Medicinal plants used by Irula tribes of Nellithurai Beat, Karamadai Range, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India: An ethnobotanical survey
Swamynathan Mani Dhivya and Kanthasamy Kalaichelvi
Objectives: To explore traditional ethnomedicinal knowledge of Irula tribes of Nellithurai Beat, Karamadai Range, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India.
Methods: With the help of standardized questionnaires, resources person were interviewed on medicinal use of local flora in all the tribal villages of Nellithurai Beat, during the months of Aug 2015 to Oct 2015 as a single season survey using the community survey approach and some of the places were revisited again during Jan 2016 to Mar 2016.
Results: A total of 169 plant species belonging to 127 genera of 61 families were reported in the study area, of which Trees ranked first with 48 species. In terms of the number of medicinal plant species in a family, Caesalpinaceae and Rubiaceae (7 species) are dominant families. Leaves were most frequently used plant parts for the treatment of diseases. Decoction ranks first in the mode of administration.
Conclusion: Our study revealed that in all tribal villages the plants were used to cure common diseases like fever, skin diseases, wound healing, asthma, etc. Many of these plants in the study area are threatened now due to constraints of population and natural hazards. The study suggested that the present information on medicinal use of plants may be used for botanical and pharmacological research in future for the discovery of new sources of drugs.
Swamynathan Mani Dhivya, Kanthasamy Kalaichelvi. Medicinal plants used by Irula tribes of Nellithurai Beat, Karamadai Range, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India: An ethnobotanical survey. J Med Plants Stud 2016;4(4):270-277.