INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE BASED TRADITIONAL MEDICINAL PRACTICES OF NORTHERN KERALA, INDIA
Keywords:Traditional medicine, Medicinal plants, Herbs
Objective: To explore, collect and identify the traditional medicinal practices of Northern kerala and the medicinal plants used by them
Methods: Field survey was conducted among 22 villages of Payyannur Taluk, Structured and semi structured interviews with 15 traditional healers in the study area. The plant species commonly known in the local name, used to treat various diseases were collected and recorded.
Results: In the present investigation it has been identified that, 96 medicinal plants belonging to 92 genera and 54 families are used for the treatment of snake bite, insect bite, rheumatism, cuts and wounds, skin diseases, cough, digestive problems, fever, diabetes, jaundice, diarrhoea, kidney stone, bone fracture, intestinal gas and menstrual problems. Among the 96 medicinal plants used by the traditional healers 46 were herbs, 14 were shrubs, 20 were trees, 7 were climbers, 8 were creepers and 1 epiphyte. The medicinal plants belonging to 54 families and Acanthaceae, Apocynaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Asteraceae, Lamiaceae and Orchidaceae were the families with more number of medicinal plants.
Conclusion: Majority of people in developing countries rely on these traditional medicines. Many of these practices have not been identified and systematically recorded yet. This study has identified many rare and medicinally important plants and their medicinal values and this will benefit to the society as these medicinal plants are locally available.
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