Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 934-37. 2008.
Taxonomic Validation of Crude Drugs used for Poisonous Bites by Adivasis of Rayalaseema Region, Andhra Pradesh
Johnson, Saturas N.A.1, K.Venkata Ratnam2, G. Tirupathi Reddy3 and R.R. Venkata Raju3*
1Department of Botany, Govt. Degree College for Men, Kurnool 518 002
2Department of Botany, Rayalaseema University, Kurnool 518 002
3Department of Botany, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur 515 003
Prof. R.R. Venkata Raju
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Issued 02 November 2008
The present report deals with the phytotherapeutic properties of certain potential anti-poisonous crude drugs used by the Adivasis, inhabited in the forests of Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. The critical taxonomic analysis yielded twenty species belonging to 17 families of angiosperms used for poisonous bites. The majority of drug formulations (14 spp.) were administered as antidotes for snake bites.
Key words: Crude drugs, Poisonous bites, Rayalaseema region.
Since time immorial plants play an important role in the spiritual as well as physical well being of the mankind. The indigenous people depend either directly or indirectly on the forests for their daily needs and preserve the knowledge about the traditional and cultural uses of plants as family secrets. It is necessary that unwritten folklore uses of plant products must be documented and preserved. In this connection an attempt was made to collect folklore information about poisonous bites from Rayalaseema forests. The critical review of literature (Jain, 1991; Kirtikar and Basu, 1935; Rama Rao and Henry, 1996) revealed that very few and sporadic attempts were made on crude drugs used for poisonous bites (Reddy et al., 1996 and Imam et al., 2003). Hence, the present investigation gains importance.
Rayalaseema is the southern part of Andhra Pradesh, comprises of Anantapur, Kadapa, Chittoor and Kurnool districts. It is situated almost in the centre of southern part of the Indian peninsula. Geographically it is located between 120 301 and 160 151 N latitudes and 760 551 and 790 551 E longitudes, covering 23.95% of the total area of the state. It is bounded on the south by Tamilnadu, on the west by Karnataka, while Telangana and Coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh forms the north and east boundaries respectively. The Rayalaseema has no coastal line and is accessible only by land. The major soil types of the area are red soils, red loams and black cotton. The main tribal communities of the area are chenchus, sugalis, yanadis and yerukalas and most of them scattered all over the region except Chenchus, who have restricted distribution in the Nallamalais of Kurnool district only.
Ethnobotanical exploration trips were made to collect first hand information about therapeutic properties of plants from tribal and rural people, inhabited in and around the forests. The information about therapeutic properties of plants used in folk medicine was obtained through direct observations and discussions with tribal men. Data was recorded on the plant parts used, local name, place of collection, process of preparation, mode of administration and dosage. The voucher specimens were prapared for authentication of information and for future references. The specimens were identified with the help of local/regional floras (Gamble, 1935; Venkata Raju and Pullaiah, 1995) and deposited at Sri Krishnadevaraya University herbarium (SKU), Anantapur.
The collected drug yielding species were systematically analyzed and enumerated in alphabetical order. The enumeration of taxa includes botanical name with voucher number, common name, family, habit, part used, purpose and mode of administration (Table 1). The new and hither to not reported crude drugs were indicated with asterisk.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
The present study mainly deals with less known crude drugs used against poisonous bites used by Adivasis of Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh. The critical analysis of the data in the light of literature resulted twenty species belonging to 17 families of Angiosperms. Among them five species i.e. Coccinia indica, Habenaria roxburghii, Tribulus terrestris, Pavetta breviflora and Viscum articulatum were hitherto not reported by earlier workers. The results indicate that, snake bite is very common in the tribal habitations than other poisonous bites and about eleven drug formulations have been administered in raw form and three species with ingredients. The formulations need to be screened for their chemical and clinical tests to prove their efficacy, which is being attempted in the laboratory.
The first author is thankful to the University Grants Commission SERO, Hyderabad for financial assistance.
Gamble, J.S., 1915-1935. Flora of Presidency of Madras. Vol.I-III. Botanical Survey of Iidia. Calcutta.
Imam,S., V.C. Gupta, and S.J. Husain. 2003. Some important folk-herbal medicines used as antidotes for snake bites from tribal pockets of Atmakur forest division of Andhra Pradesh. National Symposium on emerging trends in Indian Medicinal Plants, Lucknow, p. p5(1-O/5), 10-12 Oct.
Jain, S.K. 1991. Dictionary of Folk medicine and Ethnobotany. Deep Publications, New Delhi.
Kirtikar, K.R. and B.D. Basu. 1935. Indian Medicinal Plants. Vol. I-IV. International book distributors. Dehra Dun. India.
Rama Rao, N. and A.N. Henry. 1996. The Ethnobotany of Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh, India. BSI, Calcutta.
Reddy, M.H., K. Vijayalakshmi, and R.R.Venkata Raju 1996. Native phytotherapy for snake bite in Nallamalais of Eastern Ghats, India. J.Econ. Tax. Bot. Addl. ser. 12: 214-217.
Venkata Raju, R.R. and T. Pullaiah. 1995. Flora of Kurnool. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun, India.
Table 1. Medico-botanical enumeration of crude drugs used against poisonous bites.
Ap: Aerial Parts; L: Leaf; Inf: Inflorescence; Rt: Root tuber; R: Root; S: Stem; Sb: Stem bark; Wp: whole plant.