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close this bookRegenerative Agriculture Technologies for the Hill Farmers of Nepal: An Information Kit (IIRR, 1992, 210 p.)
close this folderNatural resources and their enhancement
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The Use and Conservation of Traditional Medicine Plant Resources


Use and conservation of medicinal plant resources

Medicinal plants are an important natural resources of Nepal. Most of the country's population depend on some form of herbal medicine. Valuable information on herbal medicine can be obtained from local inhabitants, such as professional healers, shepherds/cowherds, wood cutters, medicants and ethnic/minority groups. The primary source of medicinal plants is the forest. Unfortunately, it is estimated that less than 27% of Nepal's forest resource is left and is being rapidly depleted.

SOURCE OF RURAL INCOME

Plant resources have multiple uses besides their medicinal value. Rural people sell medicinal plant products in urban areas as a secondary income source. These plants can be cultivated in areas unfit for agriculture such as rocky soils, hill slopes, terraces, or boundaries of cultivated land. Thus, herbal medicinal plants have an important role in the village economy, either directly or indirectly.

REASONS FOR REDUCTIONS OF THESE NATURAL RESOURCES

1. Lack of knowledge about the value of the forest, resulting in the degradation of this resource base.

2. Natural calamities, like landslides, uplifting or sinking of land, flood, glaciation, droughts, etc.

3. Disease, insect attack, absence of pollination and inadequate reproductive mechanisms.

4. Haphazard and commercial exploitation of roots, barks, rhizomes, corms, seeds, flowers and fruits.

5. Deliberate setting of fires in the forest.

WAYS TO CONSERVE AND DEVELOP MEDICINAL-PLANT RESOURCES

1. Virgin forests and natural vegetation should be given priority for protection from human interference.

2. Areas known to contain important medicinal plants should be demarcated and protected.

3. Systematic surveys, recording and mapping of medicinal plants should be undertaken to determine the habitat and the range of distribution in support of further research and conservation work.
4. Public awareness of medicinal flora and other forest resources through the use of media and other information-education methods should be undertaken.
5. The collection of herbal plants should be undertaken in the appropriate season and without wasting materialss.
6. The collection of plants should be undertaken on a rotation basis allowing the plant to regenerate.
7. The collection of seed and the propagation of plants by scientific means are an important technique for wider promotion/propagation of promising plants.
8. After consulting local people on their preferences, medicinal plants should be introduced in afforestation and village-level agroforestry programs.

Between 800 and 900 plant species with medicinal uses have been identified in Nepal, majority of which are found in the midhills. Detailed information is available for more than 450 of these species.

As examples of a few medicinal plant species found in the midhills, information for twenty-five common species is presented in the chart and diagram.


The use of traditional medicine plants

SOME TRADITIONAL MEDICINE PLANTS

Local Name
Botanical Name
Family Name

Pant used

Ailment/Preparation/Dosage

1. Thulo aushadhi
Astilhe rivularis Duch. ex D. Don
SAXIFRAGACEAE

Root

Juice of root; two teaspoons thrice a day treat diarrhoea and dysentery.

2. Sisnu
Urtica dioica L.
URTICACEAE

Root

A paste of plant mixed with powder of marble and applied to set dislocated bone.

3. Lunde Kanda
Amaranthus spinosus L.
AMARANTHACEAE

Root

A paste of root is applied to treat boils; juice of root-two teaspoons thrice a day to treat fever.

4. Bajradanti
Potentilla fulgens Wall.
ROSACEAE

Root

Small piece of root is kept between the jaws to treat toothache.

5. Ainselu
Rubus ellipticus Sm.
ROSACEAE

Root

Descending root from the branch is into paste. 2am twice a day to treat indigestion.

6. Day
Boehmeria rugulosa Wedd.
URTICACEAE

Bark

A paste of bark is applied to treat boils.

7. Chutro
Berberis aristata DC.
BERBERICACEAE

Bark

A decoction of bark is used to treat eye problems.

8. Chilaune
Schima wallichii (DC.) Kortha.
THEACEAE

Bark

Juice of bark is applied to treat fresh cuts and wounds.

9. Bakaino
Melia azadirach L.
MELIACEAE

Bark

A paste of bark, 2g once a day is given as anthelmintic.

10. Kaphal
Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex D.Don
MYRICACEAE

Bark

Juice of bark; two teaspoons thrice a day to treat dysentery with bloody stool.

11. Timur
Zanthoxylum armatum DC.
RUTACEAE

Bark

A paste of bark is applied to treat toothache.

12. Ganja
Cannabis sativa L.
CANNABACEAE

Leaf

Juice of leaf is given to cattle suffering from diarrhoea; leaf is mixed with cattle feed.

13. Angeri
Lyonia ovalifolia (Wall.) Drude
ERICACEAE

Leaf

A paste of tender leaf is applied to treat scabies.

14. Arenr
Ridicinus communis L.
EUPHORBIACEAE

Flower

Juice of flower is applied to alleviate cuts and wounds.

15. Dhanyaro
Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz
LYTHRACEAE

Flower

Juice of flower; two teaspoons twice a day to treat diarrhoea and dysentery.

16. Simal
Bombax ceiba
L. BOMBACACEAE

Flower

A decoction of flower; four teaspoons thrice a day to treat diarrhoea and dysentery.

17. Kantakari
Solanum aculeatissimum lacy.
SOLANACEAE

Fruit

Squeezed fruit is applied on forehead to treat headache.

18. Bhujetro
Butea minor Buch.-Ham. ex Baker
FABACEAE

Fruit

Powder of one seed once a day during bed time is given as an anthelmintic medicine.

19. Ban Silam
Elsholtzia blanda (Berth.) Benth.
LAMIACEAE

Fruit

Juice of leaf is poured to treat eye problems.

20. Bhakigmilo
Rhus javanica L.
ANACARDIACEAE

Fruit

A paste of fruit; two teaspoons mixed with curd thrice a day to treat diarrhoea and dysentery.

21. Basak
Dichroa febrifuga Lour.
HYDRANGIACEAE

Bud

A paste of bud; two teaspoons twice a day to relieve fever.

22. Chariarnilo
Oxalis corniculata L.
OXALIDACEAE

Bud

Juice of plant is applied to treat fresh cuts and wounds.

23. Abijalo
Drymaria diandra Bl.
CARYOPHYLLACEA E

Bud

Juice of plant is applied on forehead to treat headache.

24. Asare
Melastoma malabathricum L.
MELASTOMATACEAE

Whole plant

Juice of plant; two teaspoons twice a day to treat cough and cold.

25. Ghoritapre
Centella asiatica (L.) Urb.
APIACEAE

Whole plant

Juice of plant is taken as tonic early in the morning.

Prepared by: N.P. MANANDHAR
April 1992

REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE HILL FARMERS OF NEPAL NERRA/IRRR