Ethnobotanical plants used for gastrointestinal ailments by the inhabitants of Kishtwar plateau in Northwestern Himalaya, India

Singh, Bikarma ; Thakur, Sajan ; Tashi, Nawang ; Singh, Bishander ; Dutt, Harish Chander


Gastrointestinal (GI) tract in human body is the most important and vulnerable organ for the diverse type of diseases such as diarrhea, reflux, constipation and parasitic infections. To treat such ailments, inhabitants of Kishtwar plateau in Jammu and Kashmir (India) use the wild medicinal herbs growing in the valleys and on the hill-top of their region. Most of these medicinal plants are common in occurrence but not reported earlier for the GI disorders. The aim of this
communication is to narrow down the list of the medicinal plant species on the basis of oral traditional knowledge (OTK) for treating GI disorders at Kishtwar plateau. This documentation and quantitative analysis will help the natural plant chemists to get the pure and efficacious molecules for the treatment of GI ailments. For this a semi-structured questionnaire study was used to document the OTK on use of different medicinal plants to treat GI ailments by the local people of
Kishtwar plateau in Northwestern Himalaya. The information gathered during the questionnaire study has been quantified by calculating use value, family use value, factor informant consensus (Fic) and fidelity level. A total of 40 plant species representing 27 families are reported to treat various GI ailments, where in Mentha longifolia has shown the maximum use value (UV)=0.87 and Carpesium abrotanoides has shown the minimum UV=0.03. Maximum Fic (0.88) has been calculated for worm infection and constipations category, however, minimum Fic=0.75 is calculated for dyspepsia. Maximum family use value has been calculated for Plantaginaceae (FUV=0.75) and minimum for Geraniaceae and Juglandaceae (FUV=0.08). Artemisia maritima (FL=20.25%) and Elwendia persica (FL=18.18%) accounts the maximum fidelity level, therefore, considered important for the treatment of diarrhea and stomachache. From calculated use value, it has been concluded that the use of M. longifolia for treating GI ailments is relatively higher than other investigated species. Further analysis revealed that uniformity in OTK homogeneity is prevailing in the area, which indicates that OTK has not been diluted over the period of time.


Gastritis; Gastrointestinal (GI) tract; Kishtwar; Medicinal plants; Northwestern Himalaya; OTK

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