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Ethnomedicinal Knowledge of Inhabitants from Gundlabrahmeswaram Wildlife Sanctuary (Eastern Ghats), Andhra Pradesh, India

Omkar Kanneboyena1, Sateesh Suthari2* and Vatsavaya S. Raju3

1PSC & KVSC Government College, Nandyal, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh – 518 502, India

2Department of Plant Sciences, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad Hyderabad, Telangana – 500 046, India

3Plant Systematics Laboratory, Department of Botany, Kakatiya University, Warangal, Telangana – 506 009, India

*Corresponding Author:
Sateesh Suthari
Department of Plant Sciences
School of Life Sciences
University of Hyderabad
Hyderabad, Telangana – 500 046, India
E-mail: [email protected]
Visit for more related articles at American Journal of Ethnomedicine


The present study explores the traditional herbal knowledge of ethnic tribes from 18 villages located in Gundlabrahmeswaram wildlife sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh, India.
The main aim of the study is to document the ethnomedicinal plant taxa used by the ethnic people inhabiting the sanctuary area in which specific data was not available for the region.
Regular field trips were conducted in the ethnic villages of the Gundlabrahmeswaram wildlife sanctuary during October, 2013 to June, 2015. The ethnobotanicomedicinal plants information was documented from local tribals and traditional healers through direct approach, household surveys and semistructured interviews. For the present study, the ethnobotanical data was collected from eighteen villages inside the sanctuary.
Results: Analysis of data revealed a total of 153 angiospermous plant taxa pertaining to 135 genera of 62 families utilized by the tribes for various common ailments. Fabaceae are the dominant family (22 taxa), followed by Apocynaceae (13), Malvaceae (10), Combretaceae and Rubiaceae (6 each), Convolvulaceae (5) and Acanthaceae, Amaranthaceae and Phyllanthaceae (4 each). Further, plant part-, disease- and habit-wise data of plant taxa are presented.
The study concludes with the need for further documentation of traditional botanical knowledge of the local inhabitants on one hand and conserving the sanctuary of its plant wealth from over exploitation and invasive weeds like Hyptis suaveolens, Parthenium hysterophorus, Cyanthillium cinereum, Chromolaena odorata, Lantana × aculeata, etc.


Traditional knowledge, Inhabitants, Ethnomedicinal plants, Chenchus, Ailments.


The utility of plants for human and veterinary health care is known since ancient times. As a report of all India Ethnobiological survey accomplished by Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India, there are over and above 8000 plant species that are being used by the local people. About 1800 plant taxa are used in Ayurveda, 600 in Siddha, 400 each in Unani and Homeopathy Systems of medicine [1]. The traditional botanical knowledge of ethnic people and folklore, who live in and around the forests, is spread as word-of-mouth. There is a need to document this traditional knowledge before it is exterminate. It is established that the traditional knowledge is a source for the scientific groups to discover new drugs. Since long back, investigations have been conducted to know the traditional use and management of local flora of many regions. In recent times, the ethnobotanical research is incorporated in the current and emerging research trends for more utility of local people knowledge. It is expected that, in future, ethnobotany may play a vital role in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development [2]. India enjoys rich in ethnic and biological diversity. Nearly, 550 tribal communities pertaining to 227 ethnic groups inhabit the land. Andhra Pradesh is the home for 26 tribal communities. Of these, the major primitive, semi-nomadic tribal group is Chenchus, who live in groups of huts called ‘gudem’ or ‘penta’. Plants and plant produce are the integral part of their day-today life. Most of the Chenchus still remain either hunters or Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP) gatherers, and practice the barter system. The other tribes are Yerukulas and Lambadis (Sugalis). The latter group mainly depends on the forests for rearing cattle which results loss of valuable biological diversity. The important pre-requisite for proper utilization of raw materials of a country or state is the survey of its natural resources and the preparation of an inventory.

The forests of Andhra Pradesh have great potential from botanical wealth and ethnic economic points of view. Significant ethnobotanical explorations have been focused so far in the State. Conceivably, for the first time, Krishnamachari (1900) documented the use of leaves of Erythroxylum monogynum (devadari) and roots of Aloe vera (kalabanda) as food during paucity [3]. Hemadri (1976, 1981) reported the procurement of raw drug materials and tribal medicine for rheumatism [4,5]. Hemadri and Rao (1983, 1984) explored the plant taxa for leucorrhoea, menorrhagia and jaundice [6,7]. Rao and Sreeramulu (1985) documented 52 ethnomedicinal plants used by Savaras, Jatapus and Gadabas from Srikakulam district [8]. Ramarao (1988) documented the data on ‘Ethnobotany of Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh State’ for his doctoral degree [9]. Reddy et al. (1991) collected information on 45 plant taxa in traditional system of medicine used by Yanadis, Yerukalas, Sugalis and Chenchus from Cuddapah district [10]. Rao and Prasad (1995) enlisted the ethnomedicine from Andhra Pradesh [11]. Reddy et al. (1996) documented the tribal medicine from Rutaceae [12]. Rajendran et al. (1996, 1997) provided the information on hepatic stimulant [13] and ichthyotonic plants [14] and Ramarao et al. (1999) reported a paper on phyto-zootherapy of the tribes [15]. Jeevan and Raju (2001) described certain potential crude drugs used by tribes of Nallamalai for skin diseases [16]. In 2005, Reddy and Subbaraju shortlisted the plants used as ethnomedicine from Maredumilli region [17] whereas Reddy et al. studied on the account of rheumatic diseases [18] and ethnobotany for certain orchids [19]. Reddy et al. (2006a-b) documented ethnoveterinary medicine for livestock and ethnobotanical uses for respiratory disorders [20,21]. In 2007, Savithramma et al. reported the ethnobotanical plants used to treat asthma [22], Rao et al. enumerated the ethnomedicinal importance of Pteridophytes used by Chenchus of Nallamalais [23] while Jeevan et al. recorded some rare and little-known medicinal plants from Nallamalais [24], and Reddy et al. reported the traditional knowledge on wild food plants in the State [25]. Ratnam and Raju (2008a) enumerated the traditional medicine used by the adivasis of Eastern Ghats for bone fractures [26]. In 2011, Suneetha and Reddi documented the 600 ethnomedicinal plants to cure 147 different human complaints and mode of administration by Konda Reddis, Konda Doras, Koya Doras, etc. from East Godavari [27], Rao et al. enumerated the ethnomedicinal properties of 62 plant species pertaining to 61 genera of 43 families by Gadaba tribes of Visakhapatnam district [28] and Reddy et al. surveyed for ethnobotanical data from Sheshachalam hill ranges and documented 60 plant taxa of 33 families used by Sugali, Yerukala and Yanadi tribes [29]. Savithramma et al. (2012) enumerated 20 plant taxa of 20 families used as ethnomedicine by Yanadis for various common ailments [30]. Suneetha et al. (2013) reported ethnomedicinal plants as remedy for jaundice by the tribals of East Godavari district [31]. Recently, the documentation of ethnomedicinal knowledge from the hilly areas of East Godavari district was carried out by Raju et al. (2014) which resulting 90 medicinal plants of 45 families for 45 common human ailments [32] whereas Rao et al. (2014) wrote an obesvation on crude drugs in treatment of liver diseases by Chenchus in Nallamalais [33]. Swapna (2015) has explored 30 ethnobotanical plants pertaining to 20 families used by Yanadis of Kavali [34].

Conversely, the ethnobotanical research was carried out only from some regions of Andhra Pradesh. Due to the lack of specific baseline data available for Gundlabrahmeswaram wildlife sanctuary but for a report on folk remedies for insect bites [35]. The present study is an attempt to enumerate the ethnomedicinal plants used by the tribes in the sanctuary area.

Study area

The Gundlabrahmeswaram wildlife sanctuary (GWS) is abode of rich biodiversity with mixed deciduous forest and lies between latitudes 15°40′ to 15°89′N and longitudes 76°61′ to 78°09′E. It is situated in Gundlabrahmeswaram plateau of the central Nallamalais, often called ‘Nucleus of Eastern Ghats’. It falls under the biotic province of 6E Deccan Peninsular- Deccan South and spreads over an area of 1194 sq km and located between two hills known as Mantralamma Kanuma and Nandi Kanuma in Kurnool and Prakasham districts of Andhra Pradesh. It is extended core area of the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR). The core areas of the Gundlabrahmeswaram and NSTR together constitute 3,730 sq km35. The terrain is undulating, interrupted with hillocks of igneous rocks, continuous range of unbroken rugged and steep hills with an average elevation of 600 m north to south. The river Gundlakamma passes through the sanctuary on its eastern side. The temperature ranges from 18°C (winter) and 45°C (summer). The flora includes a large number of endemics [36], rare, threatened or endangered categories [37]. The tribals live in their hamlets and largely depend on forest resources, honey collection, hunting, animal husbandry and podu cultivation. The sanctuary is the home for threatened, rare and endemic fauna including mammals, birds and reptiles and also some common existing fauna in the sanctuary are tiger, leopard, sloth bear, sambar, nilgai, jungle cat, wild dog, hyena, langur, chinkara, bonnet monkey, chowsingha, python, mouse deer, monitor lizard, etc. [38,39]


Periodical field surveys were conducted in the ethnic villages of GWS during October, 2013 to June, 2015. The ethnobotanical information was gathered from the local tribals, traditional healers and practitioners of herbal medicine through direct approach, house hold surveys and semi-structured interviews. A total of 18 villages were covered in and around the sanctuary (13 gudems inhabited by Chenchus and 5 mettas or villages inhabited by Yerukalas and Sugalis) for the present study. Information was gathered from the informants with regard to vernaculars of medicinal plants, drug preparation and mode of administration. The voucher specimens of the plant taxa were collected for all the plants used by the ethnic tribes and they were identified with the help of Floras [40-42] and e–floras and the mounted specimens are deposited in Department of Botany, Government College, Nandyal (HND), for reference.

During our field visits, from each village/gudem a minimum of two informants (male and/or female) were included. A total of 56 key informants participated in the interviews and belong to 39-74 years of age (Table 1). Male informants (49; 87.5%) more actively participated over the female (07; 12.5%). The age group of informants was further categorized into five age-groups such as 30-39 (02; 3.57%), 40-49 (16; 28.57%), 50-59 (20; 35.71%), 60-69 (17; 30.36%) and 70-79 (01; 1.79%).

Table 1. Demographic information of tribal informants from 18 villages/gudems of Gundlabrahmeswaram wildlife sanctuary

Range Village/Gudem No. of Informants Age (in years) Gender Ethnicity Occupation
1 Nandyal Thimmapuram 4 62,55,50,40 M Chenchu Bamboo value addition
Kalvagudem 3 65,58,61 M Chenchu Forest products/agricultural
Mahanandi 2 65,62 M Chenchu Local vaidyas/honey
Sugalimetta 2 45,48 M Sugali Agriculture/cattle raring
1 45 F Sugali Agriculture/cattle raring
Gadigudem 4 59,62,58,50 M Chenchu Forest produce/labour
1 55 F Chenchu Forest produce/labour
Baireni 4 39,45,68,68 M Chenchu Honey collection (wild)
2 Chalama Chalama 2 48,65 M Chenchu Daily labour/bamboo
1 60 F Chenchu Daily labour/bamboo
Basavapuram 2 40,59 M Chenchu Forest produce/labour
Gadigudem 2 48,50 M Chenchu Forest produce/labour
3 Bandiatmakur Narapareddy kunta 1 58 M Yerukala Bamboo value addition
2 40,42 F Yerukala Bamboo value addition
Omkaram 2 49,62 M Chenchu Agricultural labour
3 45,58,68 M Yerukala Bamboo value addition
Palem 2 60,65 M Yerukala Daily labour/bamboo
Naragudem 4 62,55,44,38 M Chenchu Honey collection
4 Gundlakamma Diguvametta 2 50,56 M Sugali Agriculture/labour
Isukagudem 3 49,59,62 M Chenchu Agricultural labour
Malakonda penta 3 68,57,74 M Chenchu Forest produce/labour
2 52,48 F Chenchu Forest produce/labour
Ambavaram 4 47,54,58, 69 M Chenchu Daily labour/bamboo


The botanical names were updated according to Angiosperm Phylogeny Group III (APG III) classification [43] and arranged alphabetically. The vernacular name of the species is followed by the scientific name, family, habit, part/s used and use-pattern (Table 2).

Table 2. List of plant taxa used by the ethnic people from Gundlabrahmeswaram wildlife sanctuary

Local name Scientific name Family Habit Part used Ethnic use
1 Kasturi benda Abelmoschus moschatus
Malvaceae H Seed Carminative
2 Gurivinda Abrus precatorius L. Fabaceae C Seed Purgative, abortion
3 Tutturu benda Abutilon indicum (L.) Sweet Malvaceae H Seed Bleeding piles, febrifuge
4 Sandra Acacia chundra (Rottler) Willd. Fabaceae T Fruit Boils, ulcers
5 Kuppinta Acalypha indica L. Euphorbiaceae H Whole plant Cough, bronchitis, asthma
6 Uttareni Achyranthes aspera L. Amaranthaceae H Whole plant Tooth-ache, piles
7 Maredu Aegle marmelos (L.) Corrêa Rutaceae T Fruit Diarrhoea, dysentery
8 Pindi kura Aerva lanata (L.) Juss. Amaranthaceae H Whole plant Kidney stones, cough
9 Uduga Alangium salviifolium (L.f.)
Cornaceae T Root Colic
10 Ponnaganti kura Alternanthera sessilis (L.) R.Br.
ex DC.
Amaranthaceae H Whole plant Vegetable
11 Mulla thotakura *Amaranthus spinosus L. Amaranthaceae H Whole plant Vegetable
12 Nela vemu Andrographis paniculata
(Burm.f.) Nees
Acanthaceae H Whole plant Fever, cough
13 Seethaphal *Annona squamosa L. Annonaceae T Fruit Cooling agent
14 Sirimanu Anogeissus latifolia (Roxb. ex
DC.) Wall. ex Guillem. & Perr.
Combretaceae T Stem bark Insect bite
15 Nalleswari Aristolochia indica L. Aristolochiaceae C Root Snake bite, tooth-ache
16 Pilli teegalu Asparagus racemosus Willd. Asparagaceae C Bulb Rheumatism
17 Jala brahmi Bacopa monnieri (L.) Wettst. Plantaginaceae H Whole plant Memory
18 Gare Balanites roxburghii Planch. Zygophyllaceae S Fruit Ephemeral fever
19 Mulla gorinta Barleria prionitis L. Acanthaceae S Root Antiseptic, febrifuge
20 Are Bauhinia racemosa Lam. Fabaceae T Leaf Malaria, anthelmintic
21 Addaku Bauhinia vahlii Wight & Arn. Fabaceae C Leaf Meal plates making
22 Deva kanchanam Bauhinia purpurea L. Fabaceae T Bud Dysentery, diarrhoea
23 Attipatti Biophytum sensitivum (L.) DC. Oxalidaceae H Whole plant Gonorrhoea, lithiasis
24 Atika mamidi Boerhavia diffusa L. Nyctaginaceae H Whole plant Diuretic, asthma
25 Buruga Bombax ceiba L. Malvaceae T Stem bark Wound healing, dysentery
26 Guggilam, anduga Boswellia serrata Roxb. ex
Burseraceae T Stem bark Skin diseases, diarrhoea
27 Sara pappu Buchanania cochinchinensis
(Lour.) M.R.Almeida
Anacardiaceae T Leaf Treating leprosy
28 Moduga Butea monosperma (Lam.)
Fabaceae T Seed Anthelmintic
29 Gacha kaya Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb. Fabaceae C Seed Antipyretic, snake bite
30 Pemu bettam Calamus rotang L. Arecaceae S Stem Cough, bronchitis
31 Jilledu *Calotropis gigantea (L.)
Apocynaceae S Latex Rheumatism
32 Adonda Capparis zeylanica L. Capparaceae C Fruit Diabetes
33 Budda budama *Cardiospermum halicacabum Sapindaceae H Whole plant Diuretic, rubefacient
34 Kumbhi Careya arborea Roxb. Lecythidaceae T Stem bark Cough, cold, antipyretic
35 Waka Carissa carandas L. Apocynaceae S Fruit Cooling agent,
36 Rela Cassia fistula L. Fabaceae T Stem bark Dysentery, jaundice,
37 Maner teega Celastrus paniculatus Willd. Celastraceae S Seed Scabies, rheumatism
38 Saraswati aku Centella asiatica (L.) Urb. Apiaceae H Whole plant Memory; skin diseases
39 Reddivari
Chamaesyce hirta (L.) Millsp. Euphorbiaceae H Whole plant Jaundice, diuretic,
40 Chengalva kostu Cheilocostus speciosus
(J.Keonig) C.D.Specht
Costaceae H Rhizome Aphrodisiac, snake bite
41 Sarala pagada Chlorophytum arundinaceum
Asparagaceae H Tuber Rejuvinator, rheumatism
42 Billudu Chloroxylon swietenia DC. Rutaceae T Leaf Mosquito repellent
43 Nalleru Cissus quadrangularis L. Vitaceae C Stem Bone fracture
44 Adavi draksha Cissus vitiginea L. Vitaceae S Stem Bone fracture, bronchitis
45 Kodisha Cleistanthus collinus (Roxb.)
Benth. ex Hook.f.
Phyllanthaceae T Stem bark Piscicidal
46 Dusari teega Cocculus hirsutus (L.)
Menispermaceae C Root Rheumatism
47 Konda gogu Cochlospermum religiosum (L.)
Bixaceae T Stem bark Sedative
48 Yedla teega Combretum ovalifolium Roxb. Combretaceae C Stem Basket making
49 Venne veduru Commelina benghalensis L. Commelinaceae H Whole plant Cough, inflammation
50 Banka nakkari Cordia dichotoma G.Forst. Boraginaceae T Fruit Diuretic, demulcent
51 Vrishakarni Crinum latifolium L. Amaryllidaceae H Bulb Stomach-ache
52 Chinna giligichha Crotalaria retusa L. Fabaceae H Whole plant Scabies, impetigo
53 Giligichha Crotalaria verrucosa L. Fabaceae H Leaf Scabies
54 Adavi palateega Cryptolepis dubia (Burm.f.)
Apocynaceae C Root Stomach-ache
55 Nela thatigaddalu Curculigo orchioides Gaertn. Hypoxidaceae H Tuber Aphrodisiac, piles,
56 Adavi pasupu Curcuma pseudomontana
Zingiberaceae H Rhizome Muscle pain, leprosy,
57 Seethamma
Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. Convolvulaceae C Stem Liver disorders
58 Rusa grass Cymbopogon martini (Roxb.)
Poaceae H Leaf Skin diseases
59 Garika *Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. Poaceae H Leaf Diuretic
60 Tunga Cyperus rotundus L. Cyperaceae H Tuber Ephemeral fever
61 Jitregi Dalbergia latifoloa Roxb. Fabaceae T Stem bark Diarrhoea, dysentery
62 Nannari Decalepis hamiltonii Wight &
Apocynaceae C Root Appetizer, blood purifier
63 Badanika Dendrophthoe falcata (L.f.)
Loranthaceae H Whole plant Menstrual disorders
64 Gitanaram Desmodium gangeticum (L.)
Fabaceae H Root Anti-inflammatory,
aphrodisiac, analgesic
65 Veluturu Dichrostachys cinerea (L.)
Wight & Arn.
Fabaceae S Stem bark Ophthalmic disorders
66 Chebeera Dicliptera paniculata (Forssk.)
Acanthaceae C Whole plant Snake bite
67 Adavi dumpa Dioscorea bulbifera L. Dioscoreaceae C Tuber Dysentery, astringent
68 Duke pendalam Dioscorea pentaphylla L. Dioscoreaceae C Tuber Swelling
69 Beedi aku Diospyros melanoxylon Roxb. Ebenaceae T Leaf Beedi making
70 Yella gonad Diospyros montana Roxb. Ebenaceae T Fruit Stimulative, diuretic,
71 Bandaru Dodonaea viscosa (L.) Jacq. Sapindaceae S Leaf Bone fracture,
72 Oddi Dolichandrone falcata (Wall.
ex DC.) Seem.
Bignoniaceae T Stem bark Fever, fish poison
73 Dudipala Dregea volubilis (L.f.) Benth.
ex Hook.f.
Apocynaceae C Leaf Rheumatism, snake bite
74 Adavi ulli Drimia indica (Roxb.) Jessop. Asparagaceae H Bulb Cough, bronchitis
75 Mulla banthi *Echinops echinatus Roxb. Asteraceae H Root Sexual debility
76 Katuka aku *Eclipta prostrata (L.) L. Asteraceae H Leaf Hair tonic
77 Tella juvvi Ehretia laevis Roxb. Boraginaceae T Fruit Eczema, aphrodisiac
78 Nelagolimidi Enicostema axillare (Poir. ex
Lam.) A.Raynal
Gentianaceae H Whole plant Diabetes
79 Gilla teega Entada rheedii Spreng. Fabaceae C Seed Rheumatism, emetic,
80 Baditha Erythrina variegata L. Fabaceae T Stem bark Menstrual disorders,
asthma, diarrhoea
81 Vishnu krantamu Evolvulus alsinoides (L.) L. Convolvulaceae H Whole plant Tonic, febrifuge
82 Kaki medi Ficus hispida L.f. Moraceae T Latex Skin diseases
83 Medi Ficus recemosa L. Moraceae T Latex Antiseptic, leucoderma
84 Tabsi Firmiana simplex (L.) W.Wight Malvaceae T Gum Cooling agent, thickening
85 Bikki Gardenia gummifera L.f. Rubiaceae T Fruit Anti-spasmodic
86 Karinga Gardenia resinifera Roth Rubiaceae T Bud Skin disease
87 Bonta teega Getonia floribunda Roxb. Combretaceae C Leaf Anthelmintic
88 Nabhi Gloriosa superba L. Colchicaceae C Tuber Abortifacient, neurologic
89 Gummadi teku Gmelina arborea Roxb. Lamiaceae T Stem bark Laxative, stomach-ache
90 Jana Grewia tiliifolia Vahl Malvaceae S Fruit Dysentery, astringent
91 Poda patri Gymnema sylvestre (Retz.)
R.Br. ex Sm.
Apocynaceae C Leaf Diabetes
92 Nulthada Helicteres isora L. Malvaceae S Fruit Expectorant, astringent
93 Sugandhi pala Hemidesmus indicus (L.) R.Br.
ex Schult.
Apocynaceae C Root Antiviral, antibacterial
94 Barrisugandhi
Hemidesmus indicus var.
pubescens Hook.f.
Apocynaceae C Root Diuretic, demulcent
95 Pala kodisa Holarrhena pubescens Wall. ex
Apocynaceae T Fruit Anthelmintic, carminative
96 Nemali nara Holoptelea integrifolia Planch. Ulmaceae T Stem bark Haemorrhoids
97 Ratna purusha Hybanthus enneaspermus (L.)
Violaceae H Whole plant Aphrodisiac
98 Neeru gobbi Hygrophila auriculata (Schum)
Acanthaceae H Leaf Rheumatism
99 Darba gaddi Imperata cylindrica (L.)
Poaceae H Whole plant Dysentery, diarrhoea
100 Golla jiddaku Ipomoea obscura (L.) Ker
Convolvulaceae C Leaf Stomach-ache
101 Kasi ratnam Ipomoea quamoclit L. Convolvulaceae C Whole plant Hemorrhoids
102 Gumpena Lannea coromandelica
(Houtt.) Merr.
Anacardiaceae T Stem bark Astringent, tooth-ache
103 Gaju kampa *Lantana × aculeata L. Verbenaceae S Leaf Anti-malarial
104 Ankadosa Leea indica (Burm.f.) Merr. Vitaceae S Root Bone fracture
105 Mukkuthummudu
Leptadenia reticulata (Retz.)
Wight & Arn.
Apocynaceae C Whole plant Aphrodisiac
106 Thummi Leucas aspera (Willd.) Link. Lamiaceae H Leaf Head-ache
107 Velaga Limonia acidissima Groff Rutaceae T Fruit Dysentery, jaundice,
108 Dayyapu jeda Lygodium flexuosum (L.) Sw. Lygodiaceae C Rhizome Rheumatism, scabies
109 Ippa Madhuca longifolia var.
latifolia (Roxb.) A.Chev.
Sapotaceae T Flower Distillation spirit (ippa
110 Pala Manilkara hexandra (Roxb.)
Sapotaceae T Fruit Fever, dyspepsia
111 Batta ganapu Mitragyna parvifolia (Roxb.)
Rubiaceae T Stem bark Skin disease, wounds
112 Togari Morinda pubescens Sm. Rubiaceae T Root Gout, dysentery
113 Dula gondi Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC. Fabaceae C Seed Vermifuse to cattle
114 Turka toppe Olax scandens Roxb. Olacaceae S Leaf Diarrhoea
115 Naga dundilum Oroxylum indicum (L.) Kurz Bignoniaceae T Root Diarrhoea, dysentery
116 Papidi Pavetta indica L. Rubiaceae S Root Jaundice
117 Juttupaaku Pergularia daemia (Forssk.)
Apocynaceae C Leaf Menstrual disorders,
snake bite
118 Nela usiri *Phyllanthus amarus
Schumach. & Thonn.
Phyllanthaceae H Leaf Jaundice
119 Usiri Phyllanthus emblica L. Phyllanthaceae T Fruit Pickled
120 Nalla usirika Phyllanthus maderaspatensis
Phyllanthaceae H Seed Laxative, diuretic
121 Teega velaga Phyllodium pulchellum (L.)
Fabaceae S Whole plant Diarrhoea, haemorrhage
122 Budama *Physalis angulata L. Solanaceae H Fruit Purgative
123 Tella chitramulam Plumbago zeylanica L. Plumbaginaceae H Root Piles, nervous system
124 Kanuga Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre Fabaceae T Seed Antibacterial, insecticidal
125 Balusu Psydrax dicoccos Gaertn. Rubiaceae S Stem Combs
126 Yegisa Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb. Fabaceae T Gum Diabetes, diarrhoea
127 Nela gummadi Pueraria tuberosa DC. Fabaceae C Tuber Cold, rheumatism
128 Boddi Rivea hypocrateriformis
Convolvulaceae C Root Snake bite
129 Kusuma Schleichera oleosa (Lour.)
Sapindaceae T Fruit Astringent
130 Nalla jeedi Semecarpus anacardium L. Anacardiaceae T Seed Magico-religious beliefs
131 Tangedu *Senna auriculata (L.) Roxb. Fabaceae S Leaf Scorpion bite
132 Bala *Sida acuta Burm.f Malvaceae H Leaf Skin disease
133 Gayapaku Sida cordata (Burm.f.)
Malvaceae H Seed Urinary disorders
134 Somi Soymida febrifuga (Roxb.)
Meliaceae T Stem bark Fibre
135 Mushti Strychnos nux-vomica L. Loganiaceae T Seed Paralysis
136 Chilla Strychnos potatorum L.f. Loganiaceae T Seed Water purification
137 Neredu Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels Myrtaceae T Fruit Diabetes
138 Tella maddi Terminalia arjuna (Roxb. ex
DC.) Wight & Arn.
Combretaceae T Stem bark Diabetes, cardiac tonic
139 Thani Terminalia bellirica (Geartn.)
Combretaceae T Fruit Purgative, stomach-ache
140 Karaka Terminalia chebula Retz. Combretaceae T Fruit Laxative
141 Tippa teega Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.)
Menispermaceae C Leaf Diabetes
142 Galijeru *Trianthema portulacastrum
Aizoaceae H Whole plant Stomach-ache
143 Mekameyani aku Tylophora indica (Burm.f.)
Apocynaceae C Leaf Asthma, whooping cough
144 Badanika Vanda spathulata (L.) Spreng. Orchidaceae H Whole plant Asthma
145 Badanika Vanda tesellata (Roxb.) Hooks. Orchidaceae H Whole plant Evil spirit, rheumatism
146 Nalla benda *Waltheria indica L. Malvaceae H Root Wound healing
147 Jaji Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz Lythraceae S Flower Diarrhoea
148 Ankudu Wrightia arborea (Dennst.)
Apocynaceae T Wood Toy making
149 Bojja Xylia xylocarpa (Roxb.) Taub. Fabaceae T Stem bark Skin disease
150 Galijeru *Zaleya decandra (L.) Burm.f. Aizoaceae H Leaf Jaundice
151 Adavi allam Zingiber roseum (Roxb.)
Zingiberaceae H Rhizome Condiment, tumours
152 Pariki Ziziphus oenopolia (L.) Mill. Rhamnaceae C Fruit Dyspepsia
153 Gotti Ziziphus xylopyrus (Retz.)
Rhamnaceae T Leaf Skin disease


The ethnomedicinal knowledge of the tribal communities is presented alphabetically by scientific name, family and local names, habit, plant part-use and ethnic potential applications. A total of 153 vascular plant taxa were documented pertaining to 135 genera of 62 families (Table 1). Of the species enlisted, the Fabaceae tops the list with 22 plant taxa, followed by Apocynaceae (13), Malvaceae (10), Combretaceae and Rubiaceae (6 each), Convolvulaceae (05) and Acanthaceae, Amaranthaceae and Phyllanthaceae (4 each). One species is used in case of 32 angiospermous families (Table 3).

Table 3. Family-wise contribution of ethnomedicinal plant species

Rank No. of
No. of
1 22 1 Fabaceae
2 13 1 Apocynaceae
3 10 1 Malvaceae
4 12 2 Combretaceae and Rubiaceae
5 5 1 Convolvulaceae
6 12 3 Acanthaceae, Amaranthaceae and Phyllanthaceae
7 18 6 Anacardiaceae, Asparagaceae, Poaceae, Rutaceae, Sapindaceae
and Vitaceae
8 30 15 Aizoaceae, Asteraceae, Bignoniaceae, Boraginaceae, Dioscoreaceae, Ebenaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Lamiaceae, Loganiaceae, Menispermaceae, Moraceae, Orchidaceae,
Rhamnaceae, Sapotaceae and Zingiberaceae
9 32 32 Amaryllidaceae, Annonaceae, Apiaceae, Arecaceae, Aristolochiaceae, Bixaceae, Burseraceae, Capparaceae, Celastraceae, Colchicaceae, Commelinaceae, Cornaceae, Costaceae, Cyperaceae, Gentianaceae, Hypoxidaceae, Lecythidaceae, Loranthaceae, Lygodiaceae, Lythraceae, Meliaceae, Myrtaceae, Nyctaginaceae, Olacaceae, Oxalidaceae,
Plantaginaceae, Plumbaginaceae, Solanaceae, Ulmaceae, Verbenaceae, Violaceae and Zygophyllaceae

Plant Growth-forms

The ethnomedicinal plants (Table 1) are analyzed for growth-form, i.e. as trees, shrubs, climbers and herbs. Of these, trees played a key role to heal common ailments and constituted a greater majority (53; 34.64%), followed by herbs (48; 31.37%), climbers (33; 21.57%) and shrubs (19; 12.42%) (Figure 1). The floristic composition reveals a Phanero-therophytic climate [44].


Figure 1: Proportions of growth-forms of ethnomedicinal plants of GW

Part-wise utility

The plant crude drugs are obtained from the leaf and whole plant (26; 16.99% of each), followed by fruit (22; 14.38%), root and stem bark (18; 11.76% of each), seed (14; 9.15%), stem and tuber (6; 3.92% of each), rhizome (4; 2.61%), bulb and latex (3; 1.96% of each), bud, flower and gum (2; 1.31% of each) and wood (1; 0.65%) (Figure 2).


Figure 2: Plant part-wise ethnic utility of species

There are 12 species (Table 4) used to treat rheumatism, followed by dysentery (11), diarrhoea (10), skin disease (09) and diuretic (08) problems. As many as 67 potential uses are recorded with a species.

Table 4. Top five diseases/disorders and the number of species used to treat the inhabitants of GWS

S. No. Disease/disorder No. of plant
1 Rheumatism 12
2 Dysentery 11
3 Diarrhoea 10
4 Skin disease 09
5 Diuretic 08


On the basis of availability of plants and use, the tribal communities collect the raw material of plants from the sanctuary. The collected medicinal plant parts were sold during festivals and conglomerations. Out of these, the most commonly and abundantly used medicinal plants are Decalepis hamiltonii, Hemidesmus indicus, Asparagus racemosus and Andrographis paniculata. The consumption of Decalepis hamiltonii and Hemidesmus indicus is very high during summer to prepare the drink from roots called nannari or herbal cola. Andrographis paniculata is extensively collected by the local traders and exported to pharmaceutical industries. The present study may provides a base for the pharmaceutical industries to discover new drugs to cure various diseases. There is a need to further document the traditional botanical knowledge (TBK) of the local inhabitants on one hand and attempt to conserve the native phytodiversity and take necessary action to control the intrusion of invasive alien species like Hyptis suaveolens, Parthenium hysterophorus, Cyanthillium cinereum, Chromolaena odorata, Lantana × aculeata, etc.


The authors are obliged to the tribal communities and local traditional practitioners for sharing their valuable traditional botanical knowledge. Dr OK extends his special thanks to University Grants Commission (SERO, Hyderabad), for financial assistance through Minor Research Project (F.No. 4830/2014 [SERO/UGC] dated March, 2014) and Dr SS is obliged to Science and Engineering Research Board (a statutory body under DST, GoI), New Delhi, for financial support through Start-Up Research Grant (Young Scientists).

Conflict of Interest

There is no conflict of interest for the publication.


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