MEDICINAL PLANTS OF SELECTED WETLANDS IN ARIYANNUR, THRISSUR DISTRICT, KERALA–A PRELIMINARY STUDY
Objective: Wetlands are a vital ecosystem which provides livelihoods for millions of people who live within around them. The main aim of this study is to identify the wetland medicinal plants, medicinal values of wetland medicinal plants, to evaluate the current status of the medicinal plant diversity in wetlands of Ariyannoor area, importance of wetlands, to build awareness.
Methods: Frequent field visits were carried out from September 2018 to January 2019 to collect different Wetland medicinal plants in Ariyannur area, Kandanassery Panchayath, Thrissur district. Plants were collected carefully with hand and identified by using the standard literature such as Flora of the Presidency of Madras by J. S. Gamble, 1915-1936. The collected plants were authenticated by a plant Taxonomist Dr. Udayan. P. S. A total of 10 plant species was collected and identified during the investigation with potential medicinal value.
Results: These plants are used for curing more than 20 diseases, including Blood dysentery, cough and cold, skin diseases, anemia etc. Herbs have been called part of “nature’s pharmacy”. Although their action can in some ways be similar to modern drugs, herbal remedies are generally gentler and safer. Many of the drugs used in conventional medicine are derived from herbs .
Conclusion: Slight alteration of the wetland may result in the disappearance or the extinction of these plants2. This will ultimately result in large scale economic loss in terms of the medicinal product. Apart from the loss of plants, this will also result in the loss of local knowledge on the medicinal properties of these plants which very often can't be retrieved. An attempt has been made to document some of the little known medicinal properties of wetland plants used by local community.
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