Ethnomedicinal Plants Used in the Healthcare Systems of Tribes of Dantewada, Chhattisgarh India


The tribal people depend on forests for their livelihood and most of the rural people still depend on traditional medicine as a primary healthcare source. The paper highlights the rich plant resources and the vast wealth of ethnobotanical information available with the various tribes of the region. In this paper, some new and less known ethno medicinal uses of 104 plants of tribes of Dantewada, Dakshin Bastar C.G. in different ailments have been reported. The main objective of present work is to give the information and documentation of medicinal plant used by tribal of the study sites. The ethnomedicinal information was gathered from interviews with living elders belonging to Madiya, Muriya, Gond and Bhatra tribes of the study area. The present work on ethnomedicinal plants, used in the healthcare systems of tribes in 15 villages, was carried out from Geedam block of Dantewada, Dakshin Bastar C.G.

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Sahu, P. , Masih, V. , Gupta, S. , Sen, D. and Tiwari, A. (2014) Ethnomedicinal Plants Used in the Healthcare Systems of Tribes of Dantewada, Chhattisgarh India. American Journal of Plant Sciences, 5, 1632-1643. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2014.511177.

1. Introduction

India is rich in medicinal plant diversity which is distributed in different geographical, environmental conditions and associated tribal & folk knowledge systems. The tribal people mostly depend on forests for their livelihood and up to 70% of the rural population still depends on traditional medicine as a primary healthcare source. In India there are about 550 tribal communities covered under 227 ethnic groups residing in about 5000 villages in different forest and vegetable types. In the developed countries the medical drugs (25%) are based on plants and their derivatives [1] and uses of medicinal plants among the indigenous people in rural areas of many developing countries. Forests cover better than 44% of the states geographic area, for a total of 56,448 sq. km. dense forests constitutes 67.10%, while 32.89% is considered open forests, of the total forests area [2] -[5] . Botanically derived medicinal plants have played a major role in human societies throughout history and prehistory [6] but with the development of modern civilization, use of allopathic drugs is at increasing rate and use of herbal drugs is either restricted to few communities or areas only. The ethno-botanical uses of this unique group are of immense importance [7] [8] and Ferns are used by the physicians in unani system of medicine [9] . The plant based traditional knowledge has become a recognized toll in search for new sources of drugs, wound healing properties and mentralceuticals [10] -[12] . India is one of the eight major centres of origin and diversification of domesticated taxa due to its glorious part of traditional medical system and used pattern of different plants [13] [14] , having rich biodiversity and is one of the world’s twelve mega diversity countries. In present paper, some new findings and less known ethno-medicinal uses of 104 plants of tribes of Geedam block of Dantewada, Dakshin Bastar C.G. in different ailments have been reported. The objective of the present work is to give the information and documentation of medicinal plant used by tribal of the various villages of Geedam block Dantewada C.G.

2. Material and Methods

2.1. Study Sites

The present work was carried out in different villages of Barsur of Geedam block of Dantewada, Dakshin Bastar C.G. on phyto-therapeutic drugs in the healthcare systems of tribes. Following are representing the study sites i.e. Hitameta, Gadhpara, Temrubhata, Skulpara, Baasantarai, Malumunda, Muchanar, Purantarai, Salphikonta, Thotapara, Nayapara, Saatdhar, Sargiguda, Mauliguda, Upet, villages. Geedam Tehsil is surrounded by Dantewada to south district Bastar to the North and West & District Bijapur to the East (Figure 1).

2.2. Vegetation & Climate

Bailadila Reserve forest of Dantewada range of Bastar district comes under Dakshin part of C.G. lies on the Gondwana biodiversity zone and paradise for one interested in medicinal plants which mostly comprises of the Tropical Forests. As this area is full of terrains, much of the forest remains unexplored and it is highly probable that this area contains some of the undocumented species. Out of the many precious Medicinal Plants that are available in the dense forests of district Dantewada. The forests on the upper ridge consists of dense vegetation whereas, along nala banks and lower hill slopes luxuriant tree growth consisting of semi-evergreen tree species, shrubs, herbs, ferns and palms, are found.

On account of varied physiographic feature and consequent varying microclimatic elements and vegetation associations, the area is bestowed with rich and varied medicinal flora. Temperature varies between 30˚C - 47˚C in summer and between 5˚C - 25˚C during winter [12] .

2.3. Tribal Community

Survival of ethnobotanical knowledge was evident in the abundant economic important data gathered in this study, from published and unpublished sources from historic and contemporary times, and from interviews with living elders belong to Madiya, Muriya, Gond and Bhatra tribes of the study area.

2.4. Data Collection

The study area is very significant for ethnobotanical studies showing to the dominance of different tribal communities like Madiya, Muriya, Gond, Bhatra etc. The questionnaires were devised to identify the indigenous knowledge of plant based remedies from local people. Information was gathered through semi-structural interviews that were held with selected knowledgeable elders. At the end of each interview, plant specimens were collected, dried, identified and preserved. Samples of recorded herbs, shrubs and trees were identified with the help of local floras and previous literature and the extensive studies were conducted with the tribal people and village medicine-men of the area i.e. Sondhar, Shivram, Laxaman, Dineshwar, Charan, Ramdhar, Amar Singh, Shivlal, Bhagatram, Jalaram, Panku, Devchand, Sukru, Assiram, Sukhdev, Kamlu, Rajadhar. The local name,

Figure 1. Representing the study sites of different villages of Barsur, Geedam block of Dantewada, C.G.

part used and medicinal importance was recorded. The botanical name of each plant is followed by, local name, family, used plant part, ethno-medicinal importance, mode of administration, habit and study sites.

3. Result

In the ethnobotanical and ethnomedicinal survey 104 plants species were reported representing 85 families with dominant families i.e. Fabaceae, Cucurbitaceae and Euphorbiaceae, Asteraceae etc. Research information and ethnobotanical data was gathered and organized extant Dantewada C.G. and assembled it into a database for analysis. The representing plants are mostly used to cure skin disorders, diarrhea, jaundice, cough, wounds, piles, urinary troubles, antiseptic and antidote to snakebite and pus formation. Leaves are the most widely (35%) used plant part of the reported medicinal plant uses, followed by root (28%), seed (19%), fruit (15%) and bark (13%). A majority of remedies are prepared in the form of juice followed by powder and paste form, from freshly collected plant parts. Medical administration includes inhalation, oral administration, paste/applying and rubbing massage. Most of the ailments such as stomachache, urinary problems, piles, jaundice and diarrhea can be cured by oral absorption while most of the skin diseases, wounds and body swelling can be cured by external application. The most extensively used plant part in the preparation of medicine for various ailments is the leaf, followed by roots. The collection of underground plant parts and whole plant is of grove consequences from both ecological as well as survival point of view of the species (Table 1).

4. Discussion

The preservation of herbal medicinal plants along with the traditional knowledge of how to use them is an indispensable obligation for sustaining traditional medicine as a medicinal and cultural resource [15] . The traditional knowledge available with the ethnic people plays an important role in quick and proper identification of natural resources and discussed the scope of ethnobotany [16] [17] . According to Biswas and Mukherjee [18] , 70% of the wound healing Ayurvedic drugs are of plant origin, 20% of mineral origin, and the remaining 10%

Table 1. Shows ethnobotanical and ethnomedicinal observation of 104 plant species of different villages of Geedam block of Dantewada, C.G.







Abbreviations: UPP: Used Plant Part, Hb: Habit, MAMode of Administration, H: Herb, Cl: Climbing Herb, Sh: Shrub, T: Tree, Wp: Whole plant, R: Root, St: Stem, Lf: Leaf, Fr: Fruit, Fl: Flower, Br: Bark, Sd: Seed, Td: Tendril, L: Latex, Rt: Root, Tb: Tuber, N: Nut, G: Gum, Wd: Wood, O: Oil, Rh: Rhizome, SP: Schoolpara, GP: Gadhpara, MG: Mavliguda, MN: Madhernala, MD: Mundatikra, SD: Satdhar, BT: Basantarai, HM: Hitameta, PT: Purantarai, KC: Kosa Centre, SG: Sargi Guda, TP: Thodhapara, R: Ronje, NP: Nayapara, M: Muchnar, TMP: Tamruphata, MM: Malumunda, GP: Ghotpal, VA: Vanbasi Ashram, SC: Salficonta, FC: Forest Colony, MP: Mangulpot.

consisting of animal products. Antimicrobial activity of unexploited or pteridophytic plants is being used ethno-medicinally but, very little work has been done on antimicrobial aspects was screened by [19] .

Plant based remedies were presented with botanical name of species followed by local name, parts used, mode of preparation and ethno medical uses [20] . Certain species of medicinal plants are being exploited by the local residents who are unaware of the importance of medicinal plants in the ecosystem [21] .

The present-day traditional healers are very old. India is profusely rich in the history of medicinal plants and its 75% folk population is still using herbal preparations in the form of powder, extracts and decoction because these are easily available in nature and the natives have stronger faith on traditional knowledge [22] . The traditional African medicine highlighted its benefits drawbacks of orthodox medicine and reported sixteen species of pteridophyte, collected from greater Mymensingh district, Bangladesh, were studied for their use as vegetables and traditional herbal medicine reported [23] [24] . There are about 305 genera, comprising more than 10,000 species all over the world reported [25] and about 191 genera and more than 1000 species were reported from India [26] . The study of ethnomedical systems and herbal medicines as therapeutic agents of a paramount importance in addressing health problems of traditional communities and third world countries as well as industrialized societies [27] [28] . The sustainable harvesting and management issues of ethnobotanical species were discussed in view of their conservation and management [4] [29] . The information was collected by interviewing local vaidya and local herbal-healers of forty four plant species representing 23 families have been reported to be in use among in Barsur and its villages of Geedam block Dantewada, CG were reported by [30] . The study revealed that traditional medicinal plants still play a vital role in primary health care need in Dantewada district and the knowledge received from them will be very useful for researchers in ethnobotany and pharmacological study.

5. Conclusion

The survey indicated that, the study area has plenty of medicinal plants to treat a wide spectrum of human ailments. Earlier studies on traditional medicinal plants also revealed that the economically backward local and tribal people of Barsur prefer folk medicine due to low cost and sometimes it is a part of their social life and culture. It is evident from the interviews conducted in different villages; knowledge of medicinal plants is limited to traditional healers, herbalists and elderly persons who are living in rural areas. This study concluded that even though the accessibility of medicine for simple and complicated diseases is available, many people in the studied parts of Dantewada district still continue to depend on medicinal plants, at least for the treatment of some simple diseases i.e. cold, cough, fever, headache, poison bites, skin diseases and tooth infections. Well knowledge healers have good interactions with patients and this would improve the quality of healthcare delivery. Due to lack of interest among the younger generation as well as their tendency to migrate to cities for lucrative jobs, there is a possibility of losing this wealth of knowledge in the near future. It thus becomes necessary to acquire and preserve this traditional system of medicine by proper documentation and identification of specimens.


Authors are thankful to tribal peoples for helping and supporting during field work in studying sites of Barsur village, Geedam block Dantewada, C.G. Authors are also thankful to Prof. P. K. Bajpai Head & Centre in Charge National Centre for Accelerator based Research Pure & Applied Physics Guru Ghasidas Vishwavidyalaya, Bilaspur India for encouragement and suggestions. One of author (PKS) is also grateful to Dr. Moni Thomas Senior Scientist, Directorate of Research Services, JNKVV, Jabalpur for advice and motivations.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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