Saga of ethnobotanical genesis from ancient to present scenario with special reference to the Darjeeling Himalayas
Siddartha Shanker Dikshit, Samuel Rai and Madan Mohan Sharma
The New Encyclopedia Britannica defines Ethnobotany as a systematic study of the botanical knowledge of a social group and its use of locally available plants in food, medicine, clothing or religious rituals. Rudimentary drugs derives from plants used in folk medicines have been found to be beneficial in the treatment of many illnesses both physical and mental. The Ethno botany of prehistoric cultures is discovered through examination of ancient writings, pictures, pottery and plant remains in jars or milder heaps (garbage dumps) excavated at archaeological sites. From this information, the agricultural practices and cultural development of the people can be determined. A discussion of human life on this planet would not be complete without a look at the role of plants. A complete record of the many thousands of plant species used for human functioning would fill volumes, yet historians have often tended "to dismiss plants as less than fundamental in history." In recent years, however, there has been a reawakened scientific interest in the fundamental role plants play in many cultures, including medicinal purposes. Why is this so? That is the story of today's ethno botany.
Siddartha Shanker Dikshit, Samuel Rai, Madan Mohan Sharma. Saga of ethnobotanical genesis from ancient to present scenario with special reference to the Darjeeling Himalayas. J Med Plants Stud 2016;4(6):108-116.