Ethnoveterinary plants of Uttaranchal — A review
PC Pande1*, Lalit Tiwari1 & HC Pande2
1Department of Botany, Kumaon University, SSJ Campus, Almora 263 601,Uttaranchal
2Botanical Survey of India (NC), Dehradun, Uttaranchal
Received 21 December 2004; revised 7 February 2007
The study reveals that the people of the Uttaranchal state use 364 plants species in ethnoveterinary practices. Bhotiyas, Boxas, Tharus, Jaunsaris and Rhajis are the tribal groups inhabiting in Uttaranchal. Analysis of data indicates that information on 163 plants is significant as it provides some new information of the ethnoveterinary uses. The study is expected to provide basic data for further studies aimed at conservation of traditional medicine and economic welfare of rural people at the study area.
Uttaranchal state lies between 2842 to 3128N; 7735 to 8105E and comprise of 13 districts of the Central Himalayas. The major part of this region is mountainous. The region covers about 38,000 sq km and comprises of 3 border districts, namely Pithoragarh, Chamoli and Uttarkashi; 7 inner districts: Almora, Nainital, Bageshwar, Champawat, Pauri, Tehri, Rudraprayag, Dehradun, Udham Singh Nagar and Hardwar. This region is gifted with a variety of climatic zones, e.g. sub-tropical and sub-temperate in the high valleys; temperate in between 1,000-2,800 m and alpine above 2,800 m. In the state, 5 tribal groups are found, namely Bhotiyas, Boxas, Tharus, Jaunsaris and Rhajis. The population is about 85,00,000 (2001 Census), out of which 75% live in remote rural areas. The rural population of the state largely depends on natural resources for their basic needs.
In recent time, there has been marked shift towards herbal cures because of the pronounced cumulative and irreversible reaction of modern drugs. The people of the state are utilizing or practicing many ancient traditional methods of healing for their domestic animals. Large quantities of these plants are also used in the preparation of drugs. However, due over population, urbanization and continuous exploitation of these herbal reserves, the natural resources along with their related traditional knowledge are depleting day by day. Therefore, there is an urgent need of systematic documentation of biota related traditional medicinal knowledge of the state. Keeping this in view, an attempt has been made to explore and compile the exhaustive knowledge of plants used in veterinary practices. In all, 364 plant species were recorded from the Uttaranchal, which are used by the people for various veterinary diseases and disorders. The main aim of the study is to document the knowledge and to stimulate further research including conservation of ethnoveterinary plants of the region.
The study is based on the field survey and published literature on medicinal plants of Uttaranchal1-4,7-29. Remote villages of Uttaranchal state were surveyed in 1999-2003 and ethnoveterinary information were collected by interviewing local medicimen and experienced people (Table 1). The surveyed districts were Almora, Pithoragarh, Nainital, Bageshwar, Champawat, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Tehri, Pauri, Rudraprayag and hilly area of Dehradun. Statistical analysis of families and genera with larger share; number of plants, plant parts, plant products used in ethnoveterinary practices; potential value of ethnoveterinary plants and threatened ethnoveterinary plants of Uttaranchal state are also given.
In all, 364 plants are used in ethnoveterinary practices belonging to 107 families. Family Asteraceae ranks at the top having 23 ethnoveterinary plant species (Fig. 1), followed by Fabaceae (22 spp),
Table1 — List of ethnoveterinary plants of Uttaranchal Himalaya
Acacia catechu (L.f.) Willd.
Foot diseases, bone fracture, internal injury, dysentery, diarrhoea, wounds, and urinary troubles.