THERAPEUTIC PLANTS USED BY THE NATIVE VILLAGERS OF NORTHEAST KERALA PART OF WESTERN GHATS
Background: Folk society tradition that include farming, livestock supervision to make the agro-products to establish the agro forest environment. It has been found that traditional plants hold therapeutic components that have adequate potential to battle against both communicable and non communicable diseases. Malayan ethnic people residing in Palakkad and Thrissur districts are supplies many herbs to Ayurvedic industries from Western Ghats part of Kerala; nevertheless, themselves they are treating their diseases with herbal medicine. Hence, the current study had documented aboriginal traditional medicinal knowledge of them in the study area. Materials and Methods: The ethnomedicinal survey was carried out in the ethnic folk villages around north east Kerala part of Western Ghats. The survey has been conducted from August 2015 to August 2017. With the help of Questionnaire form interviews and discussions were taking place in between researcher and the folk people according to the methodology suggested by Jain. Results: The present study has documented ethnomedicinal usages of 36 plants belonging to 27 families were used by aboriginal peoples towards the treatment of diseases by using different herbal formulations such as decoction, juice, paste and infusion in the study area. Quite fascinatingly the seed powder of Bixa orellana L. Bixaceae and fruit paste of Nephelium lappaceum L., Sapindaceae used to remove dark spot around the eye and cheek was surprised to know. Other plants also used in cosmetic purposes like aloe juice, Pterocarpus santalinus, Blanco, Leguminosae and Curcuma aromatica Salisb., Zingiberaceae widely used in the study area as natural cosmetic products. Conclusion: Many of the plants listed here have been supplied to herbal drug industries in Kerala by ethnic people; at the same time themselves they are using plant sources for treating diseases. Government authorities have to take necessary steps to promote the cultivation of highest use value therapeutic plants in the forest wastelands through ethnic peoples of Kerala to make their lifestyle getting improved. The current study paves the way for researchers towards developing new drug molecules from the listed plants here.
Keywords: Herbal cosmetic, Ethnomedicine, Kerala, Agro forest, Malayan, Western Ghats.
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