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Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

 

VOLUME 3

NUMBER 1

JANUARY 2004

  CONTENTS

Editorial Board

1

 

 

Papers

 

Conservation of Biodiversity: Traditional Approach

5

Priyadarsan Sensarma

 

 

 

Indigenous healthcare practices and their linkages with bioresource conservation and socio-economic development in Central Himalayan region of India

12

Prasanna K Samal, Anubha Shah, Sushil CTiwari and Devendra K Agrawal

 

 

 

Assessment of indigenous knowledge of coastal fisherfolk of Greater Mumbai

27

and Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra

 

Vivek H Nirmale, Bharat S Sontakki, R S Biradar and Santosh Y Metar

 

 

 

Ethno-botanical wealth of Bhadra wild life sanctuary in Karnataka

37

M Parinitha, G U Harish, N C Vivek, T Mahesh and M B Shivanna

 

 

 

Traditional knowledge and biodiversity conservation in Gujarat

51

Deepa Gavali and Diwakar Sharma

 

 

 

Soor: a traditional alcoholic beverage in Tons Valley, Garhwal Himalaya

59

T S Rana, Bhaskar Datt and R R Rao

 

 

 

Folk uses of some medicinal plants from North Sikkim

66

D Maity, N Pradhan and A S Chauhan

 

 

 

Ethno-medico-botanical survey of Kalahandi district of Orissa

72

Sobhagini Nayak, Soumit K Behera and Malaya K Misra

 

 

 

Ethnobotanical notes on the Hill Miri tribe of Arunachal Pradesh

80

Hui Tag and A K Das

 

 

 

Mineral content and microbial impurity of Triphala churna and its raw materials

86

J K Lalla, P D Hamrapurkar and H M Mamania

 

 

 

Traditional wisdom on livestock selection and management in folk proverbs

of Orissa

92

R B Mohanty

 

 

 

Plants sources used for the treatment of different types of fevers by Bhils and its subtribes in India

96

Swati Samvatsar and V B Diwanji

 

 

 

Plants used for incense in Nepal

101

Narayan Prasad Manandhar

 

 

 

Therapeutic uses of some seeds among the tribals of Gandhamardan hill range, Orissa

105

R C Misra

 

 

 

Symposium Report

116

 

 

Information for Contributors

121

 

 

Subscription Order Form

125

 

 

Renewal Notice

127

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 5-11

 

Conservation of biodiversity: Traditional approach

Priyadarsan Sensarma

 

Measures to conserve biodiversity have been taken in India since hoary past. Elements of this aspect of traditional wisdom can be gathered through analytical studies of the ethnic societies, which are less influenced by the modern civilization, and also by scrutinizing the ancient texts written in Sanskrit, Pali, Tamil, etc. The Visnu Samhitā is one such scripture in Sanskrit language. It appears that this work contains some direct instructions in connection with conservation of the biodiversity. These commands are interspersed along with others in different chapters. The same have been collected and recorded together under appropriate heads. The same have been compared with similar information found in some other Sanskrit works with a view to tracing the possible course of evolution of the traditional approach.

 

According to the text of the Visnu Samhitā, causing any harm to the plant(s) or animal(s) is a sin. Even purloining of part(s)/product(s) of any of these living beings is a crime. The sinner/criminal is liable to chastisement in this life and also after death. The punishments are of diverse nature –– pecuniary, corporal, expiatory, and donation of specific article(s) to a Brahmin. In this scripture there are some indirect instructions too, which can be gleaned by analyzing the dietary regulations and the use of biodiversity in different religious rites. These, however, have not been included in the present article.

 

Key Words : Traditional approach, Biodiversity, Conservation, Visnu Samhitā.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 12-26

 

Indigenous healthcare practices and their linkages with bioresource conservation and socio-economic development in Central Himalayan region of India

Prasanna K Samal,  Anubha Shah,  Sushil C Tiwari  & Devendra K Agrawal

 

In this study, covering nineteen settlements between 800-2000 m asl and as many as 500 respondents drawn equally from both the sexes in Central Himalayan region of India, an effort was made to document indigenous knowledge system of medicine and health care practices and its relevance in physical well being of the local people, resource conservation and socio-economic development. Documentation of more than fifty indigenous healthcare practices that are in practice among the local people revealed that females are the real custodians of the indigenous knowledge system as 52% of them have the knowledge on thirty practices against that of 26% for males. This indigenous knowledge system of medicine existing as a super structure, effectively serves the people of the region. Further, the indigenous practices being easily administrable and cheaper, relieve the practitioners from time and financial hardship. However, growing requirements of the continually increasing population and associated poverty besides largescale commercial use of bioresources is resulting in their uncontrolled exploitation, leading to their erosion and extinction. Their non-availability may threaten the continuation of these practices.

 

Keywords: Central Himalaya, Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous healthcare practices, Bioresource conservation, Women. 

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 27-36

 

Assessment of indigenous knowledge of coastal fisherfolk of Greater Mumbai and Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra

Vivek H Nirmale, Bharat S Sontakki, R S Biradar and Santosh Y Metar

 

The benefit of indigenous knowledge can be harnessed and improved upon by its appropriate use, establishing validity of such knowledge and integrating it with development programmes. The present study was conducted to gain access to the indigenous knowledge of fishermen of Greater Mumbai and Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra and its subsequent assessment by experts working in area of fisheries management. A total of 100 fishermen representing the two districts constituted the sample size of the study. The data reported here were gathered through a combination of personnel interview and non-participant observation methods. The study documented rich, varied and potential Indigenous Technical Know-How (ITKs) associated with the management of bag net, shore-seine, gill net, long line and traditional trawl fishery. The validity of few ITKs has also been established by the study.

 

Keywords: ITK, Fisherfolk, Indigenous Fishery Practices, Greater Mumbai, Sindhudurg.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 37-50

 

Ethno-botanical wealth of Bhadra wild life sanctuary
in Karnataka

M Parinitha, G U Harish, N C Vivek, T Mahesh and M B Shivanna

 

Ethno-botanical surveys were conducted during 1998 and 99 in villages of Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary area, situated in the Western Ghats region of Karnataka. Results of the study indicated that 60 plant species belonging to 50 genera and 35 families were used for preparing at least 78 herbal drugs by the medicine men. Among the plant species, the utilization of leaves of Centella asiatica, roots of Ichnocarpus frutescens and decoction of leaves of Bambusa arundinacea in the treatment of jaundice, diabetes and for expulsion of placenta in human’s and animals, respectively, are note worthy. Apart from the above, a few drugs formulated by the local people are not known to literature. According to a CAMP survey, Tylophora indica and Artocarpus hirsutus are vulnerable while, Dipterocarpus indicus and Rauwolfia serpentina are endangered and Spondias pinnata is a lower risk category plant. The information collected from these ‘local specialists’ enriches the countrywide database on the availability of biodiversity resources and gives full credit to the origin of information at different levels.

Keywords: Ethno-botanical survey, Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary, Western Ghats, Karnataka.

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 51-58

 

Traditional knowledge and biodiversity conservation
in Gujarat

Deepa Gavali and Diwakar Sharma

 

Gujarat has rich traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity. This indigenous knowledge has been acquired over ages and treasured by the local communities and the tribals, particularly those living in and around the forests and agro-ecosystems. Very little of this knowledge has been documented which coupled with alienation of younger generation from traditional lifestyles, further poses threat to its erosion. This paper briefly presents the extent of the traditional knowledge available in Gujarat, its contribution in biodiversity conservation and the threats of its erosion under changing life-style.

 

Keywords: Traditional knowledge, Biodiversity conservation, Gujarat.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 59-65

 

Soor: A traditional alcoholic beverage in Tons Valley,
Garhwal Himalaya

T S Rana, Bhaskar Datt and R R Rao

 

The aboriginal communities in the hilly and mountainous Tons Valley have traditionally had recourse to Soor ─ a traditional alcoholic beverage to cope with adverse climatic conditions and also on ceremonial occasions as well as festivals. This paper describes the indigenous method of preparing Soor. It also explores the role of Soor in the life and culture of aboriginal people.

 

Keywords: Soor, Keem, Garhwal Himalaya.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 66-71

 

Folk uses of some medicinal plants from North Sikkim

D Maity, N Pradhan and A S Chauhan

 

The local inhabitants in the North Sikkim area have inherited rich traditional knowledge of the use of many plants or plant parts for the treatment of their common diseases. They often have the information on how to use the plants and to take or to apply  the medicine for different diseases and health care. Information on medicinal uses of 15 types of tubers, rhizomes or roots used by the inhabitants of North Sikkim, viz. Lepchas, Nepalese and Bhutias is presented here.

 

Keywords: Folk uses, Medicinal plants, North Sikkim, Lepchas, Nepalese, Bhutias.]

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 72-79

 

Ethno-medico-botanical survey of
Kalahandi district of Orissa

Sobhagini Nayak, Soumit K Behera and Malaya K Misra

 

The paper provides information on the use of plant crude drugs for various diseases prevalent in tribal communities of eight villages under Thuamul Rampur block of Kalahandi district, Orissa. It deals with 39 plant species under 36 genera belonging to 26 families. The local names, the method of preparation and mode of use of the medicine are mentioned. The tribal communities of the area totally depend on the herbal drug for their primary health care, which is attributed partly to their socio-economic and cultural conditions.

 

Keywords: Ethno-medico-botany, Herbal drugs, Kalahandi district, Tribal community.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 80-85

 

Ethnobotanical notes on the Hill Miri tribe
of Arunachal Pradesh

Hui Tag and A K Das

 

This paper on the ethnobotanical use of plants covers an area inhabited by Hill Miri and some other tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. In all 28 species are described, which include 5medicinal and 11 food plants; remaining 12 plants are put to various other ethnobotanical use.

 

Keywords:              Ethnobotany, Hill Miri tribe, Arunachal Pradesh, Indigenous Knowledge System.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 86-91

 

Mineral content and microbial impurity of
Triphala churna and its raw materials

Lalla J K, Hamrapurkar P D and Mamania H M

 

Atomic absorption spectrophotometric study of the powdered fruits of amala, beheda, harda and market samples of triphala churna along with a laboratory preparation indicated that the highly toxic elements such as As, Hg, Co and Cd were absent, Pb being within the limits whereas less toxic or beneficial elements were within the limits specified by American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH). The microbial studies of these samples showed complete absence of pathogens and presence of non-pathogens in amounts lower than the number specified in BP limits. The raw materials and triphala churna samples investigated in this study were considered safe for internal consumption.

 

Keywords: Triphala churna, Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry, Microbial contamination.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 92-95

 

Traditional wisdom on livestock selection and
management in folk proverbs of Orissa

R B Mohanty

 

Oriya folk songs and folk proverbs relating to livestock characters, selection criteria and their management procedures are highlighted. The scientific basis of this traditional wisdom and its present relevance are analysed.

 

Keywords : Folk proverbs, Traditional wisdom, Livestock management, Orissa.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 96-100

 

Plants used for the treatment of different types of
fevers by Bhils and its subtribes in India

Swati Samvatsar and V B Diwanji

 

Bhil including its subtribes is the third largest tribal community of India. This community of forest dwellers is well acquainted with medicinal properties of plants of their surroundings. Present paper deals with 14 plants used for different types of fevers by this tribal community.

 

Keywords: Bhils, Fever, Medicinal plants.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 101-104

 

Plants used for incense in Nepal

Narayan Prasad Manandhar

 

The study identified 31 species of plants used as incense in Nepal. Most of these plants are unrecorded previously. Different parts of these plants are used either in powder form or in small pieces. Dried plants of 9, leaves and thin twigs of 12, rhizomes and roots of 4, leaves and
flowers of 3, resin and wood of 2 and bark of one species are used for incense.

 

Keywords: Incense plants, Nepal.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 105-115

 

Therapeutic uses of some seeds among the tribals of
Gandhamardan hill range, Orissa

R C Misra

 

The traditional use of seeds in different forms, viz. raw, seed-paste, powder, decoction, infusion or oil as medicines for ameliorating diseases is still prevalent among the tribal communities inhabiting the forest areas of western Orissa. This investigation highlights manifold uses of 33 species whose seeds are used on a minor scale by the tribal inhabitants of Gandhamardan hill range for the treatment of various ailments.

Keywords: Medicinal seeds, Tribal inhabitants, Gandhamardan hill range, Orissa.

 

 

 

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge

Vol. 3(1), January 2004, pp. 116-120

 

Symposium Report

 

National Symposium
On the
"Emerging Trends in Indian Medicinal Plants"

 

A three-day national symposium on "Emerging Trends in Indian Medicinal Plants" was organised in the C.V. Raman auditorium of the U.P. Council of Science and Technology, Lucknow from 10-12 October 2003 by an NGO, The Foundation for Research, Information and Encouragement of Non-toxic and Dependable Substances of Nature (The FRIENDS of Nature). National Medicinal Plants Board, Ministry of Health & F.W. Govt. of India and the U.P. Council of Science and Technology (UPCST) were the sponsor and co-sponsor, respectively.

 

In his welcome address Dr. S.A. Siddiqui, the Organising Secretary of the symposium gave a brief introduction of The FRIENDS of Nature and an account of the aims and objectives of the symposium. Dr. A.N. Pathak, Director of UPCST then emphasised that even Rawana was a well-known pandit of herbs. In his ‘Rawana Samhita’ he described curative properties of several herbal preparations; for example Trikuta juice in filariasis and Dashmula in cough, fever, etc.

 

In his keynote address the former Director of the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, Dr. Nityanand, expressed that even after 56-57 years of independence one could not take full advantage of the available Indian medicinal floral wealth. He advocated that registration of herbal drugs should be done not only for marketing purposes but it should also be done for the quality and effectiveness. He emphasized that the Ayurvedic theory of ‘prakriti’ and the Unani theory of ‘mizaj’ or temperament need to be scientifically interpreted and that the holistic therapeutic values of those systems should be brought out in their true sense.

 

Mr. Siraj Husain, senior IAS and Vice-chancellor of the Hamdard University, who was the chief guest of the symposium, lauded the efforts of The FRIENDS of Nature in organising the symposium. He was of the view that since advancement and popularization of Indian medicinal plants had a tremendous impact on our country’s economy every possible effort ought to be done for giving scientific basis to all the indigenous systems ─ Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani. Describing the dedicated contribution of Hamdard and its founder late Hakim Abdul Hameed in protecting and propagating the Unani system of medicine in India Mr. Siraj said that though the system of Unani medicine originated in Greece (Unan) and reached India after travelling through Iran, Syria and Arabia it received such patronage in the Indian subcontinent that it became an integral part of the Indian system of medicine. Mr. Siraj further elaborated that despite its fast action and effectiveness the modern health care system was not affordable to the people of even developed countries. The developed countries were turning towards the indigenous systems (ISM) and towards those countries where ISM is practiced. He gave call to the scientists, researchers and practitioners for working sincerely to make ISM to live to the expectation of the masses.

 

 

Technical Sessions of the Symposium

The technical sessions of the symposium addressed the following areas:

·         Medicinal herbal wealth of India

·         Plant pathology and protection

·         Cultivation and crop improvement

·         Efficacy evaluation

·         Novel uses of medicinal plants

·         Trade and Commerce

·         Standardisation and quality control

·         Clinical research and therapeutics

 

Synopsis of some important presentations are given below:

 

Dr. R.D. Girach of Bhadrak, who made extensive surveys of the forests of Orissa, emphasized the importance of ethnobotany in finding out new drugs through investigating the information collected from various tribals or ethnic groups.

 

Dr. S.K.A. Rizvi, a noted entomologist from the Aligarh Muslim University, gave an illustrative account of the damages caused to various medicinal plants by acridoid pests. He also explained effective biological control measures for those enemies avoiding use of the hazardous chemical pesticides.

 

Dr. A.K. Sharma of the Forest Research Institute, Dehradun gave a comprehensive account of the cultivation of medicinal plants for production of quality herbal drugs. He cited several interesting figures regarding India’s potential in raw drug production and export and advocated the need of conserving the endangered species.

 

Prof. Dr. J.K. Grover of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, assessing the hypo- and hyper-glycemic activities of 15 plant ingredients, expressed that so far no modern drug proved to be successful in curing diabetes. On the basis of her experimental findings she was of the opinion that consumption of bitter gourd, Jamun seed kernel and Kari Patta leaves, which were abundantly available, would keep effective control on the raised glucose level in diabetic patients.

 

Prof. Dr. K.C. Singhal, WHO consultant for monitoring adverse drug reactions, cited various examples where the herbal drug therapy led to complications and side effects. He warned that for safer use of herbal drugs their proper dosage and quality should be thoroughly worked out.

 

Dr. S.H. Ansari of the Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi, in his lecture on herbal cosmetics, explained the importance of herbs in Solah Shringar since time immemorial. He also gave an account of the clinical results obtained with a herbal shampoo tried by him in removing dandruff.

 

Dr. Gurdeep Sing of Gorakhpur University, describing the futuristic utilization of essential oils, told as to how various essential oils could be used as biocides, sprout suppressants and preservatives for agricultural produce in place of the toxic synthetic fungicides, bactericides and insecticides.

 

Dr. Swadesh Malhotra, a senior scientist from the National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow explained issues related to protection and preservation of Indian traditional knowledge against piracy by the so-called developed countries of the world.

 

Dr. Virendra Singh of Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University in his talk highlighted the wonders of sea buck-thorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) in diseases such as cancer, herpes, heart ailments, tremor, forgetfulness, scalds, bedsores, etc. He told that health foods and dietary preparations of that plant were very popular in China and Europe. Being rich source of anti-oxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E and being protective against irradiation damage Russians were using its extracts in their space programme. He emphasized the need of coordinated research for fully harnessing the potential of sea buck-thorn, which was growing on nearly 10,000 hectares of land in the temperate regions of India.

 

The posters presented in the symposium covered varied and interesting topics, viz. role of herbal drugs in de-addiction, hypoglycemia, diuresis, Vastu-Shastra, home-remedies, etc.

 

There was a special session comprising panel discussion among members of organising committee and experts from their respective fields. After discussing their observations and findings they laid down various recommendations for forwarding to government agencies and for future implementation.

 

Observations

 

The harmful effects of the modern medicine and its ineffectiveness against many chronic diseases have resulted in resurgence of herbal medicine. However, despite its rich herbal wealth India’s share in the world market is even less than 1.5%. To overcome this sorry state there is an urgent need to develop confidence among the public towards the safer indigenous systems, Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani, as well as among the traders and cultivators of the Indian medicinal plants, towards this lucrative business. The basic requirements for gaining entry into developed countries’ herbal trade have been assessed as:

 

a.       Well documented knowledge about therapeutic efficacy of Indian crude drugs,

b.       Absence of harmful contaminants, viz. residues of pesticides, heavy metals, micro-organisms, etc,

c.       Quality formulations which have been standardised in respect of not only their physical and          

      chemical characters and therapeutic efficacy but for their safety also.

 

Recommendations

For boosting India’s economy by way of herbal trade the participants of the symposium, in the light of above-mentioned observations, made the following recommendations:

 

1.       Merits of indigenous systems of medicine, viz. Ayurveda, Siddha and  Unani, be publicised among the masses by the government and non-government organisations through all sorts of media, viz. print, audio-visual, seminars, symposia, etc. The allocation of budget for indigenous systems of medicine, which is presently only 5% of the total budget allocated for medical health, be raised to 50% as is prevalent in Bhutan and China.

 

2.       Availability of quality crude drugs in sufficient quantities and at  reasonable prices be ensured, and for achieving this goal following measures should be adopted:

 

                           i.          Good quality control laboratories/centres with necessary infrastructure for chemical

                    and biological testing for crude herbal drugs and finished products be established in

                    every state of the country,

    1. Farmers should be encouraged for growing more and more medicinal plants specially those, which are in much demand inside and outside the country. And, the ambitious farmers should be imparted training in improved techniques of cultivation, plant protection, harvesting, storage and packing by the state forest agencies or state medicinal plants boards at nominal charges,

    2. Efforts should also be made to cultivate those plants which are being imported from other countries so as to save valuable foreign exchange.

    3. Efforts should also be made by the govt. to ensure availability of those quality plant materials which are exclusively needed for preparing Homeo-medicines,

    4. Regulatory laws of registration, licensing, patents, etc. should be strictly imposed,

 

3.           The government organisations/autonomous bodies which include in their activities documentation, conservation and preservation of Indian medicinal flora, such as Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Almora, National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi, various councils of Indian systems of medicine, CSIR institutes and regional botanical gardens and their constituent units or field stations, etc. should be made more interactive and viable.

 

4.     The demand for every medicinal plant in the local and outside market be fully explored and monitored so as to give better value of their produce to the cultivators of these plants besides protecting the country’s requirement for food grains and other agricultural commodities.

 

5.       The curricula of educational institutions should be adequately modified, i.e.

 

                             i.        Importance of medicinal plants in safe-guarding and restoring overall health should  

                    be introduced in the school and college education,

    1. Pharmacy courses of graduate and post-graduate level imparting knowledge and training exclusively in herbal medicines should be started at various pharmacy colleges so that trained herbal pharmacist become available to the herbal pharmaceutical industry,

    2. Besides giving more importance to identification of the commonly used crude herbal drugs the techniques of controlling quality of single crude drugs as well as the herbal formulations should be introduced in the curricula of various Ayurvedic, Homeopathic and Unani colleges.

           iv.     Regional centres for monitoring adverse drug reactions, caused due to herbal

                    medication be established in various states of the country.

 

The valedictory session was addressed by Dr. P. Pushpangadan, Director, National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow.

 

 

For further details please contact:

Dr S.A. Siddiqui,

Organising Secretary,

The Friends of Nature,

Naseem Manzil, Madehganj,

Sitapur Road,

Lucknow 226 020,

Phone: (0522) 2368064,

Fax: (0522) 2338572,

E-mail: dr_shameem@zyberway.com