Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 19-22. 2008.
Traditional Medicine Used by the Adivasis of Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh - For Bone Fractures
K. Venkata Ratnam and R.R. Venkata Raju
Department of Botany, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur
Issued 16 January 2008
The present survey provides information on the therapeutic properties of 21 crude drugs used for bone fractures by the natives of Eastern Ghats. Of the twenty one species that are presented here, fourteen had not been previously reported. Information on botanical name, vernacular name, family, part used, mode of drug preparation and administration is provided.
The Eastern Ghats are a long chain of broken hills that pass mainly through three states viz., Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamilnadu (Legris and Meher-Homji, 1982). They run about 1750 km with an average width of about 100 km between Mahanadi and Vaigai rivers along the Indian east coast. In Andhra Pradesh they situated between 120 38 220N latitudes and 780 50 840 46 E longitudes. The altitudes range from 300 1000m above MSL and the vegetation varies from semi-evergreen forests to scrub jungles. Tribes like Koyas, Kondareddis, Valmikis, Chenchus, Lambadas, Jatapus, Savaras, Bagatas, Porjas, Khonds, Yanadis and Yerukalas inhabit the forests of Eastern Ghats.
Our review of the literature revealed several reports on ethnobotanical studies. The majority of the reports dealt with general ailments like rheumatism (Hemadri, 1981), skin diseases (Jeevan, 2001), birth control (Lakshmi, 2001) and common women ailments (Venkata Ratnam and Venkata Raju, 2005). Few papers concerned the subject of traditional medicines for bone fractures (Rao & Reddy, 1999). Hence, the present report gains importance to reveal potential and hither to unknown crude drugs along with their therapeutic properties.
Exploration trips were carried out as a part of a series of ethno botanical studies that were carried out during 2002 to 2006 in order to collect first hand information from traditional practitioners. The collected information was recorded in field note books. Medicinal plants shown by the tribal healers were collected from the field and voucher herbarium specimens were prepared and deposited in SKU herbarium (SKU) Anantapur. The collected information was cross checked with the information from neighboring herbalists and also with available literature. The specimens were identified with the help of local/regional floras and confirmed by comparing with authentic specimens housed at S.K.Univesity Herbarium (SKU) Anantapur, Madras Herbarium (MH) Coimbatore and Central National Herbarium (CAL) Kolkata.
Results & Discussion
The drug yielding plants were arranged in alphabetical order followed by botanical name, local name, family, part used and mode of drug administration (Table 1).
Our taxonomic analysis of crude drugs yielded 21 species belonging to 17 families used for bone fractures. Among them seven species viz; Lannea coromandelica, Ichnocarpus frutescens,Vanda tessellate, Sterculia urens, Pouzolzia zeylanica, Gmelina arborea had been previously reported for bone fractures ( Jain,1991; Kirtikar and Basu, 1935; Rama Rao and Henry, 1996). Information on the remaining fourteen crude drugs was not found in the literature. Nearly half of the drugs were used in their natural form, while the remaining ones were mixed with such other ingredients as egg albumen, calcium, turmeric and pulse seeds.
Table 1: Systematic enumeration of crude drugs for bone factures.
L: leaf; St: Stem; Sh: Shoot; Sb: Stem bark; Rb: Root bark; Rtu: Root tuber; Fr: Fruit
The authors are thankful to University Grant commission for financial assistance.
Hemadri, K. 1981. Rheumatism: Tribal medicine. Anc.Sci.Life.1:117-120.
Jain, S.K.1991. Dictionary of Indian Folk medicine and Ethnobotany. Deep publications, New Delhi.
Jeevan Ram, A. and Venkata Raju, R.R. 2001.Certain potential crude drugs used by tribals of Nallamalais, Andhra Pradesh for skin diseases. Ethnobotany. 13 (1&2): 110-115.
Kirtikar, K.R.and Basu, B.D. 1935. Indian Medicinal Plants. Vol. I IV, periodical experts, Delhi, India.
Legris and Meher Homji, V.M. 1982. The Eastern Ghats: Vegetation and Bilclimatic aspects. Pros. Seminar on Resources development and environment in Eastern Ghats. Andhra University. Waltair. 1-7.
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