Ethnopharmacological Survey of Wetland Plants Used by Local Ethnic People in Sub- Himalayan Terai and Duars of West Bengal, India

Objective: In most of the remote places of Sub-Himalayan West Bengal (Terai & Duars), the tribal people have to rely and consider ‘Kaviraj’ or ‘Hakim’ or ‘Boidya’, the traditional medical practitioners as Panaca or only source in regards of medical service and treatment. They use several wetland plants in different formulations to cure the ethnic people (Mech, Munda, Rabha, Oraon Dukpa, Malpahari etc.) from various diseases. The objectives of this study are to recognize the wetland medicinal plants, ethno medicinal uses (in different ailments).
In field, several interviews have been conducted with the traditional practitioners and also with the traditional medicine healers. Plant specimens have been collected and identified at Central National Herbarium and North Bengal University Herbarium.
Result: The results show 53 species belonging to 33 families has been used in various diseases. 10 – 15 % peoples are directly involved in medico herbal treatment by wetland plants. More than 12 diseases were treated with the wetland medicinal plants.
This type of Ethnopharmacological research will helpful to plant based pharmaceutical industry and provide much information that are useful for framing conservational strategies of our indigenous medical knowledge. During field survey several anthropogenic stress were found to destroy the wetland biodiversity.

Author(s): Anurag Chowdhury*, Abhaya Prasad Das

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