Quantitative Ethnobotanical Report of Wild Flowers used by Tribes of Wayanad Forest Division, Kerala- India


Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine, No. 1, West Madha Church Road, Royapuram, Chennai - 600 013, Tamil Nadu, India, +91 9865326547
National Medicinal Plants Board, Ministry of M/o of AYUSH, Govt. of India, New Delhi, India
Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine, No. 61-65, Opp. D-Block, Janakpuri Institutional Area, Janakpuri, New Delhi – 110058, India. M/o of AYUSH, Govt. of India, New Delhi, India

Abstract

The quantitative ethnobotany deals the computation and importance of the plants and vegetation to people. It helps quantification of qualitative data in the biological and social science. The traditional source of medicinal plants is an important way for daily curative uses in the rural area. A survey was carried out among the tribes of Munnar forest division, Idukki district, Kerala India. The present study identified traditionally using 47 species of ethnomedicinal plants distributed in 41 genera belonging to 29 families to treat various diseases. Moreover, among the plant studied habit wise analyzed they are 12 herbs, 13 shrubs, 12 trees, each one of climbing shrub, twining shrub, prostrate shrub, climber. The status of plants are analyzed and recorded as 26 common, 14 rare, 5 common & Cultivated and 2 sporadic are described under this study. In this communication, the information’s got from the rural inhabitant were compared with the already existing literature. The data were collected randomly from tribal and healers of 85 informants the data were statistically analyzed by using suitable statistical tools such as Use Value (UV), Informant Consensus Factor (ICF), Fidelity Value (FL) and various ranking methods.

Keywords

Ethnobotany, tribes, Wayanad District, Western Ghats, Wild Flowers

Introduction

A quantitative ethnobotany survey involves the use of quantitative techniques for direct analysis of the data on utilization of the existing plants. The quantitative methods were proposed by Philips led to increasing awareness for ethnobotanical research 1. Ethnomedicinal studies have proved significant in valuing and discovering contemporary drugs from indigenous medicinal plant resources. There are appropriate sources of information about useful medicinal plant species, which can be targeted for management and domestication 1, 2. Flowers play an important role in our day to day life, directly or indirectly. Flowers are the sexual reproductive parts of plants. They have been an integral part of human beings since ancient times for various purposes like ornamental, decorations, medicine (fresh, distillates, decoction and powdered form), nutrients/foods (fresh garnishes, dried, in cocktails, canned sugar), during religious rites, to pray gods, culinary preparations, essential oils, and in beauty care products etc. The traditional primary health care system in India is embodied in a 'people's health culture'. This culture is based on very effective and sound, region-specific health practices involving 8,000 species of plants across the country, where flowers play a prominent role among them. For several centuries medical practitioners have long acknowledged the therapeutic properties of certain flowers. Flowers are matchless ornaments to the nature Queen. They are not only a source of beauty and delicacy but also fountain heads of health and joy. The kingdom of flowers is very vast as we can categorize them in general into four main classes depending upon the purpose for which they are grown, i.e. ornamental, commercial, medicinal and vegetable or edible flowers. Flower therapy uses essential oils, flower waters, flower juice, flower petals (fresh and dried), and aroma to heal the mind and body. Because of the medicinal properties of flowers, modern medicines use flower extracts. The significance of flowers are evaluated from the aspect of potential health benefits concerning mainly the influence of color, odor and flavor components in relation to antioxidant activity, scavenging activity of reactive oxygen radicals and against cancer 3.

Historically apart from medicinal usage, flowers are also used for edible purposes. Also, for example, in ancient Rome, various species of Roses were used in cooking different kinds of puree and omelettes; in medieval France, Calendula Officinalis in the preparation of salads; saffron (Crocus sativus) as a flavoring agent; Viola odorata for coloring of sugar, syrups and various potions; Borago officinalis and Roses as aromatic enhancers of pastry and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) flowers for preparation of drinks and salads in Europe 4. Flowers are an integral part of our lives and are associated with the most emotional moments of human experiences like praise celebrations or grieving. They are used not just for their aesthetic sense but also for nutritive and medicinal properties also.

Out of the total 422,000 flowering plants reported from the world, more than 50,000 plants are used for medicinal purposes. In India, more than 43% of the total flowering plants are reported to be of medicinal importance 5. The utilization of plants for medicinal purposes in India has been documented in ancient Indian literature. Extensive information is available about flowers from Indian literature like Vrukshayurveda. In Indian traditional systems of Medicine, Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy systems (prevalent mostly in South India), flowers are used in the treatment of various ailments.

Flowers are directly eaten as petals or made as juice decoction, tincture or mixing them with some other ingredients and then administered. Different formulations of flowers are used as Juice, Powder, Syrup, Arka(Distilled extract), scents, soups etc. 6. Popular flower vegetable includes cauliflower; expensive spices like saffron and cloves are also derived from flowers. The kingdom of flowers is very vast. In general, flowers can be categorized into four main classes depending on the purpose for which they are grown, i.e. Ornamental flowers, Commercial flowers, Medicinal flowers and Kitchen/Vegetable flowers 7.

Hence the present study was made to list out the naturally growing wildflowers collected from forest areas to identification by the indigenous community tribes from Western Ghats of Wayanad district of Kerala for food, medicine and to conserve those plants for their future generations. A perusal of these reports suggested that the ethnopharmacological survey in the Western Ghats is incomplete and the traditional herbal healing knowledge of a large number of folk communities needs documentation. There is no previous report in the records of ethnopharmacological knowledge of wildflowers used for various ailments from tribals of Western Ghats. An attempt has therefore been made to collect and document the folk knowledge from tribals, local herbal healers and knowledgeable elder people of different castes and communities residing in the certain forest area of Western Ghats of Wayanad district of Kerala.

  • The objective of this study was to interact with local traditional healers and tribals and document their knowledge on the medicinal uses of flowers.

  • To collect scientific information and identify the flowers used by the tribal and rural people of the study area.

  • Documentation techniques for the recording of medicinal flora and traditional medical knowledge of local informants about the usages of the available indigenous Flowers for curing of various ailments and diseases.

  • The assemblage of data on the traditional treatments against various ailments forms the basis of consideration of any flowers of plant taxon. Thus, the evaluation of the data using various quantitative ethnobotanical indices for exploration of the most popular flowers species could be further subjected for the discovery of potential therapeutic Phyto molecule(s)

  • A large number of flowers are still unexplored regarding their uses as food and medicine. So one of the objectives of the present work was the preparation of a report on flowers used as nonformal food and medicinal resources by the tribal and rural people of Wayanad District of Western Ghats of Kerala.

  • To provide status and conservation strategies of the flower yielding plant in order to conserve the plants which are endangered, vanishing or on the verge of extinction.

STUDY AREA

Wayanad District

The Wayanad district lies between north latitude 11 27' and 15 58' and east longitude 75 47' and 70 27'. It is bounded on the east by Nilgiris and Mysore districts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, respectively, on the North by Coorg district of Karnataka, on the South by Malappuram and on the West by Kozhikode and Kannur district. The Western Ghats Mountains in the Wayanad are rich in flora and fauna and located at a distance of 76 km from the sea shores of Kozhikode. The altitude varies from 700-2100mts above sea level. The name Wayanad is believed that have been derived from the word Vayalnadu meaning the land of paddy fields. As for the forest, vegetation are concern with evergreen, semi-evergreen, shola, deciduous, and dry deciduous forests distributed all over the district. Annual rainfall is about 3000 to 4000 mm.

Wayanad Forest Division

Two forest divisions are there in the Wayanad district the South Wayanad forest division comprises 3 forest ranges which is Kalpatta, Mepadi and Chedleth forest ranges. Particularly the forest areas Chambera, Attamalai and Manikunthmala in Mepadi range, Ladys smith, Bible land, and Padinarathra forest areas in Kalpetta range, Pampra, Pathiri South, and Kuruva, island forest areas in Chedleth range, are rich in floristic diversity. The forest areas such as Chemberapeak, Arunagiri, Attamala, Manikunthmala, Parapanpara, Soochipara and Vengaishola forest areas in Meppadi Range, Lady’s Smith, Meenmutti, Bibleland, Thandiodu, West land, Kuricharmala, Suganthagiri and Mandamala forest areas in Meppadi Range and Kuruva island, Padiri North, Padiri South forest areas in Chedleth Range were surveyed and carried out plant exploration activities. During the Ethnobotanical survey programme, the climate in the study area was rainy, and the annual rainfall was recorded as about 3000-4000 mm in previous years. The tribal communities such as Irular, Kadas, Paniyas, Kattunayakans and Kuruchiars are settled in different parts of the district. The survey team visited some of the tribal colonies such as Soochipara, Parapanpara in Meppadi Range, Kuttianvayal, Suganthagiri, Ampa in Kalpetta Range and Padiri South in Chedleth Range were surveyed. During the study, the researchers interacted with the tribal and local peoples and recorded information on folk medicinal plants and wild fruits.

Methodology

A preliminary survey of tribal villages in the Wayanad district revealed that local communities used wild flowers as medicine for their healthcare extensively. Frequent field surveys were made in the Wayanad district. Each area was visited twice in different seasons in 2010-2011. Ethnobotanical data (Botanical name, local name, mode of consumption and ethnobotanical uses) were collected through interviews and discussion with the tribal practitioners in and around the study area. Data were also collected through questionnaires in their local languages (Malayalam and Tamil). Information were collected through interview with One hundred and twelve (112) persons aged between 40-80, who had traditional knowledge of wild fruit plants. In addition to the vernacular names, questions were also asked about each plant prescribed, such as part of the fruit used, medical uses, detailed information about the mode of preparation (i.e., decoction, paste, pills, powder and juice); from the usage, either fresh or dried and mixtures of other plants used as ingredients were also collected. The claims were compared with available important works on Indian ethnobotany and medicinal plants such as 8, 9, 10. The medicinal fruit plants were identified (local names) and photographed, and sample specimens were collected for the preparation of herbarium documentation.

The collected wild fruit plant species were identified taxonomically using the Flora of Presidency of Madras 11. And the Flora of Tamil Nadu Carnatic 12. The identified plant specimens were then confirmed through a referral tour programme with herbaria of Botanical Survey of India, Coimbatore. The specimens were deposited in the herbarium of a survey of medicinal plant unit, Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine, Chennai. The tribal information is also kept in the same institute; voucher specimens along with other details are given in Table 1.

The knowledge about medicinal plants is rather specialized and is limited to a few members in the tribal community who are recognized as ‘Vaidhyar' (also known as medicine men, informants and traditional healers). Traditional healers commonly begin their training as children or teenagers, working as assistants to their mothers, fathers and to other relatives who are recognized, healers. After having trained for a number of years, the apprentice will be ceremonially granted the authority to use a given treatment. This individual will be recognized by others in their culture as having the mystical power to heal, as well as having the power to train others in the use of medicinal plants.

DATA COLLECTION

The ethnomedicinal information was collected through general conversations with traditional healers, and questionnaires were used to gather their knowledge. Details of medicinal plants used, mode of treatment, methods of preparation and types of administration were documented by interacting with them as well as through direct observations. The information got from the tribals was recorded in field notebooks and ethnobotanical data collecting proforma sheet and compared with the previously reported literature 8, 13, 14. The collected medicinal plant species were identified by the local people with their vernacular names, photographed and sample specimens were collected for the preparation of herbarium. The Flora of Presidency of Madras 11 and the Tamil Nadu Carnatic 12 were used to ascertain the nomenclature. The voucher specimens were deposited in the herbarium at the Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine, Chennai.

Statistical Analysis (Quantitative analysis)

Use Value (UV)

The relative importance of each plant species known locally to be used as a herbal remedy is reported as use value (UV), and it was calculated using the following formula 14

U V   =   Σ U / n

Where UV is the use value of a species, U is the number of use reports cited by each informant for a given plant species, and n is the total number of informants interviewed for a given plant.

Factor Informant consensus (FIC)

The ICF was used to analyse the agreement degree of the informants’ knowledge about each category of ailments 15, 16. The ICF was calculated using the following formula:

F i c   =   ( N u r   -   N t ) / ( N u r   -   1 )

Where Nur stands for the number of use reports of informants for a particular illness category, and Nt is the number of species used by all informants for a particular illness.

Fidelity level (FL)

The FL was employed to determine the most important plant species used for treating certain diseases by the local herbal practitioners and elderly people living in the study area 17, 18, 19. NFL was calculated using the following formula:

F L ( % )   =   N p / N × 100

Where Np is the number of informants that mentioned the specific plant species used to treat certain ailments, and N is the total number of the informants who utilized the plants as medicine for treating any given ailment.

Present knowledge on local folk medicine

Ethnobotanical knowledge has been documented from various parts of the Indian sub-continent 20. In Kerala state, the ethnomedicinal value of wild fruit plants in possession of various tribal and rural folk communities for treating various diseases have been done to some extent 21, 22, 23. A perusal of the literature reveals that several ethnobotanical studies among various tribals have been reported from the various district of this state except for the Wayanad district, which has not yet been studied from the quantitative ethnobotany point of view. Figure 1

https://typeset-prod-media-server.s3.amazonaws.com/article_uploads/11fe2aa4-67ee-4de5-845c-ad07fea191e9/image/a4c0847e-7c6f-4719-98ab-7ef54b88aef2-upicture1.png
Figure 1: Map of Study Areas of Wayanad Forest of Western Ghats

Result and Discussion

The art of herbal healing has a very deep root in Indian culture and folklore. Medicinal plants have been playing an important role in the survival at ethnic communities who live in remote villages and forests. Traditional folk medicine, which is mostly undocumented, has been handed down orally from one generation to another. Large sections of the Indian population still rely on traditional herbal medicine.

Table 1: List of ethnobotanical report of wildflowers used by kanitribes of western ghats of Wayanad forest division, Kerala-India

S. No.

Botanical name/ Family name/ Voucher Specimen no:

Local Name

Unani Name

No. of Users

Use value (UV)

Fidelity value (FL) (%)

Ethnobotanical Use

Habit/ Life form

Status

1

Aervalanata (L.) Juss. Amaranthaceae/ RRIUM-CH:12342

Pooli poo

Bisheributi

72

0.64

64.29

Kidney stone, Menstrual disorders

Herb

C

2

Albizia lebbeck (L.) Benth./ Mimosaceae / RRIUM-CH: 9921

Vagai

Gul-E-Siras

30

0.26

26.79

Asthma

Tree

C

3

Althaea officinalis L./ Malvaceae/ RRIUM-CH: 9921

Semaithuthi

Gul-e-Khatmi

24

0.21

21.42

Dry cough

Herb

C

4

Anogeissus latifolia (DC.) Wallich ex Guill.&Perr. / Combretaceae/ RRIUM-CH: 12335

Vekkali

Gul-e-Dhawa

48

0.42

42.86

Piles

Tree

C

5

Areca catechu L./ arecaceae/ RRIUM-CH: 9856

Paku/Adika

Gul-e-Fufal

65

0.58

58.03

Menstrual disorders

Tree

C

6

Azadirachta indica A. Juss. / Meliaceae/ RRIUM-CH: 9107

Vambu

Neeb, Neem

58

0.51

51.79

Viral fever

Tree

C

7

Borago officinalis L./ Boraginaceae/ RRIUM-CH:9955

Kallutaitumapi

Gul-e-Gaozaban

35

0.29

31.25

Kidney stone

Herb

R

8

Butea monosperma (Lam.) Taub. / Fabaceae/ RRIUM-CH: 9673

Porasu

Gul-e-Tesu

68

0.56

60.71

Joint pain

Tree

C

9

Calotropis gigantean (L.) R. Br./ Asclepiadaceae/ RRIUM-CH:12319

Eruku

Madar

55

0.49

49.10

Dry cough

Shrub

C

10

Cananga odorata (Lam.)Hook. f.&Thomson /Annonaceae /RRIUM-CH:10138

Karumukai/

Kattushanpagam

-

60

0.54

53.57

Malarial fever

Tree

R

11

Carthamus tinctorius L. Asteraceae/ RRIUM-CH:10027

Kusumbu chedi

Gul-e-Masafar /Qurtum

32

0.29

28.57

Fever

Herb

R

12

Cassia auriculata L./ Caesalpiniaceae/ RRIUM-CH:12273

Avaram

Tarwar

42

0.38

37.50

Contraceptive purpose

Shrub

C

13

Cassia fistula L./ Caesalpiniaceae/ RRIUM-CH:

Sarakonai

Amaltas

30

0.26

26.78

Intermittent fever, Cardiac disorders

Tree

C

14

Chrysanthemum indicum L./ Asteraceae/ RRIUM-CH: 12385

Chamandi

Gul-e-Dawoodi

46

0.041

41.07

Skin diseases, Vertigo

Herb

C

15

Crocus sativus L./ Iridaceae/ RRIUM-CH: Museum Sample:No:52.

Kungamapoo

Gul-e-Zafran

25

0.22

22.32

Dysmenorr-hoea (Painful menstruation)

Herb

R

16

Datura metel L./ Solanaceae/ RRIUM-CH:10511

Oomathai

Gul-e- Dhatura

67

0.59

59.82

Respiratory problems, Anaesthetic

Herb

C

17

Erythrina variegata L./Papilionaceae / RRIUM-CH:13848

Kalyanamuringai

-

48

0.43

42.85

Furrunclossis (Boils)

Tree

R

18

Gardenia gummifera L.f. / Rubiaceae / RRIUM-CH:12118

Sirukambil

Dikaamaali

35

0.29

31.25

Boils in eyelid and ears

Small Tree

R

19

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. Malvaceae/ RRIUM-CH: 11768

Semparuthi

Gul-e-Gurhal

60

0.54

53.57

Hair tonic, Cardiac tonic

Shrub

C

20

Hybanthusenn-easpermus (L.) F.Muell. / Violaceae / RRIUM-CH:13812

Orithalthamarai

-

53

0.47

47.32

Increase sperm counting

Herb

C

21

Hedychiumspi-catum Sm. /Zingiberaceae/ RRIUM-CH:

Moolankizhangu

Kapoor kachari

48

0.42

42.86

Headache and fever

Herb

R

22

Ipomoea bona-nox L./ Convolvulaceae/ RRIUM-CH:13257

Naganamukkorai

Gul-e-Chandni

36

0.32

32.14

Eczema

Twiner

R

23

Jasminum grandiflorum L./ Oleaceae/ RRIUM-CH:10579

Kattumalligai

Shagufa Yasmin

65

0.58

58.04

Chest pain

Shrub

C

24

Lawsoniainer-mis L./ Lytheraceae/ RRIUM-CH: 9950

Maruthani

Gul-e-Hina

70

0.62

62.50

Hair growth,

Good sleep

Shrub

C

25

Leucas aspera L. / Lamiaceae/ RRIUM-CH: 13699

Kasithumbai

Thumba

64

0.57

57.14

Headache, Bleeding nose, Skin disease

Herb

C

26

Madhuca longifolia (J.Konig) J.F.Macbr./ Sapotaceae/ RRIUM-CH:10634

Elupai

Gul-e-Mahuwa

52

0.46

46.43

Headache, Expectorant

Tree

C

27

Matricaria chamomilla L. / Asteraceae/ RRIUM-CH: 10200

Mukuthi poo

Gul-e-Baboona

50

0.45

44.64

Inflammation, Wound healing

Herb

R

28

Mesua ferrea L. / Guttiferaceae/ RRIUM-CH: 13872

Karunagu

Naarmushk

32

0.29

28.57

Urinary Disorders, Reduce fever, Leprosy, Itching

Tree

R

29

Micheliacha-mpaca L. / Magnoliaceae / RRIUM-CH: 13979

Senbagam poo

Chamba

71

0.63

63.39

Leprosy, Gonorrhoea

Tree

R

30

Mimusopse-lengi L. / Sapotaceae/ RRIUM-CH: 8651

Magizhampoo

Gul-e-Mulsari

62

0.55

55.36

Asthma, Menstrual disorders

Tree

C

31

Mirabilis jalapa L./ Nyctaginaceae/ RRIUM-CH: 12496

Andhi Mandarai

Gul-e-Abbas

48

0.43

42.86

Inflammation

Herb

C

32

Moringa oleifera Lam./ Moringaceae/ RRIUM-CH:10021

Murungai

Gul-e-Sahajana

82

0.73

73.21

Diuretic, Chololith (gallstones)

Tree

C

33

Musa paradisiaca L. / Musaceae / RRIUM-CH:13564

Vazhamaram

Gul-E- Moz

72

0.64

64.28

Diabetic,

painful menstruation

Tree

C&C

34

Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn./ Nelumbonaceae / RRIUM-CH:13392

Senthamarai

Kanwal Gatta

68

0.61

60.71

Viral fever

Aquatic Herb

C

35

Nymphaea alba L./ Nymphaeaceae/ RRIUM-CH:12757

Alli (Water Lilly)

Gul-e-Nilofer

32

0.29

28.57

Leucorrhoea

Aquatic Herb

C

36

Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L. / Oleaceae / RRIUM-CH:12757

Pavazha-malligai

Harsinger

48

0.43

42.86

Sciatica, Skin diseases, Hair tonic

Shrub

R

37

Pandanus odorifer (Forssk.) Kuntze/ Pandana-ceae/RRIUM-CH:13252

Thazhampoo

Kewra

54

0.48

48.21

Convulsion, Carminative, Headache

Shrub

R

38

Pentapetespho-enicea L./ Malvaceae/ RRIUM-CH: 11853

Nagappu

Gul-e-Dopaharya

33

0.29

29.46

Emollient in tumours

Herb

R

39

Plumbago zeylanica L./ Plumbaginacdeae/ RRIUM-CH:12324

Kodiveli

Sheetraj Hindi

56

0.50

50.00

Headache

Herb

C

40

Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre/ Fabaceae/ RRIUM-CH:13777

Pungan

Gul-e Karanji

50

0.45

44.65

Diabetic, Leprosy

Tree

C

41

Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb. / Fabaceae/ RRIUM-CH:9078

Vangai

Gul-e-Bijasar

48

0.43

42.86

Chronic fever

Tree

S

42

Punica granatum L. / Punicaceae/ RRIUM-CH:9011

Madhulai

Gul-e-Anar Farsi

67

0.60

59.82

Asthma pain, Uterine disorders

Shrub

C

43

Rosa alba L. / Rosaceae / RRIUM-CH:8957

Vellairoja

Gul-e-Sewti

60

0.54

53.57

Chest pain

Herb

C

44

Rosa damascena Mill./Rosaceae/ RRIUM-CH:8942

Rojappu

Gul-e-Ward

63

0.56

56.25

Skin irritation

Herb

C

45

Rosmarinus officinalis L. / Lamiaceae / RRIUM-CH:8942

Marikozhinthu

Iklylaljabal

54

0.48

48.21

Anti-inflamatory, Circulatory disorders

Herb

C&C

46

Saracaas-oca (Roxb.) Willd./ Fabaceae/ RRIUM-CH:11240

Asogam

Ashoka

68

0.61

60.71

Bleeding piles, Headache

Tree

R

47

Sphaeranthus indicus L./ Asteraceae/ RRIUM-CH:12505

Kottaikaran-thai

Gul-e-Mundi

56

0.50

50.00

Skin disease,

Cough

Herb

C

48

Spilanthesa-cmella (L.) R.K. Jansen. / Asteraceae / RRIUMCH:13671

Palvalipoondu

-

70

0.63

62.50

Toothache

Herb

R

49

Syzygiumaro-maticum (L.) Merr. et Perry./Myrtaceae/ RRIUM-50CH:12558

Kirambu

Gul-e-Qaranfal

47

0.42

41.96

Gastric ulcer, Toothache.

Tree

C

50

Syzygiumcumini (L.) Skeels/ Myrtaceae/ RRIUM-CH:11393

Naval

Gul-e-Jamun

53

0.43

47.32

Contraceptive purpose

Tree

C

51

Syzygiumjambos L. (Alston) / Myrtaceae/ RRIUM-CH:11241

Jambu

Gul-e Gulab Jamun

49

0.44

70.54

Jaundice

Tree

R

52

Toona ciliate M.Roem./ Meliaceae/ RRIUM-CH: 12544

Madhakari Vambu

Gul-e-Tun

34

0.30

30.36

Irregular menstruation

Tree

C

53

Viola odorata L. /Violaceae/ RRIUM-CH: /8861

Orilaithamarai

Gul-e-Banafsha

45

0.40

40.18

Jaundice

Herb

R

54

Woodfordiafruti-cosa (L.) Kurz / Lythraceae/ RRIUM-CH:8972

Velakkai

-

54

0.48

48.21

Piles, Wound healing, Skin diseases

Shrub

R

Table 2: Informant Consensus Factor (FIC)

S. No.

Aliments Category

No. of uses report

No. of Species used

Informant Constant Factor

1

Determetalogical Infection

519

11

0.98

2

Dandruff / Hair fall

108

2

0.99

3

Wound healing

207

4

1.00

4

Sexual disorders / Genitourinary ailments

765

14

0.98

5

Circulatory/Cardiovascular disease

269

5

0.98

6

Gastro intestinal ailments

101

2

0.99

7

Skeleton-muscular and Neuro system disorders

170

3

0.98

8

Oral and teeth disorders

117

2

0.99

9

Endocrinal disorders

122

2

1.01

10

Respiratory system disorders

456

9

0.98

11

Liver/Jaundice

94

2

1.01

12

Fever/Chronic Fever

624

12

0.98

13

Exocrine disorder

82

1

1.00

14

Piles

122

2

0.99

Even today, in most of the forest, tribal are depending on local traditional healing systems for their primary health care. Their reliability on only healing plants is still more for the tribal people inhabiting the deep forest of Western Ghats of Kerala in India, where it is difficult for them to get modern medical facilities for their day to day problems. So keeping all these things in mind, the present study was taken into account. The paper focus on the flowers used by tribals and rural peoples of the Study area. The ethnic community lives in the Western Ghats of Wayanad district of Kerala. These hills forests have a variety of medicinal plants and their flowers which are used by the tribals for their primary healthcare.

The present study identified that the traditional healers used 54 species of flowers(distributed in 50 genera belonging to 36 families) ethnomedicinally to treat various diseases such as dry cough, menstrual disorders, piles, Viral fever, Kidney stone, Joint pain, Jaundice, Skin diseases, Contraceptive purpose etc., (Table 1). Moreover, life forms of medicinally used flowers are 20 herbs, 21 trees, 9 shrubs, 2 aquatic herb, one twiner and one small tree are recorded, and statuses of flowers are 32 in commonly available, 19 are rare, 2 are common & cultivated and one is sporadic in the study area.

The following plant's flowers are used for various ailments they are Aervalanata (L.) Juss. (Bisheributi) used for menstrual disorders, Althaea officinalis L. (Gul-e-Khatmi) is used for dry cough. Anogeissus latifolia (DC.) Wallich ex Guill.&Perr. (Gul-e-Dhawa) used for Piles, Areca catechu L. (Gul-e-Fufal) used for Menstrual disorders, Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (Neeb, Neem) used for viral fever, Borago officinalis L. (Gul-e-Gaozaban) used for kidney stones, Butea monosperma (Lam.) Taub. (Gul-e-Tesu) used for joint pain, Calotropis gigantean (L.) R. Br. (Madar) used dry cough, Carthamus tinctorius L. used for fever, Cassia auriculata L. (Tarwar) used for contraceptive purposes, Chrysanthemum indicum L. (Gul-e-Dawoodi) used for skin diseases. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. (Gurhal) used for hair tonic, Ipomoea bona-nox L.(Gul-e-Chandni) used for eczema. Jasminum grandiflorum L. (Shagufa Yasmin) is used for chest pain, and Lawsoniainermis L. (Gul-e-Hina) is used for hair growth and good sleep Madhuca longifolia (J.Konig) J.F.Macbr. (Gul-e-Mahuwa) used for cough, Matricaria chamomilla L. (Gul-e-Baboona) used for inflammation, Mimusopselengi L. (Gul-e-Mulsari) used for menstrual disorders, Mirabilis jalapa L. ( Gul-e-Abbas) used for inflammation, Moringa oleifera Lam. (Sahajana) used for forchololith, Nymphaea alba L. (Gul-e-Nilofer) used for leucorrhoea, Pentapetesphoenicea L.( Gul-e-Dopaharya) Used for tumours, Plumbago zeylanica L. (Sheetraj Hindi) used for headache, Pterocarpus marsupium Roxb. (Gul-e-Bijasar) used for chronic fever, Punica granatum L. (Gul-e-Anar Farsi) used for asthma pain, Rosa alba L. (Gul-e-Sewti) used for chest pain, Rosa damascena Mill. (Gul-e-Ward) used for skin irritation, Sphaeranthus indicus L. (Gul-e-Mundi) used for Cough and Skin disease, Syzygiumaromaticum (L.) Merr. et Perry. (Gul-e-Qaranfal) used for gastric ulcer, Syzygiumcumini (L.) Skeels(Gul-e-Jamun) used for the contraceptive purpose, Syzygiumjambos L. (Alston) (Gul-e Gulab Jamun) used for Jaundice, Toona ciliate M.Roem. (Gul-e-Tun) used for irregular menstruation.

In the present study statically analyzed the 54 plant species of wildflowers (Only Flowers parts of the plant) used by 112 informants aged 40-80 for ethnomedicines and the data were collected in the study area. The commonly used flower species Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae), Popularly known as Murungai (Gul-e-Sahajana), with the highest UV of 0.73 by 82 informants used for Diuretic, Chololith (gallstones). Followed by Musa paradisiaca L.(Musaceae) Vazhamaram (Gul-E- Moz) with UV of 0.64 by 72 informants used for Diabetic & Painful menstruation and Aervalanata (L.) Juss. (Amaranthaceae) Pooli poo (Bisheributi) with UV of 0.62 by 72 informants is used for Kidney stone and Menstrual disorders. Micheliachampaca L. (Magnoliaceae) Senbagam poo (Gul-e-Chamba) with UV of 0.63 by 71 informants which is used for Leprosy & Gonorrhea. Lawsoniainermis L. (Lytheraceae) Maruthani (Gul-e-Hina) with UV of 0.62 by 70 informants used for Hair growth& Good sleep where analyzed. (Table 1).

The species with the lowest Use Value was observed Althaea officinalis L.(Malvaceae) Semaithuthi (Gul-e-Khatmi) with a UV of 0.21 by 24 informants used for Dry cough. Crocus sativus L. (Iridaceae) Kungamapoo (Gul-e-Zafran) with UV of 0.22 by 25 informants used for dysmenorrhoea (Painful menstruation) disorders. Albizia lebbeck (L.) Benth. (Mimosaceae) Vagai (Gul-E-Siras) with UV of 0.26 by 30 informants used for Asthma disease. Carthamus tinctorius L. (Asteraceae) is used for fever, and Mesua ferrea L. (Guttiferaceae) is used for Urinary Disorders, Reduce fever, Leprosy & Itching. Nymphaea alba L. (Nymphaeaceae) Alli (Gul-e-Nilofer) was used for leucorrhoea; these three plants was analyzed with UV of 0.29 by 32 informants. (Table 1)

In order to analyze the general usage pattern of plants, the informant's consensus factor (Fic) was used to highlight the plant use in particular ailments categories and agreement with the use of plants. This will helps in the selection of plants for pharmacological and phytochemical studies. Moreover, the Informant consensus Factor (FIC) was analyzed with 67 Diseases divided into 14 ailments categories. Among them highest value was observed in Endocrinal disorders and Liver & jaundice as Fic Value:1.01 at the same the Lowest value was observed in Determetalogical Infection, Sexual disorders / Genitourinary ailments, Circulatory/Cardio, vascular disease, Skeleton-muscular and Neuro system disorders, Respiratory system disorders, Fever/Chronic Fever. as Fic Value:0.98 (Table 2). Similar research has been reported by other ethnobotanists 24, 25.

This is consistent with other general observations which have been reported and recorded earlier in relation to medicinal uses of flowers studies by the Indian system of medicines like Siddha, Ayurvedha and Unani 26, 27, 28. Most of the flowers, mainly used as food, also have medicinal importance. Many flowers are used for skin and hair care. Essential oils impart benefits in perfumery, shine or conditioning effects 29. In India, thousands of flower species have been used as food and medicine in folk, ayurvedic, unani, siddha and other systems recorded since 1000 BC 30, 31.

Antioxidant activities of indigenous foods and plant medicines that are necessary for health culture as well as economic stability of village people are being explored in different parts of the globe. Village people, women and children gather the flowers and deciduous petals as food, and also a number of flower species are consumed by them. Flowers are rich in phenolic compounds and have antioxidant potential. Among floral whorls, the corolla is generally deciduous. The collection of deciduous petals rich in phenolic compounds is an eco-friendly practice and better than incineration in forests.

Ailments categories

1. Dermatological Infection

a. Inflammation

b. Skin Diseases

c. Antiseptic

d. Skin Rashes

e. Skin Irritation

2. Dandruff/Haircare

a. Hair fall

b. Dandruff

3. Wound Healing

a. Wound Healing

4. Sexual disorders/Geneto Urinary Ailments

a. Increase sperm count

b. Menstrual bleedings

c. Urinary Irritation

d. Sexual depelety/disorders

e. Birth control

5. Obesity

a. Obesity

6. Circulatory/Cardiovascular diseases

a. Anemia

b. Heart Diseases

7. Gastrointestinal Ailments

a. Stomach Pain

b. Stomach Ulcers

c. Indigestion

d. Constipation

e. Intestinal Worm

f. Dysentery

8. Edible and General Health

a. Piles

b. Edible food

9. Skeleton - Muscular and Nervous System Disorders

a. Neuro disease

b. Paralysis

c. Joint Pain

d. Rheumatic Swelling

e. Rheumatic Pain

10. Oral and Tooth Disorders

a. Swelling Gum

b. Toothache

c. mouth Ulcers

11. Endocrinal disorders

a. Diabetic

b. Kidney stone

12. Respiratory System disorders

a. Cough and Cold

b. Asthma

c. Cough

13. Liver

a. Jaundice

14. Fever

a. Chronic Fever

Conclusion

Flowers are playing an important role in our day to day life, directly or indirectly. From time immemorial, flowers have been used as a restorative agent for a variety of ailments. They are the natural drugs used to regain the alterations made in the normal physiological system by foreign organisms or by any malfunctioning of the body. It is essential to have proper documentation of medicinally used flowers and their potential for the improvement of health and hygiene through an eco-friendly system. The available literature regarding the pharmacological properties of these flowers are very impressive. The present study showed that traditional healthcare systems using medicinal plants is still prevalent in the studied areas, and it underlines the importance of the documentation of traditional ethnomedicinal knowledge before losing this diverse resource. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first quantitative ethnomedicinal study in the study area indicating UV, ICF and FL. The present study records new ethnomedicinal species with their therapeutic uses, which can potentially lead to the development of new therapies and may represent novel bioresources for phytochemical and pharmacological studies, notably Aervalanata (L.) Juss. Which have been claimed for kidney stone effects and Micheliachampaca L. is used for Leprosy by the healers of all studied indigenous communities in the study area.

ETHICS STATEMENT

The study was carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the Code of Ethics of the International Society of Ethnobiology. Ethics approval was not required by the Institutional Ethical Committee. Verbal informed consent was obtained from each informant prior to all interviews. During this discussion, the research objectives and interview procedure were explained to each informant and confidentiality was assured. Consent for photos was also taken and kept in the Herbarium of Survey of Medicinal Plants Unit, Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine, No. 1, West Madha Church Road, Royapuram Chennai-13.