Documentation and quantitative analysis of the local knowledge on medicinal plants in Kalrayan hills of Villupuram district, Tamil Nadu, India
Prabhu, S.; Vijayakumar, S.; Yabesh, J.E.Morvin.; Ravichandran, K.; Sakthivel, B.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 15(7): 7-20
ISSN/ISBN: 0378-8741 PMID: 25240590 DOI: 10.1016/j.jep.2014.09.014
The aim of the present study was to document the medicinal plants by the traditional medical practitioners from Kalrayan hills of Villupuram district in Tamil Nadu, India. Quantitatively analyses of the data were made to acquire some useful leads for further studies. Successive free listing was the method adopted for the interview. In this study, 54 traditional healer medical practitioners were included and their knowledge on medicinal plants was gathered. The data were assessed with the help of two indices viz., informant consensus factor (Fic) and Informant Agreement on Remedies (IAR). The present survey is in accordance with some of the aspects of our previous surveys. Regarding the demography of the informants, it exhibited unevenness in male-female ratio and majority of the informants were poorly educated. Practicing this system of medicine as part time job by majority of the informants might indicate the reduced social status of this medicinal system. The present study had recorded the usage of 81 species, which in turn yielded 1073 use reports. The major illness category 'aphrodisiac, hair care and endocrinal disorders' hold a high Fic values. Among the other illness categories, gastro-intestinal ailments, genito-urinary ailments and dermatological infection ailments have a high percentage of use reports. Eye ailments, general health, kapha ailments, psychological ailments and skeleton muscular system ailments were the other illness categories with high Fic values. Some of the claims viz., Argyrolobium roseum (aphrodisiac ailments), Rosa brunonii (eye ailments) Hibiscus surattensis (dermatological infections ailments), Bauhinia variegata (neurology Ailments), Cotinus coggygria (circulatory system/cardiovascular ailments) and Uvaria narum (gastro-intestinal ailments) which have relatively high consensus can be taken up for further biomedical studies, since no substantial studies have been conducted on them. Based on the results of our present study, we have highlighted some claims which are at high use in the study area but having little scientific support. Studies on such claims will provide scientific base to some extent which in turn will be useful to improve the health of indigenous people.