Ethnobotanical Leaflets 10: 281-284. 2006.
Some Medicinal Weeds Associated with Terraces of Crop Fields of Pauri, India
Upma Dobhal, Snehlata Bhandari and N.S. Bisht
Department of Botany, H.N.B.
Garhwal University Pauri Campus
Issued 27 November 2006.
An ethnobotanical survey was conducted in order to identify the medicinal weeds of crop fields in Pauri (located at an elevation of 1650m in northwest Garhwal Himalayas of Uttaranchal) and to find out the possibilities of utilizing these weeds. The information about their potential uses were collected with help of reference literature of different medicine systems. The study revealed that about 18 species of weeds in crop fields, of Pauri possessed medicinal properties. The study suggested a tremendous scope of utilizing these weeds, to promote additional income to the inhabitants.
Key Words: Garhwal, Weeds, Pauri.
Plants have been, and still are, a rich source of many natural products most of which have been extensively used for human welfare especially in toning up loss of vitality or general debility and also to elevate human pain and sufferings in illness or disease. From ancient time man has used several plants in attempt to cure diseases and relieve pain. Throughout the world, several thousands of plants are used for medicinal purposes. Comparatively few drug plants are cultivated. Most of the supply of drugs is obtained from the plants. The medicinal value of drug plants is due to the presence of certain chemical substances in plants. These substances produce definite physiological action on human body. With regards to medicinal plants, Himalayas are the rich source of medicinal herbs. The herbs grow on roadsides, forests and in fields along with important crops.
Pauri is located at 1650m elevation from sea level along 30o 8 ‘59” longitude and 78o 49’8” latitude in northwest Himalayas of Garhwal in Uttaranchal and its highest point is Jhandidhar (2500m elevation from sea level). Pauri has a wealth of medicinal herbs. There are various medicinal weeds growing on roadsides, forests and crop fields. These weeds are generally familiar to the inhabitants of the place. These weeds are rich source of medicines and drugs. The local people can make an extra income by selling these medicinal weeds.
Material and methods
The collection of various weeds was made from different crop fields of Pauri and the herbarium was prepared for identification of weeds. The identified weeds were further studied for their medicinal value, local people and vaidyas were also interviewed to know the medicinal importance of these weeds. Studies regarding medicinal importance of plants from other parts of Garhwal Himalaya have been conducted by several workers (Bisht et al., 1988, Samant et al., 1998, 2001, Negi et al., 1999 and Dhar et al, 2002).
Result and Discussion
The study revealed that out of 52 problematic weeds, 18 weeds are of medicinal importance and used against many diseases. All these weeds are arranged by their botanical names, family name; local name and mode of usage are summarized in Table 1. These weeds grow along with the crop plants and are regarded as nuisance for crops, but are the boon to the pharmaceutical industries as these weeds yield chemicals used in formulation of various important drugs. These are also used by Vaidyas for preparing various herbal formulations.
Due to lack of awareness about medicinal importance of these weeds they are discarded by the farmers. These weeds can become an additional source of income for the farmers, if they are made aware of the medicinal importance of these crop weeds.
A weed is a plant growing in the wrong place, yet with small shift in perspective we can change the definition to a plant whose virtues have not yet discovered. Those plant we call weeds, can have many useful functions, many are edible, medicinal, attract wildlife, increase biodiversity and also provide valuable information about the condition of our land.
Table 1. List of Medicinal Weeds.
1. Bisht, M.K., Bhatt, K.C. and Gaur R.D. (1988). Folk medicines of Arakot valley in district Uttarkashi: an ethnological study. In Purshottam Kaushik (ed) Indigenous Medicinal Plants, pp 163. Today Tommorow Printers and Publishers, New Delhi.
2. Dhar, U., Manjkhola, S., Joshi, M. (2002). Current status and future strategy for development of medicinal plants sector in Uttaranchal, India. Current Science, 83, 956-964.
3. Negi, K.S., Gaur, R.D. and Tiwari, J.K. (1999). Ethnobotanical notes on the flora of Har Ki Doon (District Uttarkashi) Garhwal Himalaya, U.P. India. Ethnobotany ll: 15.
4. Samant, S.S., Dhar, U and Palni, L.M.S. (1998). Medicinal plants of Indian Himalaya: Diversity Distribution Potential value. Gyanodaya Prakashan, Nainital.
5. Samant, S.S., Dhar, U and Palni, L.M.S. (2001). Himalayan Medicinal Plants Potential and Prospects (eds.). Gyanodaya Prakashan, Nainital pp.435.