Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 1295- 1301, 2009.
Indigenous Knowledge on Miscellaneous Uses of Plants by the People of Parroha VDC, Rupandehi District, Central Nepal
Kamal Prasad Acharya1* and Rajendra Acharya2
1POBox 15142 KPC 676, Kathmandu, Nepal
*for correspondence: [email protected]
2Arunodaya Higher Secondary School, Satikhel, Kathmandu
Issued October 01, 2009
This study aims to explore the information on miscellaneous uses on plant resources found in Parroha VDC of Rupandehi district, Nepal. The study was conducted during May 2007. Informations on plant resources were collected interviewing key informants using a semi structured open ended questionnaires. Altogether 33 different species of plants belonging to 19 families were found used for miscellaneous purposes.
Keywords: Indigenous Knowledge, Parrhoa VDC, Plant resources, Rupandehi district, Nepal.
With the surface area of 1,47,181 km2, Nepal lies at the crossroads of the Himalaya. Within its small boundary, marked variations exist between different areas in terms of amount and duration of annual rainfall and temperature. Its great climatic, geographical and geological diversity gives rise to biological and ecological diversity and comprises of tropical to alpine climatic zones. In Nepal, majority of people depend on agricultural works and heavily rely on plants and plants products (either domesticated or wild) to fulfill their basic needs and for household economics. Because of this, most of the ecosystems with useful species are under threat due to habitat destruction, unsustainable harvesting and over-exploitation (Chaudhary, 1998). So, it is now realized that priority should be given to the documentation and conservation of the existing species and habitats before some of these are eliminated from the area (Joshi and Joshi, 2009). At present, research towards the general documentation of ethno-medicinal plants, wild food plants, and of other uses by different workers/scientists is taking place in different areas of Nepal (Manandhar, 2002; Joshi et al., 2003; Bhattarai et al., 2009). But, information on miscellaneous uses of plant resources of Parroha VDC is still not documented. In this background, present study was devised to document the indigenous knowledge on miscellaneous uses of plants in Parroha VDC in Rupandehi district of Central Nepal.
Materials and Methods
Parroha VDC of Rupandehi district lies in the terai region of Nepal. The total population of VDC is about 20 thousands, of which about one fourth (about 26%) are Tharu (CBS 2002). The altitude of the study area ranges from 220 m to 500 m asl. The forest is mainly dominated by Sal (Shorea robutsa) with its associated species Saj (Terminalia alata), Banjhi (Anogeissus latifolia) etc. The climate of the area is typically tropical dominated by south-east monsoon. Generally hot climate prevails throughout the year except in the winter lasting for the short period. The temperature of the district ranges from average 70C winter to average 450C during summer.
The field study to collect the informations on miscellaneous uses of plant and plant parts was carried out during May 2007. Informations were collected interviewing key informations using semi structured open ended questions and group discussions. Collected specimens were identified with the help of standard literature (Hara et al., 1978; Hara and Williams, 1979; Press et al., 2000) and with cross checking the specimens deposited at Tribhuvan University Central Herbarium (TUCH), Kirtipur. The collected specimens are deposited at TUCH, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Results and Discussion
Ethnobotanical information on 33 plant species have been collected with their indigenous knowledge and practices. These plant species fall under 32 genera and 19 families. List of medicinal plant species with their scientific name, family, local name, habitat, and uses are presented in Table 1. The species are arranged alphabetically. Out of total species used for miscellaneous purposes, nearly two third are trees (64%) followed by shrub and climber (each with 12%), shrub or tree (9%) and herb (3%) (Figure 1). The informations presented in this research are collected from the senior members of the community. However, the youngsters of the region are less knowledgeable. This type of trend shows that the traditional knowledge on miscellaneous uses of plants is deteriorating in present study area. To preserve these valuable natural resources, first these existing valuable informations are needed to be documented before they are lost or disappeared. Therefore, strong emphasis should be given for the documentation of indigenous uses, traditional knowledge and practices.
Figure 1. Different life forms of plants used.
Present study shows that the study area is rich in medicinal plants. Tharu community has developed their own unique system of using plants for medicinal uses. Nowadays, there is availability of modern medicines but the old generations of the study area rely on plants and plant products for remedy. The youngsters of the study area rely on modern medicines due to its easy availability. Because of which the practice of using plants and plant parts for medicinal use is decreasing. So, the emphasis should be given for the documentation of this knowledge before they are lost or disappeared.
Table 1: List of plant species used for miscellaneous purposes by the people of Parroha VDC of Rupandehi district.
We are thankful to the local resource person especially Mr. Tirtha Bhusal, Prem B. Baniya and other person of Parroha VDC for sharing valuable informations on plants and plant resources.
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