USE OF SOME ETHNOMEDICINAL HERBS BY THE NATIVES OF SOLANG VALLEY, KULLU DISTRICT, HIMACHAL PRADESH
Objective: The objective of the study was to enlist the ethnobotanical uses of wild plants of Solang Valley, Kullu District, Himachal Pardesh. Due to the specific geographical location of the valley, it possesses a high amount of endemic plant diversity. The plants are being used medically by local people against many ailments such as rheumatism, gastric disorders, muscular pain, asthma, dysentery, diabetes, constipation, cold, cough, fever, etc.
Methods: For documentation of ethnomedicinal information, a questionnaire containing vernacular name, plant part/s used, medicinal uses, method of preparation and amount of dose taken was prepared. To gather such information, personal interviews/interactions were conducted with medicine men (vaids and hakims), local healers, village elders, tribals and shepherds.
Results: Presently, 42 plant species belonging to 41 genera and 24 families are included for ethnobotanical study with respect to their scientific names, vernacular names, plant parts used, ethnomedicinal purposes, mode of preparation, and dose/amount taken. As many as 23 speciesÂ are used for treating more than one ailment. By consulting the previous literature, it was found that there are 19 species which have not been reported earlier and are used by the natives for different medicinal purposes.
Conclusion: The unsustainable harvesting such as uprooting of whole plant of medicinal use from the wild is resulting into a serious decline in plant populations. Therefore various cultivation techniques should be designed, and implemented especially for the highly medicinally important and endangered plant species. Grazing should be restricted in high altitudinal zones possessing high endemic plant diversity. Further, information gathered on ethnobotanical aspects of plants of medicinal use will be helpful in the selection of elite genotypes/chemotypes which could provide a base for future plantation programmes which will be helpful for sustainable development of the valley.
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