Inherited folk pharmaceutical knowledge of tribal people in the

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Inherited folk pharmaceutical knowledge of tribal people in the Powered By Docstoc
					Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge
Vol. 9(1), January 2010, pp. 77-89




               Inherited folk pharmaceutical knowledge of tribal people in the
                              Chittagong Hill tracts, Bangladesh
                                Animesh Biswas1*, MA Bari1, Mohashweta Roy1 & SK Bhadra2
                          1
                           Institute of Biological Sciences, Rajshahi University, Rajshahi, 6205, Bangladesh;
                                  2
                                    Department of Botany, University of Chittagong 4331, Bangladesh
                                                   E-mail: animeshmedp@yahoo.com

                                           Received 8 January 2007; revised 5 October 2008

          A questionnaire survey on the use of plants among the local tribal herbalists in the Chakma, Marma and Tripura
      community of Chitagong Hill tracts was carried out. Cross interviews of healers were made to verify the information. The
      indigenous people possess the knowledge of traditional healing system using plants. Till now, it is the only way to treat
      different ailments in tribal people in some remote hilly areas. Due to human interference the wild populations of medicinal
      plants are declining rapidly. Many of them have become rare and some are facing extinction. In the communication, 190
      medicinal plant species belonging to 147 genera and 57 families addressed with their traditional medicinal uses are recorded.
      Among the families, Fabaceae contained the highest number of plant species with medicinal properties. Of 190 plants found
      in use to treat 60 different diseases, fever was noted as the most common disease being treated by 35 plant species. There is
      need for documentation of indigenous healing procedure and for the preservation of valuable medicinal plant species.

      Keywords: Folklore, Chakma, Marma, Tripura, Ethnomedicine, Traditional knowledge, Medicinal plants, Bangladesh
      IPC Int. Cl.8: A61K36/00, A61P1/02, A61P1/08, A61P1/10, A61P1/16, A61P5/00, A61P5/50, A61P13/00, A61P15/00,
                     A61P29/00, A61P39/02

Bangladesh, a flat delta, has a limited stretch of hilly              the remote areas. The indigenous knowledge related
areas spread over its northern and Southeastern                       to the use of medicinal plants is important to the
region. The hilly areas, extension of the Hindu Kush-                 context of exploitation of genetic resources and the
Himalayan (HKH) belt, are located in the Southeast.                   local herbalists commonly known as Baiddyas and
The area known as Chittagong Hill tracts (CHT), is                    Kavirajs have this kind of knowledge, which they
situated between 21° 25′and 23° 40′ North latitude                    inherited from their previous generations. Because of
and 91° 55′ and 92° 45′ East longitude, which is                      huge rate of deforestation, natural disaster, jhum
bordering the Arakan and Chine state of Myanmar on                    cultivation, firing and over exploitation many of the
the Southeast, the Indian state of Tripura on the                     medicinal plant species have become rare and their
North, Mizoram on the East and Chittagong district                    wild populations are declining rapidly and some
on the West (Fig. 1)1. The total area of the CHT is                   might have been extinct3. In this context, it is
about 13,184 sq km, which is approximately one tenth                  important to collect information on the indigenous
of the total area of Bangladesh and consists of 3                     knowledge and evaluate the present position of the
districts with 25 thanas2. A number of different tribes               medicinal plant resources of such area as it may help
including Chakma, Marma, Tripura are residing in                      in planning programme for judicious exploitation of
this district. Because of the presence of forest, the                 these plant resources. The research focuses on
livelihood of the local people depends mostly on its                  pharmaceutical knowledge of tribal communities of
forest resources. The natural medicinal plants provide                Chittagong Hill tracts and aimed to document their
a major part of the medicines for treatment of                        traditional herbal use of plants.
different diseases. Still, the tribal people of the area
depend on the plant based medicines to a great extent.                Methodology
Medicinal plants play a major role in people’s                           Field survey was conducted during October 2003
healthcare especially for poor communities living in                  to September 2004 covering 3 seasons, winter,
——————                                                                summer and rain. Ethnobotanical information was
*Corresponding author                                                 collected using a format of questionnaire interviews
78                      INDIAN J. TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, VOL. 9, NO. 1, JANUARY 2010


with 48 local herbalists. All interviewees were male        the 190 plants species, leaves of 123 plants, roots of
with an age range of 45-70 yrs. The sources and             35 plants, fruits of 21 plants, whole parts of 22 plants,
location of plant materials used by them for the            stem bark of 17 plants, rhizome of 10 plants were
treatment of different diseases were traced out and         used. Other parts of plants are also used rarely. Fever,
identified by local herbalists, commonly known as           a common disease of different origin is treated by
Baiddya. Local name of collected plants, processing         31 plant species; skin disease is treated with 23 plants.
and treatment procedure of diseases with a particular       Bronchial trouble, mental disorder, rheumatic pain,
plant was confirmed by cross interviewing of local          blood pressure, sex diseases can be treated with some
herbalists. Photographs of each species were taken          medicinal plants. The use of the same plant for
and herbaria of mature plants were prepared for             treatment of different diseases was also noticed during
authentic     identification  of     the   specimens.       the survey.
Identification of the specimens was done with the
help of the scientists of Bangladesh National               Discussion
Herbarium, Dhaka. Local floras were also consulted              Local knowledge generated by people living within
for correct botanical nomenclature. To check the            a particular community is unique and it can contribute
information about medicinal uses of the identified          to a sustainable development strategy that accounts
species, several publications and ethnobotanical            for the potential of the local environment and the
records were consulted4-19. The plants are arranged         experience and wisdom of the indigenous population.
according to their scientific names, family, local          The tribal communities of Chittagong Hill tracts
name, parts used, mode and uses (Table 1). Voucher          possess such kind of knowledge particularly from
specimens and photographic documentation have               their healthcare viewpoint, which is transmitted from
been deposited at the Biotechnology Laboratory,             generation to generation by Guru mode of instruction
Institute of Biological Sciences, Rajshahi University,      and this system is still prevailing (Figs. 5-8). In most
Rajshahi, Bangladesh.                                       cases, the knowledge was kept strictly within the
                                                            family circle. The apprentices lived with and learnt at
Results                                                     the feet of the masters who maintained a conventional
   Of 190 ethnomedicinally important plant species          oral tradition. The Guru mode learning which is still
belonging to 57 families and 147 genera studied,            prevailing in all the three communities studied, viz.
128 plants are perennial and 62 plants are annual;          Chakma, Marma and Tripura is mostly inherited,
their mode of propagation varied greatly. Fabaceae          though certain rare procedures are preserved in
included the highest number (33) of medicinal plant         written form and they are strict to disclose such
species followed by Lamiaceae (13), Verbenaceae             recipes. The inhibitors of remote hilly areas are
(10), Zingiberaceae (10), Apocynaceae (9), both             mainly dependent on herbal medicine for treating
Acanthaceae and Euphorbiaceae have 8, Asteraceae,           their diseases. But due to indiscriminate deforestation,
Rubiaceae and Solanaceae comprised 7 species each.          over exploitation, habitat destruction, burning, Jhum
Each of 31 families included one medicinal plant. The       cultivation and injudicious collection, the natural
highest (46.84%) was noticed for herbal type                habitats of medicinal plants in Hill tracts region are
followed by shrubs (21.57%), trees (15.26%),                being gradually declined18 (Figs. 9-10). Experienced
climbers (7.36%), lianas (4.74%), small tree (1.05%)        local herbalists are losing their interest because of
and wining shrub, creeping shrub, vine, creeper,            scarcity of required raw materials in the right quantity
epiphytic lianas and climbing herb (0.53% each)             and quality at the right time in their vicinity and
(Fig. 2). It was noticed that different plant parts, viz.   new generations are rarely interested to indulge
leaves, latex, fruit, fruit pulp, flowers, bulbils, young   in such kind of profession. Moreover, modern
twigs, seeds, stem bark, tubers, rhizome, roots and         pharmaceuticals have replaced many natural
whole plant of different species are generally used in      remedies. In these consequences, traditional
the form of powder, fresh juice, paste, fruit, latex,       knowledge of healing system is disappearing rapidly
decoction, pulp, boiled seed, pill, starch, direct use      in the tribal communities of Chittagong Hill tracts and
and soaked seed are used for curing 60 different            if this situation continues, it may be completely lost. It
diseases (Figs.3&4). Leaves were found to be the            is our moral responsibility to restore such indigenous
most useful part and applied frequently in the form         knowledge system of traditional medicine that
of juice and paste for curing various diseases. Among       inherited to the tribal communities of Chittagong Hill
               BISWAS et al.: FOLK PHARMACEUTICAL KNOWLEDGE OF TRIBAL PEOPLE IN BANGLADESH                                          79

                                Table 1— Ethnomedicinal uses of plants in Chittagong Hill Tracts
Plant name/ Family                     Local name                 Parts/ mode used                 Treatment (s)
Abelmoschus moschatus (L.) Medik.      Amila                      Root, fruit                      Urinary trouble, itch
Malvaceae                                                         juice, powder
Abroma augusta L.                      Udurful                    Leaf juice                       Menstrual trouble
Sterculiaceae
Abrus precatorius L.                   Kejbigi                    Root, Seed                Abortion, itch, headache
Fabaceae                                                          Powder
Abutilon indicum (L.) Sweet.           Sarboamilaful              Root, seed                Urinary trouble, pain
Malvaceae                                                         powder, juice
Acalypha indica L.                     Muktajhuri                 Whole plant,              Cough, skin disease
Euphorbiaceae                                                     powder, juice. paste
Achyranthes aspera L.                  Ubalakher                  Root, leaves,             Urinary trouble, abortion
Amaranthaceae                                                     juice
Acorus calamus L.                      Boj                        Rhizome, juice,           Asthma, menstrual trouble, bowel
Zingiberaceae                                                     powder                    pain
Adina cordifolia Hook.                 Kelikadam                  Leaves, stem bark, powder,Fever
Fabaceae                                                          juice
Adhatoda vasica Nees.                  Bajokpada                  Leaf juice                Cold, cough
Acanthaceae
Aegle marmelos (L.) Corr.              Srifal                     Fruits, leaves, roots, green andDysentery, indigestion
Rutaceae                                                          ripe fruit juice
Ageratum conyzoides L.                 Monimuizakher              Leaf juice                      Fever, malaria
Asteraceae
Aloe barbadensis Mill.                 Ghritokumari               Leaf juice                       Tonic
Liliaceae
Allium sativum L.                      Piaj                       Whole plant                      Indigestion, cold
Liliaceae                                                         raw, juice
Alpinia calcarata Rosc.                Ketranga                   Rhizome juice                    Stomach upset, gastric trouble
Zingiberaceae
Alpinia conchigera Griff.              Ketranga                   Rhizome juice                    Stomach upset, gastric trouble
Zingiberaceae
Alstonia scholaris R. Br.              Chhatim                    Stem bark, latex,                Dysentery, cut,
Apocynaceae                                                       juice, powder,                   rheumatism
Amaranthus spinosus L.                 Kadamaresh                 Leaves, stem                     Rheumatism, jaundice
Amaranthaceae                                                     juice
Ananas comosus Merr.                   Anaz                       Leaves, fruit                    Worms,
Bromeliaceae                                                      juice                            menstrual trouble
Andrographis paniculata Nees.          Kalomeghpada               Whole plant                      Cold, cough, fever, worm
Acanthaceae                                                       juice
Anisomeles ovata R.Br.                 Garboharinsing             Leaves, seeds,                   Rheumatism, Fever, laxative
Lamiaceae                                                         juice, soaked seeds
Annona squamosa L.                     Ramphal                    Leaves, fruits,                  Worms, urinary trouble
Annonaceae                                                        juice, ripe fruit
Antidesma roxburghii Wall.             Sialbuka                   Stem bark, leaves, fruits        Worms, dysentery
Euphorbiaceae                                                     juice
Argemone maxicana L.                   Kengrabiji                 Whole plant,                     Skin disease, jaundice
Papavaraceae                                                      latex
Argyreia nervosa (Burm.f.) Boj.        Bijtarak                   Leaves, root,                    Tonic, jaundice, eye infection
Convolvulaceae                                                    juice
Aristolochia indica L.                 Ichharmuli                 Root, juice, powder              Stimulant, stomach upset
Aristolochiaceae
Aristolochia tagala Champ.             Jarboporol                 Leaves, fruits, roots, juice,Fever, dysentery, snakebite
Aristolochiaceae                                                  paste
Arundina graminifolia                  Ghasphul                   Leaves, root,                Ear pain, rheumatism
Orchidaceae                                                       juice
Asparagus racemosus L.                 Sattichhara                Tuber, powder, juice         Tonic
Liliaceae
                                                                                                                               Contd.
80                        INDIAN J. TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, VOL. 9, NO. 1, JANUARY 2010


Plant name/ Family                  Local name            Parts/ mode used             Treatment (s)
Barleria cristata L.                Janti                 Leaves, roots,               Cold, cough
Acanthaceae                                               juice
Barleria lupulina Lindl.            Kata janti            Leaves, roots,               Fever, cold, cough
Acanthaceae                                               juice
Blumea clerkei Hooker. F.           Monchotta             Leaf juice                   Fever, jaundice
Asteraceae
Boerhaavia diffusa L.               Punarnama             Whole plant,                 Blood purifier, urinary
Nyctaginaceae                                             juice, powder                trouble,contraceptive, jaundice
Borreria articularis                Todargil sak          Whole plant                  Fever, pain, headache
(L. f.) Will.                                             Juice, Paste
Rubiaceae
Buddleja asiatica Lour.             Adathora              Leaves                       Cuts, fever
Buddlejaceae                                              Juice
Butea monosperma (Lam.) Taub.       Palash                Young leaves, stem bark,     Stimulant, worm
Fabaceae                                                  juice, power
Caesalpinia crista L.               Nata                  Leaf decoction               Diabetes, worm
Fabaceae
Cajanus cajan (L.) Huth.            Arol                  Leaf juice                   Diabetes, jaundice
Fabaceae
Callicarpa arborea Roxb.            Kojagaichho           Leaf juice                   Worm
Verbenaceae
Callicarpa macrophylla Vahl.        Kojagaichho           Leaves, Stem, bark, juice    Worm
Verbenaceae
Calotropis gigantea R.Br.           Angarpada             Latex, leaves,              Rheumatism
Asclepiadaceae                                            paste
Calotropis procera R. Br.           Angarpada             Latex, leaves,              Rheumatism
Asclepiadaceae                                            paste
Calycopteris floribunda Lam.        Gaichholata           Leaves, stem bark, juice,Fever, jaundice
Combretaceae                                              decoction
Cardiospermum helicacabum L.        Ketafoxa              Leaves, fruits,             Chicken pox, diabetes
Sapindaceae                                               juice
Carissa carandas L.                 Hatakal               Roots, fruits, powder, freshFever, skin disease
Apocynaceae                                               fruit
 Cassia alata L.                     Dattalong            Leaves, fresh juice, paste  Skin disease
Fabaceae
 Cassia fistula L.                   Sonalu               Leaves, fruit, pulp, juice   Skin disease, jaundice
Fabaceae
Cassia hirsuta L.                   Sabdaru               Leaves, fresh juice, paste   Snakebite, skin disease, malaria
Fabaceae
Cassia occidentalis L.              Datalong              Leaves, fresh juice, paste   Skin disease, Snakebite
Fabaceae
Cassia tora L.                      Datalong              Leaves, fresh juice, paste   Skin disease
Fabaceae
Catharanthus                        Tara                  Leaves, flowers              Blood purifier, anticancer
roseus (L.) G. Don.
Apocynaceae
Centella asiatica (L.) Urban.       Mengani               Whole plant                  Dysentery
Apiaceae                                                  paste, juice
Cissus quadrangularis L.            Harjoralata           Leaves, Stem                 Bone fracture
Vitaceae                                                  Stem, Plant paste
Cleome viscosa L.                   Mursurja              Leaves,                      Cold, cough
Capparidaceae                                             decoction, juice
Clerodendrum viscosum Vent.         Vekgachh              Leaves, roots                Dysentery, jaundice
Verbenaceae                                               fresh juice, paste
Clitoria ternatea L.                Khiong                Leaf juice                   Diabetes, menstrual troubles
Fabaceae
Coccinea cordifolia (L.) Cogn.      Telakachu             Leaves, fresh juice, paste   Diabetic, stomach upset
Cucurbitaceae
                                                                                                                    Contd.
               BISWAS et al.: FOLK PHARMACEUTICAL KNOWLEDGE OF TRIBAL PEOPLE IN BANGLADESH                          81

Plant name/ Family                    Local name     Parts/ mode used             Treatment (s)
Coix lachryma-jobi L.                 Hetbiji        Seed, boiled seed            Tonic, blood purifier
Poaceae
Costus speciosus (Koen.) Sm.          Kedogi         Seed powder                  Contraceptive
Zingiberaceae
Crotalaria juncea L.                  Kudugjunjuni   Leaves, seed,                Skin disease, blood purifier
Fabaceae                                             fresh juice, paste
Crotalaria prostrata Roxb.            Junjhuni       Leaves, seed,                Skin disease
Fabaceae                                             fresh juice, paste
Crotalaria retusa L.                  Junjhuni       Leaves, seed,                Skin disease
Fabaceae                                             fresh juice, paste
Crotalaria spectabilis Roth.          Junjhuni       Leaves, seed,                Skin disease
Fabaceae                                             fresh juice, paste
Crotalaria verrucosa L.               Junjhuni       Leaves, seed,                Skin disease
Fabaceae                                             juice, paste
Croton bonplandianum Baill.           Chharagachh    Leaves, seed,                Cuts, worms
Euphorbiaceae                                        fresh juice, paste
Curculigo orchioides Gaertn.          Talmul         Root juice                   Tonic
Amaryllidaceae
Curcuma amada Roxb.                   Murada         Rhizome, paste, juice        Worms
Zingiberaceae
Curcuma longa L.                      Kajihaldi      Rhizome, paste, juice        Joints pain, blood purifier
Zingiberaceae
Curcuma zedoaria Rosc.                Murada         Rhizome, paste, powder       Insect repellent, stimulant
Zingiberaceae
Cuscuta reflexa Roxb.                 Tarulada       Whole plant                     Worm, fever, skin diseases
Convolvulaceae                                       juice
Dalbergia sissoo Roxb.                Sishu          Leaves, stem bark, juice, paste,Indigestion, scabies
Fabaceae                                             powder
Dalbergia volubilis Roxb.             Karoiludi      Leaves, stem                    Skin disease, urinary trouble
Fabaceae                                             bark, juice, paste
Datura metel L.                       Dhutra         Seed, leaves,                   Bronchial troubles
Solanaceae                                           Root, powder, juice
Derris robusta Benth.                 Dumurujja      Leaves, seed,                   Skin disease, fever, pain
Fabaceae                                             paste, powder
Desmodium gangeticum L.               Jharogachh     Leaves, roots                   Worm, skin disease
Fabaceae                                             juice, paste
Desmodium pulchellum (Houtt.) Merr.   Salpani        Leaves, roots,                  Stomach upset, fever, eye
Fabaceae                                             juice                           infection
Dioscoria alata L.                    Buttaludi      Leaves, bulbils,                Fever, worm
Dioscoriaceae                                        powder, pill
Dioscoria hamiltonii Hook. F.         Murmuijja      Leaves, bulbils,                Rheumatism, pain
Dioscoriaceae                                        paste
Dioscoria pentaphylla L.              Buttaludi      Leaves, bulbils,                Pains, jaundice
Dioscoriaceae                                        juice, paste
Drosera indica L.                     Mukhjali       Whole plant                     Cold, cough, headache
Droseraceae                                          juice
Duabanga grandiflora Roxb.ex DC.      Bandarhulla    Stem, root,                     Stomach upset
Sonneratiaceae                                       juice
Dysophylla auricularia L.             Junikher       Leaf juice                      Blood purifier,
Lamiaceae                                                                            stomach upset
Dysophylla quadrifolia Benth.         Junikher       Leaf juice                      Blood purifier, worm
Lamiaceae
Dysophylla stellata (Lour.) Benth.    Junikher       Leaf juice                   Blood purifier, worm
Lamiaceae
Eclipta alba (L.) Hassk.              Kalasona       Whole plant,                 Hair tonic,
Asteraceae                                           juice, paste                 jaundice
Emblica officinalis Gaertn.           Kadamala       Fruits, leaves               Dysentery, anemia, pain
Euphorbiaceae                                        soaked seed, paste
                                                                                                                 Contd.
82                          INDIAN J. TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, VOL. 9, NO. 1, JANUARY 2010


Plant name/ Family                    Local name            Parts/ mode used             Treatment (s)
Entada scandens Benth.                Gilatak               Seed, leaves                 Fever, pain, skin disease
Fabaceae                                                    juice, paste
Eupatorium odoratum L.                Belbelikher           Whole plant                  Fever, cuts
Asteraceae                                                  juice, paste
Euphorbia hirta L.                    Uringludi             Whole plant                  Asthma, cough, dysentery, cuts
Euphorbiaceae                                               latex, juice
Ficus racemosa L.                     Dumurgulo             Fruits, juice, fresh fruit   Urinary troubles, diabetes
Moraceae
Flemingia strobilifera R.Br.Ex Ail.   Mandipata             Leaf juice                   Worm
Fabaceae
Floscopa scandens Lour.               Kukra                 Leaf paste                   Bone fracture, poisonous stings
Commelinaceae
Gloriosa superba L.                   Agnidaru              Tuber juice, powder          Contraceptive
Liliaceae
Glycosmis pentaphylla Corr.           Bujuraful             Leaves, seed                 Toothache, skin disease
Rutaceae                                                    juice, paste
Gmelina arborea L.                    Gamarigach            Leaf juice                   Jaundice
Verbenaceae
Hedyotis scandens Roxb.               Bajpuisak             Leaves, young twigs, paste   Mouth sore, abscess, malaria
Rubiaceae
Heliotropium indicum L.               Edosorota             Leaf juice, paste            Cuts, eye infection, sore
Boraginaceae
Holarrhena antidysenterica Wall.      Kruk gach             Stem bark juice              Dysentery, jaundice
Apocynaceae
Hoya parasitica Wall.                 Faishagach            Leaf juice                   Rheumatism
Asclepiadaceae
Hygrophila spinosa T. Anders.         Talmakhana            Leaves, seeds,               Urinary troubles, jaundice, sexual
                                                            juice                        disorder
Acanthaceae
Hyptis capitata Jacq.                 Goichhatangol         Whole plant juice            Malaria
Lamiaceae
Hyptis suaveolens (L.) Poit.          Tongadana             Seeds,                       Constipation
Lamiaceae                                                   soaked seeds
Ichnocarpus frutescens (L.) R.Br.     Badjoraful            Leaves, root,                Stimulant, fever
Apocynaceae                                                 juice, powder
Ipomoea pestigridis L.                Langulilata           Leaves, stem,                Cut, wound
Convolvulaceae                                              latex
Jatropha gossypifolia L.              Jagunagulo            Leaves, seeds,               Abscess, worm, rheumatism,
Euphorbiaceae                                               juice, paste
Justicia gendarussa Burm.             Kambasak              Leaves,                      Sexual disorder
Acanthaceae                                                 juice, paste
Kaempferia galanga L.                 Adakomol              Rhizome juice                Goiter,
Zingiberaceae                                                                            eye infection
Kaempferia rotunda L.                 Adakomol              Rhizome juice                Goiter
Zingiberaceae
Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.) Pers.        Gios                  Leaves, juice, paste         Dysentery, diabetes
Crassulaceae
Lannea coromandelica (Houtt.) Merr.   Vadi                  Stem bark,                   Jaundice, wounds, pain
Anacardiaceae                                               juice, powder
Lantana camara L.                     Katajamludi           Leaves, fruits,              Malaria
Verbenaceae                                                 juice
Lasia spinosa (L.) Thw.               Hattolinga            Leaf juice                   Cut, wounds
Araceae
Leea macrophylla Roxb.                Hottigach             Leaf juice                   Worm, bleeding
Leeaceae
Leonurus sibiricus L.                 Gaissojangal          Leaf juice                   Menstrual trouble
Lamiaceae
                                                                                                                      Contd.
                BISWAS et al.: FOLK PHARMACEUTICAL KNOWLEDGE OF TRIBAL PEOPLE IN BANGLADESH                         83

Plant name/ Family                Local name          Parts/ mode used               Treatment (s)
Leucas spara (Willd.) Link.       Gaissojangal        Leaf juice                     Fever, cut
Lamiaceae
Lippia alba(Mill.) N.E.B.R.       Matmati             Leaf juice                     Insect repellant, lice
Verbenaceae
Lippia nodiflora (L.) Rich.       Bhuiokra            Leaf juice                     Limb pain
Verbenaceae
Litsea glutinosa (Lour.) Rob.     Kukurchita          Leaves, stem bark, decoction   Dysentery, diarrhoea
Lauraceae
Maranta arundinacea L.            Ararut              Rhizome juice,                 Skin disease, poultice
Marantaceae                                           starch
Melastoma malabathricum L.        Pithongulo          Fruits, Leaves,                Dysentery
Melastomaceae                                         Juice
Melia azadirachta L.              Nim                 Leaves, seeds,                 Skin disease, toothache, worms,
Meliaceae                                             juice, paste, decoction        scabies
Melilotus alba Lamk.              Banmethi            Leaf juice, fruit              Stomach upset
Fabaceae
Mentha arvensis L.                Pudina              Leaves, fresh leaves, paste    Appetizer, stomach upset
Lamiaceae
Microcos paniculata L.            Fattashi            Leaf juice                     Fever
Tiliaceae
Mimosa pudica L.                  Lajurikher          Root juice                     Menstrual problem, dysentery
Fabaceae
Mimosa rubricaulis Lam.           Lajurikher          Whole plant                    Menstrual problem, dysentery
Fabaceae                                              juice
Mirabilis jalapa L.               Dupuijjaful         Leaf juice                     Urinary trouble
Nyctaginaceae
Morinda angustifolia Roxb.        Rang gach           Root juice, powder             Stomach upset
Rubiaceae
Moringa oleifera Lam.             Shechayn            Leaves, fruits, flowers, juice,Stimulant, stomach upset
Moringaceae                                           paste
Mucuna pruriens (L.) DC.          Bilaiachhara        Leaves, seeds,                 Stimulant, skin disease
Fabaceae                                              juice, powder
Mussaenda glabrata Vahl.          Gach ranitak        Leaves, root,                  Jaundice, leprosy
Rubiaceae                                             juice
Nyctanthes arbortristis L.        Singhgurifulgach    Leaf juice                     Fever, cold, cough, cuts
Oleaceae
Ocimum americanum L.              Bansabarang         Leaf juice                     Fever, cold, cough
Lamiaceae
Ocimum basilicum L.               Sabarang            Leaf juice                     Fever, cold, cough
Lamiaceae
Ocimum gratissimum L.             Sabarang            Leaf juice                     Fever, cold, cough
Lamiaceae
Ocimum sanctum L.                 Garbosabarang       Leaf juice                     Fever, cold, cough
Lamiaceae
Oroxylum indicum (L.) Vent.       Khonagach           Leaf juice                     Jaundice, dysentery
Bigoniaceae
Oxalis corniculata L.             Amila               Leaf juice                     Indigestion, Fever
Oxalidaceae
Paederia foetida L.               Padbailudi          Leaf juice                     Dysentery
Rubiaceae
Passiflora foetida L.             Pithongulo          Fruit, leaves,                 Blood pressure
Passifloraceae                                        juice
Pavetta indica L.                 Diranga chilla      Leaves, root,                  Diabetes, pain
Rubiaceae                                             juice
Phyllanthus niruri L.             Amla                Whole plant,                   Urinary trouble
Euphorbiaceae                                         juice
Plumbago indica L.                Aunitida            Stem, root, leaves, juice      Contraceptive, cold, fever, bowel
Plumbaginaceae                                                                       pain
                                                                                                                Contd.
84                          INDIAN J. TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, VOL. 9, NO. 1, JANUARY 2010


Plant name/ Family                     Local name           Parts/ mode used                  Treatment (s)
Plumbago zeylanica L.                  Aunitida             Stem, root, leaves, juice        Contraceptive, cold, fever, bowel
Plumbaginaceae                                                                               pain
Plumeria rubra L.                      Gulachi              Leaves, stem, root, juice, paste Pains, dysentery, urinary trouble
Apocynaceae
Premna corymbosa Rottl.                Osonsak              Root juice & powder               Neurological problems, fever
Verbenaceae
Psidium guajava (L.) Bat.              Gaiam                Leaves, fruits                    Dysentery, worms, toothache
Myrtaceae                                                   juice, paste
Psychotria adenophylla Wall.           Cikon sudama         Root Powder                       Mouth sore, rheumatism
Rubiaceae
Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) Benth.       Surchan              Root juice, powder                Blood pressure
Apocynaceae
Rauvolfia tetraphylla L.               Sursan               Leaves, root                      Blood pressure
Apocynaceae                                                 juice, powder
Ruellia tuberosa L.                    Matshagandha         Tuber juice, powder               Stimulant
Acanthaceae
Saraca indica L.                       Ashok                Stem bark,        leaves,    juice,Menstrual pains, dysentery
Fabaceae                                                    powder
Scoparia dulcis L.                     Midaraissa           Leaf juice                        Diabetes
Scrophulariaceae
Sida acuta Burm.                       Verol                Leaves, root               Urinary troubles
Malvaceae                                                   juice
Sida cordifolia L.                     Rangaverol           Leaves, root               Menstrual trouble
Malvaceae                                                   juice
Sida rhombidifolia L.                  Rangaverol           Leaves, root               Urinary troubles
Malvaceae                                                   juice
Smilex zeylanica L.                    Barakumaijja         Leaves, young twigs, juice,Urinary troubles, stimulant
Liliaceae                                                   powder
Solanum indicum L.                     Bigalbiji            Leaves, fruits             Urinary troubles, stomach upset
Solanaceae                                                  juice

Solanum nigrum L.                      Titbegun             Whole plant                       Urinary troubles
Solanaceae                                                  juice
Solanum torvum Swartz.                 Bigalbiji            Fruit juice                       Urinary troubles, fever, sore
Solanaceae
Solanum xanthocarpum Schrd. & Wende.   Bigalbiji            Leaves, stem                      Urinary troubles, skin disease
Solanaceae                                                  bark, fruits, juice, paste
Spilanthes acmella (L.) Murr.          Jhummosak            Whole plant                       Poisonous sting
Asteraceae                                                  paste
Stemona tuberosa Lour.                 Ugundhutura          Tuber juice, powder               Mental disorder, worms, cough,
Stemonaceae                                                                                   jaundice
Stephania glabra (Roxb.) Miers.        Khabukha             Leaves, root                      Urinary trouble, fever
Menispermaceae                                              juice
Stephania hernandifolia Walp.          Thandamanik          Leaves, root, tuber, juice,Urinary trouble, jaundice,
Menispermaceae                                              powder                     snakebite
Sterculia colorata Roxb.               Udal                 Stem bark                  Jaundice
Sterculiaceae                                               juice
Sterculia villosa Roxb.                Udal                 Stem bark                  Jaundice
Sterculiaceae                                               juice
Tabernaemontana coronaria Willd.       Rupaola              Leaves, stem bark, latex,  Diabetes, cuts
Apocynaceae                                                 juice, paste
Tagetes patula L.                      Gandaful             Leaves, juice, paste       Cuts, worm
Asteraceae
Tamarindus indica L.                   Tetul                Leaves,      fruits,     seeds,Urinary trouble, cold, fever
Fabaceae                                                    decoction, powder, juice
Tephrosia candida DC.                  Jharogaichho         Whole plant                    Blood purifier, jaundice
Fabaceae                                                    juice
                                                                                                                            Contd.
                BISWAS et al.: FOLK PHARMACEUTICAL KNOWLEDGE OF TRIBAL PEOPLE IN BANGLADESH                        85

Plant name/ Family                     Local name        Parts/ mode used          Treatment (s)
Tephrosia purpurea (L.) Pers.          Jarboilgach       Whole plant               Blood purifier, jaundice
Fabaceae                                                 juice, powder
Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) W. & A.      Arjun             Stem bark                 Blood pressure
Combretaceae                                             powder
Terminalia belerica Roxb.              Baro gula         Fruits, leaves            Tonic, dysentery
Combretaceae                                             powder
Terminalia chebula (Gaertn.) Retz.     Haittal           Fruits powder             Purgative, cardiac disease
Combretaceae
Thunbergia grandiflora Roxb.           Hutturingludi     Leaves, stem              Cuts, tonic
Acanthaceae                                              juice
Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers.   Gionludi          Leaves, stem              Stomach upset, worms, jaundice
Menispermaceae                                           juice, powder
Triumfetta rhomboidea (N.) Jacq.       Ludiful           Whole plant               Urinary trouble, dysentery
Tiliaceae                                                juice, paste
Tylophora indica (Burm.f.) Merr.       Anantamul         Whole plant,              Rheumatism, cough
Asclepiadaceae                                           juice, paste
Typhonium trilobatum (L.) Schott.      Ghet kachu        Tuber, roots,             Stimulant,
Araceae                                                  juice, paste              menstrual troubles
Uraria lagopoides DC.                  Bilaileur         Leaves, stem,             Malaria
Fabaceae                                                 juice
Uraria picta Desv.                     Sankarjata        Leaves, roots,            Mouth sore, fever
Fabaceae                                                 juice, paste
Urena lobata L.                        Banokra           Leaves, roots,            Rheumatism, urinary troubles
Malvaceae                                                juice, paste
Vitex negundo L.                       Nishinda          Leaves, juice, paste      Cold, worms
Verbenaceae
Vitex peduncularis Wall.               Baruna            Leaves, roots             Menstrual    trouble,        urinary
Verbenaceae                                              paste, juice              troubles
Vitis pedata Vahl.                     Goalilata         Leaf juice                Fever, wound
Vitaceae
Wedelia chinensis (Osb.) Merr.         Kesuti            Leaf juice                Hair tonic
Asteraceae
Withania somnifera Dunal.              Ashwagandha       Whole plant               Stimulant
Solanaceae                                               juice
Zingiber officinale L.                 Ada               Rhizome                   Stomach upset
Zingiberaceae                                            juice, powder

tracts region. Besides these, most of the modern         Zingiberaceae, Apocynaceae, Acanthaceae, Euphor-
medicines have many bad side effects, so nowadays        biaceae, Asteraceae, Rubiaceae and Solanaceae were
interest towards the herbal medicine is increasing       identified as the major families but distribution of the
again. Proper study of various medicinal plants in the   species was not equal in all spots. The highest number
Hill tracts and their stock assessment were not          of medicinal plants was recorded in Fabaceae
thoroughly carried out. Eighty seven medicinal plant     followed by Lamiaceae, Verbenaceae, Zingiberaceae,
species were reported for the treatments of various      Apocynaceae, Acanthaceae and Euphorbiaceae.
diseases of Marma tribes12. Forty six medicinal plants   While      Asteraceae,     Rubiaceae,       Solanaceae,
have been reported for the treatment of diarrhoea,       Malvaceae, Liliaceaceae, Asclepiadaceae and
dysentery, indigestion and stomach pain and 16           Combrataceae comprised lesser number of medicinal
medicinal plants species were reported for the           plant species. Considering the habit of the medicinal
treatment of jaundice18,19. Therefore, the study was     plants, herbs were more prevalent than shrubs, trees,
undertaken with a view to acquire indigenous             climbers, lianas, and small trees. Wining shrub,
knowledge of herbal medicine used by the tribal          creeping shrub, vine, creeper, epiphytic lianas and
people of Chittagong Hill tracts (Figs. 11-33).          climbing herb were also recorded in lesser
   In the study, 190 medicinal plant species belonging   frequencies. The uses of medicinal plants for
to 147 genera and 57 families were recorded              treatment vary from place to place depending upon
that are being used by the people of the area. Among     the local demand and IK. Different uses of a
these families Fabaceae, Lamiaceae, Verbenaceae,         particular plant were also noted. Moreover, different
86                         INDIAN J. TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, VOL. 9, NO. 1, JANUARY 2010




                                         Fig 2 Medicinal plants based on habit        Fig 4 Plants based on methods of use




      Fig1Map of survey area             Fig 3 Medicinal plants based on use




        Fig 5A herbalists in his shop     Fig 6 A local herbalists with his scripts   Fig 7 Herbalist with Tinospora cordifolia




        Fig 8 A local herbalists              Fig 9 Firing in hill forest                         Fig 10 Burned hills

use of a particular plant species was also noted among            different plant species to treat 15 circumstances
the same tribes. In case of Boerhaavia diffusa, whole             occurring during the pregnancy20.
plant is used in the treatment of pulmonary                          Sixty different diseases could be treated with 190
tuberculosis, plant powder is used abdominal tumour,              medicinal plants. Among these diseases, fever is more
dysentery and renal diseases, flowers and seeds are               common disease and 31 plant species are used to treat
used as contraceptives, roots are used in the treatment           this ailment. Other more prevalent diseases are skin
of jaundice, anemia, gonorrhoea, blood purifier and as            disease, urinary trouble, intestinal worm, stomach
stimulant. On the other hand, more than one plant                 upset, jaundice, dysentery, cold, cough, cut, malaria,
species are used for the treatment of same disease for            snakebite, eye infection, and mouth sore. Leaf is the
example, 31 plant species are used for fever, 21 plants           most frequently used part followed by roots, fruits,
for urinary trouble and worm and 20 plant species                 whole plant part, stem bark and rhizome. The local
for skin diseases. A questionnaire survey among                   herbal doctors use leaves of 123 plants, roots of 35
32 midwifes in 7 rural communities near La Ceiba,                 plants, fruits of 22 plants, whole parts of 22 plants,
Honduras was carried out, which identified 79                     stem bark of 17 plants, and rhizomes of 10
BISWAS et al.: FOLK PHARMACEUTICAL KNOWLEDGE OF TRIBAL PEOPLE IN BANGLADESH   87
88                      INDIAN J. TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, VOL. 9, NO. 1, JANUARY 2010


plants. The method of application varies according to         The Chakma community use leaves and roots of A.
the nature of ailment. The plant parts are used in the     tagala in various purposes. The leaves are pounded
form of juice, paste, powder, decoction, and even          and applied to the head to treat fever. Leaves are also
soaked seed and raw plants are also used. Generally        made into a poultice and applied to the swollen
juice and powder are given, paste is used externally       abdomen or limbs. In some cases, plant is used to
and decoction is taken either orally or externally.        treat snakebite and malaria. Root decoction is often
Moreover, it was noticed that combinations of              considered as a tonic, carminative and emmenagogue.
different plant parts were used for better treatment of
many diseases. Such assembling of plant parts was          Arundina graminifolia (D.Don) Hochr. (Orchidaceae)
found in the preparation of contraceptive, where seed      v.n. Ghasphul
powder of Costus speciosus and root bark powder of            In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used as an
Pavetta indica mixed at equal ratio with water, made       antidote to demulcent. For treating ear pain and
into cottonseed like pills and sun dried is taken once     rheumatism, local tribal people extensively use
daily. Young twig juice of Hedyotis scandens mixed         rhizome and floral stalk paste. Roots are reportedly
with leaf juice of Ageratum conyzoides is                  used in snakebite and intestinal biliary colic. It
administrated to cure malaria. Combination of stem         contains tannin, saponin and heptacosane15. From the
bark juice of Holarrhena antidysenterica and Centella      rhizome of A. graminifolia, different chemical
asiatica mixed with tender leaf juice of Psidium           compounds were isolated and identified21. Recently a
guajava and Allium sativum were found to be the best       new benzyledihydrophenanthrene was isolated from
for dysentery. More than one plant species are used        the rhizome22.
by the Marma tribes for the treatment of same disease
such as root tuber of Stephania japonica mixed with        Cassia hirsute L. (Fabaceae) v.n. Sapdaru
juice of Flemingia stricta is taken for asthma12. Single      The local tribes use leaf and root extract of this
plant was also found to be used for many diseases.         woody shrub for treating snakebite; hence the local
Root paste of Aristolochia tagala is applied locally       name of this plant is sapdaru. Juice and paste are
immediately after snakebite and fresh leaf juice is        made from leaves and roots; juice is taken orally and
given orally which reduce venom action. Rhizome            paste is applied locally. Three flavanol have been
and leaf paste of Arundina graminifolia is given for       isolated from flowers of C. hirsuta23.
local application to cure rheumatic pain. On the other
hand, leaf and root juice of Phyllanthus reticulatus is    Hyptis capitata Jacq. (Lamiaceae) v.n. Goichhatangol
given to cure malaria.                                        Leaf juice is taken orally to cure malaria. Root and
                                                           leaf paste is applied to cut and abrasions for the
   Some organic and inorganic substances such as gall
                                                           prevention of infection.
bladder of snake and tortoise, horns of rhinoceros,
teeth of pig, feather of peacock, shell and flesh of       Psychotria adenophylla Wall. (Rubiaceae) v.n. Cikon
snail, shell of spider, fat of pig, snake and crocodile,   sudama
black cow’s urine, kitchen soot and excreta of snake          Rootstocks are widely used medicinally for healing
were found to be added in the preparation of herbal        mouth sore by the tribes. The use of Psychotria
medicine. The herbal doctors are very much unwilling       species has been prescribed for cure different
to disclose their secrecy about the preparations and       diseases5.
the applications of the techniques. It is pertinent to
mention here that all plant species were not found in      Stemona tuberosa Lour. (Stemonaceae) v.n.
all of the surveyed spot. On the other hand, some          Ugundhutura
plant species were found available in all the spots. In       In Bangladesh it has been reported from
some cases, contradictions were also noticed among         Chittagong, Rangamati and Sylhet24,25. Fourteen
the local herbalists about the use and availability of     alkaloids have been reported from S. tuberosa26. The
medicinal plant species. Few less known or rarely          drug is found to be effective against tuberculosis and
reported medicinal plants from Bangladesh are              chronic bronchitis27,28. In Bangladesh, the tribes of
discussed.                                                 Chittagong Hill Tracts use tuberous roots and leaves
Aristolochia tagala Cham. (Aristolochiaceae) v.n.          of the plant for the treatment of intestinal worm,
Jarboporol                                                 cough, cold and mental disorders.
                BISWAS et al.: FOLK PHARMACEUTICAL KNOWLEDGE OF TRIBAL PEOPLE IN BANGLADESH                                   89

Conclusion                                                        12 Alam MK, Medicinal Ethnobotany of the Marma tribe of
   The study is of great importance to preserve the                  Bangladesh, Econ Bot, 46 (3) (1992) 330-335.
                                                                  13 Alam MK, Choudhury J & Hassan MA, Some folk
knowledge of medicinal plants used by the tribal                     formularies from Bangladesh, Bangladesh J Life Sci, 8 (1)
people and exploit the knowledge in treatment of                     (1996) 49-63.
various diseases. Moreover, further phytochemical                 14 Khisha VD, Chakma Talik Chikitsa (Bengali), (Herbal
and pharmacological studies of little noticed                        Medicine Centre Committee, Rajbon Bihar, Rajbari,
medicinal plants are an urgent need to understand the                Rangamati), 1996, 1-136.
underlying mechanism of traditional treatment                     15 Ahmed N, Wild Flowers of Bangladesh, (UPL, Dhaka,
                                                                     Bangladesh), 1997, 1- 131.
systems. On the other hand, these plants hold
                                                                  16 Gani A, Medicinal plants of Bangladesh with chemical
tremendous potentials for pharmaceutical products of                 constitutions and uses, (Asiatic Society of Bangladesh,
commercial values.                                                   Dhaka), 2003, 1- 603.
                                                                  17 Rahman MA, Khisa A, Uddin SB & Wilcock CC, Indigenous
Acknowledgement                                                      Knowledge of Plant Use in a Hill Tracts Tribal Community
   Authors record special thanks to the traditional                  and Its Role in Sustainable Development, in: Indigenous
                                                                     knowledge development in Bangladesh, (UPL, Dhaka,
healers of surveyed areas, who agreed to disclose and                Bangladesh), 2000, 75-78.
share their knowledge of traditional healing systems.             18 Rahman MA, Uddin SB & Wilcock CC, Indigenous
Thanks are due to ALO, PROSHIKA and                                  knowledge of herbal medicine in Bangladesh-Treatment of
PAJURICO, three non-Government organizations, for                    jaundice by tribal communities of the Hill tract Districts,
their help during exploration of the hilly areas.                    Hamdard Medicus, 64 (2003a) 25-28.
                                                                  19 Rahman MA, Uddin SB & Wilcock CC, Indigenous
                                                                     knowledge of herbal medicine in Bangladesh: diarrhoea,
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