An ethnomedicinal survey on folk medicinal uses of plants in eastern Madhupur region of Pabna District, Bangladesh
Ifrat Jahan Anu, Rownak Jahan, ABM Anwarul Bashar and Mohammed Rahmatullah
Background: Folk medicine, despite its enormous potential, is possibly the most overlooked medicinal system in the world. Folk medicinal practitioners (FMPs) are considered outdated, unscientific, and even looked down upon as mere charlatans. Yet not only conventional/allopathic medicine but also more systematic forms of traditional medicines (like Ayurveda, Unani Siddha, and homeopathy) owe a lot towards adopting folk medicinal use of plants and formulations. The objective of the present study was to collect data on plants used by FMPs in a section of Pabna district, Bangladesh and to determine whether the uses of a given plant(s) by the FMPs can be scientifically rationalized based on available scientific reports.
Methods and findings: Information was collected from a father-son duo FMPs practicing in the eastern Madhupur region of Pabna district in Bangladesh. Both FMPs were informed in details as to the objectives of our repeated visits. Importance was given to obtaining permission to converse with them, take pictures, and to publish any collected information both internationally and nationally. Plants as shown by the FMPs were photographed and plant specimens collected, dried and identified by a trained botanist. Information on only fourteen plants were obtained strongly suggesting that FMPs are possibly a disappearing breed along with their generation-wise orally transmitted medicinal plant knowledge.
Conclusions: Comparison of the medicinal uses of the plants by the FMPs and comparing such uses with published pharmacological activity reports on the plants indicate that the FMPs used the plants in a rational manner. The major difference between the FMPs use of a medicinal plant and conventional medicines is that FMPs usually use a plant or plant part wholly versus the conventional method of isolating and identifying the bio-active plant constituent and using it as a drug.
Ifrat Jahan Anu, Rownak Jahan, ABM Anwarul Bashar, Mohammed Rahmatullah. An ethnomedicinal survey on folk medicinal uses of plants in eastern Madhupur region of Pabna District, Bangladesh. J Med Plants Stud 2023;11(1):200-207. DOI: 10.22271/plants.2023.v11.i1c.1530