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An Ethnobotanical Study of Medicinal Plants Used by the Tribes in Upper Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh, India

G.Murtem1 and Pradeep Chaudhry2*

1State Forest Research Institute, Itanagar-791113, Arunachal Pradesh, India

2Indian Institute of Forest Management, Post Box 357, Nehru Nagar, Bhopal- 462003, India

*Corresponding Author:
Pradeep Chaudhry
Indian Institute of Forest Management
Post Box 357, Nehru Nagar
Bhopal-462003, India
E-mail: [email protected]
 
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Abstract

Main objective of the study was to identify and document the ethno botanically important and economic plants of the Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, India. The Tagin, Hill Miri (now Nyshi) and Galo tribes of Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh state of India use number of medicinal plants available in local forests as ‘traditional medicine’ for curing common illness. The ethnobotanical information was collected by field survey among aboriginal community, by study with herbaria and museum, by study of rituals, myths and folkfores and through folk market survey. The villages inhabited by the tribesmen were selected randomly for each tribe for the purpose of survey. The paper presents 140 numbers of medicinal plants used by these tribes for themselves and 18 numbers of plants for curing livestock diseases and for their feeding. Fresh leaves, young twigs, bark, fruits and roots are reported be used as traditional medicine for treatment of ailments among human beings and domestic livestock. The present documentation on the traditional medicine of the three tribes of Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh emphasizes that many people of the region still depend upon herbal medicine for treatment of human as well as livestock diseases. Thorough biochemical investigation and clinical trials of local traditional medicines may provide new direction for human health care system. There is a need to focus on more ethnobotanical research, conservation and documentation of traditional medicinal knowledge among indigenous communities of the state.

Keywords

Tribes, Upper Subansiri district, Ethno-medicines, Arunachal Pradesh.

Introduction

Arunachal Pradesh is the largest state, covering an area of 83743 sq km, among all North Eastern states of India bordering Tibet, Bhutan, China and Myanmar. Situated in the lap of Eastern Himalayan mountain range, it is recognized as one of the Mega Biodiversity hotspots of the world [1]. More than 25 different tribes and 110 sub tribes are living in 18 districts of the state from the time immemorial. Each of these tribes has a unique tradition, culture and lifestyle dependent mostly on biodiversity, mainly forest and wildlife, of the state [2].

The Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh lies in the central part of the state in between 28.5 degree and 28.25 degree latitudes and 93.15 degree and 94.20 degree longitudes covering a geographical area on 7032 sq km (Figure 1). The high mountain region near northern boundary of the district is generally cold as remain covered with snow almost throughout the year. The plain areas in foothills are intersected by number of water bodies mainly streams and rivers in the lap of forests [3]. The district is inhabited by three major tribes namely Tagin, Hill Miri (now Nyshi) and Galo. Tagin have the largest population followed by Nyshi and Galo. Culturally and linguistically the tribes more or less are akin to one another. These aboriginal tribes have learnt to co-exist with the nature over the years. The long associations with nature have made them dependent on it for all their day to day requirements. At one point of time the out put from their traditional agricultural practices were not adequate to feed them for the whole year. Then there are crop failures. For all these natural calamities they had to depend on wild edibles for the lien period. They had also expertise on the treatment of diseases of man and woman including their domestic animals. The spread of education and exposure of the people to the alien culture through mass media and contact have greatly influenced their age old traditional life style.

american-journal-ethnomedicine-arunachalpradesh

Figure 1: Locational map of Upper Subansiri district, Arunachal Pradesh, India

An ethnobotanical study takes into account knowledge of the tribes and the people inhabiting the area, with particular reference to their distribution, language/dialect spoken, food habit, rituals and practices, traditional practices followed in agriculture, house building, art and craft objects made out of plant products, etc. An ethnobotanical study of the area, therefore, aims at to cover under its purview the whole gamut of information about plants namely plants used as medicine, food, building materials, rituals, festivals, etc. The documentation of above information can provide brief taxonomic ideas of utmost economic value as medicine, or food, which could add to our limited knowledge of germplasm. Some significant studies on ethnobiology from different states of India include from Meghalaya [4], Arunachal Pradesh [5], Aravalli hills (Rajasthan) [6], Mt. Abu (Rajasthan) [7], Udaipur district (Rajasthan) [8], Banswara district (Rajasthan) [9], Alwar district (Rajasthan) [10], and Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh [11]. Considering the richness of ethnobotanical information of the Upper Subansiri district, a study was undertaken by State Forest Research Institute, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh during 2010-12. Main aim of the study was to identify and document the ethno botanically important and economic plants of the district. However, the present paper deals with the plants of medicinal importance used by the three tribes of the district. The primary information was gathered through field visit and observation, informal discussion and open ended interview with the informants and knowledgeable persons.

METHODOLOGY

The ethnobotanical information was collected by field questionnaire survey among aboriginal community, by study with herbaria and museum, by study of rituals, myths and folkfores and through folk market survey. Maps prepared by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Government of Arunachal Pradesh were also consulted for identification of approaching routes and location of the select villages. The villages inhabited by the tribesmen were selected randomly for each tribe for the purpose of survey (Table 1).

Table 1: Villages covered during study among three tribes of Upper Subansiri district

S.No. Name of the Tribe Name of the village Name of the circle
1 Nyshi i) Godak Raga
ii) Muri Mugli Puchi – Geko
iii) Babla Puchi – Geko
iv) Don Daporijo
v) Dakpe Daporijo
vi) Ligu Daporijo
vii) Niji Daporijo
viii) Mite Daporijo
ix) Jigi Daporijo
2. Tagin i) Sippi Giba
ii) Manga Giba
iii) Talihia Taliha
iv) Siyum Siyum
v) Nacho Nacho
vi) Limiking Limiking
vii) Orak Limiking
viii) Reddi Limiking
ix) Taksing Taksing
3. Galo i) Dumporijo Dumporijo
ii) Pakka Dumporijo
iii) Haji Baririjo
iv) Maro Baririjo
v) Dula Baririjo
vi) Tapi Baririjo
vii) Tashi Doni Baririjo

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

In the North Eastern states on India, Asteraceae is the most dominant family of medicinal plants [12]. Some of the medicinal plants used by the tribes of Upper Subansiri district are also used by tribal population of other districts of Arunachal Pradesh and other states of India. For example, leaves of Ageratum conyzoides L for blood clotting is used by Mishing, Jaintia tribes of Assam [13,14] and by Tangsas and Singphos tribes of southern Arunachal Pradesh [15]. Clerodendron colebrookianum Walp leaves are reported to be used by Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh [15] and by tribes of Assam [16]. Leaves and root decoction of this plant is also used by Adi and Apatani tribes of Arunachal Pradesh in malarial and bronchitis treatment [17,15]. Powdered bark of Oroxylum indicum is used by Mongpa tribe of Arunachal Pradesh [15] and Mishing community of Assam [13] in Malarial treatment and liver disorder. Crushed root and bark of Gmelina arborea Roxb are used by Padam (Adis) tribe of Arunachal Pradesh to purify blood and in stomach trouble [15]. Powdered tubers of Stephania japonica Miers is used in malarial treatment by Khamti tribe of Arunachal Pradesh [18]. The medicinal properties of Piper nigrum has been reported from southern state of Tamil Nadu also. [19]

The Tagin, Hill Miri (now Nyshi) and Galo tribes of Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh state of India commonly use 140 plant species for treating human diseases (Table 2), out of which 55 species are herbs, 31 species are shrubs and 54 species are either trees or climbers. Most dominant families of Asteraceae and Scrophulariaceae are used by the tribal population of the district for above purpose, whereas Araceae and Moraceae families are in use for animal feeding and in the treatment of their diseases. About 18 species of medicinal plants are used either for livestock disease treatment or as their feed. Out of these 18 species 8 species are herbs, 6 species are trees and rests 4 are shrubs (Table 3).

Table 2: Medicinal plants used in treatment of human diseases

S No Botanical Name Local Name Family Habit Uses
1 Aconitum ferrox
Wallich ex setinge
Omle, Omyu Ranunculaceae Herb Whole plant used in diarrhea, dysentery,
fever and cold
2 Coptis teeta
Wallich
Rinke -do- Herb A multiple usages whole plant for gastric, diarrhea, dysentery,
fever
3 Thalictrum foliolosum DC. Tayo -do- Shrub Decoction of root used in fever and eye
diseases
4 Dillenia indica
Linn.
Jampa Dilleniaceae Tree Gummy substance from fruit used in hair fall
problem. Fruits also edible
5 Stephania japonica Miers. Yapom
Geep, Raikey
Manispermaceae Climber Stem used in dysentery, leaves in malarial fever
6 Tinospora cordifolia Miers. Swein kije -do- Climber Stem used in stomach trouble, dysentery and
skin diseases
7 Brassica campestris Linn. Horyo Brassicaceae Herb Oil from seed along with ginger, turmeric, garlic
used in various ailments
8 Gynocardia
odorata R.Br.
Taek, Taeke Flocourtiaceae Tree Fruit is used in tooth
ailment
9 Drymaria diandra
Blume,
Ropsik-
Romnik
Caryophyllaceae Herb Decoction of leaves used
in skin diseases
10 Stellaria media
(Linn.) Vill.
Tai Auy Nab -do- Herb Paste of crushed plant
used to stop bleeding
11 Garcinia pedunculata
Roxb.
Mibia Clusiaceae Tree Leaves used in dysentery and cough
12 Schima wallichii
(DC.) Korth.
Salsang
Sagne
Theaceae Tree Seeds used in stomach
trouble
13 Saurauia armata
Kurz. Syn.
Hero, Heru Saurauiaceae Tree Leaves applied on the
wounds
14 Hibiscus fragans
Roxb.
Leachi Uppu Malvaceae Shrub Paste of leaves/flowers
used in hair fall/dandruff problem
15 Sterculia hamiltonii (Kuntze) Adelb.
Syn.
Taach Pool Sterculiaceae Small tree Ayurvedic preparations have medicinal uses
16 Eleocarpus
floribundus
Jolphai
Schein
Eleocarpaceae Tree Fruits have medicinal
properties
Blume.
17 Oxalis acetosella
Ls. Syn.
Pak Huku Oxalidaceae Herb Juice of whole plant
applied on cuts/injuries
18 Oxalis corniculata
Linn.
Pak Hukku -do- Herb Paste of plant applied
on fire burn
19 Oxalis debilis
H.B.K. Var. Corymbosa (DC.)
Lourt.
Pak Hukku -do- Herb Juice of whole plant used on cuts/injuries and fire burn
20 Aegle marmelos
(L.) Correa.
Bhel Rutaceae Tree Fruits used as digestive
21 Canarium
strictum Roxb.
Schellum Burseraceae Tree Juice from bark used
against insect bite
22 Azadirachta indica A.Juss. Syn. Dokam Belam Meliaceae Tree Leaves used in skin disease and boiled water extract taken for
stomach ache
23 Melia azedarach
Linn.
Tapa Tale Meliaceae Tree Bark used against
burning sensation
24 Wedantia scarba
Kurz. Syn.
Kepo Ae Vitaceae Shrub Roots used for cholera
and dysentery treatment
25 Dalbergia pinnata
(Lour.) Prain Syn.
Seda Nyi Fabaceae Climber Leaves used for healing
cuts/wounds
26 Mastersia
assamica Benth.
Rem,
Rading
-do- Climber Paste of stem used for
healing cuts/wounds
27 Mucuna
macrocarpa DC.
Dimpa -do- Climber Stem juice used in eyes
problem
28 Oromosia robusta
Wight Syn.
Porghum -do- Tree Paste of leaves applied
on boils for healing
29 Caesalpinia cucullata Roxb.
Syn.
Pani Pgig traw Caesalpiniaceae Tree Leaves and seeds used in stomach ache and
body pain
30 Cassia fistula
Linn.
Tuluk shein -do- Tree Dried fruits taken during
constipation
31 Cassia tora Linn. - -do- Shrub Leaves used against ringworms and skin
diseases
32 Acacia caesia (L.)
Willd Syn.
Ragra Mimosaceae Climber Crushed leaves applied
on head for killing lice
33 Entada purseatha
DC. Syn.
Rich -do- Climber Paste of stem and leaves
used in bone fracture
34 Prunus persica
Linn.
Chekom Rosaceae Tree Paste of leaves used in killing worms and boils
of animals
35 Terminalia
chebula Retz.
Bumura Combretaceae Tree Fruits used in
constipation and gastric
36 Terminalia citrina Hilika -do- Tree -do-
(Gaertner) Flem.
37 Psidium guajava
Linn.
Modhori Myrtaceae Tree Leaves used in
dysentery
38 Carica papaya
Linn.
Omita
schein
Caricaceae Tree Unriped fruits used in
stomach problems
39 Cucumis sativis
Linn.
Mukku Cucurbitaceae Shrub Bark of fruit good for
improving digestion
40 Momordica charantia Linn. Khechak Kerela -do- Climber Fruit good for correcting
stomach disorder and blood pressure
41 Trichosanthes tricuspidata
D.Don.
Yappen -do- Climber Stem and root used in fever, cold and cough
42 Begonia palmate Bikku yulu Begoniaceae Herb Root powder used in
diarrhea and dysentery
43 Mollugo disticha Talen Molluginaceae Herb Roasted roots used in
relieving muscular pain
44 Centella asiatica Nguri Apiaceae Herb Leaves used in stomach trouble and as brain
tonic
45 Coriandrum
sativum
Dhania -do- Herb Fruits used in many
medicinal preparations
46 Erygnium
foetidum
Dhaniya pat -do- Herb Leaves used in headache
and as appetitizer
47 Hydrocotyle
javanica
- -do- Herb Paste of leaves used in
snake/scorpion bite
48 Brassiopsis glomerulata Tago Araliaceae Tree Fruits used in cough. Dried fruit powder used
against skin eruptions
49 Viburnum
colebrookianum
Tarko Kusus Caprifoliaceae Shrub Pounded leaves used in
curing old sores
50 Hedyotis
scandens
Taja hoor Rubiaceae Climber Dried root powder used
orally in stomach pain
51 Ixora acuminate Oju -do- Shrub Infusion of tender twigs mixed with Piper nigrum
and salt given in fever
52 Paedaria foetida Upter Nemi -do- Climber Decoction of leaves used
in stomach trouble
53 Rubia cordifolia Tamen -do- Climber herb Powdered root applied on forehead in
headache
54 Ageratum
conyzoides Linn.
Nyeam ei Asteraceae Herb Paste of leaves applied
on cuts and wounds
55 Artemesia indica
Willd.
Tappen -do- Shrub Leaves used against cuts
and skin disease
56 Artemesia nilagirica
(C.B.Charke) Pamp.
Tappen -do- Shrub Leaves used in stomach trouble and body pain.
Young aromatic leaves used as disinfectant
57 Crassocephalum crepidiodes
(Benth) Syn.
Yamen -do- Herb Paste of leaves used in small injuries/wounds
58 Emilia sonchifolia
DC.
Genta Ao -do- Climbing herb Leaves juice used
against eye inflammation
59 Gerbera piloselloides (L.) Pangnesir -do- Herb Leaves used for hot fermentation to relive
rheumatic pain
60 Laggera pterodonta (DC)
Sch-Bip.Ex.Oliver
Dindo eh -do- Herb Leaves paste used against inflammation
and swellings
61 Mikania scandens Tare Nemi -do- Climbing
herb
Paste of leaves used on
cuts and wounds
62 Spilanthes paniculata DC. Mersha Ao -do- Herb Flower heads chewed to
relieve toothache and tongue infection
63 Vernonica volkamerifolia
DC.
Tajop Ei Nemmang -do- Tree Paste of dried leaves applied on burn wounds
64 Lobelia Montana
Reinwardt.
- Lobeliaceae Creeping
herb
Leaves are used in
stomach pain
65 Alastonia scholaris Broom. Tai sen Apocynaceae Tree Latex and bark used against skin eruption.
Powdered bark with water used in malaria
66 Potssia laxiflora
(Blume) O.Ktze.
Nara Ei -do- Climber Paste of young leaves
with honey used on portion of bee sting
67 Calotropis procera Br. Akon-Asing Asclepidiaceae Shrub Leaves used in dysentery, pains and
burns
68 Calotropis gigantea (Linn.)
Dryland.
Takom Ash -do- Shrub Roots and flowers used against dog bites
69 Buddleja asiatica
Lour.
Faab Shang Buddlejaceae Shrub Flowers used in sinus
70 Datura metel
Linn.
Tuppu Uppu Solanaceae Herb Leaves used in headache. Seeds are toxic and used for removing worms on
cattle wounds
71 Solanum khasianum
Clarke.
Byak Tha -do- Shrub Paste of ripened fruits used in dental or gum
pain
72 Solanum kurzii Br. Beyak -do- Shrub Fruits are good for
stomach disorder
73 Solanum nigrum
Linn.
Hor -do- Herb Leaves used in gastric
problem
74 Solanum torvum
Swartz.
Shoat Beyak -do- Shrub Fruits used in stomach ache and high blood pressure, Fresh roots known as oral
contraceptive
75 Physalis
peruviana L.
Donam As -do- Herb Fruits used in gastric
78 Lindernia cordifolia
(Colsm.) Merr.
Ae-Eche Ae Scrophulariaceae Herb Leaves used in headache/body ache
79 Mazus pumillus
(Burm.f.) var steenis
Uy-Naan Ei -do- Herb Leaves used for blood clotting in cuts
80 Picrorhiza kurroa
Royale ex Benth
Rente -do- Herb Plant used in stomach
problems, malaria treatment
81 Scoparia dulcis
Linn.
Uy kabnam -do- Herb Paste of leaves used in jaundice and blood
clotting
82 Torenia asiatica
Linn.
Suji Ei -do- Herb Leaves used in stomach
disorder
83 Torenia diffusa
D.Don.
Ocheng -do- Herb -do-
84 Torenia parviflora
Ham.
Suji Ei -do- Herb Leaves used in gastric
85 Oroxylum indicum (L) Vent. Orok Tak Shein Bignoniaceae Tree Bark powder used in skin itching, swelling.
Also used in liver and stomach problem
86 Pedalium murex
Linn.
Un Nemi Pedaliaceae Herb Crushed plant used in
wound healing
87 Adhatoda
zeylanica Medic.
Basak Acanthaceae Shrub Soup of young leaves
used in cough/cold
88 Andrographis paniculata Nees
in Wall.
Chirata -do- Herb Leaves used in malaria, fever etc
89 Justicia
gendarussa Linn.
Esh talo -do- Shrub Leaves used in bone
fracture, muscle pain
90 Callicarpa
arborea Roxb.
Yaal Schein Verbenaceae Tree Bark used in tooth ache
and skin problem
91 Clerodendron colebrookianum
Walp.
Tippin, Tappin -do- Shrub Boiled leaf soup used in
high blood pressure, stomach trouble
92 Clerodendron viscosum Vent. Tapin -do- Shrub Flowers believed to purify blood
93 Gmelina arborea
Roxb.
Gomori schein -do- Tree Fruits used for medicinal purpose, Bark chewed in
stomach problem
94 Anisomeles ovata
Br.
Norutami Lamiaceae Shrub Whole plant crushed
and paste used in reliving body pain
95 Mentha piperata
Linn.
Emend.Huds.
Pudina -do- Herb Paste of leaves used in gastric
96 Ocimum
basilicum Linn.
Tulsi -do- Shrub Seed powder and leaves
used in cough and cold
97 Perilla frustescens (L.)
Britt
Tanam -do- Shrub Seed oil is used against headache and fever
98 Pogostemon benghalensis
(Burm,f) Kuntz.
Khobu Tanam -do- Herb Crushed leaves applied to relieve muscular pain
or body pain
99 Plantago erosa
Wall.
Talak Ao Plantaginaceae Herb Paste of leaves used
against cuts/wounds
100 Chenopodium ambrosioides
Linn.
Teya Chenopodaceae Herb Paste of leaves used against toothache
101 Fagopyrum
dibotrys (D.Don) Trev.
Hukku Polygonaceae Herb Grains are used in cold, cholera and diarrhea
102 Rumex nepalensis
Spring
Yalak Ao -do- Herb Leaves used against
snakebite
103 Piper mullesua
D.Don.
Rer Edik Piperaceae Climber Fruits used in cough and
cold problem
104 Piper nigrum
Linn.
Jaluk -do- Shrub Fruits used in cough,
bronchitis, tonsillitis
105 Piper trioicum
Roxb.
Redik -do- Climber Leaves used in relieving
muscle pain
106 Piper peepuloides
Roxb.
Pipli -do- Climber Fruits used in cough
107 Houttunyia
cordata Thunb.
Checha
Peya
Saururaceae Herb Roots are used for
appetite
108 Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Breya.
Dalchini Lauraceae Tree Bark is used in oral infections
109 Litsea salicifolia
Roxb.
Taor -do- Tree Bark used in bone
fracture
110 Euphorbia
ligularia Roxb.
Hiju Euphorbiaceae Tree Soft stem used in
stomach pain
111 Jatropa curcas
Linn.
Solung
Schein
-do- Small tree Latex from stem used in
scabies
112 Phyllantus
emblica L., Hk. f.
Amlaki
Schein
-do- Tree Fruits used as appetizer
and give freshness to mouth
113 Ricinus communis
Linn.
Porok Ekam -do- Shrub Local application of young twigs in vagina causes abortion. Leaves also used in stomach
ache
114 Elatostema platyphyllum
Wed
Hoj Ao Urticaceae Shrub Roots used for inducing vomiting
115 Girardinia diversifolia (Links)
Friss.
Posh Phon -do- Shrub Roasted leaves used for relieving muscular pain
116 Laportea
crenulata Gaud.
Pud Raat -do- Shrub Young shoots used in
gastric problem
117 Pouzolzia bennetiana
Wight.
Huyiek -do- Climber Leaves used in removing constipation
118 Villebrunea
frutescens Blume.
Tappen -do- Tree Fresh leaves used in
curing wounds
119 Urtica parviflora
Roxb.
Posh Phon -do- Herb Roasted leaves used for
relieving muscular pain
120 Cannabis sativa
Linn.
Bhang Cannabinaceae Herb Paste of leaves used
against ringworms
121 Conocephalus
suaveolens non Blume
Hogen Ao Moraceae Climbing shrub Sap from stem used in eye trouble
122 Ficus squamosa
Roxb.
Talagi -do- Tree Latex from stem used
against pimples
123 Morus laevigata
Wall.
Cheknyium -do- Tree Bark juice used on boils,
itching
124 Costus speciosus
Smith.
Yachi Bapi Zingiberaceae Herb Paste of leaves used in snake bite. Decoction of rhizome used in urinary
disorder
125 Curcuma longa
Linn.
Kaya Haldi -do- Herb Rhizomes used in fracture and pain
relieving
126 Curcuma
aromatic
Haldi -do- Herb Rhizomes used in cough
and cold
127 Zingiber officinale
Rosc.
Take -do- Herb Rhizomes used in cough,
cold and tonsillitis
128 Tacca integrifolia
var. Grawl.
Pisir, Paser Taccaceae Herb Rhizome and berry used in wounds and stomach trouble
129 Tacca laevis
Roxb.
Kanjok -do- Herb Rhizome and berry used in wounds and stomach
trouble
130 Allium hookeri
Thwaites
Nyishi Talap Liliaceae Herb Bulb used in cough and
cold problem
131 Asparagus racemosus Willd. Shatavar (Hindi) -do- Shrub Whole plant has got diuretic and cooling
properties
132 Glorosia superba
Linn.
Teek Nan -do- Climbing
shrub
Tubers and leaves used
to kill lice in head
133 Tupistra aurantiaca Wall. Rinkey -do- Shrub Dries stem boiled with water used in treating
malaria, stomach ache
134 Acorus calamus
Linn.
Talyo Acoraceae Herb Rhizome used in treating diarrhea, dysentery. Juice of rhizome also used in
asthma and bronchitis
135 Homalomena
aromitica Linn.
Eng
Namnen
-do- Herb Rhizome used in
treatment of diabetes
136 Pothos cathcartii
Schott.
Lochi-Lomik -do- Shrub Whole plant used in
bone fracture
137 Dendrocalamus
hamiltonii Nees et. Arn.
Ae Heroom Poaceae Tall bamboo Green peel of culm is effective in cuts
138 Saccharum
officinarum Linn.
Taab -do- Herb Raw culm used in
jaundice
139 Equisetum
diffusum D.Don.
Alak Allo Equisetaceae Herb Whole plant used in
bone fracture
140 Angiopteris evecta (Forst.)
Hoffm.
Tach Angiopteridaceae Shrub Powdered rhizome used in dysentery and
diarrhea

Table 3: Medicinal plants used in treatment of livestock diseases or feeding

S No. Botanical name Local
name
Family Habit Uses
1 Gynocardia odorata R.Br. Taek Flocourtiaceae Tree Crushed fruits in water used in treating wounds of
livestock
2 Canarium bengalense Roxb. Shellum Burseraceae Tree Incense burnt from oleoresin of plant act as mosquito repellent for
livestock
3 Indigofera
tinctoria Linn.
Shob Setin Fabaceae Shrub Powdered roots applied on
worm infested sores
4 Heteropanax
fragrans Roxb. Ex DC. Seem.
Kesuru Araliaceae Tree Leaves used for raising
Moga worm which yields essential fibre
5 Chromolaena odorata (L.) King
& Rob.
Gocham Nemi Asteraceae Shrub Paste of leaves used on wounds infested by worms
6 Manihot
esculenta Cranz.
Sida
Eighein
Euphorbiaceae Shrub Leaves used for feeding
pigs
7 Pouzolzia sanguinea (Bl.)
Merr.
Tanu Urticaceae Shrub Leaves and tubers used as pig feed
8 Cannabis sativa
Linn.
Bhang Cannabinaceae Herb Leaves given to cattle for
flatulence and indigestion
9 Ficus auriculata
Lour.
Takuk Moraceae Tree Fruits used as pig feed
10 Ficus hirta Vahl
var. roxburghii
Takchin -do- Tree Fruits used as pig feed
11 Morus indica Linn. Latek -do- Tree Leaves used for rearing
Moga or Eri worms
12 Acorus calamus
Linn.
Talyo Araceae Herb Crushed rhizomes mixed with water, given to hen and goats for treating loose
motion
13 Colocasia antiquorum
Schott Melet
Takche Reba -do- Herb Bark used on cuts/wounds of pigs
14 Collocasia affinis
Schott.
Nyepop -do- Herb Tubers, stem, leaves used
as pig feed
15 Collocasia
esculenta var.
Nyepu yulu -do- Herb Tubers, stem, leaves used
as pig feed
16 Collocasia
macrorrhiza var.
Telli -do- Herb Whole plant used as pig
feed in boiled form
17 Equisetum
diffusum
Alak Allo Equisetaceae Herb Plant used as fish feed in
cut form
18 Angiopteris
evecta
Tach Angiopteridaceae Herb Stem cut into pieces and
used as pig feed

Our above findings are in conformity with that of Saklani and Jain (1994) who mentioned that Asteraceae was the most dominant family of medicinal plants for the purpose of human ailments treatment in the North eastern states of India [12]. But our findings are slightly different from the plant species of Solanaceae and Lamiaceae which are reported to be used by the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh as top families [12, 15]. These families have been in use in our study’s findings but not as top two families as far as medicinal plants in Upper Subansiri district are concerned (Table 2).

CONCLUSION

The present documentation on the traditional medicine of the three tribes of Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh emphasizes that many people of the region still depend upon herbal medicine for treatment of human as well as livestock diseases. Thorough biochemical investigation and clinical trials of local traditional medicines may provide new direction for human health care system [3]. These medicines have been reported to have lesser or negligible side health effects on humans in comparison to other medical treatments. State Government has to conduct vigorous conservation and sustainable management programme among local people for the development of this sector. Arunachal Pradesh Biodiversity Board and Arunachal Pradesh State Medicinal Plants Board are doing some work in this direction but at the slow pace. This trend needs to be addressed soon.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The authors are thankful to the Director, State Forest Research Institute, Itanagar and officers of various departments especially revenue department of Upper Subansiri district of the state for their encouragement and help in providing relevant data/information for completion of the study.

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