AN ETHNOBOTANICAL SURVEY OF ANTI-MALARIAL PLANTS IN SOME HIGHLY MALARIA AFFECTED DISTRICTS OF ASSAM
Objective: An ethnobotanical survey of potent anti-malarial plants used by different tribes and communities of highly malaria affected seven districts of Assam, India.
Methods: Personal discussions and group interviews were held with the traditional practitioners. Samples were collected and authentically identified. Detailed ethno knowledge on the plant parts used and mode of administration of the plant extracts was documented. Literature survey was carried out on identified plant species and analyzed for their medicinal importance.
Results: A total of 22 plant species belonging to 20 botanical families were collected and identified from different locations of seven districts of Assam. Different plant parts such as leaves, root, flower, bark etc. were found to process through different basic methods (infusion, decoction, direct mechanical crushing and maceration) for extracting the anti-malarial crude phytochemicals by the traditional healers. Extensive literature on the broad spectrum medicinal values other than anti-malarial activity of the plant species suggested a strong scientific background of selecting those particular plants species by the traditional practitioners.
Conclusion: Indigenous plant species with strong claim of the natural source of anti-malarial moieties were identified in the present ethno-botanical survey. All the 22 plant species investigated could be a potential source of new antimalarial therapies.
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