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    Wild Medicinal Plants Used by Local Communities of Manali, Himachal Pradesh, India

    Neena Rani Boktapa* and Avinash Kumar Sharma

     Non Wood Forest Products Division

    Forest Research Institute, Dehradun 248006

    *Silviculture Division

    Forest Research Institute, Dehradun 248006

    ninuboktapa@gmail.com

     Issued: March 01, 2010

     Abstract

    An ethnobotanical study was carried out in adjoining areas of Manali in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh during the month of April to May 2007. The information related to medicinal species which are used to cure common ailments and diseases were gathered by personal interviews with village headmen, local healers, and shepherds. A total of 33 plants belonging to 24 families are listed in this paper. Details of medicinal plants are described alphabetically with their botanical name, family, local name, part used, disease/ailment and ethno medicinal uses.

    Key Words: Medicinal plants, common ailments, Manali, Himachal Pradesh.

    Introduction

       The Himalayas have a great wealth of medicinal plants and traditional medicinal knowledge. Himachal Pradesh, one of the pioneer Himalayan States is a rich repository of medicinal flora. Because of its geographical position, hazardous means of transport communication; the traditions, myths, legends and folklores of the ancients are carefully persevered in the lores and mores; temples and historical places in existence at various regions of this state. Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh is well known medicinal plants hot spot in the western Himalaya that has rich diversity of flora and fauna. Singh and Rawat (1998) have listed more than 250 species as ethnomedicinal and about 50 of them are commercially exploited which have been listed in the Red Data Book of IUCN (Singh and Rawat, 1998 & 2000). Dhaliwal and Sharma (1999) recorded more than 900 species of angiosperms from Kullu valley. A brief ethnobotanical account of 109 plant species belonging to 41 families and 86 genera of Kullu district in North Western Himalaya have been recorded by Singh (1999). Singh (2004) has enumerated about 58 locally used medicinal plants from Great Himalayan National Park, Kullu Valley. Negi and Subramani. (2006) recorded 38 plants belonging to 23 families and 17 Red listed species in the Naggar area of Kullu valley, Himachal Pradesh. A first hand information on 35 plant species was recorded from Malana, located in Parvati valley of Kullu district by Sharma et.al.(2005).According to Rao (1996), there is an urgent need to document the ethnobiological information presently existing among the diverse communities before the traditional knowledge are completely lost. The importance of recording the usage of plants in this region is especially imperative because of rapid loss of forest wealth and traditional wisdom due to increase in tourism and modernization.

    Materials and Methods

    Study Area

       The study comprised of local villages in the Manali area of Kullu District (HP) lying between 32058’00” North latitude and 77006’04” East longitude. On the North and North – East, it is bounded by Lahaul – Spiti and Kangra districts, on the East and South -East by Kinnaur and Shimla districts. The altitudinal range of this area lies between 1,300 m to 6,000 m above mean sea level. Climate of the district is cool and dry. The region receives moderate rainfall during monsoon of which the bulk is received during the months of July – August. Snowfall is received during the month of December – February.

    Methodology

       The study was conducted during the month of April and May 2007 in villages of Manali area of Kullu district. The information on local use and diseases cured was collected using structured questionnaire from the respondents of both sex and age groups ranging from 22 – 82 yrs. Several village headman, local healers, and shepherds were consulted to verify the information on indigenous use of important plant species. The plant collections were identified with the help of Flora of Himachal Pradesh and herbarium at Forest Research Institute, Dehradun. A total of 33 species have been recorded and enumerated with its family name, local name, part used, disease/ailment and uses (Table 1).

    Link for further details

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