Background: Wild edible plants are important sources of minerals, fibers and vitamins with nutritional factors that could help prevent and treat several important diseases. Although the potential of biodiversity in Chirang district has been long recognized, yet a systematic effort to record individual plant species with defined bio-active molecules has been lacking. Since this district is rich in ethnic community, traditional knowledge may reveal many socio economically important plants with interesting uses and relationships.
Objectives: The study attempts to highlight the nutritional value and phytochemical analysis of the wild edible food plants consumed by the Bodo communities of Chirang district. The study of nutritional value may reveal the knowledge about its edibility, habitat, distribution, harvesting time and uses of the traditionally used wild edible plant species which is still maintained among the Bodo communities of Chirang district.
Method: Extensive and intensive ethno botanical surveys were conducted in different regions and forest fringe areas of Chirang district. Determination of total fats, proteins, phytochemicals and trace elements along with reducing sugars were done both in aqueous extract and on powdered specimen using standard procedures in the leaves of some wild edible medicinal plants like Lippia alba, Lasia spinosa, Gonostegia hirta, Blumea lanceolaria, Hibiscus sabdariffa, Hibiscus cannabinus, Cayratia trifolia and Ipomoea aquatica consumed by the Bodos of Chirang district. Information from villages were gathered with the help of local interpreter by consulting village elders through informed semi structured questionnaire.
Result: The results of the phytochemical studies revealed the presence of phenols, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, steroids, flavonoids, terpenoids and cardic glucoside in most of the samples. Nutritive values and the presence of these phytochemicals proves that these plants are potential medicines. Data for relative mineral concentration from each plant when compared shows that all these plants plays an important role in traditional medicine system and can be used as potential sources of good health support for humans.
Conclusion: This study attempts to highlight the nutritional value and phytochemical analysis of the wild edible food plants consumed by the Bodo communities of Kokrajhar district. The study of nutritional value may reveal the knowledge about edibility, habitat, distribution, harvesting time and uses of the traditionally used wild edible plant species which is still maintained among the Bodo communities of Kokrajhar district.