An ethnobotanical study on the medicinal plants used by Rajbanshis of Coochbehar district, West Bengal, India
Rajbanshis, the descendants of Koches, are living in the Terai and Brahmaputra valley of the eastern Himalaya for thousands of years. This area is a treasure house of biodiversity. Traditionally being settled agriculturist, people under this community have a vast array of knowledge on the uses of plants. They inherit the knowledge of using plants for the treatment of common diseases prevailed in this area. Local medicine men in their community called ojha or Mahan are expert in this form of treatment. However, present generation Rajbanshis are reluctant to their inherited knowledge and local resources of plants for therapeutic purposes. This warrants urgent documentation of their ethnomedicinal knowledge and conservation of the fast depleting plant resources. In this study, household survey was carried out to record ethnomedicinal knowledge of Rajbanshi people of Coochbehar district in West Bengal. This paper reports the uses of twenty-nine medicinal plants commonly used by them.