The tribal people of the Anuppur District have an extensive knowledge of traditional medicine. The Gond and Baiga tribes are the most well-known tribes in this region. The tribes rely on the forest or its products for their daily needs. This knowledge is accurately passed down from generation to generation without a textbook. The inhabitants of Anuppur cultivate, collect, and exploit various plant parts according to their specific requirements.
According to Shriprakash Mani Tripathi, the vice chancellor of the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) in Amarkantak, who is leading the change in the area, Anuppur is on the verge of a socioeconomic revolution.
Tradition of Ethnomedicinal Plants
Indigenous plants with medicinal properties have been utilized for therapeutic purposes for millennia. Several conventional medical practices like Unani, Siddha, and Ayurveda have accumulated information about therapeutic plants. The Rigveda text dates from 4500 BC to 1600 BC and represents the earliest human understanding of medicinal plant usage in India. Both rural and urban areas have used medicinal herbs on several occasions. In India, traditional healers use more than 2500 different species of medicinal plants.
According to the World Health Organisation, about 80% of the population utilizes organic drugs for healthcare, especially in rural and underdeveloped tribal areas. Utilizing herbal remedies to treat acute and chronic illnesses offers a significant financial advantage in developing indigenous medicines.
The Traditional Medicinal Plant Knowledge by Tribals
Twenty to thirty-year-olds gave minimal to no information. Researchers found that the majority of the informants (36%) had no previous education, which was followed by elementary education (30%), standard schooling (15%), secondary education (14%), and higher education (3%). It shows that less educated informants provided more knowledge regarding using traditional medicinal herbs. It may result from modernization-related lifestyle changes, adolescent disinterest in learning traditional skills, increased use of modern medications, and imitation of urban lifestyles.
A field investigation using purposeful sampling was conducted in 15 villages, including Bahpur (Dadra tola), Bahpuri, Basti Bandha, Batki, Belgawan (Thurki), Bhalvatola, Bilaspur, Dakiya tola, Haveli, Kerha Jaitarhi, Khajurvar, Khurkhuri Dadar, Mircha Dadar, Miriya, and Umaniya, which are part of the study area. The local vaidyas have a solid understanding of how to employ medicinal plants to cure or manage a variety of illnesses.
The Ailments Treated by Ethnomedicinal Plants
The informant census factor (ICF) was calculated to evaluate the effectiveness of medicinal plants in each disease category, the informant census factor (ICF) was calculated. The recorded illnesses were divided into 12 diseases and disorders, per the informants’ usage notes.
Traditional medicines can quickly treat bacterial illnesses, metabolic disorders, bone disorders, and other less prevalent disorders. Within the three major disease categories, metabolic disorders (diabetes, Jaundice, and liver issues) had 30 use reports, bone disorders (bone fracture, bone disease, and arthritis) had 16 use reports, and microbial disorders (piles, fever, and Malaria) had 33 use reports. Urinary disorders had the highest ICF (0.60), followed by illnesses caused by animal bites (0.40), metabolic disorders (0.38), disorders of the skin (0.33), and other disorders with lower IFC values.
Highly Utilized Plants by Tribals for Remedies
The local doctor said that Vanjeer Seed and Leaf could be used to treat Malaria, and Mameera Root is helpful for Jaundice. Similar to how local tribal people had suggested Aam Bark for Jaundice, Gulbans for Erectile dysfunction, Sarai Bark for Diarrhoea, Jangali Pyaj for Rhizome Arthritis, Harra Fruit for Cold and Cough, Katilli Root for Jaundice, Shatavri Root for Digestion, and Padhin Root for Fever. Other than that, some 60 medicinal plants and a mixture of 25 different plant species were described to IGNTU researchers by local herbalists.
According to our research, local herbalists feel that gathering medicinal plants in the autumn or winter, when many may become inactive with comparatively wet bodies with the best efficacy is considerably more advantageous. There are numerous techniques to produce medicinal herbs to treat human illnesses. Decoction (boiling), the process of preparation of conventional recipes made from plant material that people preferred most, was followed by oral administration, and tribals’ usage of roots as the most common single plant component was revealed.
The medicinal plants that the indigenous tribal populations use in their various villages of Pushprajgarh tehsil in Madhya Pradesh. These plant species may be a natural storage location for new biomolecules with potential therapeutic applications. As a result, documentation and academic research are required to preserve and study this legacy.
Most of the medicinal herbs used are indigenous species, some of which are illegally collected by the neighbourhood. The overexploitation of these species poses a genuine concern of shortages or extinction, even though we haven’t given this element any thought in the context of this work. Developing a plan for preserving the area’s biodiversity and protecting it from human overuse became crucial.
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