ETHNOMEDICINAL NOTES AND CHROMOSOMAL STATUS OF SOME SELECTED HERBS FROM PARVATI VALLEY, KULLU DISTRICT, HIMACHAL PRADESH
Objective: The objective of the present study was to enlist the ethnobotanical uses and chromosomal status of wild plants of Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh. Plants are locally used in curing ulcers, sores, insect bites, muscular and joint pains, pneumonia, jaundice, diarrhoea, piles, swellings, allergies and skin diseases.
Methods: For documentation of ethnomedicinal information, a questionnaire containing the vernacular name, plant part/s used, medicinal uses, mode of preparation and amount of dose taken was prepared. Personnel interviews/interactions were conducted with medicine men (vaids and hakims), local healers, village elders, tribals and shepherds. The interviews were cross-validated to ascertain the facts about the local use of each plant species. Chromosomal status was determined through male meiosis by using standard acetocarmine technique.
Results: Present paper contains information on ethnomedicinal uses, chromosome counts, male meiosis and pollen fertility on 62 medicinal herbs from Parvati Valley. Plants are used as a decoction, paste or powder in cooked form or as raw. Preparations are taken orally in pure form or as a mixture or with a little amount of salt, milk, honey or butter.
Conclusion: Due to indiscriminate forest clearing, grazing and collection by traders, most of the species became rare and restricted to specific pockets or are now almost extinct. To preserve herbal diversity, grazing should be restricted in alpine and sub-alpine zones. Database on ethnic knowledge, chromosomal diversity, natural regeneration and distribution pattern should be prepared for designing future plans for sustainable development.
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