Simple phytotherapeutic practices of a Tripura tribal medicinal practitioner in Bandarban district, Bangladesh
Md. Sohrab Hosen and Mohammed Rahmatullah
Bangladesh contains dozens of large and small tribes with the tribal population estimated to be around 1-2% of the total population of 160 million. Most tribes still reside in remote forested areas. Their own tribal medicinal practitioners form the mainstay for their medicinal needs, though in recent times the younger generation of tribal people is switching more and more towards allopathic medicine. It is therefore necessary to document tribal medicinal practices before they become irretrievably lost. The objective of the present study was to document the phytotherapeutic practices of a Tripura tribal medicinal practitioner (TMP) practicing in the Bandarban district of Bangladesh. The TMP was found to use 15 plants distributed into 14 families in his treatment. The plants were used to treat various disorders like respiratory tract disorders, fever, cuts and wounds, gastrointestinal tract disorders, allergy and hair loss. Three plants were used to brighten skin or lighten skin color suggesting that the Tripura tribal people may be susceptible to blackening of skin, which is quite possible from their toiling under the sun year around.