AN ETHNOBOTANICAL STUDY OF WILD MEDICINAL PLANTS USED BY MIGRATORY SHEPHERDS – A TRIBAL COMMUNITY OF WESTERN HIMALAYAS
Objectives: Migratory shepherds of Kinnaur, Shimla, and Sirmaur districts in Himachal Pradesh of the western Himalayas have rich traditional knowledge of medicinal plants and its uses, in this respect; an ethnobotanical survey was carried out from 2017 to 2018.
Methods: The required information on ethnomedicines used by tribal migratory shepherds was collected through personal field visits, interview method and using a pretested questionnaire.
Results: It was observed that in all 78 species were used by shepherds en route from high hills to low hills. In high hills 35 species, in mid hills 20 species, and low hills 23 species were found to be used as ethnomedicine source.
Conclusion: This study shows that shepherds in tribal areas are highly dependent on ethnobotanical remedies, which evolved over generations of experience and practices, for health care. The common diseases were treated by ethnomedicinal plants such as cough, cold, body pain, Skin infection, wounds, diarrhea, respiratory problems, and sunburn. The collected detailed information on the list of plants and their therapeutic practices among tribal migratory shepherds may be helpful to improve the future pharmaceutical applications.
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