Ethnobotanical study on wild edible fruits, spices and aquatic plants traditionally used by the Garo tribe of Meghalaya

Singh, K D; Mathew, Binu

Abstract

An ethnobotanical study was carried out in the West Garo Hills of Meghalaya, India during 2015-2017 to identify and document the wild edible fruits, spices and aquatic plants used by the Garo tribe for their nutraceutical properties. The study area is situated between 26oand 25o20’North latitude and 90o 30’ to 89o 40’ East longitude. This area is predominantly inhabited by the Garo tribe following a matrilineal society. In the present study 43 wild edible fruit species belonging to 25 families were recorded which were found to be ethnobotanically important among the Garo tribe. Of these wild edible fruits, 36 species were trees followed by the 5 shrubs and 2 creepers/climbers. It was also observed that 19 species of wild edible plants belonging to 9 families were used by tribal population as spices to enrich their food. Most of the spice plants used by the Garo tribe belong to Zingiberaceae and Rutaceae family. They were grouped under herbs (10 species), shrubs (6 species), trees (2 species) and creepers (1 species). Rhizomes, leaves and flowers/inflorescence were commonly used plant parts. Among the aquatic plants only 5 species were used by the Garo tribe as vegetable, spices and medicines.

Keyword(s)

Ethnobotany, Garo tribe, Nutraceutical, Traditional food, Wild edible fruits

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