of school children between Grades II-VI (both males and females) were compared between Madartola and Khorsuthi. Heights of male students between Madartola and Khorsuthi were significantly different (P<0.05) in Classes III, IV and VI. In case of male students in Classes II and V, these differences were significant but at P<0.08 level. For female students, heights were found to be significantly different (P<0.05) in Classes II, V and VI between Madartola and Khorsuthi. In all cases where significant differences were observed, the heights of school children at Madartola were less than that of Khorsuthi. The weights of male children of Madartola were found to be significantly less than those of Khorsuthi for Classes III, V and VI (P<0.05). Female students of Madartola of Classes II, III, V and VI also had significantly lesser weights (P<0.05) than those at Khorsuthi. Mean of marks obtained by both male and female students were significantly higher for Khorsuthi when compared to Madartola (P<0.05) for Classes II, III, IV and V. Mean of time taken to fill the questionnaire was significantly lower for male students at Khorsuthi for Classes II-VI when compared to students of Madartola (P<0.05). For female students, significant differences (P<0.05) were observed for Classes II-V. Taken together, children between ages 6-10, when chronically exposed to arsenic seemed to gain lesser weights and heights as well as become impaired in intellectual functions when compared to children who have not been exposed to arsenic.
    Full-text · Article · May 2010 · Advances in Environmental Biology
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    ABSTRACT: A survey of medicinal plants used by folk medicinal practitioners for treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in randomly selected areas of four districts of Bangladesh; Adv. in Nat. Appl. Sci., C(): CC-CC, 2010.
    Full-text · Article · May 2010
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    ABSTRACT: The northern region of Bangladesh comprising several districts in Rangpur division suffers every year from a seasonal famine or shortage of staple food items, which is locally termed Monga. The most affected areas are the districts of Gaibandha, Nilphamari, Kurigram, Rangpur, and Lalmonirhat. Monga usually occurs twice a year; the greater Monga (boro Monga) occurs during the lean season preceding the aman harvest of paddy in the Bangla months of Ashwin and Kartik (mid-September to mid-November), and the smaller Monga (choto Monga) occurs during the lean season preceding the boro harvest of paddy in the Bangla months between Chaitra and Jaistha (mid-March to mid-June). Paddy is the major staple cereal of most of the people of Bangladesh; and Monga occurs due to a combination of factors - dependency of the population primarily on agriculture and agricultural laborer, growth of only one to two crops of paddy per year (versus three in most other regions of Bangladesh), and a low per capita income in the above districts versus the national average. The poorest households during Monga are pushed into distressed conditions and because of the absence of their main food item paddy, is compelled to eat other non-conventional plant items for basic survival. The objective of this study was to conduct a survey in the village of Matadi in Lalmonirhat district, which is one of the worst affected areas of Monga, to determine which non-conventional plant food items are consumed. A preliminary survey was conducted among the population of Matadi village to determine the economically distressed households who suffer the most from Monga. Following identification of the target population, interviews were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire. Plants consumed during Monga as shown by them were collected and identified at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. Along with collection of plants, data was also obtained as to the local name of the plant(s), parts consumed and mode of consumption. A total of 22 plant parts or plant-derived items were reported to be consumed by the people during Monga-induced food distress. These plants or plant-derived plant parts were normally not ever or rarely used for food; but during Monga, are especially sought out, when they become substitutes. Overall, there are 22 plant species distributed in 13 Linnean families. The Poaceae family contributed 4 plants followed by the Araceae family with 3 plants. The other plant families were Amaranthaceae, Convolvulaceae, Cruciferae, Dioscoreaceae, Dryopteridaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Marantaceae, Moraceae, Moringaceae, Musaceae and Tiliaceae. A number of the plants were wild plants growing by the roadside, in marshy lands or in fallow areas. The most commonly eaten plant parts are leaves, stems or tubers. Published reports indicate that the nutritional value of several of the famine food plants consumed during Monga are high and that they may serve as a good source of nutrition under ordinary (i.e. non-famine) conditions.
    No preview · Article · May 2010 · American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
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    ABSTRACT: The Bedes are a nomadic people who live in boats and travel throughout Bangladesh by rivers. Their major occupation is selling various items like cooking utensils, jewelry, spices and performing various acts of entertainment like snake dancing, magical tricks or palmistry. Another occupation of this community is catching snakes, treating snake-bitten patients and advising on preventive measures to adopt to keep snakes away from entering homesteads. For their nomadic life on river boats, they are also known as the river gypsies of Bangladesh. In recent years, the Government is trying to settle the community, which is spread in small pockets throughout the country by allotting them places to live by the rivers where they can erect their own homesteads and lead a more settled life. One such community of about 7,500 people is settled by the Bangshi river in Savar municipality, which is on the outskirts of Dhaka, the capital and biggest city of Bangladesh. The Bedes used to rely on their own traditional medicinal practitioners but proximity to urban life is bringing changes in their health management practices. The objective of this present study was to determine how much the health management practices of the Bedes have changed due to their adopting a more settled life. Interviews of 225 respondents were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and extensive discussions between the interviewers and the respondents. It was observed that a substantial number of respondents now visit allopathic or other types of medicinal practitioners for common ailments like colds, coughs, fevers, or dysentery. However, for sexually transmitted diseases and psychiatric problems, they still rely mainly on their own traditional medicinal practitioners. Information on several medicinal plants used by the Bede traditional medicinal practitioners (mal-vaidyas and ojhas) were collected during the interview process and detailed information on formulations and dosages obtained. Some of the medicinal plants used by the Bede traditional medicinal practitioners have been validated by scientific reports on their pharmacological properties and may prive useful in the discovery of new drugs.
    No preview · Article · May 2010 · American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture

Publication Stats

289 Citations
70.80 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010-2011
    • Lincoln College
      Lincoln, England, United Kingdom
    • University of Cambridge
      • Department of Pharmacology
      Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2009-2010
    • University of Development Alternative
      • • Faculty of Life Science
      • • Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering
      Mujib City, Dhaka, Bangladesh