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Ayurvedic Influences and Novel Combination of Phytotherapy and Zootherapy by a Folk Medicinal Practitioner of Domar Upazila in Nilphamari District, Bangladesh

Background: Bangladesh is possibly unique in that many different traditional medicinal systems are present like Ayurveda, Unani, homeopathy, and folk medicine. The objective of the present study was to document the novel therapeutic practices of a folk medicinal practitioner (FMP) in Nilphamari district, who used a combination of phytotherapy and zootherapy practices, and whose formulations further included his own modifications of standard Ayurvedic formulations.
Methods and findings: Interviews of the FMP regarding his ethnomedicinal practices were carried out with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method from August 2016 till February 2017. The FMP used a total of 44 plants distributed into 29 families in his formulations. The total number of formulations used was 25 for treatment of a diverse group of ailments like respiratory tract disorders, eye disorders, filariasis, diabetes, weakening of immune system, erectile dysfunction, hypertension, tuberculosis, heart disorders, puerperal fever, and jaundice. The FMP also used parts from seven animals (fish, insect, bird – all are classified as animal) alone or in conjunction with plants in his treatment. Conclusions: The FMP used a number of plants in his treatment, the ethnomedicinal uses of which plants being hitherto not reported from Bangladesh. The combination of phytotherapy and zootherapy is unique as well as modifications of Ayurvedic formulations, and if scientifically validated, may prove useful for treatment of a number of diseases. Overall, the FMP’s treatment methods merit further scientific attention especially towards development of an effective method to treat diabetes, hypertension, and filariasis.

Author(s): Samsun Nahar, Be-nazir Farzana, Rownak Jahan, Taufiq Rahman, Md Shahadat Hossan, Christophe Wiart and Mohammed Rahmatullah

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