Ethnoveterinary medicinal plant knowledge and practice among the tribal communities of Thakht-e-Sulaiman hills, west Pakistan
Ahmad, K.; Ahmad, M.; Weckerle, C.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 17(0): 275-283
Pastoralist tribal communities inhabit Thakht-e-Sulaiman hills since centuries. In this remote and geographically isolated area, local people mainly rely on their natural environment for ethnoveterinary care. The area is therefore of special interest for the documentation and analysis of ethnoveterinary plant use and efficacy. Field work was conducted from 2010-2012 and 86 informants were interviewed. First, detailed unstructured interviews and group discussions were done with key informants, and second, successive oral freelisting and semi-structured interviews were performed. The veterinary diseases as described by the informants were categorized according to the symptoms they cause and the organs they affect. Information on the cited plants, informant consensus factor (ICF) and fidelity level (FL) were calculated based on use reports. A total of 22 ethnoveterinary medicinal plant species, belonging to 21 genera and 20 families with 559 use reports were recorded from two different ecological zones. More species were documented from the foothills but total use reports were higher for mountain species. Mainly leaves are used to prepare decoctions which are administered orally. Most use reports concerned skeleto-muscular problems followed by gastrointestinal ailments, but ritual uses and dermatological illnesses got highest ICF. Most often cited species were Pinus gerardina, P. wallichiana and Daphne papyracea while highest FL was obtained for Salix tetrasperma, Berberis calliobotrys and Litsea monopetala. Interestingly, 50% of the species have the same or similar use for humans. According to the local people, the most often mentioned species have high medicinal potential. They show a wide acceptance, broad application, multiple ways of preparation and administration. There is a need to conserve the knowledge of medicinal plant use in the Thakht-e-Sulaiman hills for future generations and to incorporate it into existing livestock health care services.