A preliminary report on the traditional practice for dental and oral health care in Bargarh district of western Odisha, India
Maninee Sahu and Alok Ranjan Sahu
An ethno-medicinal survey was conducted during January 2011 to December 2016 to investigate the traditional knowledge of local people of Bargarh district in the state of Odisha, India. Data were collected by interviewing native and elderly people engaged in health practice in different villages. The investigation reveals that 57 different important plant species belonging to 33 families are being commonly used. Besides, bark, leaf and rhizome as such or being processed are used as tooth powder. In few cases the latex, juice or oil extracted from seeds are either directly applied on the effected tooth and gums or gurgled for relief. Moreover, out of 55 plant species, 24 are exclusively used for tooth stick, 24 for toothache due to caries, 16 for gum diseases and 11 species for pyorrhea, used for oral health care. Maximum numbers of five species are reported each from family Fabaceae and Moraceae followed four species by member of Rutaceae and three species each from Liliaceae and Malvaceae. During the investigation it was observed that people Bargarh district still continue to depend on plant resources to meet their day-to-day needs and use plant based formulations from generation to generation for treatment of health related problems. This traditional knowledge is passed from generation to generation orally. There is no documentation of such knowledge and it is expected that with the death of elderly people the knowledge may be lost. Hence, the present paper aims of documenting the traditional knowledge of dental and oral health care.