DOCUMENTATION AND ETHNOMEDICINAL KNOWLEDGE ON WILD EDIBLE MUSHROOMS AMONG ETHNIC TRIBES OF NORTHERN ODISHA, INDIA
Objective: The objective of the present study was to document the diversity of wild edible mushrooms and their ethnomedicinal uses among different
tribes of Northern Odisha through field survey, questionnaire, and interviews.
Methods: The study was conducted in the three adjacent districts of Northern Odisha. Collection was carried out in the month between June and
December of 2014 from different habitats on the basis of local name of the mushroom, types of mushroom (edible or poisonous) and uses of the
mushrooms (as food or medicine) among the different tribal communities by frequent field visits and has been documented and identified.
Results: The study revealed that more than 12 ethnic tribes of Northern Odisha were found to be mycophilia and have extensive traditional mycological
knowledge. A total of 24 fleshy mushroom species were collected through field visits, out of which 19 species were found to be edible and were
represented by 11 families and 11 genera. Among them, 14 species have been documented to have ethnomedicinal uses. The dominant mushrooms
species belonged to genera of Volvariella, Termitomyces, and Russala. The study indicated that urbanization and changing lifestyles among the tribes
have declined the uses and consumption of wild mushrooms.
Conclusion: There is urgent need to study and document indigenous knowledge systems to find innovative ways of tapping wild edible mushrooms
for the welfare of mankind otherwise they will remain hidden in the forest and might become extinct.
Keywords: Wild edible mushrooms, Ethnic tribes, Northern Odisha, Ethnomedicines.
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