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Abstract

INDIGENOUS MEDICINAL PRACTICES OF SHRUB SPECIES IN THE WESTERN PART OF PARSA DISTRICT, NEPAL

Shila Singh*

Abstract

This study was focused on documentation of shrub species used to treat various human diseases and to find out the level of awareness among the local people about the conservation of indigenous knowledge as well as biodiversity in the study area. Ethnobotanical data were collected using semi-structured interviews, group discussions, and field visits. Preference index and citation percentage were used to analyze the medicinal importance of the studied plant species. A total of 31 plant species belonging to 28 genera and 16 families were reported for the treatment of 49 diseases in this study. The highest number of plants used for medicinal purposes was from the three families Apocynaceae, Euphorbiaceae, and Oleaceae (13% each) whereas six families Caesalpiniaceae, Fabaceae, Lythraceae, Malvaceae, Rutaceae, and Verbenaceae (6% each) were in the second category. Leaves were (31%), the most frequently utilized plant parts, and then root (28%) for the preparation of traditional herbal medicines. The common method of preparation of medicine was decoction (23%). Local people possess good knowledge of medicinal plants to treat various human diseases; however, agricultural expansion and disinterest of the young generation towards this knowledge has become a major threat to preserve this knowledge and biodiversity conservation. It is, therefore, necessary to do proper documentation and identification of plant species used as herbal medicines in this area.

Keywords: Medicinal plants, Parsa District, Tharu community, Indigenous knowledge, Shrubs.


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