COS 90-8 - Commonly used ethno-medicinal plants by the indigenous people of Nepalese Himalayas

Thursday, August 6, 2009: 10:30 AM
Picuris, Albuquerque Convention Center
Subodh Adhikari , Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
Mahesh Kumar Adhikari , Department of Plant Resources. Government of Nepal
Sahas Nath Adhikari , Shubhashree College,Kathmandu, Nepal
Nagendra Subedi , Ohio State University, OH

This paper highlights on ethnobotanical studies conducted in three major protected areas of the Himalayan region of Nepal viz. Shey Phoksundo National Park(SPNP), Western region; Annapurna Conservation Area(ACA), Central region and Sagarmatha National Park(SNP), Eastern region. Using the local herbs to cure patients by the traditional healers is very common and important practice in the rural hilly regions of Nepal. The questions of this study are how the traditional healers are using local herbs to cure the patients? What are the common and important herbs used by the practitioners? What is the efficiency of using local herbs?  And, what is the socio-economic status of the healers? The field study and questionnaire survey with PRA and RRA method, were carried out to observe the traditional practices and indigenous knowledge on locally available medicinal plants. The studies were conducted in different years between 2002 and 2006. 

The field study and survey carried in buffer zone of SPNP revealed 40 diseases cured by the Amchis(traditional healers) using locally available medicinal plants ( more than 80 species). Among them 70% diseases were found to be cured within one week.  In ACA seventy-two species of medicinal plants belonging to 30 families were identified. These plant species are in use since long time to cure 43 ailments. The treatment of fever involved the use of 20 species, while 18 species were used to treat cuts and wounds. Similarly, lists of 42 NTFPs were recorded from the study conducted in buffer zone of SNP. The findings also revealed that the practitioners mostly follow the Tibetan system of treatment. The local healers, who are using the traditional knowledge descended from their ancestors, have been using the locally available medicinal plants very effectively to cure the patients. The socio-economic status of the local healers is not satisfactory. They are worried about the national recognition of their traditional knowledge and their profession. Key words -Ethnobotany, Amchis, Himalayan Region, National Parks, Nepal

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