Traditional uses of medicinal plants for dermatological healthcare management practices by the Tharu tribal community of Uttar Pradesh, India

Abstract

The aim of present study was to explore and document medicinal plants used for the traditional dermatological healthcare management practices by the the Tharu tribal community of Uttar Pradesh. The study was conducted during 2000–2004. Information was gathered from 230 informants residing in 46 villages in Terai region of Indo-Nepal boarder using questionnaires; oral interviews and group discussions. Total 92 medicinal plant species were cited for the preparation of 113 crude drug formulations. Voucher specimens of cited plant species were collected and identified as belonging to 82 genera and 49 families. Thirty-nine medicinal plant species were reported for the first time for dermatological healthcare problems from India. The dermatological healthcare problems managed were cut and wounds, ringworm, leprosy, eczema, scabies, leucoderma, boils, carbuncles, pimples, skin blemishes, spots, eruption, and burns etc. The most commonly and popularly used medicinal plant species for management of dermatological healthcare problems in the study area were Curcuma longa L., Azadirachta indica A. Juss and Melia azedarach L. It is concluded that dermatological healthcare management practice in the study area depends largely on wildly growing medicinal plant species. There is an urgent need to properly conserve the medicinal plant species growing in this area for human welfare. There is also need for further phytopharmacological studies to provide scientific explanation for the usages of 57 medicinal plant species for which to the best of our knowledge phytopharmacological literatures are not available.

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Acknowledgments

Authors are grateful to the Tharu tribal community of Uttar Pradesh for providing valuable ethnobotanical information. Authors are also thankful to Mr. Ravi Jyoti Mishra, Social Worker (Beti Foundation) for his help during the survey and Dr. J. P. Tewari, Professor, Department of Botany, M. L. K. P. G. College Balrampur for his help in identification of many plant species. First author is also grateful to Dr. R. P. Shukla, Ex-Medical officer and Mr. Y. P. Shukla, Pharmacist, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh for their help during the study. The authors are also thankful to the Editor in Chief Dr. K. Hammer and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable feedbacks.

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Kumar, A., Pandey, V.C., Singh, A.G. et al. Traditional uses of medicinal plants for dermatological healthcare management practices by the Tharu tribal community of Uttar Pradesh, India. Genet Resour Crop Evol 60, 203–224 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-012-9826-6

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Keywords

  • Dermatological healthcare
  • Ethnobotany
  • Medicinal plants
  • Tharu tribal community
  • Underutilized plant genetic resources
  • Uttar Pradesh