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Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

 

ISSN:0972-5938    
VOLUME 2

NUMBER 3

JULY 2003

 

CONTENTS

Antioxidant and trace element potential of Chyavanpraash and some Ayurvedic preparations

215

Vaishali V Agte, Sangeeta S Mengale, Mandar Akkalkotkar, Kishore M Paknikar and Shashi A Chiplonkar

 

 

 

Temple tanks – the ancient water harvesting systems of Kerala and their multifarious roles

224

S Maya

 

 

 

Ethnobiological wisdom behind the traditional muga silk industry in Assam

230

S K Borthakur

 

 

 

Scope and importance of traditional medicine

236

S Vedavathy

 

 

 

Indigenous knowledge on animal healthcare practices in district Kachchh, Gujarat

240

Nisha Mistry, C S Silori, L Gupta and A M Dixit

 

 

 

Traditional methods of water management in the central Himalayan agriculture

256

G C S Negi and K D Kandpal

 

 

 

Medicinal palms in Rheede’s Hortus Malabaricus

265

C Renuka, K S Manilal and V B Sreekumar

 

 

 

Production of Ayurvedic medicine in Dakshina Kannada district of coastal Karnataka

272

Shivaprasad B and K R Chandrashekar

 

 

Studies on some psychopharmacological activities of Ocimum sanctum root extract

 

284

T K Maity, Subas Ch Dinda and M Pal

 

 

 

Seeds of Adenanthera pavonia Linn. used as weight-stone for weighing gold in the traditional system: A nature’s substitute

289

H Birkumar Singh, Alka Jain and R S Singh

 

 

 

Traditional knowledge on plants from Toranmal plateau of Maharashtra

292

P P Sharma and A M Mujumdar

 

 

 

Ethno-medico-zoological studies on Nandurbar district of Maharashtra

297

S H Patil

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 2(3), July 2003, pp. 215-223

 

 

Antioxidant and trace element potential of Chyavanpraash and some Ayurvedic preparations

Vaishali V Agte, Sangeeta S Mengale, Mandar Akkalkotkar, Kishore M Paknikar &

Shashi A Chiplonkar

 

Importance of antioxidants such as vitamin C and zinc in treatment of diabetes mellitus and hypertension is being recognised. There is a growing interest to find naturally occurring antioxidants rather than synthetic ones for their use in medicinal material. Therefore a study was undertaken a) to assess antioxidant and trace metal potential of five brands of Chyavanpraash and eight marketed Ayurvedic preparations (AP) at their prescribed dose level along with their major nine ingredients; b) to measure bioavailable amounts of trace metals; and c) to examine toxicity of lead in these AP. Trivang, Abhrak and Loha bhasma had high levels of copper, cobalt and nickel. Manganese contents were high in Trivang and Abhrak but zero in Lohabhasma. Even though amalaki is one of the main ingredients of Chyavanpraash and Raktavardhak, their vitamin C content was quite low. Tannic acid was marginal in these two preparations. Three types of amalaki showed variable contents of iron, zinc, copper, lead, manganese and ascorbic acid. Tannic acid was highest in small amalaki. Sun drying reduced vitamin C content by seventy five percent of the fresh amalaki. Lohabhasma showed highest bioavailable iron followed by Lohachurna. The bioavailable iron was negligible in Chyavanpraash and Raktavardhaka as compared to Lohabhasma and Abhrak bhasma. Bioavailable zinc content was high in Trivang bhasma and is a promising zinc supplement. Mineral iron treated with Gomutra decreased % iron bioavailability by one third but % zinc bioavailabiliy increased twofold. Lead content was highest in Trivang bhasma. The content of lead in daily dose of Chyavanpraash and Raktavardhak was high, but within the prescribed safe limits for lead. Further the bioavailable amount of lead for all these preparations was also very low.

 

 

   

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 2(3), July 2003, pp. 224-229

 

 

Temple tanks – the ancient water harvesting systems of Kerala and their multifarious roles

S Maya

 

Kerala, the peninsular state of India is a typical cultural zone, with innumerable temples, about 5000 in number. Each temple, in most instances, has attached to it a sacred tank, into which surplus water is harvested during monsoon seasons. A closer look into these ubiquitous structures reveals that apart from serving as mere water harvesting systems, these have other important roles to play which are briefly enumerated in the present paper.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 2(3), July 2003, pp. 230-235

 

 

Ethnobiological wisdom behind the traditional muga silk
industry in Assam

S K Borthakur

 

This article focuses on indigenous knowledge, innovations, practices and beliefs pertaining to muga silk industry — a traditional cottage industry in Assam, which had its origin in the distant past and continued till today.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 2(3), July 2003, pp. 236-239

 

Scope and importance of traditional medicine

S Vedavathy

 

Considerable knowledge accumulated by the villagers and tribals on herbal medicine remains unknown to the scientists and urban people. Many plant species associated with the rural people are on the verge of disappearing and are on vulnerable list. The impact of deforestation, urbanization and modernization is shifting the rural people from their natural habitats and their very knowledge particularly with respect to herbal drugs is slowly disappearing. Our immediate concern is to preserve this knowledge. Whatever knowledge exists today is mostly confined to older generation. In this context some approaches needed for the preservation and development of traditional knowledge are presented here, based on the author’s experience in ethno-medico-botanical survey since two decades.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 2(3), July 2003, pp. 240-255

 

 

Indigenous knowledge on animal healthcare practices
in district Kachchh, Gujarat

Nisha Mistry, C S Silori, L Gupta and A M Dixit

 

This article describes the indigenous knowledge of local communities on the traditional healthcare system in district Kachchh, Gujarat. A total of about 726 individuals, from 55 villages across district Kachchh were interviewed, using structured questionnaire survey method. Major communities across wide range of age groups ranging from 15 years to above 90 years were covered. Of the total interviewed persons 49% claimed to have the ethnoveterinary knowledge. Respondents listed a total of 75 plant species that are used for treating ailments in the animals. Leaves, seeds, fruits and in some cases whole plant were used for medicinal purposes. The administration procedures were quite simple and the plant parts are fed to sick animal in the form of crushed green leaves, powder of seeds or sometime in the paste form. Some of the most common diseases treated through plant-based medication are rheumatism, fever, bloat, and foot and mouth disease and to expel the placenta after delivery in cattle. Besides plant-based medicines, few wild animals and their products and few minerals are also used by local people to cure sick animals. The emphasis has been laid on the scientific validation of medicinal properties of the plants and animals used in traditional medication system and also to recognize and reward the traditional wisdom of the local communities.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 2(3), July 2003, pp. 256-264

 

 

Traditional methods of water management in the central Himalayan agriculture

G C S Negi and K D Kandpal

 

In the central Himalayan mountains a rich heritage of traditional methods for water conservation exists. A whole range of indigenous methods is in practice to store and use water for irrigation and other household purposes. These methods are cost-effective and involve the use of locally available material and human skill to construct the water harvesting structures. People follow some traditional norms with regard to the quantity of irrigation water and schedule / frequency of irrigation for the crops they grow. In all the above practices there is strong community participation for the construction, repair and maintenance of water harvesting structures and rules for sharing the water. Maintenance of crop field bunds, ploughing methods, relay cropping, mulching, putting weeds and crop remains to fire etc. are some of the methods of in-situ moisture conservation and soil fertility improvement practiced by the farmers. Use of household wastewater and rooftop water harvesting to supplement moisture for kitchen garden and household demands, and disposal of excess water from the crop fields is also in practice traditionally.

 

However, these practices are now degenerating slowly as a consequence of reduction in water resources and apathy of the people for participatory programmes. There is a need to analyze these practices from scientific and socio-economic standpoint to popularize them for cost-effective and environment-friendly management of  water  resources.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 2(3), July 2003, pp. 265-271

 

 

Medicinal palms in Rheede’s Hortus Malabaricus  

C Renuka, K S Manilal and V B Sreekumar

 

Van Rheede’s Hortus Malabaricus is most remembered as the celebrated botanical work on the plant wealth of Malabar. The palms and their medicinal as well as other properties recorded by Rheede are discussed in this paper.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 2(3), July 2003, pp. 272-283

 

 

Production of Ayurvedic medicine in Dakshina Kannada
district of coastal Karnataka

Shivaprasad B and K R Chandrashekar

 

Dakshina Kannada district is known for the preparation and practice of traditional, folk, Unani and Ayurvedic medicines. The district hosts many traditional healers, pandits and Ayurvedic physicians and medicine manufacturers throughout the urban and rural localities. About 192 classical preparations and 84 proprietary patent medicines are being manufactured in this district. Among the proprietary patent preparations, the medicines used in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis, menstrual disorders and liver disorders are on the top in the production list. The products are not only marketed in the district but also in the neighbouring districts, and in Kerala, Maharastra and Goa along with other company products. Majority of the manufacturers obtain raw materials required for their production from the locals and tribals to the extent possible, and for the remaining, they are dependent on the local dealers.

 

  

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 2(3), July 2003, pp. 284-288

 

 

Studies on some psychopharmacological activities of Ocimum sanctum root extract

T K Maity, Subas Ch Dinda and M Pal

 

The petroleum ether (60-80°C) extract of Ocimum sanctum root was tested for pentobarbitone induced hypnosis in mice. The root extract or vehicle was administered (i.p.) and after 30 minutes pentobarbitone sodium (35 mg/kg) was administered. The exploratory behaviour like Water Maze Test was studied by imparting training to mice in a rectangular tank having holes to escape, filled with water and the number of mistakes were recorded.

 

The extract was found to produce a significant alteration in general behavioural pattern by Water Maze Test. Besides this the extract also potentiated the pentobarbitone induced hypnosis in mice. The potentiation of pentobarbitone sodium induced hypnosis and reduction of mistakes to escape by Water Maze Test indicates that the extract may have some CNS depressant as well as tranquilizing activity.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 2(3), July 2003, pp. 289-291

 

 

Seeds of Adenanthera pavonia Linn. used as
weight-stone for weighing gold in the traditional system:
A nature’s substitute

H Birkumar Singh, Alka Jain and R S Singh

  

Use of the seeds of Adenanthera pavonia  as a weight-stone for weighing gold in the traditional system is described.

 

  

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 2(3), July 2003, pp. 292-296

 

 

Traditional knowledge on plants from
Toranmal plateau of Maharashtra  

P P Sharma and A M Mujumdar

 

Plant based traditional knowledge has become a recognized tool in the search for new sources of drugs and neutraceuticals. During last few decades various Government agencies, NGOs and pharmaceutical companies have carried out several explorations in search of new drugs. Present communication deals with the traditional knowledge of tribals residing in Toranmal plateau of Maharashtra. The tribals of this region are using plants/plant parts or their suitable preparations for treating various ailments. According to present survey the most prevalent ailments in this region are gastrointestinal disorders, and in treating majority of them underground parts like rhizome, root, tubers, etc. are used. In the present study traditional uses of species of 101 plants were documented. Out of these uses of 25 plants are not cited in the major literature consulted hence, are considered as less known and are enumerated in this paper.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 2(3), July 2003, pp. 297-299

 

 

Ethno-medico-zoological studies on Nandurbar district of Maharashtra

S H Patil

 

The tribals of Nandurbar district (Maharashtra) have been found to use wild animal parts as medicines along with plants. The present paper assesses 15 species of animals used by the tribals like Bhils, Gamits, Koknas and Pawaras as medicine. The wild animals are getting rare day by day and their hunting is prohibited under Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. It is therefore all the more important to study this aspect to wean the tribals of such uses which leads to hunting of wild animals.