TRADITIONAL HEALING WITH ANIMALS (ZOOTHERAPY) BY THE MAJOR ETHNIC GROUP OF KARBI ANGLONG DISTRICT OF ASSAM, INDIA
Keywords:Karbi Anglong, Traditional medicine, Karbi, North-east, Zootherapy
Objective: To survey and document the traditional knowledge related to medicinal uses of animals among the ethnic groups in Karbi Anglong district of Assam.
Methods: A long term field survey was conducted from July 2008 to October 2009 by performing personal interviews through structured questionnaire with more than 500 respondents, who provided information regarding the use of different animals and their products in their traditional medicine. Most of the information on the use of various animals in traditional medicine by them was provided by elderly people in the age groups of more than 50 years.
Results: A total of 48 different animals were recorded to be used for different ethno-medical purposes against various diseases, including tuberculosis, asthma, cancer, paralysis, jaundice, leprosy, toothache, rabies, dysentery, baldness, rheumatism, arthritis, weakness, piles etc. The highest percentage of animals used for traditional treatment is mammals (about 40%) followed by insects (about 21%) and birds (about 19%).
Conclusion: The findings reveal a rich traditional knowledge of indigenous people of Karbi Anglong about the use of animals and their product in traditional medicine. It is suggested that this kind of traditional knowledge should be included into the scientific literature for the conservation and management of medicinal faunistic resources.
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