Endorsement of Ethnomedicinal Knowledge Towards Conservation in the Context of Changing Socio-Economic and Cultural Values of Traditional Communities Around Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand, India

Articles

Abstract

The study of the interrelationship between ethnomedicinal knowledge and socio-cultural values needs to be studied mainly for the simple reason that culture is not only the ethical imperative for development, it is also the condition of its sustainability; for their exists a symbiotic relationship between habitats and cultures. The traditional communities around Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary of Uttarakhand state in India have a rich local health care tradition, which has been in practice for the past hundreds of years. The present study documents the Ethnomedicinal uses of 54 medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) along with their botanical and vernacular names, family, habit, habitat, threat status, collection season, purpose of collection, quantity, conservation practices, market potential and part(s) used in traditional health care system. The documented species belonging to 38 families have been used to cure more than 47 different kinds of ailments. These MAPs collected from the wild in a particular season and used as per the method prescribed by traditional herbal healers (Vaidyas) that provide effective results. Perception of local people during field trips based on socio-demographic characters showed them to prefer herbal system of treatments and they understood the status of traditional health care systems in the region. The study reveals that approximately 70 % population of the study area depend on herbal systems of treatments and preferred to visit Vaidyas for curing a variety of ailments because the traditional system of medicine is one of the most important prevailing systems in the region where modern health care facilities are rare or in very poor conditions. The organic cultivation practices of selected MAPs were demonstrated to rural inhabitants through capacity building training program and participatory action research framework approaches for sustainability and enhancement of livelihood security. A series of workshops and village level meetings on traditional health care systems were organized and forming/registered a strong association of Vaidyas for making their traditional system of health care more practical and effective. The study emphasizes the potentials of the ethnomedicinal research, conservation practices, socio-cultural and religious ethics for promoting traditional plants based treatments and also the need to document the indigenous knowledge for scientific validation before its industrial application.

Keywords

Medicinal plants Traditional communities Ethnomedicinal knowledge Conservation practices Socio-economic and cultural values Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are thankful to the Director, G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development for providing all kinds of institutional facilities. We are grateful to all local people, traditional herbal healers, medical doctors and experts of the study area for their immense co-operation and active participation. The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers of an earlier version of this paper for their helpful comments. National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Government of India are also acknowledged for financial assistance.

References

  1. Azaizeh, H., Fulder, S., Khalil, K., & Said, O. (2003). Ethnomedicinal knowledge of local Arab practitioners in the Middle East Region. Fitoterapia, 74, 98–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Dhyani, D., Maikhuri, R. K., Mishra, S., & Rao, K. S. (2010). Endorsing the declining indigenous ethnobotanical knowledge system of Seabuckthorn in Central Himalaya, India. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 27, 329–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Diallo, D., Hveem, B., Mahmoud, M. A., Berge, G., Paulsen, B. S., & Maiga, A. (1999). An ethnobotanical survey of herbal drugs of Gourma district Mali. Pharmaceutical Biology, 37, 80–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Duming, A. T. (1992). Guardians of the earth; indigenous people and the health of the earth, world watch paper no. 112. Washington, DC: World watch Inst.Google Scholar
  5. Duraipandiyan, V., Auyana, M., & Ignacimuthu, S. (2006). Antimicrobial activity of some ethnomedicinal plants used by Paliyar tribe from Tamil Nadu, India. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 20, 6–35.Google Scholar
  6. Farnsworth, J. D. (1988). Screening plants for new medicines. In E. O. Wilson (Ed.), Biodiversity (pp. 83–97). Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  7. Gangwar, K. K., Deepali, G. R. S., & Gangwar, R. S. (2010). Ethnomedicinal plant diversity in Kumaun Himalaya of Uttarakhand, India. Nature and Science, 8(5), 66–78.Google Scholar
  8. Gaur, R. D. (1999). Flora of the district Garhwal North West Himalaya with ethnobotanical note, trans media. Garhwal: Srinagar. 109.Google Scholar
  9. Hill, A. F. (1952). Economic botany. Tokyo: McGrow-Hill Book Company, Inc.Google Scholar
  10. Hoffmann, V., Probst, K., & Christinck, A. (2007). Farmers and researchers: How can collaborative advantages are created in participatory research and technology development? Agriculture and Human Values, 24, 355–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kala, C. P. (2002). Indigenous Knowledge of Bhotiya tribal community on wool dying and its present status in the Garhwal Himalaya, India. Current Science, 83, 814–817.Google Scholar
  12. Kala, C. P. (2005). Indigenous uses, population density and conservation of threatened medicinal plants in protected areas of the Indian Himalayas. Conservation Biology, 19, 368–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kala, C. P. (2007). Local preferences of ethnobotanical species in the Indian Himalaya: Implication for environmental conservation. Current Science, 93, 12–25.Google Scholar
  14. Kala, C. P., Farooquee, N. A., & Dhar, U. (2004). Prioritization of medicinal plants on the basis of available knowledge, existing practices and uses value status in Uttarakhand, India. Biodiversity and Conservation, 13, 453–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kala, C. P., Farooquee, N. A., & Dhar, U. (2005). Traditional uses and conservation of timur (Zanthoxylum armatum DC.) through social institutions in Uttaranchal Himalaya, India. Conservation and Society, 3(1), 224–230.Google Scholar
  16. Kandari, L. S., Phondani, P. C., Payal, K. C., Rao, K. S., & Maikhuri, R. K. (2012). Ethnobotanical Study towards conservation of medicinal and aromatic plants in upper catchments of Dhauli Ganga in the Central Himalaya. Journal of Mountain Science, 9, 286–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kloucek, P., Polesny, Z., Svobodova, B., Vlkova, E., & Kokoska, L. (2005). Antimicrobial screening of some Peruvian medicinal plants used in Calleria District. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 99, 309–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Maikhuri, R. K., Nautiyal, S., Rao, K. S., & Saxena, K. G. (1998). Role of medicinal plants in the traditional health care system: A case study from Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Himalaya. Current Science, 75(2), 152–157.Google Scholar
  19. Maikhuri, R. K., Rao, K. S., Chauhan, K., Kandari, L. S., Prasad, P., Rajasekaran, C. (2003). Development of marketing of medicinal plants and other forest products: can it be a path way for effective management and conservation. Indian Forester, 129, 169–177.Google Scholar
  20. Maikhuri, R. K., Rao, K. S., Kandari, L. S., Joshi, R., & Dhyani, D. (2005). Does the outreach program make an impact? A case study of medicinal and aromatic plant cultivation in Uttaranchal. Current Science, 88(9), 1480–1486.Google Scholar
  21. Maikhuri, R. K., Rawat, L. S., Phondani, P. C., Negi, V. S., Farooquee, N. A., & Negi, C. (2009). Hill Agriculture of Uttarakhand: Policy, governance, research issues and development priorities for sustainability. The Indian Economy Review, IIPM, 6(31), 116–123.Google Scholar
  22. Mukherjee, P. K., & Wahile, A. (2006). Integrated approaches towards drug development from Ayurveda and other Indian system of medicines. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 103, 25–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Nabhan, G. P. (1989). Enduring seeds: Native American agriculture and wild plant conservation. San Francisco, CA: North Point Press.Google Scholar
  24. Naithani, B. D. (1985). Flora of Chamoli (Vol. 2, p. 595). Dehradun: Botanical Survey of India.Google Scholar
  25. Narayana, D. B. A., Katayar, C. K., & Brindavanam, N. B. (1998). Original system: Search, research or re-search. IDMA Bulletin, 29, 413–416.Google Scholar
  26. Nautiyal, S., Rao, K. S., Maikhuri, R. K., Semwal, R. L., & Saxena, K. G. (2000). Traditional knowledge related to medicinal and aromatic plants in tribal societies in a part of Himalaya. Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Sciences 23/4A and 23/1A, 528–441.Google Scholar
  27. Negi, V. S., & Maikhuri, R. K. (2012). Socio-ecological and religious perspective of agrobiodiversity conservation: Issues, concern and priority for sustainable agriculture, Central Himalaya. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics,. doi: 10.1007/s10806-012-9386-y.Google Scholar
  28. Negi, V. S., Maikhuri, R. K., Phondani, P. C., & Rawat, L. S. (2010). An Inventory of indigenous knowledge and cultivation practices of medicinal plants in Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary, Central Himalaya, India. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services and Management, 1, 1–10.Google Scholar
  29. Negi, V. S., Maikhuri, R. K., & Vashishtha, D. P. (2011). Traditional healthcare practices among the villages of Rawain valley, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, India. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 10(3), 533–537.Google Scholar
  30. Phondani, P. C. (2010). A study on prioritization and categorization of specific ailments in different high altitude tribal and non-tribal communities and their traditional plant based treatments in Central Himalaya. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis submitted to H.N.B. Garhwal Central University, Srinagar, Uttarakhand.Google Scholar
  31. Phondani, P. C. (2011). Worth of traditional herbal system of medicine for curing ailments prevalent across the mountain region of Uttarakhand, India. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science, 1(09), 81–86.Google Scholar
  32. Phondani, P. C., Maikhuri, R. K., & Kala, C. P. (2010a). Ethnoveterinary uses of medicinal plants among traditional herbal healers in Alaknanda catchment of Uttarakhand, India. African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, 7, 195–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Phondani, P. C., Maikhuri, R. K., Negi, C. S., Kala, C. P., Rawat, M. S., & Bisht, N. S. (2011a). Indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants among rural communities of Dhutatoli forest range in Pauri district, Uttarakhand, India. In C. P. Kala (Ed.), Medicinal plants and sustainable development (pp. 209–217). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  34. Phondani, P. C., Maikhuri, R. K., Negi, V. S., Rawat, L. S., Kandari, L. S., Bahuguna, A., et al. (2011b). Revitalize traditional health care system for sustainable development and medicinal plants conservation in Uttarakhand Himalaya. Environment and We: An International Journal of Science and Technology, 6(3), 155–165.Google Scholar
  35. Phondani, P. C., Maikhuri, R. K., Rawat, L. S., Farooquee, N. A., Kala, C. P., Vishvakarma, S. C. R., et al. (2010b). Ethnobotanical uses of plants among Bhotiya tribal communities of Niti Valley in Central Himalaya, India. Ethnobotany Research and Application, 8, 233–244.Google Scholar
  36. Phondani, P. C., Negi, V. S., Bhatt, I. D., Maikhuri, R. K., & Kothyari, B. P. (2011c). Promotion of medicinal and aromatic plants cultivation for improving livelihood security: A case study from West Himalaya, India. International Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, 1(3), 245–252.Google Scholar
  37. Planning Commission. (2000). Report of the task force on conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants. New Delhi: Government of India, Planning Commission.Google Scholar
  38. Prasad, R., & Bhattacharya, P. (2003). Sustainable harvesting of medicinal plant resources. In S. B. Roy (Ed.), Contemporary studies in natural resource management in India (pp. 168–198). New Delhi: Inter-India Publications.Google Scholar
  39. Rana, M. S., & Samant, S. S. (2011). Diversity, indigenous uses and conservation status of medicinal plants in Manali Wildlife Sanctuary, North western Himalaya, Indian. Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 10(3), 439–459.Google Scholar
  40. Sahoo, U. K., Lalremruata, J., Lalramnghinglova, H., Lalremruati, J. H., & Lalliankhuma, C. (2010). Livelihood generation through non-timber forest products by rural poor in and around Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram. Journal of Non-Timber Forest Products, 17(2), 147–161.Google Scholar
  41. Samal, P. K., Shah, A., Tiwari, S. C., & Agrawal, D. K. (2004). Indigenous health care practices and their linkage with bio-resources conservation and socio-economic development in central Himalayan region of India. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 3(1), 12–26.Google Scholar
  42. Sharma, P. P., & Mujumdar, A. M. (2003). Traditional knowledge on plants from Toranmal Plateau of Maharashtra. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 2, 292–296.Google Scholar
  43. Sienna, C. (2002). Himalayan Healers in tradition: Professionalization, Identity and Conservation among Practitioners of gso ba rig pa in Nepal. In Proceeding of regional workshop on wise practices and experimental learning in conservation and management of Himalayan medicinal plants Kathmandu, Nepal, pp. 411–433.Google Scholar
  44. Tiwari, L. (2003). Traditional Himalayan medicine system and its materia medica. India: History of Indian Science and Technology.Google Scholar
  45. WHO. (2002). World Health Organization traditional medicine strategy 2002–2005 (p. 12). Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar
  46. Wiersum, K. F., Dold, A. P., Husselman, M., & Cocks, M. (2006). Cultivation of medicinal plants as a tool for biodiversity conservation and poverty alleviation in the Amatola region, South Africa. In R. J. Bogers, L. E. Craker & D. Lange (Eds.), Medicinal and aromatic plants (pp. 43–57). Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
  47. Zimmerer, K. S. (1991). Managing diversity in potato and maize fields of the Peruvian Andes. Journal of Ethnobiology, 11, 23–49.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. C. Phondani
    • 1
  • R. K. Maikhuri
    • 2
  • N. S. Bisht
    • 3
  1. 1.G. B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and DevelopmentAlmoraIndia
  2. 2.G. B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and DevelopmentSrinagarIndia
  3. 3.Department of BotanyHNB Garhwal Central UniversityGarhwalIndia

Personalised recommendations