History of Medicinal Plants

Background

The term ethno-botany is a compound word of ethnology and botany. While the ethnology is the scientific study and comparison of human races and culture, the latter deals in the scientific study of plants and their structure; therefore one can put Ethno-botany as the scientific study of the interrelation between the human and plants. The term ethno-botany was coined by John W. Harsberger in 1896 (Davis EW, 1995) and was considered as the art of collection of useful plants by a group of people and the description of the uses of plants. Ford developed the science of ethno-botanical study (Ford RL, 1978) and included the understanding of knowledge systems through the use of anthropological methods (Shengji P, 2002) Over the last century, ethno-botany has evolved into a scientific discipline that focuses on the people- plant relationship in a multidisciplinary manner, incorporating not only collection and documentation of indigenous uses but also ecology, economy, pharmacology, public health, and other disciplines (Gomez-Beloz A,2002). Presently, ethno-botany has become increasingly valuable in the development of health care and conservation programs in different parts of the world (Balick MJ, 1996). Ethno-botanical studies that explore and help to preserve knowledge are therefore urgently needed before traditional folklores are lost ever (Chaudhary RP, 1998).

Ethno-medicine, a branch of ethno-botany, is a set of empirical local practices embedded in the indigenous knowledge of a social group often transmitted orally from generation to generation (Bussmann RW, Sharon D ,2006) with intent to understand social, cultural, and economic factors (Bhattarai NK, 1992) influencing health problems and to overcome such problems. It is a suitable source of information regarding useful medicinal plants that can be targeted for sustainable domestication and management (Njoroge GN et al, 2004). Ethno-botany and ethno-medicine as sciences addressing indigenous knowledge and practices therefore are now very important for establishing management programs (Cohen JI et al, 1991).

History of Medicinal Plants and Their Use in Traditional Medicine

The human race has been struggling along for making his existence safer and sounder as much as possible, trying to avoid and remove any risks which can threaten our health ever since the dawn of our history. An intense desire to lead a safe and sound life is the source of all kinds of civilizations, studies, and cultural activities of men.

How to keep oneself healthy free from disease has been the prime concern to the human race from the very beginning of his existence on the earth. Plants having medicinal virtues are one of the most typical examples which have been utilized by us from the very beginning of our existence. The history of the application of medicinal plants for alleviating disease has its origin in the ceaseless efforts of the most primitive man of the remote past.

Plants that possess therapeutic properties or beneficial pharmacological effects on animal body are generally classified as Medicinal plants. These medicinal plants have been used in traditional folk medication as efficacious remedies for hundreds of years. In Bangladesh, more than 1000 floral species out of 5000 are possibly used in the various practices of   traditional medication. The indigenous medicinal plants utilized have been increasing in number, still today, with the discovery and introduction of newer plants. Today, in the traditional medication system, nearly every plants and herbs growing in the country have been assumed that they carry some medicinal virtues, and that are used in the preparation of medicine either as principle therapeutic agent or necessary associate (recipient) to increase the potency of the main agent as well as to make it more stable. The estimate says that more than 1000 metric tons of medicinal plants are required by the industries involved in the manufacture of traditional medication in Bangladesh (Mia & Ghani, 1990).

However, the medicinal efficacies of plants’ properties used for the traditional medication have not been always substantiated scientifically, providing proper chemical data and botanical facts of the constituents of each plant. To prove scientifically and academically that the plants used for the traditional medication to have the proper properties as medicinal plants, it is indispensable to carry on academic and experimental researches correctly and attentively, presenting all the scientific date and details of each plant with unerring precision.

Introduction

The gathering of ethno-medicinal data is important work accomplish to whomever researches in this field; particularly to countries like Bangladesh, where such data is scarce and not documented properly, it becomes even vitally important. It has been estimated that in Bangladesh contains about 5,000 floral species, out of them more than 1000 are possibly used in the various traditional medicinal systems of the country (Mia, 1990). Collecting reliable ethno-botanical data helps to specify medicinal plant species in details. Through these researches, it can possibly promote the preservation of endangered medicinal plants and might lead to more sustainable cultivation on the land. Bangladesh has a rich history of utilizing medicinal plants in the Ayurvedic, Unani, and the folk medicinal systems, which have been widely practiced all over the country. The folk medicinal practitioners (known as Kavirajes) rely exclusively or almost exclusively on medicinal plants or plant parts as their medicament when treating patients for various ailments. Usually they do not use complicated formulas; their norms are to use decoctions or paste of a single plant or a part of it. The expertise gained by any particular Kaviraj is to be kept most securely as close secrets and only opened to an immediate member of the family in the successive generation or to a trusted disciple. This aspect has led to variations of use in the medicinal plants among the Kavirajes of different regions and even among Kavirajes of adjoining areas within the country (Mohammed Rahmatullah, 2010; 2009). Therefore to obtain a comprehensive picture of medicinal plants used in the country, one must attach primary importance to collecting ethno-medicinal data from as many areas as possible in the country, extending the researches to the particular villages where these traditional medication methods are widely conducted among villagers.

In many cases, the sources of modern drugs have been plants used by indigenous people (Cotton, C.M., 1996). The medicinal plants used by traditional healers have a long history of usage which dates back even centuries ago. It has been shown that the average success rate of obtaining new medicines from plant sources is 1 in 125 (McCaleb, R.S., 1997), while the success rate of obtaining efficacious medicines from synthetic chemicals is about 1 in 10,000 (Chadwick, D.J. and J. Marsh et al, 1994). Since the advent of modern allopathic medicine, the tendency toward overlooking medicinal plants had been generally increased by the researchers. However, in recent years, the emphasis is shifting back to medicines which prepared by plants origin ingredients. The reasons behind this trend lie in emergence of complex problems caused by excess dependence to the modern western medicine which takes it as an absolute and ultimate solution to all the diseases. Problems like drug-resistant microorganisms and serious side-effects caused by numbers of modern drugs are typical examples of these. As the modern western Medicine do not always offer sufficiently effective cures to diseases like diabetes and arthritis, which are affecting millions of people throughout the world today, to research even deeper and thoroughly in medicinal plants stands as a dire essential task.

Indigenous knowledge associated with herbal medicine

In traditional treatment systems, indigenous knowledge (IK) on medicinal plants plays a central role in the disease diagnosis as well as health care practices. Modern westernization can possibly make no exception in any study areas; as westernization has been rapidly spread in the country, it has affected not only the traditional systems but also the IK associated with it. Especially in areas where rapid urbanization have been widely carried out, IK based traditional medical systems have become seriously vulnerable. While the risk of being lost is not serious for well-documented codified systems like Ayurvedic, Hekimi and Unani, many undocumented systems or folk medicine which have been handed down from one generation to the next by word of mouth are in grave danger. The Kaviraji system in rural villages is a typical example of IK based folk medicine. Their practitioners have been applying IK in practice for centuries, and thus rural communities have been benefiting from it ever since.

Data reports from 10 particular villages in northern Bangladesh indicate that of 30 percent ailing persons adopted the traditional system when surveyed; and of the 150 medical practitioners surveyed, 38 percent out of them were herbalists using IK on plants. In Bangladesh, there are over 5000 registered practitioners, and in addition to it, near about 3000 unregistered herbalists are thought to exist.

IK based folk medicine is itself a very wide stream in Bangladesh both economically and socially from where diversified socio-economic activities are taken place. People having different social positions have each different way of application of IK. For example, elderly housewives or eldest women in the houses apply home remedies made of plants using their IK on illness, malnutrition, or other urgent conditions such like pregnancy related illness. The herbal healers, Kaviraj or Boydya, offer IK based remedies for improving symptoms of ailments. There are thousands of them in Bangladesh practicing medical treatment, averaging 4 to 5 in number in large villages. Ethno-veterinary practitioners treat domestic animals based on their IK using local plants; bone setters are traditional orthopedics specializing in treating broken bones; poison specialists are experts in treating snakebite, scorpion-bite, dog bite and else. Traditional birth attendants who are called Dais have sufficient IK on normal deliveries.

The rich heritage of IK associated with herbal medicine is considered as the source of all methods of traditional remedies in Bangladesh. During the time course of development in the field of medicinal plants, when any particular remedy had been discovered, it became spread, subsequently tested for its decisive effect, revised, improved upon, and gradually incorporated in the traditional codified system among the practitioners. A vast number of folk remedies, however, remained endemic to different regional societies even though their IK have often survived the ravages of time, and transmitted to the later generations only through words of mouth. But at the onset of modern medicine with people turning away from indigenous plants medication, many of such IK based remedies have been rapidly ceasing to exist from our surroundings. (©Copyright Banglapedia 2006).

 Modern aspect of ethno-botanical research

Basic ethno-botanical survey must include presenting accurate data and related documentations, quantitative as well as qualitative evaluation of usage, management and experimental assessment on the survey. Today, in addition to the basic survey method, it should include applied projects that have the potential to improve severe conditions of people in poverty, giving them correct knowledge so that they can make better decisions for themselves. These new approaches academically enhance quality of researches when properly accomplished. While carrying out the primary scientific purpose, it also gives contribution to the society, arousing keen concerns for environmental issues in the society, paying tribute to the traditional medication systems which have been now taken less notice than before. This modern approach must be performed by at least an interdisciplinary team consisted of an anthropologist, an ecologist and a physician. The researching team includes area coordinators who arrange the general details of the researching works on particular spots including contractual consent and agreements reciprocally between the village or community and the researching team.

CHAPTER 02

Rationale of the Study

Bangladesh has one of the richest history of traditional medicinal systems, and among them, the most notable ones are the Ayurvedic, Unani, and the folk medicinal systems. Although allopathic medicine is currently prescribed by modern medical practitioners, about 64% of the total global population reportedly remains dependent on traditional medicine and medicinal plants for provision of their health-care needs (Cotton, 1996). This is also applied to the case of Bangladesh, where a number of traditional medicinal systems co-exist with allopathic medicine. The folk medicine mainly plays an important role when an ailing person of the major part of the rural population or the urban poor faced to choose which medical treatment they should take. Their practitioners, who are locally known as Kavirajes or Vaidyas, provide the primary line of health care to most of the rural people of Bangladesh.

When making preparation of medicine, the traditional healers (Kavirajes) mostly use simple formulas of medicinal plants. In our ongoing ethno-medicinal surveys throughout Bangladesh, we have observed that Kavirajes are visited by a substantial segment of both rural and urban population. It has also been observed that the Kavirajes of various regions use diverse varieties of plants for treatment of different ailments (Hossan, M.S., 2010; Rahmatullah, M., 2010) and possess considerable expertise on use of medicinal plants.

The medicinal plants used by the Kavirajes in any particular case can differ even between the adjoining areas. The objective of the present study is to conduct a thorough ethno-medicinal survey among the Kavirajes of several villages selected randomly from Ishwardi of Pabna district (under Rajshahi Division) in the northern part of Bangladesh.

The expectation is that the medicinal plants used by the Kavirajes to be proved a useful source for further scientific studies leading to discover even more efficacious drugs.

CHAPTER 03

Materials and Methodology

 Study Area

An ethno-botanical survey was carried out in randomly selected seven (Muladuli, Dasuria, Silimpur, Pakshi, boroichora, Char-Mirkamari and Ramchandrapur) villages of Ishwardi upazila (Pabna district), Bangladesh from June to September, 2010. Ishwardi Upazila (Pabna district) is bounded by Lalpur and Baraigram upazilas on the north, Kushtia Sadar and Mirpur (Kushtia) upazilas and the Ganges on the south, Pabna Sadar and Atgharia upazilas on the east, Bheramara and Lalpur upazilas and GangesRiver on the west. It is located at 24°09′00″N 89°04′00″E / 24.1500°N 89.0667°E / 24.1500; 89.0667  (figure 2.1).

Area and Population

Ishwardi upazila has an area of 246.9 km² with a population of 236,825. Males constitute are 51.88% of the population, and females 48.12%. This Upazila’s eighteen up population is 111,338. Ishwardi has an average literacy rate of 35.5% (7+ years), and the national average of 32.4% literate (Population Census Wing, BBS; 2006).

Main Occupations of Local People and Land Distribution

Agriculture 34%, agricultural laborer 22.77%, wage laborer 4.46%, transport 2.18%, weaving 2.85%, commerce 13.27%, service 7.26% and others 13.21%. (Graphical Representation – 3.1)

Among the peasantry 29% are landless, 49% small, 18% intermediate and 4% rich. (Graphical Representation – 3.2)

Climate and Rainfall

Average maximum temperature 33.9°C, minimum 9.6°C; annual rainfall 1872 mm. Characteristically the soil of the district is divided into four, viz flood plains of the Ganges, Karatoya, Jamuna and Barind Tract. Main rivers are Ganges, Ichamati, Gumani and Hurasagar (©Copyright Banglapedia 2006)

Country

 Bangladesh

Division

Rajshahi Division

District

Pabna District
Area
   Total246.9 km2 (95.3 sq mi)
Population (1991)

 Total

236,825
 Density959/km2 (2,483.8/sq mi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Study Population

Seven villages namely Dasuria, Silimpur, Muladuli, Ram Chandrapur, Char-Mirkamari, Pakshi, and Boroichora were randomly selected in Ishwardi upazila of Pabna district. The considered localities were expected to include a broad variety of ecological and socio-economic environments. Ethno-medicinal information was collected from the mentioned areas. The local practitioners or traditional healers (Kaviraj) were identified after a brief conversation with the local people who use medicinal plants for the treatment of different ailments.

The age range of the informants varied between 50 and 80. Among the eight informants five were male and three were females and all of them were religiously Muslim. A total of eight Kavirajes, who practiced in those villages were interviewed during the present survey. Kaviraj Hamid mondol was from Muladuli, Kaviraj Md. Kolom Molla was from Ramchandrapur, Kaviraj Moyez mondol was from Dasuria, Rahela Khatun and Monowara Khatun were from Char Mirkamari, Rawshan ara khatun was from Silimpur, Md. Aftabul islam was from Pakshi and Md. Aminul Islam was from Boroichora village (table-3.1). The approximate population of the village communities was obtained from the elder fellows and local jurnalists.

Table – 3.1: Study population and information on local practitioner.

Locality/community Name of KavirajesApproximate population*Age of Kavirajes

 

DasuriaMoyez Mondol3120065
SilimpurRawshon ara Khatun5820060
MuladuliHamid Mondol4500078
Ram ChandrapurMd. Kolom Molla3000070
Char Mirka MariMonowara Khatun1550055
Char Mirka MariRahela Khatun1550080
PakshiMd. Aftabul Islam4400053
BoroichoraMd. Aminul Islam2100050

Ethno-botanical Methods

Interviews were conducted with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method as described by Martin (Martin, 1995) and Maundu (1995). In this method, the Kavirajes took the interviewers on guided field-walks through areas from where they collected their plants, pointed out and gave the local names of the plants along with a description of uses and formulations. Interviews were conducted in Bangla language, which was spoken by both interviewers and Kavirajes.

Informed consent was obtained from all Kavirajes prior to interviews (Image- 3.2 and 3.3). The Kavirajes were explained as to the purpose of our visit and were told that the information obtained from them may be disseminated in national and international publications. They had no objections to that. The members of the team interviewed an individual Kaviraj. The female Kavirajes were mostly interviewed by the female member of the team, while the male members of the team interviewed the male Kavirajes.

Informant or Kavirajes were asked to name medicinal plants which they know and utilize, and describe precisely their methods of preparation and usage. Questions addressed to the healers were mainly focused on the followings; purpose of plant application, parts used, the manner of their preparation and administration, forms of use, procurement method, place of collection, method of storage, and period of storage confirmation.

 Identification and classification

The details of medicinal uses of the indigenous plants have been described after gathering full information from experienced rural folks and traditional herbal medicine practitioners (Kavirajes) who have wide knowledge of traditional healing. Voucher specimens of species mentioned by Kavirajes were collected and dried in the field. Whenever necessary, the informants were invited to accompany the researchers to the field for collecting the plants or were shown the picked plants later to confirm if the species were actually the right plants. Identification of plant species was carried out with the aid of available floras and field guides. Further, final identification of species was conducted by comparing voucher specimens with herbarium specimens preserved at the Bangladesh National Herbarium

CHAPTER 04

Result

Taxonomic diversity of plants under investigation

The current study reported a total of 80 medicinal plants were observed to be used by the eight Kavirajes (Graphical Representation-4.1) of Ishwardi Upazila in traditional Herbal Medicine (Table-4.1).

Graphical Representation no. – 4.1 Number of medicinal plants collected from each traditional practitioner.

Table- 4.1: Name and use of 80 medicinal plants used by the eight Kavirajes of Ishwardi Upazila in traditional Herbal Medicine.

Sl. No.Local NameScientific NameFamilyPart usedAilment/Symptoms treated
01.AapangAchyranthus asperaAmaranthaceaeWhole plantEczema
02.AkondoCalotropis giganteaApocynaceaeLeaf and Glue of the plantAsthma; Cough in chest; Eczema.
03.ArshaliSolanum erianthumSolanaceaeBarkCold, Asthma
04.Babui TulshiOcimum basilicumLamiaceaeLeaf and SeedsJaundice, Skin Disease, Hearing problem, Stimulant
05.BashokAdhatoda vasicaAcanthaceaeLeaf and BarkOld asthma, Leprosy
06.BisutiTragia involucrateEuphorbiaceaeRootCold
07.Bon KathalArtocarpus lakoochaMoraceaeFruitConstipation, Loss of appetite
08.ChapaMichelia champacaMagnoliaceaeFruit and BarkOld Headache; Less menstruation.
09.ChiniguraScoparia dulcisScrophulariaceaeLeafGastric ulcer; Anemia; Diabetics
10.Door koloshLeucas lavandulafoliaLamiaceaeLeafJaundice
11.DumurFicus racemosaMoraceaeFruit, Root, Leaf and BarkPimple, Eczema, in blood clotting, burning during urination etc.
12.Ghee KanchonAloe veraAsphodelaceaeLeafStrong Headache, Constipation, Diabetics, Burnings, Loss of appetite, Menstruation problem
13.Gondho VaduliPaederia foetidaRubiaceaeLeafInternal Lesion, Stomach problem, Rehabilitation.
14.Gunirer GasPremna corymbosaVerbenaceaeRootExcess menstruations
15.HelenchaEnhydra fluctuansMustelidaeLeafPhysical weakness, Vision Problem
16.HoritokiTerminalia chebulaCombretaceaeFruitConstipation, Vomiting
17.Ishir MulAristolochia indicaAristolochiaceaeRootItching
18.JamSyzygium cuminiMyrtaceaeFruit and seedDiabetics
19.Kalo DhuturaDatura metalSolanaceaeLeafJoint Pain
20.Kalo MeghJusticia PaniculataAcanthaceaeLeafJaundice, Malaria, Worm etc
21.KaramchaCarissa spinarumApocynaceaeFruitDiabetics
22.KhanmanTyphonium trilobatumAraceaeLeaf with stemDysentery, Blood purifier.
23.MadarErythrina variegataFabaceaeLeafFever, cold, asthma etc.
24.Man CochuAlocasia macrorrhizosAraceaeWhole plantJoint pain, Swelling leg and hand
25.MendiLawsonia inermisLythraceaeLeaf and BarkAnti dandruff; Anti septic; Burning
26.Motmotir GasChromolaena odorataAsteraceaeLeafBlood Clotting
27.Mutha / BadaCyperus rotundusCyperaceaeWhole grass mainly Root.Lesion, Sexual weakness, Diarrhea and Vomiting
28.Noyun TaraCataranthus roseusApocynaceaeLeafDiabetes, Leukemia, Worm
29.PanishitkiPhyllanthus reticulatusEuphorbiaceaeLeafChicken pox, Swelling hand and leg
30.Pathor KuchiKalanchoe pinnataCrassulaceaeLeafDiarrhea, Bleeding, Gall Stone and pain relief etc
31.PipulPiper cubebaPiperaceaeWhole plantCold
32.PunarnavaBoerhavia diffusaNyctaginaceaeLeaf and RootJaundice, Dysentery, Anemia, Blood purifier, Stomach pain.
33.SatimAlstonia scholarisApocynaceaeBark and rootFever, Pimple, Cough and Anti bilious
34.ShatamulAsperagus racemosusAsparagaceaeRootHigh Blood Pressure, Promotes lactation in mother milk, to keep body healthy
35.ShemulBombex ceibaMalvaceaeBark, Root, FlowerPimple, Spermahorrea
36.Shona SalOroxylum indicumBignoniaceaeBarkHeart disease, Loss of Appetite
37.Soto ChadaRauvolfia serpentinaApocvnaceaeRootPimple, Blood Pressure, Snake bite, Diarrhea etc.
38.TelakuchCoccinea grandisCucurbitaceaeLeafDysentery, Burning
39.Ulot CombolAmbroma augustaSterculiaceaeLeaf, young stem and rootGonorrhea and sex weakness.
40.VennaRicinus communisEuphorbiaceaeLeaf and SeedHeadache, Joint pain, Rheumatic fever, Constipation.
41.Acholer GassEuphorbia hirtaEuphorbiaceaeRootBlotch
42.AmlokiPhyllanthus emblicaPhyllanthaceaeFruitHair fall, Irritation during urination.
43.ArjunTerminalia arjunaCombretaceaeBarkHeart disease, Broken bone
44.AzoshringiPergularia extensaApocynaceaeLeafRheumatism, Infantile diarrhea, Menstruation problem and Parturition problem.
45.Bamon HatiClerodendrum indicumVerbenaceaeLeafJaundice
46.BerelaSida cordifoliaMalvaceaeRootRheumatic fever
47.BoheraTerminalia belliricaCombretaceaeFruitWorm, Hair fall
48.Cham GhasEleusine indicaPoaceaeWhole plantDysentery
49.ChaclaCommelina benghalensisCommelinaceaeWhole grassHeadache
50.DebdaruPolyalthia longifoliaAnnonaceaeBarkFever, Used as Antiseptic.
51.DoirajCocculus hirsutusMenispermaceaeLeaf and stemStrong headache
52.GamariGmelina

arborea

LamiaceaeFruitMalnutrition of fetus, Dysentery with blood.
53.GoolonchoTinospora cordifoliaMenispermaceaeLeaf and stemOld fever
54.Go RoshunCrinum asiaticamLiliaceaeRoot also called fruit.Rheumatic Fever
55.HamjhumGlycosmis pentaphyllaRutaceaeLeaf and stemToothache, Bleeding
56.Holud KorobiThevetia peruvianaApocynaceaeBark and SeedContinuous Vomiting
57.Hosti Korno PolashLeea macrophyllaVitaceaeRoot and LeafSex weakness, Tumor
58.Jamal GutaJatropha curcasEuphorbiaceaeGlue of the plantBlood clotting, in lesion
59.Kalu KataCapparis spinosaCapparaceaeLeafLesion
60.Kalo TulshiOcimum sanctumLamiaceae Cold, Skin Disease, Toothache etc.
61.KamrangaAverrhoa carambolaOxalidaceaeFruit and leafFractured bone, Jaundice and Bleeding piles.
62.KeoCostus speciosusCostaceaeRootFever, Worm, Asthma
63.Kopal FutiPhysalis micranthaSolanaceaeLeafConstipation and other stomach problem
64.Madhobi LotaHiptage benhalensisMalpighiaceaeFlower and rootDiabetes and Cold
65.MakalCitrullus colocynthisCucurbitaceaeFruit and rootIrritation in foot and plum
66.MohuaMadhuca longifoliaSapotaceaeFlower, fruit and seedJoint pain, Headache
67.Mukta JhuriAcalyplia indicaEuphorbiaceaeLeafEarache, Constipation of Childs.
68.NeemAzadirachta

 indica

MaliaceaeMainly leafDiabetes, antiseptic, Skin Disease, Worm, Pimple, Acidity, Blood Purifier
69.OolAmorphophallus campanulatusAraceaeRhizomatous BaseConstipation
70.PathaStephania japonicaMenispermaceaeRoot and leafDysentery
71.PipultiPiper longumPiperaceaeBark, fruitUncontrolled bleeding during menstruation, Cold, cough, Piles, fever etc.
72.PittorajAphanamixis polystachyaMeliaceaeBarkSpleen and lever Disease, rheumatism.
73.Rashik MalMurraya koenigiiRutaceaeBranch, Leaf and rootDysentery, Swelling leg
74.ShalpaniDesmodeum gangeticumFabiaceaeWhole plantWeakness, Lesion, Diphtheria, Diarrhea etc.
75.ShefaliNyctanthes arbor-tristisOleaceaeLeafAllergy, Joint Pain
76.ShohodebiVernonia cineriaAsteraceaeWhole plantPain, Increase eye vision and stop bleeding, eczema, piles etc.
77.Shultir GasCleome sp.CleomaceaeLeafHeadache
78.TalmuliCurculigo orchioidesHypoxidaceaeRootDiabetics, Gonorrhea, Sex weakness etc.
79.ThankuniCentell asiaticaMackinlayaceaeWhole plantCold, Dysentery, blood purifier
80.VaitClerodendram VerbanaceaeLeafSkin disease, sex weakness.

Among the 80 collected medicinal plants, in my project report I shall emphasize on 40 plant species along with their picture, scientific classification, characterization and habitat and other relevant information’s in the following chapter.

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Weed; Opposite ovate lanceolate green leave, Flowers are present as cluster, Grows wild everywhere.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Root

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Blotch

Symptom                                                         :           Small spots (blotch) in many place of the body

Mode of Preparation: Whole root of a plant is crashed with 1.25 long pipers and the pest is eaten daily morning in fasting condition 3 days in equal quantity.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Monowara Khatun, Char mirka mari, Jaynagar, Ishwardi.

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Medium sized tree, Leaf is green, Small star shaped red flower, Young fruits are light green, Planted in garden for its fruit

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Fruit

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Hair fall, Irritation during urination.

Symptom                                                          :           Hair fall: Excess hair fall during bath and loose hair base and dry scalp due to dandruff

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Hair fall: Young Fruits are cut into piece and mixed with 2 times Coconut oil. Now it is boiled and when it becomes cold it is kept in bottle. This oil is applied in head 30 minutes before bath and wash properly during bath.
  2. Urine Irritation: 2 spoon juices of young Fruit are eaten mixed with 1 glass Sugar candy water 3-4 days.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Large tree, Green elliptic oblong leaf, White flower present in cluster, Green Fruit, Planted all over the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Bark of the plant is used as medicine.

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Heart disease, broken bone

Symptom                                                         :          Heart disease: Tiredness, Tension, Loss of    appetite, Chest pain.

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Heart disease: 1 spoon powder of the bark and 1 spoon sugar is mixed with 1 cup of milk and should be drink everyday after breakfast for 1 month.
  2. Broken Bone: First the bone is placed properly. Now 10 gm bark powder of the plant and 4-5 piece garlic is grinded together. The paste is applied on the broken place and bind with a clean cloth. The mixture is replaced daily.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi

Serial No. 04 Azo Shringi

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Herb (Creeping weed), Broadly ovate-cordate green leaf, Small greenish white flower, Grows wild in the bush.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Leaf

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Rheumatism, Infantile diarrhea,

Menstruation problem and Parturition problem.

Symptom                                                         :           Parturition problem: Delay in child delivery and extreme pain during delivery.

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Juice of the leaf should be eaten daily 1 spoon in case of infantile diarrhea and to remove Rheumatism.
  2. Extract of the leaf is used to facilitate Parturition and to cure menstruation problem.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Rawshon Ara Khatun, Silimpur, Ishwardi

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           7-10 feet high shrub with straight stem, broadly ovate reddish green leaf, Pinkish White flower, Grows wild through out the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Leaf

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Jaundice

Symptom                                                         :           Jaundice (Loss of appetite, eye and even mouth and body become yellowish, Yellow urination.)

Mode of Preparation:

250 gm leaf juice should be drinking daily morning until removal of jaundice. Furthermore a Necklace made of young stem could be ware in the head.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aminul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi.

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Perennial shrub, Green leaf, Yellow or off white flower, Grows wild all over the country

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Root

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Rheumatic fever

Symptom                                                         :           Joint pain and extreme fever during night. Pain increases during the full moon night and the new moon night.

Mode of Preparation:

  1. 20 gm roots are boiled in 4 cups of water until it becomes 1 cup. This decoction is taken orally everyday morning and night.
  2. Decoction of the root is mixed with oil and applied in whole body.

Name of the informant and area of collectionMoyez Mondol, Dashuria, Ishwardi

Figure: Terminalia bellirica (Bohera) and Scientific Classification

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Large tree, Clusters of oval green leaves, Greenish flower with unpleasant smelling, Hairy brown rounded or ovate fruits, Planted in forest

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Fruit

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Worm, Hair fall

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Worm: 10 gm dry fruit mixed with some juice of LOCAL DALIM is eaten 7 days.
  2. Hair fall: 2-3 piece fruit is boiled in 2 cups of water. In this water some coconut pest and METHI pest is mixed. This mixture is applied in hair daily 1 time 15-20 days.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi.

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Grass, Leaf is green but young leaf is reddish, it grows best in dry place

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Whole plant is used as medicine.

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Dysentery

Mode of Preparation:

Juice of the whole plant is mixed with goat milk and eaten daily in case of Dysentery.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Hamid Mondol, Muladoli, Ishwardi.

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Grass, Deep green, Violet flower; Grows every where.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Whole grass

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Headache

Mode of Preparation:

Juice of the grass is applied to the forehead for pain relief.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Rowshon Ara, Silimpur, Ishwardi

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Large evergreen tree, Green oily narrow lanceolate leaves, Greenish white flower, Black fruit or seed, Planted mainly in road sides.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Bark.

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Fever, antiseptic.

Mode of Preparation:

Bark pest is used as anti septic. In case of fever grinded bark should be eaten in an amount of 1 spoon mixing with 1 glass of eater.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aminul Islam, Boroichora, Ishwardi

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Herb (Climber), Small green leaf, Small panicle flower, Small Blue or purple fruit, Grows in bushes through out the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Leaf and stem

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Strong headache

Mode of Preparation:

Leaf and stem of the plant in equal amount is grinded and applied in the head and forehead in case of strong headache.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Rahela Khatun, Char mirka Mari, Joynagar, Ishwardi 

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Medium sized tree; Broadly ovate light green leaf, Densely hairy brownish yellow flower, Planted all over the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Fruit

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Malnutrition of fetus, Dysentery with blood.

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Malnutrition of fetus: 5-6 fruit is boiled in small amount of water and then it is grinded well and should be eaten daily morning by mixing with some sugar for 15-20 days.
  2. Dysentery with blood: In this case juice of 2-3 young fruit should be eaten with 2 spoon Pomegranate juice for twice in a week. (If young fruit is not available then dry fruit should be boiled).

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Climbing shrub with succulent stem, Cordate membranous, Green leaves, Small white flower,      Grows wild all over the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Leaf and stem

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Old fever

Mode of Preparation:

Leaf or young stem of the plant is cut into small piece

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Very large perennial herb,Long green leaf, Large umbellate white flower, Fruit or root looks like Garlic but large in size, Planted as ornamental plant in many part of the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Root also called fruit.

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Rheumatic Fever, Earache, Tonic

Symptom                                                         :           Rheumatic Fever (Joint pain with fever in night, pain increases in the full moon and in the new moon night.)

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Rheumatic Fever: Half portion of the fruit is grinded and eaten anytime of the day.
  2. Earache: 2 drops leave juice is applied in earache.

 

Name of the informant and area of collection: Moyez Mondol, Dasuria, Ishwardi

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Bushy shrub with woody base, Elliptic leaves, Greenish white flower in cluster, Green small round fruit, Grows in bush and well in dark place

 

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Leaf and stem

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Toothache, Bleeding

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Toothache: in this case tooth should be brushed with the stem of the plant.
  2. In case of bleeding the inner green portion of the branch should be applied in the injured place. Bleeding will immediately stop and the place will repair.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Kolom Molla, Ram Chandra Pur, Ishwardi.

Serial No. 16 Holud Korobi 

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           A large shrub or small tree, Deciduous leaf, Yellow flower, Planted as ornamental plant through out the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Bark and Seed

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Continuous Vomiting

Mode of Preparation:

1 ounce dry bark and 5 ounce rectified spirit is kept in a air tight bottle for 8 days. After 8 days we will get 10-15 drops aorist. In case of adult 3-4 drops should be eaten.

Precaution: Not usable for child and pregnant women.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi

Serial No. 17 Hosti Korno Polash

Figure: Leea macrophylla (Hosti Korno Polash) and Scientific Classification

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Shrub, Large green leaf looks like Elephant ear, White flower, Grows well in Dark place under any large tree

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Rhizomatous root and Leaf

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Sex weakness, Tumor

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Sex weakness: Small amount powder of the dried root should be eaten with some water daily morning.
  2. Tumor: Powder of dried leaf should be eaten daily by mixing with honey.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishward

Serial No. 18 Madar

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           An ever green shrub or small tree, Green leaf, Greenish Flower, Black Fruit, Grows wild in waste place

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Glue of the plant

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Blood clotting, in lesion

Mode of Preparation:

  1. 1.      Blood clotting: Bleeding will stop immediately if the glue / gum of the plant is applied at the injured place.
  2. 2.      Lesion: In the lesion glue / gum of the plant is applied daily once after cleaning the place.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aminul Islam, BoroiChora, Ishwardi

Serial No. 19 Kalu Kata

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           A rigid, much branched shrub with spiny stem, Oval green leaf, Solitary large white or pink flower, Red fruit when ripe, Grows wild

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Leaf

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Lesion

Mode of Preparation:

In case of lesion leaf is grinded with some coconut oil and applied by mixing the pest with some coconut oil.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aminul Islam, Boroichora, Ishwardi

Serial No. 20 Kalo Tulshi

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Shrub, Leaf is blackish, Purple flowers present in cluster, Planted all over the country

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Mainly leaf but seeds are also used.

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Cold, Skin Disease, Toothache etc.

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Cold: Juice of the leaf mixed with 1 spoon honey is eaten 3 times in a day.
  2. Skin Disease: Pest of the leaf is applied to the affected place for removal.
  3. Toothache: Toothache removed if 3-4 piece young leaf is kept in the place of pain.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Monowara Khatun, Charmirka Mari, Joynagar, Ishwardi.

Serial No. 21 Kamranga

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Small to medium sized tree, Deep green, Small pink or red flower, Young fruit is green and ripe fruit is yellow, Planted for its fruits in gardens.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Fruit and leaf.

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Fractured bone, Jaundice and bleeding piles.

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Fractured bone: In this case pest of the young leaf is applied heavily in the fractured place and cover the place with cloth. This should be changed daily.
  2. Jaundice and Bleeding piles: Fruits should be eaten daily in this 2 case.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi

Serial No. 22 Keo

Figure: Costus speciosus (Keo) and Scientific Classification

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           An elegant tall rhizomatous plant; Broadly elliptic greenish black leaves; Curved funnel shaped flower; Grows through the country

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Root

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Fever, Worm, Asthma

Mode of Preparation:

Root pest is eaten 2 days for fever and worm, 1 week for asthma.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi

Serial No. 23 Kopal Futi

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Shrub; Leaves are yellowish green; Small white flower; Grows in bush all over the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Leaf

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Constipation and other stomach problem

Mode of Preparation:

2 tea spoon juice of the plant leaf should be eaten everyday morning and night.

Juice can be eaten with honey.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aminul Islam, Boroichora, Ishwardi

Serial No.  24 Madhobi Lota

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           A thick and woody perennial climber, Leaf green; Pink flower; Planted as a decorative plant

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Flower and root

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Diabetes and Cold

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Diabetes: Flower is boiled in small amount of water and the water is taken orally 2-3 times daily.
  2. Clod: 15-20 gm leaves are boiled in 4 cups of water until it becomes 1 cup. This decoction is taken orally everyday morning in small amount until removal.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Moyez Mondol, Dasuria, Ishwardi

Serial No. 25 Makal

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Climber, Palmate green leaves, White flower, Glossy rounded orange fruit; Grows wild in some parts of the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Fruit and root

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Swelling leg and hand

Mode of Preparation:

500 gm dry root is powdered. This powder should be eaten some consecutive days.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi

Serial No. 26 Mohua

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Large deciduous tree, Coriaceous petioled green leaves, Yellowish white flower, Globosely greenish fruit, Planted in different parts of the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Flower, fruit and seed

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Joint pain, Headache

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Joint pain: Flower of the plant is grinded with some water and the pest is applied at the place of pain.
  2. Headache: Oil of the seed removes headache.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi

Serial No. 27 Mukta Jhuri

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           A small erect herb, Long petioled, rhomboid leaves, Small sessile greenish flower, Grows wild in all district,

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Leaf

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Earache, Constipation of Childs.

Mode of Preparation:

Earache: 2-3 gm dry leaves are mildly boiled in 7-8 spoon water. One drop of this decoction is applied in ear every morning and evening.

Precaution: Cold things should be avoided until removal.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aminul Islam, BoroiChora, Ishwardi

Serial No. 28 Neem

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Medium sized tree, Extremely bitter compound leaves, Pinkish white small flower, 1 seeded drupe types of fruit, Grows wild and planted all over the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Mainly leaf

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Antiseptic, Skin Disease, Worm, Pimple, Acidity, Blood Purifier.

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Skin Disease: 20-25 piece leaf mixed with 25 gm CACHA HOLUD is grinded together and applied in the body. Once in a month. There will be no skin disease.
  2. Pimple, Acidity and as blood purifier: 1 spoon juice of the leaf mixed with 1 spoon juice of Fresh Turmeric is eaten daily morning in fasting condition.

Name of the informant and area of collection:Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi

Serial No. 29 Ool Kochu

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           A perennial herb, Arum like petiolate cordate green leaves, Cultivated in many areas of the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Rhizomatous base / root, the underground portion of the plant.

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Constipation

Mode of Preparation:

After burning the underground portion it is grinded with some GHEE and some salt and eaten with rice.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Kolom Molla, Ram Chandra Pur, Ishwardi

Serial No. 30 Patha

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Shrub, Pelate leaves (Leaf looks like Biter leaf), Small greenish yellow flower, Grows wild.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Root and leaf

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Dysentery

Mode of Preparation:

5 gm leaf and 5 gm root is grinded together with water. After filtering, this decoction should be boiled in low temperature. This decoction should be eaten 4 times in equal amount in an interval of 3 hours.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi

Serial No. 31 Pipulti

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Erect Herbaceous shrub, Lanceolate green leaf, White or pinkish white star shaped flower, Long black fruit, Grows wild or planted in many parts of the country

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Bark, fruit

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Uncontrolled bleeding during menstruation, Cold, cough, Piles, fever etc.

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Bark of the plant is sinking in 1 glass of water. The filtered water should be drink everyday morning for 7 days.
  2. Unripe fruit is good for cold, cough, Piles, fever etc.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Hamid Mondol, Muladuli, Ishwardi

Serial No. 32 Pittoraj

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           A large timber tree, Green leaf, Rounded fruits with deep brown seeds, Grows wild and planted in forest.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Bark

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Spleen and lever Disease, Rheumatism.

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Spleen and liver Disease: 4-5 gm bark of the plant is sink in 1 cup of water for 10-12 hour and should be drink after breakfast.
  2. Seed oil is used as a liniment in rheumatism.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi

Serial No. 33 Rashik Mal / Kamini

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Medium sized tree, Small oily green leaf, Small white flower, Planted in gardens for its flower.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Branch, Leaf and root

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Dysentery, Swelling leg

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Dysentery: Leaf, branch and root is taken in equal amount of 7-8 gm and boiled in 3 cups of water until it becomes 1 cup. This decoction should be eaten daily 3 times in case of dysentery.
  2. Swelling Leg: Leaf, branch and root is taken in equal amount of 7-8 gm and boiled in 3 cups of water until it becomes 1 cup. This decoction should be applied in the affected place daily 3 times.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi

Serial No. 34 Shalpani

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Bussy shrub, Green oval leaves

White flower, Grows in almost all district.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Whole plant

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Weakness, Lesion, Diphtheria, Diarrhea etc.

Mode of Preparation:

1. Lesion: boiled leaf is applied in lesion.

2. Diphtheria: 15-20 gm leaves are boiled in 4 cups of water until it becomes 1 cup. This decoction is taken orally everyday morning in small amount.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aminul Islam, Boroichora, Ishwardi

Serial No. 35 Shefali

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Medium sized tree, Opposite ovate deep green leaf, Flowers are white with yellow terminal, Planted all over the country and grows well in slightly wet soil.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Leaf

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Allergy, Joint Pain.

Symptom                                                         :           Small spots and rash in whole body and itching

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Allergy: In case of allergy plant leaf is grinded with some ginger and the pest is eaten by mixing with some water.
  2. 15-20 leaf of the plant is boiled in 2 cups of water and the water is eaten every morning and evening.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Kolom Molla, Ramchandrapur, Ishwardi.

Serial no. 36 Shohodebi

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Erect soft herb, Alternate leaves

Small pinkish flower, Grows as a common weed in all over the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Whole plant

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Pain, Increase eye vision and stop bleeding, eczema, piles etc.

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Pain: In case of pain in any part of the body, grinded pest of the plant should be applied in the place of pain.
  2. Juice of the leaf is good for eye vision, eczema, piles etc.
  3. Pest of the plant stops bleeding immediately.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Monowara Khatun, Char irka Mari, Joynagar, Ishwardi

Serial No. 37 Shulti

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Shrub with soft base, Light green Leaf, Pinkish Flower, Grows wild.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Leaf

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Headache

Mode of Preparation:

Leaf juice mixed with some salt is applied in the forehead in Headache.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Moyez Mondol, Dashuria, Ishwardi.

Serial No. 38 Talmuli

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           A succulent plant with tuberous root, Elegant lanceolate leaves, Orchid like flower, Planted in gardens.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Root

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Diabetics, Gonorrhea, Sex weakness

Mode of Preparation:

Whole root of a plant is cut into small piece and boiled in 3 cups of water until it becomes 1 cup. This decoction should be eaten daily for Diabetics, Gonorrhea, Sex weakness etc.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aftabul Islam, Pakshi, Ishwardi.

Serial No. 39 Thankuni  

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           A small creeping herbaceous plant, Green / Blackish leaf, Small greenish white flower, Grows commonly in damp places all over the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Leaf and whole plant

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Cold, Dysentery, As blood purifier

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Cold: 2 spoon juice of the leaf is eaten by mixing with some sugar.
  2. Dysentery: 5-7 piece clean leaf of the plant is eaten raw for 7 days.
  3. Blood Purifier: 4 spoon juice of the leaf mixed with 1 spoon honey should be eaten daily morning in fasting condition for 7 days.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Aminul Islam, Boroichora, Ishwardi

Serial No. 40 Vait

Characterization and habitat of the plant       :           Small shrub, Broadly ovate leathery leaves, Pinkish white flower, Grows commonly in waste place all over the country.

Plant part used as medicine                            :           Leaf

Medicinal Use                                                 :           Skin disease, sex weakness.

Mode of Preparation:

  1. Skin disease: Pest of the leaf is used in case of skin disease.
  2. Sex weakness: 1 cup juice of the grinded leaf should be eaten daily for 1 month.

Name of the informant and area of collection: Md. Moyez Mondol, Dashuria, Ishwardi

Family-wise distribution of medicinal plants used by Kavirajes of Ishwardi Upazila.

The plants under surveyed were distributed into 48 families (table- 4.2). The Apocynaceae family was the major contributor with 7 plants, followed by Euphorbiaceae family with 6 plants, the Lamiaceae family with 4  plants, Araceae, Combretaceae, Solaneceae and Verbenaceae family with 3 plants, Acanthaceae, Malvaceae, Moraceae, Menispermaceae, Rutaceae, Fabaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Asteraceae, Maliaceae, Piperaceae, family with 2 plants each; and the rest of 31 plants are of individual family – Phyllanthaceae, Amaranthaceae, Poaceae, Magnolinaceae, Commelinaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Asphoclelaceae, Rubiaceae, Liliaceae, Mustelidae, Vitaceae, Aristolochiaceae, Myrtaceae, Capparaceae, Annonaceae, Oxilidaceae, Costaceae, Malpighiaceae, Lythraceae, Sapotaceae, Cyperaceae, Crassulaceae, Nyctaginaceae, Asparagaceae, Oleaceae, Bignoniaceae, Cleomaceae, Hypoxidaceae, Mackinlayaceae, Sterculiaceae and Menispermaceae. The results are summarized in Table-4.2 and represented by Graphical Representation-4.2.

Table – 4.2:  Family-wise distribution of medicinal plants used by Kavirajes of Ishwardi Upazila (Sub District).

Serial Number

Family

Number of Plants

01

Apocynaceae

7

02

Euphorbiaceae

6

03

Lamiaceae

4

04

Araceae

3

05

Combretaceae

3

06

Solaneceae

3

07

Verbenaceae

3

08

Acanthaceae

2

09

Malvaceae

2

10

Moraceae

2

11

Menispermaceae

2

12

Rutaceae

2

13

Fabaceae

2

14

Cucurbitaceae

2

15

Asteraceae

2

16

Maliaceae

2

17

Piperaceae

2

18

Phyllanthaceae

1

19

Amaranthaceae

1

20

Poaceae

1

21

Magnolinaceae

1

22

Commelinaceae

1

23

Scrophulariaceae

1

24

Asphoclelaceae

1

25

Rubiaceae

1

26

Liliaceae

1

27

Mustelidae

1

28

Vitaceae

1

29

Aristolochiaceae

1

30

Myrtaceae

1

31

Capparaceae

1

32

Annonaceae

1

33

Oxilidaceae

1

34

Costaceae

1

35

Malpighiaceae

1

36

Lythraceae

1

37

Sapotaceae

1

38

Cyperaceae

1

39

Crassulaceae

1

40

Nyctaginaceae

1

41

Asparagaceae

1

42

Oleaceae

1

43

Bignoniaceae

1

44

Cleomaceae

1

45

Hypoxidaceae

1

46

Mackinlayaceae

1

47

Sterculiaceae

1

48

Menispermaceae

1

Total Family = 48

Total Plants = 80

Different types of medicinal plants surveyed during the study

The 80 different medicinal plants documented during survey were represented by all plant forms including herbs, shrubs, different sized trees, grass and rhizomatous plant. However the shrubs were the most abundant represented by twenty five (25) medicinal plants, followed by Herbs accounting for twenty two (22), Medium tree eleven (11), large tree ten (10), while the small tree, rhizomatous plant and grass were represented by four medicinal plants respectively Graphical Representation-.4.3.

Plant part(s) used solely or synergistically by the traditional practitioner of Ishwardi Upazila

Different parts of the plants are used to treat different disease. In some case a single plant part (s) (Leaf, root, bark, leaves etc) could be used. In some case various parts of a single plant or different plants could also be used in combination to treat different diseases.

Leaves formed the part of the plant most frequently used (25.6%), followed by roots and whole plants (8%) then fruits (7.2%) and bark (6.4%). The glue and whole grass was the parts least used, being only 4.0%.

An interesting feature of some Kavirajes of Ishwardi was use rhizomatous base of plant, which they termed motha in their remedial formulations. Motha is used 3.2% in remedial formulation.

Table- 4.3: Plant part(s) used solely or synergistically by the traditional practitioner in percentages

Serial No.

Plant part used

Use(s) in percentages

01.

Leaf

25.6

02.

Root

8

03.

Whole Plant

8

04.

Fruit

7.2

05.

Bark

6.4

06.

Glue / Gum

4

07.

Whole grass

4

08.

Rhizomatous Base

3.2

09.

Leaf + Bark

4.8

10.

Leaf + Stem

4.8

11.

Leaf + Root

4.8

12.

Leaf + Fruit

2.4

13.

Root + Bark

4.8

14.

Root + Fruit

3.2

15.

Fruit + Seed

< 1

16.

Flower + Root

< 1

17.

Bark + Seed

< 1

18.

Flower + Root

1.6

19.

Flower + Fruit + Seed

2.4

20.

Branch + Leaf + Root

3.2

21.

Bark + Root + Flower

3.2

22.

Leaf + Meristem + Root

1.6

23.

Flower + Root + Leaf + Bark

3.2

In other case various combinations is used in medicinal formulation. For instance, synergistically leaf and root is used (6.4%), follow by leaf and stems in addition to roots and barks (4.8%), then leaves and barks (4%)  followed by roots and fruits (3.2%) leaf and fruit (2.4%), , fruit and seed as well as bark and seed were used least cases (less than 1%), flowers and roots (1.6%), flowers, fruits and seeds were also utilized to formulate remedial preparation (2.4%), branches, leaves and roots as well as barks ,roots and flowers, flowers ,roots, leaves and barks constituted (3.2%). where as  leaves, meristems and roots constitute (1.6%).

Forms of preparation and the way of administration 

The various formulations of remedies included direct administration of plant part (Centella asiatica) or juice obtained from plant part (e.g. Aloe vera), soaking plant part in water followed by administration of the water (e.g. Abroma augusta), boiling of Different plant part in water followed by administration (e.g. Ficus racemosa), or burning of a plant part followed by administration like cigarette (e.g. Calotropis gigantea). When fruits were used as medication, for the most part the patients were advised to consume the fruit directly (e.g. Terminalia belerica, Artocarpus lakoocha etc.).

Administrations were either oral or topical depending upon the ailments. Usually skin disorders, cuts and wounds had topical applications, while in the case of other ailments, administration was usually oral.

A single plant part or the whole plant could be used in the formulation of a medicine for specific ailments, e.g, Juice of the Commelina benghalensis grass is applied to the forehead for headache.

A single plant part may be used to treat multiple ailments; for instance, the Juice of the leaf of Ocimum bacilicum was used for treatment of Jaundice, Skin Disease, Hearing problem etc.

Various types of combinations were also observed in the formulations of the Kavirajes. A combination of different parts of a single plant was also observed to be used for treatment, e.g. a mixture made of equal amount of fruit, leaf, root and bark of Ficus racemosa is used in specific amount in case of pimple, eczema, blood clotting, burning during urination etc.

Sometimes a plant part of one plant was used to treat a specific ailment, while another plant part from the same plant may be combined with the part of another plant to treat another ailment. As an example, rhizomatous root of the Crinum asiaticam is eaten for Rheumatic Fever. On the other hand, leave juice is applied in case of earache.

It was further observed that a plant or plant part may be mixed with other substances prior to administration. For example glue of Calotropis gigantean is boiled with 100gm of coconut oil and applied by mixing with young Turmeric juice in the treatment of eczema.

 Most cited plants and remedies

Medicinal plants were reported to be used for the treatment of several ailments as shown in Table 4.4. A total of 60 different Ailment/Symptom(s) are treated by these 80 medicinal pants used by 8 Kavirajs of seven different villages of Ishwardi Upazila (Sub District) of Pabna District under Rajshahi division. As we discuss earlier many plants are used to treat more than one disease even a single disease could be treated with more then one plant.

Table- 4.4: Number of plants exploited to treat different symptom/ailment(s)

Serial No.

Ailment/Symptoms treated

Number of plant(s) used

01.

Gastrointestinal disorder

30

02.

Skin problem

26

03.

Respiratory tract disorder

16

04.

Diabetics

08

05.

Sex problem

17

06.

Hepatic problem

07

07.

Pain + Joint pain

07

08.

Fever

06

09.

Parasitic infection e.g. worm

05

10.

Headache

07

11.

Blood purifier

06

12.

Blood clotting

04

13.

Rheumatism

05

14.

Snake bite

02

15.

Allergy

01

16.

Diphtheria

01

17.

Swelling leg and hand

03

18.

Anemia

03

19.

Gall stone

01

20.

Chicken pox

01

21.

Earache

01

22.

Antiseptic

01

23.

Vomiting

03

24.

Fractured Bone

02

25.

Toothache

02

26.

Tumor

01

27.

Vision problem

02

28.

Malnutrition of fetus

02

29.

Burning during urination

02

30.

Leprosy

01

31.

Hearing problem

01

32.

Blotch

01

33.

Rehabilitation

01

34.

Heart Disease

02

The largest number of remedies was used to treat gastrointestinal disorders (30 plants). These types of disorders, which include dysentery (7), blood dysentery (1), diarrhea (6) as well as indigestion / constipation (9), Piles (3), Loss of appetite (3) and acidity (1) happens frequently in Bangladesh firstly because lack of proper sanitation system particularly in the rural areas and the poor quality of drinking water, and secondly because of stress caused by poverty and malnutrition (Graphical Representation-4.5).

The second commonly used remedies were for the treatment of skin (Graphical Representation-4.6) related problems including pimple (5), burns (2), hair fall and dandruff (3), etching and eczema (5), and external lesion (5), Skin wounds (1) and other skin disease (5) were represented by 26 plants.

What awaked our interest was that Kavirajes used as many as 8 plants for treatment of diabetes, which suggested that diabetes is quite prevalent in that village and possibly adjoining areas.

A large number of plants (17) were also used for sexual problem of male and female. Among them 9 plants are used for treatment of debilities or physical weakness. It suggests that the condition is also quite prevalent. This could arise from malnutrition (Ferdosus et al., 2009; Milton et al., 2010). Otherwise, since the poor class mainly engages in agriculture or labor work such as rice mill or others where they fall fatigued from daily hard work, these people might possibly suffer from weakness, especially if the calorie intake is not sufficient. And it is true for a substantial section of the village population in Bangladesh.

The various other ailments treated by the Kavirajes are; menstrual problems, hepatic problems (jaundice, hepatitis), infections, kidney or gall bladder stones, snake bites, fever, anemia, cataract eye, heart disorders, allergy, urinary problems, skin disorders, rheumatism, bone fractures, hair loss, dandruff, piles, pox, hypertension, blood purifier, blood clotting, worm, vomiting, headache, earache, toothache, swelling hand and leg, blotch, leprosy, joint pain, vision problem, malnutrition, parturition difficulty etc.

With respect to sources of utilized medicinal plant in Ishwardi Upazila of Pabna District, 58.75% (47 plants) plants are collected from wild habitat and rest 41.25%(33 plants) are cultivated ( Graphical Representation- 4.8).

CHAPTER 05

Discussion

The components of folk medicine as a healing modality, has long been ignored by modern medical practitioners for various reasons. The first and foremost reason is that many medicinal plants used by folk medicinal practitioners remain yet to be investigated through modern scientific methods. The relevant phytoochemicals of the plants needs to be identified and proper evaluations need to be made on their mode of action and possible toxicities. The second reason lies in the tendency of distrust on supposedly “ancient” modes of treatment. Many modern medical practitioners believe them to be a combination of superstitious beliefs and placebo effects. On the other hand, modern researches on this subject have been increasingly validating the use of medicinal plants used by traditional practitioners by scientific methods.

Although medicinal plant formulations used by the Kavirajes have sometimes been derided as either baseless or at the best to serve only as a placebo effect, it has been reported that Kavirajes select medicinal plants based on their own experiments, or lessons learned from their teacher (termed by them guru), who may be a member of the previous generation (M. Rahmatullah, Mollik et al., 2010). Notwithstanding, it is incumbent on researchers to check whether any plant used by a Kaviraj for treatment of a particular ailment has any reported relevant pharmacological activity or phytochemical analysis in scientifically conducted studies so that one can validate the plant’s use. Table 3 details a number of plants where such scientific studies have been carried out. It can be seen from the Table that the use of a number of plants by the Kavirajes have been strongly validated by published scientific findings.

Botanical nameLocal usesReported relevant phytochemicals and/or pharmacological activities

 

Aadhatoda vasicaCoughs.Contains alkaloids with positive effects on inflammatory diseases (Chakraborty and Brantner, 2001); extract of the plant has been shown to have anti-tussive effect (Dhuley, 1999); a bronchodilator alkaloid (vasicinone) has been isolated from the plant (Amin and Mehta, 1959).
Aloe veraDiabetics, burnAloe vera in addition to topical use in wound or burn healing, oral intake of Aloe vera has been linked with improved blood glucose levels in diabetics, Yongchaiyudha S, Rungpitarangsi V, Bunyapraphatsara N, Chokechaijaroenporn O. (1996),  Bunyapraphatsara N, Yongchaiyudha S, Rungpitarangsi V, Chokechaijaroenporn O. (1996).
Alstonia scholaris The bark probably has a beneficial effect on the stomach since extract of the bark reportedly modified benzo(a)pyrene-induced forestomach carcinogenesis in mice (Jagetia, G.C., 2003).
Asparagus racemosus Willd.Hypertension, to keep body healthy, promotes lactationAqueous and ethanolic extract of roots demonstrated strong anti-oxidant activity as evidenced by suppression of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide (notably these are responsible for many human pathophysiological conditions) (Visavadiya, N.P.,2009); anti-oxidant property reported for roots and a compound, racemofuran isolated from roots (Wiboonpun, N.,2004);
Azadirachta indicaDiabetes, Acidity, Skin Disease, worm, Antiseptic, Pimple, Blood PurifierPublished relevant reports in the scientific literature include anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hyperlipidemic, and anti-oxidant effects reported in streptozotocin diabetic rats induced by Dihar, a polyherbal Ayurvedic formulation containing plant extract (Patel, Shah, and Goyal, 2009); Azadirachtins A, B, and H, the three major bioactive constituents of neem seed kernel and all three azadirachtins exhibited nematicidal and antifungal activities (Sharma V, Walia S et al ,2003)
Bombax ceibaWeakness, diarrhea.Anti-oxidant activity reported for methanolic extract of plan (Vieira et al., 2009); anti-angiogenic activity of lupeol obtained from the plant (You et al., 2003); hypotensive activity of shamimicin – a constituent of stem bark of the plant (Saleem et al., 2003); hypotensive and hypoglycemic activity reported for a C-flavonol glucoside, shamimin isolated from leaves of the plant (Salieem et al., 1999). Since weakness can be a manifestation of hypertension, diabetes, heart disorders, or aging, all reported activities can help the body in overcoming these conditions.
Curculigo orchioidesTo increase strength.According to Ayurveda (Indian sub-continent system of traditional medicine), root is heating, aphrodisiac, appetizer, fattening and useful in treatment of piles, biliousness, fatigue, blood related disorders etc. According to Unani system of medicine (Indian sub-continent system of traditional medicine), root is carminative, tonic, aphrodisiac, antipyretic and useful in bronchitis, ophthalmia, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, lumbago, gonorrhea, hydrophobia, and joint pains.
Ficus racemosa L.To maintain health condition sound, diabetes. Pimple, Eczema, in blood clotting, burning during urination etc.Hypoglycemic activity demonstrated for stem bark of the plant (Ahmed, F., and Urooj, A., 2010); hypoglycemic and anti-oxidant activity reported in fruits (Jahan, I.A.,2009); potent anti-oxidant activity observed in ethanol extract of stem bark (Veerapur, V.P.,2009); isolation of an anti-diabetic principle,  a-amyrin acetate from fruit with considerable blood glucose lowering potential in sucrose challenged streptozotocin diabetic rats (Narender, T.,2009); anti-diabetic and hypolipidemic effects of ethanolic extract of bark reported in alloxan diabetic rats (Sophia, D., and Manoharan, S., 2007.); glucose lowering efficacy of methanol extract of bark reported in normal and alloxan diabetic rats (Bhaskara Rao,2002);
Kalanchoe pinnataDiarrhea, Bleeding, Gall Stone and pain relief etc.Evaluation of Antinociceptive Activity of two Bangladeshi Medicinal Plants, Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.) Pers. and Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers (Majeedul H. Chowdhury, Mohammed Rahmatullah et al., 2010) Ethno-medicines used in Trinidad and Tobago for urinary problems and diabetes mellitus, Lans CA (2006).
Lawsonia inermisAnti dandruff, anti septic, BurningLeaf and bark of Lawsonia inermis (Used by the Kaviraz as antidandruff and antiseptic) Researcher also reportedly demonstrated that Lawsonia inermis shows anti-fungal effect, Bosoglu A, Birdane F, Solmaz H (1998).
Leea macrophyllaTumorPowder of dried leaf of Leea macrophylla is used by the Kaviraz for the treatment of Tumor. Researcher also demonstrated that Leea macrophylla is reported to be anti-cancerous properties. Powder of leaves mixed with honey is given to patient of cancer (Swarnkar and Katewa, 2008).
Nyctanthes arbor-tristisAllergy, Joint PainNyctanthes arbor-tristis (Used by the Kaviraz against Joint pain) Researcher also demonstrated that the leaves have been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat sciatica, arthritis, fevers, various painful conditions and as laxative Saxena RS, Gupta B, Lata S (2002).
Ocimum basilicum and Ocimum sanctumcommon colds, headaches, stomach disordersOcimum basilicum and Ocimum sanctum extracts are used in ayurvedic remedies for common colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning, and malaria. Traditionally, tulsi is taken in many forms: as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf, or mixed with ghee. Essential oil extracted from Karpoora Tulsi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal cosmetics, and is widely used in skin preparations due to its anti-bacterial activity. For centuries, the dried leaves of Tulsi have been mixed with stored grains to repel insects, Biswas, N. P.; Biswas, A. K. (2005).
Phyllanthus emblicaTo maintain health.High anti-oxidant activity and vitamin C content reported for the plant and fruit (Scartezzini et al., 206), which can be beneficial for health; high total phenolic content and high antioxidant activity reported for leaves and fruits (Bajpai et al., 2005).
Syzygium cuminiDiabeticsReported inhibition of adenosine deaminase activity and reduction of glucose levels in hyperglycemic patienys by aqueous extract of leaves (Bopp et al., 2009); anti-oxidant activity reported for leaf extracts (Ruan et al., 2008); therapeutic effect reported for ferulic acid isolated from an ethereal fraction of ethanolic extract of seeds against streptozotocin diabetic male rats (Mandal et al., 2008); aglucosidase inhibitory activity reported for seed kernel in vitro and in Goto-Kakizaki rats (Shinde et al., 2008); reported decrease of blood sugar on administration of ethanolic extract of seeds in alloxan diabetic albino rats (Singh and Gupta, 2007); anti-hyperglycemic effect reported for dried bark when administered to mice (Villasefior and Lamadrid, 2006); high phenolic content and anti-oxidant activity observed in seeds (Bajpai et al., 2005); hypoglycemic effects observed with defatted seeds and water soluble fiber from seeds in alloxan diabetic rats (Pandey and Khan, 2002); reduction of tissue damage in diabetic rat brain reported for aqueous and alcoholic extract of seeds (stanely et al., 2003).
Terminalia arjunaAbnormal heart beat.Protective effects observed with plant bark against Doxorubicin-

(Roxb. ex DC.) Wight & Arn. induced cardiotoxicity (Singh et al., 2008); significant inotropic and hypotensive effect of bark, also reported increases in coronary artery flow and protective effect on myocardium against ischemic damage, reviewed by Dwivedi (2007); protection of rabbit heart by bark against ischemic-reperfusion injury (Gauthaman et al., 2005); cardioprotective effect of alcoholic extract of bark in an in vivo model of myocardial ischemic-reperfusion injury (Karthikeyan et al., 2003); efficacy of the plant in chronic stable angina (Dwivedi and Gupta, 2002; Bharani et al., 2002); beneficial effects of bark of the plant in isolated ischemic-reperfused rat heart (Gauthaman et al., 2001); beneficial effects in coronary artery disease (significant reductions in anginal frequency) (Dwivedi and Jauhari, 1997).

Terminalia chebulaBloating, gastrointestinal disorders, stomachacheReported anti-oxidant and reactive oxygen species scavenging properties in fruit extract (Hazra, B.,2010); healing properties reported against Indomethacin- heart disorders,induced gastric ulceration in rats (Bhattacharya, S.,2007); anti-oxidant effect of chebulic acid debility, helminthiasis. – a constituent isolated from the plant in isolated rat hepatocytes (Lee, H.S.,2007); anti oxidant effect and free radical scavenging activities of extracts and phytochemicals present in the plant (Cheng, H.Y.,2003); used in Ayurvedic medicine for improving gastrointestinal motility, experimental studies also have demonstrated improved gastric emptying in rats following oral administration of the plant (Tamhane, M.D.,1997). The anti-oxidant properties can be helpful during heart disorders and for debility.

The traditional folk practitioners possess a vast amount of knowledge on medicinal plants. Their knowledge on plants and their application to various ailments potentially have an immense value which should not be underestimated. A recent review has shown that approximately 25% of modern medications have been plant derived, while 75% of new drugs against infectious diseases that have arrived between 1981 and 2002 originated from natural sources (Bedoya, L.M., 2009). Several leads from plant sources, like curcumin, resveratrol, baicalein, boswellic acid, betulinic acid, ursolic acid, and oleanolic acid are now studied as possible drugs for the future against inflammatory diseases (Gautam, R. and S.M. Jachak, 2009). Anti-cancer agents from plant sources currently being used or undergoing clinical trials include vinblastine, vincristine, nevelbine, etoposide, teniposide, taxol, taxotere, topotecan, and irinotecan (Wang, H.K., 1998). Taken together, all available reports indicate that knowledge about the traditional use of plants must not be ignored.

 The folk medicinal practitioners of Bangladesh have been practicing and using medicinal plants in their practices for centuries. In other words, they cumulatively possess vast store-house knowledge on medicinal plants. The present survey thus presents an enormous potential for further scientific studies to be carried out on the plants reported. It is expected that these studies can lead to discovery of lead compounds, which in turn can be a tool for development of better drugs. Moreover, if scientific studies validate the use of medicinal plants by the Kavirajes, that would present further impetus towards conservation of these plants, which are rapidly becoming endangered in their wild habitat.

CHAPTER 06

Conclusion and Recommendation

Medicinal plants constitutes invaluable asset of a country. Their contribution to the country is tremendous not only in the area of primary health care but also in the view of economy. Serious efforts should therefore be made by all concerned to develop and utilize medicinal plants even better to derive maximum benefit from them.

The age-old practice of traditional medicine is currently threatened by a host problem. It includes numbers of issues; limited availability of the required plants and herbs, deforestation, global worming, shrinking land resource base, insufficient support of the government and public policies, lack of appropriate management and institutional structure, low quality and poor stock of raw materials in the open market, and unwillingness among the youngsters to learn and adopt the practice.

Today in this modern age, most people regard the traditional medicine system as old-fashioned obsolete and show eagerness to get their treatment. The existence of some fakes who claim to be traditional healers makes the matters worse, they trick and swindle out of the simple rural people, and leave them not only uncured but also the ailment symptoms worsened than before because of their pseudo treatment. As it has been deeply rooted in the society as one of the most valuable services to the community, despite unfavorable conditions, it still has enormous potentialities which one cannot ignore.

The traditional healers (Kavirajes or Vaidyas) of various districts of Bangladesh practice a form of medication which can be classified as folk medicine. This form of medicinal practice has its roots in the Ayurvedic system of medicine. But with the course of time, it has been considerably modified through practitioner’s own experiences and newly acquired knowledge upon them.

Findings from our current ethno-botanical survey clearly show that herbal medication still holds an important status in folkloric medicine and primary health care in Ishwardi upazila. Folkloric medicine in the area seems to partially substitute modern medicine and reduce medical care costs. Though only a small numbers of medicinal plants used there are considered popular and common (Popular plants mean here which are more abundant, accessible and commonly well known in the area.), medicinal traditional knowledge (TK) has been transferred from elder generations like grandfathers and parents to the younger generation. Seemingly, traditional knowledge on medicine has been aging though.

Although folk medicine lacks a modern scientific basis, the use of a considerable number of medicinal plants by the Kavirajes has been obviously validated by further researches as discussed above. It surely awakens a keen interest when one comes to know that the medicinal plants particularly used in Ishwardi upazila are also observed in use by the different traditional medicinal systems of other countries or even in the other continents. It is thus necessary that modern scientific studies shall be done on these medicinal plants so that the plants can be used as effective remedies in a more rational and scientific manner.

Recommendation

Based on the detailed conversation with respondents along with our close observation during the field research and literature review, it is expected that these studies can lead to discovery of compounds which subsequently can be a tool for development of better drugs. Moreover, if scientific studies validate the use of medicinal plants by the Kavirajes, that would present further impetus towards conservation of these plants, which are rapidly becoming endangered in their wild habitats.

During the respondent comments and our observation during the field work, the following ideas and clues on possible improvement may be considered:

  1. With the active participation of the local people, the existing medicinal plants should be systematically documented and recorded; the document shall also be made available in the major local languages in a simple and user friendly manner.
  1. The need for identification of possible side effects in order to limit complications that might occur due to misuse of such plants.
  1. The over exploitation of wild medicinal plants has become a threat to its extinction, so it should be reduce.
  1. Experimental propagation nurseries may be established under governmental and non governmental initiatives to ensure sustained supply of seedlings.
  1. Special educational programs is needed that deals with the proper use of herbal medicine and this can be done through the Ministry of Education or any other concerned governmental bodies.
  1. The mainstream research institutions in the country especially the forest and agricultural research institutes and universities may be encouraged to provide the much-needed research adequate support for proper documentation and dissemination of the knowledge on medicinal plants and associated folk and herbal treatment methods.
  1. The local press, media and folk cultured practices (e.g. folk theaters) may be utilized as community-based extension and dissemination media to highlight the importance of conserving this traditional practice and heritage.
  1. Local community based organizations may also be utilized for initiating a network or platform to bring the traditional medicine practitioners together.

Special thanks

I would like to thank the people of Dasuria, Muladuli, Silimpur, Ramchandrapur, Pakshi, Boroichora and Char-Mirkamari villages of Ishwardi upazila, specially Hamid Mondol, Md. Kolom Molla, Moyez Mondol, Rahela Khatun, Monowara Khatun, Rawshon ara Khatun, Md. Aftabul Islam and Md. Aminul Islam for their help and co-operation in this survey. Their willingness to share their knowledge and expertise in the field, often obstructed by secrecy, extends both an honor and a responsibility to me. I hope that I can keep their confidence as ever and share their hopes for the future of traditional medicinal practice in Bangladesh.

CHAPTER 07

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Medicinal Plants