Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 520-23. 2008.
Use of Various Bio-Fencing Plants in the Control of Human Diseases by the Lambada Tribe Inhabiting Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh, India
A. Vijaya Bhasker Reddy
Department of Botany
P.G.College of Science
Saifabad, Hyderabad –500004, India
Email: [email protected]
Issued 25 July 2008
The present paper deals with 16 bio-fencing plants, which are being used for control of various diseases in human beings by Lambada tribes of Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh. The biomedicines are collected from the plants, which are used as fencing plants to their agricultural fields. This work is being carried out in collaboration with local Lambada tribes of Manchya Naik Thanda of Nalgonda district. The documented ethno medicine information was indexed by plant name, family, local name and uses.
Key Words: Lambada Tribe, Fencing plants, Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh.
Nalgonda district lies between 170 50’ N latitude and 780 10’ and 800 5’ S longitude. The district is bounded on the north by Medak and Warangal districts, on the South by Mahabubnagar and Guntur districts, on the West by the Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts and on the East by Khammam and Krishna districts. The district has geographical area of 14,240 sq. km. With a total population of 30,80,000. The tribal population in the district is 10%. The forest occupies 83,000 hectares area; these are mostly of tropical thorny type.
Two important tribal settlements are seen in this district. They are Lambada and Erukala. This work is concentrated on Lambada tribe living at Manchya Naik Thanda, Mattampally Mandal of Nalgonda District.
Lambada tribals are the largest tribe in Andhrapradesh. Lambadas live in exclusive settlements of their own called Thandas, usually away from the main village, tenaciously maintaining their cultural and ethnic identity. They eat a variety of tubers, roots, leaves, wild fruits etc., they collect and sell non timber forest produce like tamarind, adda leaves, broom sticks etc. in local Shandi (market). They cultivate largely jowar, which is their staple food.
Regular field trips to Manchya Naik Thanda were conducted between 2006 and 2007 in the months of April to July for collecting the ethno botanical data and herbarium specimens. The tribal people of Lambada who regularly use the plants provided important information regarding the ethno medicinal usage of the fencing plants around their agricultural fields. The collected plants from the tribal people were identified with the help of herbarium and literature, and herbarium specimens were deposited in the Botany Department, P.G. College of Science, Saifabad.
1) Alangium salvifolium (L.f.) Wang.
Local name: Ooduga chettu
Medicinal uses: fruits are used as antiometic.
2) Annona squamosa Linn.
Local name: Sethafalam
Medicinal uses: leaf paste is applied over joints to get relief from pain and 5 grams
of seed powder along with milk taken against gastric colic.
3) Agave americana Linn.
Local name: Kithanara
Medicinal uses: crushed leaf gives relief from joint pains.
4) Azadirachta indica A.Juss.
Local name: Vepa
Medicinal Uses: leaf smoke is used for the control of mosquitoes and leaf paste is
used to cure skin diseases.
5) Ailanthus excelsa Roxb.
Local name: Pedda vepa
Medicinal uses: bark and leaf smoke is used for control of mosquitoes.
6) Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Del.
Local name: Gare
Medicinal uses: small twigs are kept in the ventilators to avoid the entry of
microbes. Dried leaf smoke is used to control the houseflies inside the home. Fruit pulp is taken orally to control the loose
7) Butea monosperma(Lamk.) Taub.
Local name: Chuttaku
Medicinal uses: leaf paste is applied on forehead to get relief from headache.
8) Borassus flabellifer Linn.
Local name: Thati chettu
Medicinal uses: male spike smoke is slightly inhaled for control of cold and cough.
9) Bambusa arundinacea (Retz.) Willd.
Local name: Veduru
Medicinal uses: stem stripes are used to bind the fractured bones.
10) Calotropis procera (Ait.) Aitf.
Local name: jelladu
Medicinal uses: leaves are pounded with caster oil and banded over knee joints to
get relief from joint pain.
11) Caesalpinia bonduc Linn.
Local name: gachakaya
Medicinal uses: seeds powder with turmeric and applied to cure skin diseases.
12) Chloroxylon swietenia DC.
Local name: Billudu
Medicinal uses: Dried bark smoke is inhaled against cough and cold.
13) Euphorbia tirucalli Linn.
Local name: palachettu
Medicinal uses: latex is applied over swellings to get relief from pain.
14) vitex negundo L.
Local Name: Vavili
Medicinal uses: leaves are boiled in water and this water is used for bath to control
of body pains.
15) Lawsonia inermis L.
Local name: Gorinta
Medicinal uses: leaf paste is applied to cure wounds.
16) Randia dumetorum Lamk.
Local name: Manga
Medicinal uses: bark is pounded with coconut oil and used to control dandruff.
The plants collected and reported from Manchya Naik Thanda of Nalgonda district in the present study are used by the Lambada tribals in their routine treatment practices. These plants are also used as fencing plants to protect their agricultural fields. Hence these plants are acting as bio-fencing as well as bio-medicinal plants. All the preparations are very effective, cheap and available around their agricultural fields. So the tribals are using these plants as alternative to allopathic medicines. Further research on these bio-fencing/ bio-medicinal plants on scientific lines may help in developing effective drugs for human health care.
The author is grateful to Prof. P. Ramachandra Reddy for his encouragement. Author also expresses his deep gratitude to the Lambada tribal people for cooperation and for providing valuable information.
1. Hemadri, K. 1994. Shastravettalanu Akarshistunna Girijina vidyam (Tribal Pharmacopoeia) Tribal Cultural Research and Training Institute, Hyderabad. India.
2. Hemadri, K. & Rao, S.S. 1984. Jaundice: Tribal Medicine. Ancient Sci. Life.3 (4) 209-212.
3. Hemalatha, P. & Subba Reddy, B.V. 1982. The folk medicinal practices among a tribe of Andhra Pradesh, Bull. Indian Inst. Hist. Med. New Delhi. 39-44.
4. Jain, S.K. 1991. Dictionary of Indian Folkmedicine and Ethnobotany. Deep Publications. New Delhi.
5. Morris, Brain. 1989. Chenchu folk medicine. Institute of History of Medicine. Hyderabad. Andhra Pradesh. 21-32.
6. Ramachandra Reddy, P. Padma Rao, P. and Prabhakar, M. 2003. Ethnomedicinal practices amongst chenchus of Nagarjunasajar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR), Andhra Pradesh-plant medicines for cuts, wounds and boils. Ethnobotany. 15 : 67-70.
7. Rama Rao, N. & Henry, A.N. 1996. The Ethnobotany of Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh, India. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta.
8. Reddy,M.B. Reddy, K.R. & Reddy, M.N. 1988. A survey of medicinal plants of chenchu tribes of Andhra Pradesh, India. Int. J. Crude drugs res. 26(4), 189-196.
9. Reddy, M.H. Vijayalakshmi, K. venkata Raju, R.R. 1996. Native phytotherepay for snakebite in Nallamalais, Eastern Ghats, India. J.Econ.Tax.Bot. Addl.Ser. 12: 214-217.