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Ethnobotany of Medicinal Plants for Livelihood and Community Health in Deserts of Sindh-Pakistan

  • Ghulam Yaseen
  • Mushtaq Ahmad
  • Daniel Potter
  • Muhammad Zafar
  • Shazia Sultana
  • Sehrosh Mir
Chapter

Abstract

The preservation of traditional folk knowledge, preference of traditional medicine over others, and conservation of biodiversity have gained popularity among various communities, researchers, academicians, and policy makers. Traditional medicinal knowledge (a source of low-cost herbal medicine) requires novel approaches for its preservation for its sustainability among indigenous communities. The present study provides the traditional uses of the medicinal plants of the deserts of Sindh. Overall, 45 important plant species are commonly used to cure various diseases. The most commonly reported plant families are Fabaceae, with six species, followed by Amaranthaceae with four species and Asteraceae with three species. In life forms, most of the species belong to herbs (31 species) followed by trees (7 species). The most frequently cited species are Blepharis scindica, Oxalis corniculata, and Portulaca oleracea, while least documented species are Achyranthes bidentata followed by Euphorbia caducifolia. Most used plant parts are leaves with 30 reports followed by seeds (20 reports) and roots (18 reports), while least used plant part is latex followed by gum (3 reports) and shoots (4 reports). In modes of utilization, powders (26 reports) and decoctions (25 reports) are frequently used, while ash, smoke, raw forms, and oil are less frequently used modes of utilization. Plant biodiversity in deserts of Sindh-Pakistan provides many important plant species that are used in traditional medicine for curing various diseases. The plant species with the most commonly cited traditional uses yet whose potential applications in drug development have not been adequate should be preferred. In addition, species with only a few documented traditional uses may be further explored for preservation of traditional knowledge to them.

Keywords

Deserts Traditional knowledge Thar Desert Medicinal plants 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ghulam Yaseen
    • 1
  • Mushtaq Ahmad
    • 1
  • Daniel Potter
    • 2
  • Muhammad Zafar
    • 1
  • Shazia Sultana
    • 1
  • Sehrosh Mir
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant SciencesQuaid-i-Azam University IslamabadIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of California DavisDavisUSA

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