Ethnomedicinal plants used by Dongaria Kondha tribe of Rayagada district, Odisha

Swain, Meera ; Debsarma, Kaustuv ; Srinivas, B K

Abstract

Studies were conducted to document ethnomedicinal plants used by Dongaria Kondha tribe in Kashipur block of Rayagada district, Odisha, India. Tribal belief/faith systems used to address health-related issues are recorded and evaluated. Information on traditional knowledge (TK) on medicine and resources was documented through personal interview, questionnaires and observation methods from 134 informants in the age group 21-70, including three medicine men. Community believes that the medicine men gain knowledge of herbal medicine through devotion and animal sacrifice. It is not inherited. Ethnomedicinal practices play a pivotal role in their health care system. However, the younger generations have limited interest in ethnomedicine. Eighty-one plant species belonging to 79 genera and 55 families are documented which are utilized by the tribe in Rayagada. Plant species of Fabaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Euphorbiaceae and Lamiaceae are predominantly used. Most of the species grow wild. The traditional healer frequently uses roots (56 out of 189) followed by stem bark (36), leaf (32), whole plant and fruit (19 each). Paste is the most common method of drug preparation and application (104 out of 189) followed by juice (35 applications) and powder (22 applications). The traditional healers with long and practical experience perceive the usefulness of plants or plants parts for ethnomedicine formulations to enhance the efficacy of the drug in treating the ailments.

Keyword(s)

Belief system, Dongaria Kondha, Ethnomedicinal plants, Medicine man, Traditional knowledge, Tribe


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