Traditional therapeutic uses of some important medicinal and aromatic plants of the tribal area of Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh, India
Lahaul valley of Himachal Pradesh is inhabited by the tribal communities who believe in Amchi system of medicine which is being practiced in this region from a long time. The Amchi system of medicine is similar to the Ayurvedic medicine as this system involves the use of plants as the main source of drug or treatment strategy. Considering the importance of this system of medicine, an extensive field work was conducted in 8 different villages of Lahaul valley to explore the information on usage of ethnomedicinal plants by tribal communities and traditional healers. Questionnaire based interviews of 150 informants were conducted. The data generated were analysed using quantitative tools, i.e., use-value (UV), factor informant consensus (Fic) and fidelity level (Fl). Information related to 64 plants was collected which possess effectiveness against 35 ailment categories. The maximum number of medicinal plants were recorded from the family Compositae followed by Lamiaceae, Apiaceae and Rosaceae. On the basis of use value, the most important medicinal plants were Arnebia euchroma, Artemisia maritima, Asparagus filicinus, Picrorhiza kurrooa, Podophyllum hexandrum, Taraxacum officinale and Thymus linearis. On the basis of factor informant consensus, important ailment categories of this region were related to respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders. This research involves the documentation of medicinal and aromatic plants used by tribal communities and traditional healers of the Lahaul valley. However, further phytochemical and pharmacological research is required for scientific validation of this information so as to determine the efficacy and safety of these ethnomedicinal plants for curing various ailments.
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