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Dr. Thangaraj Francis Xavier, Arockiadoss Arun Bastin* and Dr. Anthonysamy Auxilia


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Traditional remedies used for the treatment of various ailments are considered to be very important in the primary healthcare of paliyar people living in Dindigul district of Tamil Nadu. Novel information gathered from the present investigation is important in preserving folk indigenous knowledge of Paliyar tribe. The present study was initiated to establish a regional profile of the indigenous knowledge system for medicinal plant use and cultural practices associated with the healing process of these plants by traditional healers in the Pachalur hill, Dindigul. Methods: An ethnobotanical field survey was undertaken to collect information from paliyar traditional healers during May to August 2013. Information was collected from sixteen herbalists of different age through interviews and personal observations made during the field visit. The data obtained was analyzed through informant consensus factor (Fic) to determine homogeneity of informants knowledge on medicinal plants also the fidelity level (FL) to authenticate the uniqueness of a species to treat a particular ailment. Results: In the present study a total of 30 medicinal plant species belonging to 27 genera and 22 families were presented, used for treating 33 ailments. The major plant parts used are leaves and most of the remedies are suggested to take orally. The informant consensus factor revealed that the Liver Problem, Endocrinal Disorder, Hair Care, Genito Urinary Ailment, ENT and Kidney stone diseases have the highest informant consensus factor Fic of 1 followed by the dental care, Poisonous bite and Respiratory System Disorder (Fic- 0.8). Gastro intestinal ailment, General Health and Dermatological infection showed relatively low levels of consensus (Fic- 0.7). The level of informants consent was high for most ailment categories to highlight some of the plant species in terms of Fidelity level. Shrubs (12%) were the primary source of medicine followed by herbs (11%). Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (UV of 0.68) and Piper betle (UV of 0.5) are the most frequently and popularly used medicinal plants species in the study area.

Keywords: Pachalur, Paliyar tribes, Ethnomedicine, Hepato protective, Novelty index, Use value.

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