Ecological status and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Garhwal Himalaya, India

  • Jahangeer A Bhat1,

    Affiliated with

    • Munesh Kumar1Email author and

      Affiliated with

      • Rainer W Bussmann2

        Affiliated with

        Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine20139:1

        DOI: 10.1186/1746-4269-9-1

        Received: 18 July 2012

        Accepted: 28 December 2012

        Published: 2 January 2013

        Abstract

        Background

        Himalayan forests are the most important source of medicinal plants and with useful species for the local people. Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) is situated in the interior part of the Garhwal Himalayan region. The presented study was carried out in Madhmeshwar area of KWLS for the ecological status of medicinal plants and further focused on the ethnomedicinal uses of these plants in the study area.

        Methods

        Ecological information about ethnomedicinal plants were collected using random quadrats in a random sampling technique along an altitudinal gradient in the KWLS. Information on medicinal properties of plants encountered in the present study was generated by questionnaire survey and was also compared with relevant literature.

        Results

        A total of 152 medicinally important plant species were reported, in which 103 were found herbs, 32 shrubs and 17 were tree species which represented 123 genera of 61 families. A total of 18 plant species fell into the rare, endangered (critically endangered) and vulnerable status categories.

        Conclusion

        The present study documented the traditional uses of medicinal plants, their ecological status and importance of these plants in the largest protected area of Garhwal Himalaya. This study can serve as baseline information on medicinal plants and could be helpful to further strengthen the conservation of this important resource.

        Keywords

        Ethnomedicinal plants use Ecological status Resources Altitudinal zone

        Introduction

        The forests of India have been the source of traditional medicines for millennia. Of the 17,000 species of higher plants described in India, 7500 are known for their medicinal uses [1]. The Charak Samhita, a document on herbal therapy written about 300 BC, reports on the production of 340 herbal drugs and their indigenous uses [2]. The use of alternative medicine is growing because of its moderate costs and increasing faith in herbal medicine. Allopathic medicine can cure a wide range of diseases, however, its high prices and side-effects are causing many people to return to herbal medicines which tend to have fewer side effects [3]. A great amount of traditional knowledge about the use of medicinal plant species is still carried and orally transmitted by indigenous peoples. Regions with less accessibility and a comparatively slow rate of development, such as and mountainous areas like the Himalayas are excellent examples [4, 5]. Because of the fast acceleration of market demand for herbal medicines, and recent controversies related to access, benefit sharing and bio-piracy, the documentation of indigenous knowledge is of urgent priority [610]. Indigenous knowledge, supplemented by the latest scientific insights, can offer new holistic models of sustainable development that are economically viable, environmentally benign and socially acceptable [11]. Currently, approximately 25% of allopathic drugs are derived from plant based compounds, and many others are synthetic analogues built on prototype compounds isolated from plant species [12]. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as many as 80% of the world’s people depend on traditional medicine to meet their primary health care needs [13].

        The Himalayan range in the northern part of India harbours a great diversity of medicinal plants. Of the approximately 8000 species of angiosperms, 44 species of gymnosperms and 600 species of pteridophytes that have been reported in the Indian Himalaya [14], 1748 species are known for their medicinal properties [15]. The state of Uttarakhand is a part of north-western Himalaya, and still maintains a dense vegetation cover (65%). The maximum species of medicinal plants have been reported from Uttarakhand [16, 17], followed by Sikkim and North Bengal [15]. The trans-Himalaya in contrast sustains about 337 species of medicinal plants [4], which are low compared to other areas of the Himalaya due to the distinct geography and ecological marginal conditions [18]. Recent years have seen a sudden rise in the demand of herbal products and plant based drugs across the world resulting in the heavy exploitation of medicinal plants. Habitat degradation, unsustainable harvesting and over-exploitation to meet the demands of the mostly illegal trade in medicinal plants have already led to the extinction of more than 150 plant species in the wild [19]. More than 90% of plant species used in the herbal industries are extracted from the wild, and about 70% of the medicinal plants of Indian Himalaya are subject to destructive harvesting [20, 21], and the majority of these plants stems from sub-alpine and alpine regions of the Himalaya [21]. The importance of ethnobiological knowledge on species-ecology can provide leads for new paths in scientific research and conservation, and has received growing attention in resource management worldwide [22, 23]. International agencies such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Orga-nization (UNESCO) as part of their people and plants initiative, are promoting research on ethnobotanical knowledge and the integration of people’s perceptions and practices in resource management at the local level [24].

        The Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) is rich in biological diversity and is one of the most important regions of Garhwal Himalaya. The area of KWLS selected for this study is a particularly remote area, and the villagers residing in the area are fully dependent on forest resources, especially ethnomedicines for their daily livelihoods. Some ethnomedicinal studies on plants in this part of Himalayan region have been published, but hardly any ecological studies have also been carried out. The aim of the present study was to assess the ecological status of ethnomedicinal plants in a part of the largest protected area of Garhwal Himalaya.

        Materials and methods

        Study area

        The present study was carried out in Madhmeshwar area, which is the interior part of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) in the Western Himalaya of Chamoli-Rudraprayag districts of Uttarakhand, India. KWLS was established in 1972 and is situated in the north-eastern part of the Garhwal Himalayas between 30°25-30°41 N, 78°55-79°22 E. The Sanctuary falls under the IUCN management Category IV (Managed Nature Reserve) in the Biogeographical Province 2.38.12 of Himalayan highlands. KWLS is one of the largest protected areas with 97517.80 ha (25293.70 ha in Chamoli district and 72224.10 ha in Rudraprayag district) in the Western Himalaya [19]. The sanctuary lies in the upper catchment of the Alaknanda and Mandakini Rivers, which are major tributaries of Ganges. It is bordered by high mountain peaks, e.g. Kedarnath (6940 m), Mandani (6193 m) and Chaukhamba (7068 m) and harbors extensive alpine meadows, in particular Trijuginarayan, Kham, Mandani, Pandavshera, Manpai and Bansinarayan in the north, and several dense broad leaved oak mixed forest stands in the south. The present study represents data from a transect from the base of the mountain to the top in the Madhmaheshwer area between the coordinates 30°3542-30°3812N, 79°1000-79°1300E (Figure 1). The area receives 3000 mm of annual precipitation, of about 60% fall during the monsoon season (June-August). The relative humidity varies from 35 to 85% annually. There is moderate to heavy snowfall during December-February, even in low-altitude areas. The mean maximum temperature varies between 4°C (January) and 33.5°C (June).
        http://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1746-4269-9-1/MediaObjects/13002_2012_302_Fig1_HTML.jpg
        Figure 1

        Map of the study area.

        Ecological analysis of plant species

        The vegetation analysis of ethnomedicinal plants was carried out following the stratified random sampling technique involving random quadrats. The size of the square plots was 100 m2 for trees, and nested within the main quadrats two plots of 25 m2 for shrubs and four plots of 1 m2 for herbs. The study area was divided into five altitudinal zones along the altitudinal gradient, to assess the ecological status of medicinal plant species. The frequency and density of all species was determined [25, 26].

        Ethnomedicinal study of plant species

        The plant species reported in the ecological studies of Madhmeshwar area were only taken for the ethnomedicinal study. A well structured questionnaire was prepared covering different questions regarding plants used for ethnomedicinal purposes. For the ethnomedicinal study only two villages were observed i.e., Gundhaar and Ransi in Madhmeshwar area and the respondents were selected randomly from the villages. Gundhaar is situated inside the sanctuary with 42 households while village Ransi is situated at the fringe of sanctuary with a total of 119 households. More than 10 percent of respondents of total population of the villages were selected for questionnaire survey. Both formal and informal discussions were carried out covering different age groups with both genders and mostly elders were involved in the interview process. The plants reported in ecological studies were also further used to collect the informations on ethnomedicinal uses with relevant available literature in Himalayan region and in a part of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary [19, 27, 28]. The plant species having ethnomedicinal values were cross checked with the Red Data Book and other publications who have categorized the plant species under various threat (ecological status) categories [2931].

        Collection and identification of plant specimens

        From each sampling site, all plant species encountered in the quadrats were collected, and identified with the help of local and regional floras [27, 32], while as some plants were also identified with the field guide [33]. Specimens collected during the surveys were processed in the laboratory according to [34]. These were pressed, dried in blotting sheets and poisoned with formaldehyde or mercuric chloride solution (0.5%) to protect against insect and fungal damage before mounting on the herbarium sheets. Voucher specimens were deposited in the Herbarium of Botanical Survey of India (BSD) and in the Herbarium of HNB Garhwal University Srinagar (GUH) under collector series JAB (Jahangeer Akbar Bhat). The nomenclature of the species follows “Flowering Plants of Uttarakhand - A Checklist” [35].

        Results and discussion

        A total of one hundred and fifty two species of medicinally important plants (Table 1) were found in the quadrats including 49 species (Table 5) reported from the villages Gundhaar and Ransi of Madhmeshwar area. One hundred and three of these were herbs, thirty two shrubs and seventeen trees (Table 1), belonging to hundred twenty three genera of sixty one families (Figure 2). The most commonly used parts of ethomedicinal plants, compiled with relevant literature were leaves (32%), roots (24%), whole plants or plant (13%), followed by fruits (9%) and seeds and flowers (6% each) (Figure 3 and Table 2). According to different reports [19, 2731] eighteen plant species encountered have to be classified as rare, endangered, critically endangered or vulnerable (Table 2): Aconitium hetrophyllum, Picrorhiza kurrooa, Podophyllum hexandrum, Rosa sericea, Roscoea alpina, Salvia hians, Saussurea auriculata, Sorbus aucuparia, Sorbus cuspidata, Synotis alatus, Bistorta amlexicaulis, Coriaria nepalensis, Hypericum choisianum and Morina longifolia were recorded as rare species, while Jurinea dolomiaea and Swertia chirayita are classified as endangered, and Polygonatum verticillatum and Zanthoxylum armatum are vulnerable (Table 1).
        Table 1

        Plant species with their status and the part used in different ailments

        Scientific name

        Accession No.

        Status

        Habit

        Plant part used

        Medicinal uses

        Abies pindrow Royle.

        JAB-GUH-20578

         

        T

        Bark extract2

        Cough & Bronchitis2

        Aconitium hetrophyllum Wallich

        JAB-BSD-114039

        R1, Ce3, Vu6

        H

        Root5

        Fever, cough,stomachache5

        Aesculus indica (Wall. ex Cambess.) Hook.f.

        JAB-GUH-20435

         

        T

        Seed paste2

        Rheumatic Pain2

        Ainsliaea apetra DC.

        JAB-GUH-20677

         

        H

        Root extract2

        Fever, painful urination2

        Ainsliaea latifolia (D.Don) Sch.-Bip.

        JAB-GUH-20680

         

        H

        Root decoction2

        Colic2

        Anaphalis contorta (D.Don) Hook.f.

        JAB-GUH-20437

         

        H

        (Leaf & heads past, plant smoke)2

        (Cuts, wounds & boils, insect repellent)2

        Anaphalis margaritaceae (L.) Benth

        JAB-GUH-20458

         

        H

        (Leaf & head paste)2

        (Cuts, wounds & boils)2

        Anaphalis triplinervis (Sims.) C.B. Clarke

        JAB-GUH-20453

         

        H

        Leaf juice2, Flower5

        Laceration of toes2, Dressing wounds5

        Anemone obtusiloba D.Don

        JAB-GUH-20619

         

        H

        Root decoction2

        Diarrhoea2

        Anemone rivularis Buch.-Ham. ex DC

        JAB-GUH-20613

         

        H

        (Leaf past & juice)2 Leaves5

        (Wounds5, sores & ear ache in local therapy)2

         

        JAB-BSD-114043

            

        Arachne cordifolia (Decne.) Hurusawa

        JAB-GUH-20527

         

        S

        Leaf & Stem paste2

        Wounds & Antidote to snake bite2

        Arisaema jacquemontii Blume

        JAB-GUH-20432

         

        H

        Fruits2, Tuber5

        (Antidote of poisonous mushrooms & snake bite)2, (Cough, kidney &skin diseases)5

        Artemisia japonica Thunb.

        JAB-GUH-20446

         

        H

        (Leaves & flower tops)2

        Incense & insecticide2

        Artemisia roxburghiana Bess.

        JAB-GUH-20468

         

        H

        Plant extract2

        (Antipyretic, Tonic & also rubbed on skin allergy)2

        Asparagus filicinus Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don

        JAB-GUH-20436

         

        H

        Root tuberous2

        (Diabetes, diarrhoea & dysentery)2

         

        JAB-BSD-114062

            

        Aster peduncularis Wallich

        JAB-GUH-20687

         

        H

        (Plant extract & Root powder)2

        (Renal-calculi & stomachic)2

        Barleria cristata L.

        JAB-GUH-20417

         

        H

        (Root decoction, Root & Leaves paste)2

        (Bronchitis & pneumonia, wound swelling)2

        Begonia picta Smith

        JAB-GUH-20411

         

        H

        Plant decoction2

        Colic & dyspepsia2

        Bergenia ciliata (Haw.) Sternb.

        JAB-GUH-20650

         

        H

        (Root5 rhizomatous)2

        (Tonic, febrifuge, digestive & cutaneous disorders)2, (Fevers, diarrhoea & pulmonary infections)5

        Bidens bipinnata L.

        JAB-GUH-20440

         

        H

        Leaf juice2

        (Leprosy initial stages, lactating mothers, cuts)2

        Bidens biternata (Lour.) Merr. & Sherff

        JAB-GUH-20441

         

        H

        Leaf juice2

        (Leprosy initial stages, lactating mothers, cuts)2

        Bidens pilosa L.

        JAB-GUH-20444

         

        H

        (Plant extract & herbs of plants)2

        (Cough & Bronchitis, leucoderma)2

        Bistorta amplexicaulis (D.Don) Greene

        JAB-GUH-20600

         

        H

        (Plant decoction & Leaf paste)2

        (Cause abortion, wounds & relieves dysentery)2

        Bistorta vaccinifolia (Wall. ex Meisn.) Greene.

        JAB-BSD-114056

        R2

        H

        Root decoction2

        Tuberculosis2

        Blumea lanceolaria (Roxb.) Druce

        JAB-GUH-20679

         

        H

        Leaf paste2

        Wounds & cuts2

        Buddleja asiatica Lour.

        JAB-GUH-20485

         

        S

        Leaf extract & Roots2

        Skin diseases & Abortifacient2

        Bupleurum falcatum L.

        JAB-GUH-20427

         

        H

        Root decoction2

        Fever & liver troubles2

        Calanthe tricarinata Lindl.

        JAB-GUH-20573

         

        H

        (Leaf paste Leaves & Pseudo-bulbs)2

        (Sores & eczema, aphrodisiac)2

        Callicarpa arborea Roxb.

        JAB-GUH-20672

         

        T

        Bark2

        Skin ailments2

        Cannabis sativa L.

        JAB-GUH-20488

         

        H

        Flowers2

        Intoxicating agent2

        Carpinus viminea Lindl.

        JAB-GUH-20503

         

        T

        Leaves5

        Bone fracture5

        Clematis buchananiana DC.

        JAB-GUH-20611

         

        S

        Leaf paste2

        Skin ailments2

        Clematis montana Buch.-Ham. ex DC.

        JAB-GUH-20618

         

        H

        Leaf extract2

        Diabetes & urinary troubles2

        Clinopodium umbrosum (M.Bieb.) C. Koch

        JAB-GUH-20558

         

        H

        (Plant extract & Leaf infusion)2

        (Astringent, carminative, Blood purifier & Gastric troubles)2

        Corallodiscus lanuginosus (Wall. ex DC.) B.L. Burtt

        JAB-BSD-114064

         

        H

        Leaves2

        Kidney stone2

        Coriaria nepalensis Wallich

        JAB-GUH-20502

        R2

        S

        Fruits2

        Emetic2

        Cotoneaster microphyllus Wall. ex Lindl.

        JAB-GUH-20640

         

        S

        Leaf, Fruits & Root Paste2

        Diarrhoea, Cuts & Wounds2

        Cyathula capitata Moq.

        JAB-GUH-20422

         

        H

        (Leaf extract & Urticle)2

        Emetic & abortifacient2

        Cyathula tomentosa Moq.

        JAB-GUH-20421

         

        H

        Leaf extract2

        (Emetic property & given in snake bite)2

        Cynoglossum glochidiatum Wall. ex Benth.

        JAB-BSD-114059

         

        H

        Root extract2

        Dyspepsia & digestive disorders2

        Cynoglossum lanceolatum Forssk.

        JAB-GUH-20481

         

        H

        Plant infusion2

        Cold & cough2

        Debregeasia salicifolia (D.Don) Rendle

        JAB-GUH-20666

         

        S

        Bark2

        Plaster for Bone Fracture2

        Delphinium vestitum Wall. ex Royle

        JAB-GUH-20616

         

        H

        Plant Stem5

        Body swelling5

        Desmodium elagans DC.

        JAB-GUH-20531

         

        S

        Root infusion & Roots2

        Epilepsy & Carminatives2

        Deutzia compacta Craib.

        JAB-GUH-20541

         

        S

        Leaves2

        Diuretic2

        Dicliptera bupleuroides Nees

        JAB-GUH-20418

         

        H

        (Leaf5 paste & juice)2

        (Wounds cough & gastro-enteritis)2 (Fever, skin diseases & stomachache)5

        Dipsacus inermis Wallich

        JAB-GUH-20483

         

        H

        Root paste2

        Leucoderma & contusions2

        Elephantopus scaber L.

        JAB-GUH-20448

         

        H

        (Root extract & leaves)2

        (Fever, stops vomiting, tonic for blood diseases)2

        Elsholtzia fruticosa (D.Don) Rehder.

        JAB-GUH-20551

         

        S

        Seeds2

        Sciatica reliever2

        Elsholtzia strobilifera Benth.

        JAB-GUH-20549

         

        H

        (Plant5 paste)2

        (Bruises & wounds5)2

        Eupatorium odenophorum Spreng.

        JAB-GUH-20452

         

        S

        Leaves2,5

        Wounds2, Skin diseases5

        Euphorbia chamaesyce L.

        JAB-GUH-20410

         

        H

        Plant juice2

        (Constipation & dysentery to infants)2

        Euphorbia hypericifolia L.

        JAB-GUH-20529

         

        H

        Leaf infusion2

        (Dysentery, diarrhoea, menorrhagia)2

        Euphorbia pilosa Linn.

        JAB-GUH-20528

         

        H

        (Root decoction & Fruits)2, Seed & Leaves5

        Constipation & emetic2, Food poisoning5

        Fagopyrum dibotrys (D.Don) Hara

        JAB-GUH-20597

         

        H

        Leaf paste2

        Insect bite2

        Fragaria nubicola Lindl. ex Lacaita

        JAB-GUH-20628

         

        H

        Leaf juice2

        Ear ache2

        Galinsoga parviflora Cav.

        JAB-GUH-20697

         

        H

        Plant extract2

        Antidote of nettle sitting2

        Galium aparine L.

        JAB-GUH-20646

         

        H

        (Leaf extract & plant5 waste)2,

        Astringent5, skin diseases2

        Galium asperifolium Wallich.

        JAB-GUH-20648

         

        H

        Plant waste2

        Skin ailments2

        Geranium wallichianum D. Don ex Sweet

        JAB-BSD-114067

         

        H

        Root5 juice2

        (Otorrhoea & opthalmia)2, (Dysentery & cold)5

        Gerbera gossypina (Royle) P. Beauv.

        JAB-GUH-20449

         

        H

        (Leaf juice & paste)2

        (Cuts, wounds, plaster on bone fracture)2

         

        JAB-BSD-114060

            

        Girardiana diversifolia (Link) Friis

        JAB-GUH-20670

         

        H

        Leaf juice2, Plant whole5

        Gonorrhoea2, Diuretic5

        Gonatanthus pumilus (D.Don) Engl. & Krause

        JAB-GUH-20431

         

        H

        Root tuber paste2

        Burns & wounds2

        Gonostegia hirta (Blume) Miq

        JAB-GUH-20669

         

        H

        Roots2

        Plaster on fractured bones2

        Hippophae salicifolia D.Don

        JAB-GUH-20520

         

        T

        Fruits2,5

        (Dandruff)2 & (Cardiac trouble)5

        Holmskioldia sanguinea Retz.

        JAB-GUH-20673

         

        S

        Leaf paste & Roots2

        Body Swelling & Febrifuge2

        Hypericum choisianum Wall. ex N. Robson

        JAB-GUH-20691

        R2

        S

        Leaf powder2

        Fever2

        Impatiens scabrida DC.

        JAB-GUH-20474

         

        H

        Plant Stem2

        Cause abortion2

        Indigofera heterantha Wall. ex Brandis

        JAB-GUH-20532

         

        S

        Leaf juice2

        Diarrhoea, Dysentery & Cough2

        Inula cappa (Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don) DC.

        JAB-GUH-20456

         

        S

        Roots2

        Suppressed urination2

        Juglans regia L.

        JAB- GUH-20520

         

        T

        Leaves2 , (Bark & Roots)5

        Fungicide & Insecticide2 , Tooth ache5

        Jurinea dolomiaea Boiss.

        JAB-GUH-20443

        E3

        H

        Root5

        Incense, fever5

        Lamium album L.

        JAB-GUH-20559

         

        H

        Plant decoction2, Flower5

        Contraceptive2, Bleeding after childbirth5

        Leptodermis Lanceolata Wallich

        JAB-GUH-20643

         

        S

        Bark paste2

        Migraines2

        Leucas lanata Benth.

        JAB-GUH-20553

         

        H

        Plant infusion2

        Whooping cough2

        Leycesteria formosa Wallich

        JAB-GUH-20494

         

        S

        Leaf paste2

        Dandruff & Lice in hair2

        Lindenbergia indica (L.) Vatke

        JAB-GUH-20656

         

        H

        Leaves2

        (Bronchitis, Cuts & wounds)2

        Lonicera angustifolia Wall. ex DC.

        JAB-GUH-20495

         

        S

        Fruits2

        Gastric troubles of cattle2

        Lyonia ovalifolia (Wallich) Drude

        JAB-GUH-20524

         

        T

        Seed paste2

        Wounds & Boils2

        Maianthemum purpureum (Wall.) La Frankie

        JAB-GUH-20565

         

        H

        Leaf extract2

        Dysmenorrhoea2

        Morina longifolia Wall. ex DC.

        JAB-GUH-20571

        R2

        H

        (Root5 paste & dried roots)2

        (Wounds & incense)2, (Burns & boils)5

        Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don

        JAB-GUH-20702

         

        T

        Bark2,4 ,Leaves5 & Fruit4,5

        (Intoxicate to fishes)2 (Vit. C, Asthama, Bronchitis, Diarrhoea & tooth ache)4 (Skin diseases & wounds)5

        Neolitsea pallens (D.Don) Momiyama & Hara

        JAB-GUH-20563

         

        T

        Fruits2

        Scabies & Eczema2

        Nepeta ciliaris Benth.

        JAB-GUH-20552

         

        H

        (Leaf & seed decoction)2

        Fever2

        Nomocharis oxypetala (Royle.) E.H.Wilson.

        JAB-GUH-20557

         

        H

        Bulb5

        Vigorous5

        Origanum vulgare L.

        JAB-GUH-20561

         

        H

        Plant extract2, Leaves5

        (Bronchitis, colic & diarrhoea)2, Toothache, swelling5

        Paeonia emodii Wall. ex Royle

        JAB-GUH-20575

         

        H

        (Roots & flower infusion)2, Tuber& leaves5

        (Whooping cough, diarrhoea, intestinal spasms)2, Uterine diseases5

        Parnassia nubicola Wall. ex Royle

        JAB-GUH-20539

         

        H

        Root5 paste2

        Antidote of snake bite2, Boils5

        Pedicularis hoffmeisteri Klotz.

        JAB-GUH-20657

         

        H

        Plant whole5

        Food poisoning5

        Persicaria polystachya (Wall. ex Meissn.) H. Gross

        JAB-GUH-20598

         

        S

        Leaf paste2

        Laceration of toes2

        Phalaris minor Retz.

        JAB-GUH-20591

         

        H

        Root paste2

        Wounds2

        Picrorhiza kurrooa Royle ex Benth.

        JAB-GUH-20654

        R1, CE3,Vu6

        H

        Root5

        Fever, stomachache5

        Pimpinella acuminata (Edgew.) C.B. Clarke

        JAB-GUH-20428

         

        H

        Plant extract2

        Diarrhoea & dysentery2

        Pimpinella diversifolia DC.

        JAB-GUH-20426

         

        H

        Plant extract2

        (Digestive disorders, cold & cough)2

        Pinus roxburghii Sargent

        JAB-GUH-20701

         

        T

        Saw Dust2 & Aerial parts4

        (Asthma & Bronchitis)2 , (Resin for cracked toes)4

        Plantago depressa Willd.

        JAB-GUH-20580

         

        H

        (Leaf & seed paste)2

        (Cuts, wounds, piles)2

        Plantago himalaica Pilger.

        JAB-GUH-20579

         

        H

        Leaves5

        Dysentery5

        Podophyllum hexandrum Royle.

        JAB-GUH-20592

        R1,E3, E6

        H

        Root5

        Wounds5

        Polygonatum verticillatum (L.) All.

        JAB-GUH-20564

        Vu3

        H

        (Root5 paste & powder)2

        (Gastric problems5, wounds)2

        Primula denticulata Sm.

        JAB-GUH-20606

         

        H

        (Flower & root paste)2

        (Diabetes & urinary ailments, lice killing)2

        Prinsepia utilis Royle

        JAB-GUH-20413

         

        S

        (Seed5 oil)2 & (Root5-bark)2

        (Rheumatic pain, Diarrhoea)2 & (Pile, Stomach disorders)5

        Pyrus pashia Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don

        JAB- GUH-20699

         

        T

        Fruits2,4,5 & Bark4

        (Digestive disorder)2 ,5(Astringent, Laxative, Anthelmintic, Febrifuge)4

        Ranunculus hirtellus Royle.

        JAB-GUH-20620

         

        H

        Plant paste2

        Wounds2

        Reinwardtia indica Dumort.

        JAB-GUH-20566

         

        H

        Flowers2

        Tongue wash2

        Rhamnus virgatus Roxb.

        JAB-GUH-20624

         

        S

        Bark paste & Fruits2

        Eczema & Ring Worm, Emetic & Purgative2

        Rhododendron arboreum Smith

        JAB-GUH-20521

         

        T

        Flower2,4 , Bark2, & (Young Shoots)5

        (Digestive and respiratory disorder)2 (tonic for heart, diarrhoea & dysentery)4 (Headache, Blood dysentery)5

        Rhus javanica L.

        JAB-GUH-20424

         

        S

        Fruits & Bark Paste2

        Colic & Cholera, Swelling & Wounds2

        Rosa sericea Lindl.

        JAB-GUH-20626

        R2

        S

        Flower juice2 & Fruits5

        Bowel complaints2, (Headaches & Liver complaints)5

        Roscoea alpina Royle

        JAB-BSD-114063

        R2

        H

        (Plant extract, leaf powder)2, Root5

        (Tonic, cuts & wounds of cattle)2, (urinary diseases & tuberculosis)5

        Roylea cinerea (D.Don) Baill.

        JAB-GUH-20556

         

        S

        Leaves decoction2

        Malarial fever2

        Rubia manjith Roxb. ex Fleming

        JAB-GUH-20647

         

        S

        (Roots5 & Flowers)2

        (Tonic & Astringent, Bacillary Dysentery)2, (Lower blood pressure, Kidney stone)5

        Rubus nepalensis (Hook.f.) Kuntze

        JAB-GUH-20625

         

        H

        Root paste2

        Burns & scalds2

        Rubus niveus Thunb

        JAB-GUH-20638

         

        S

        Fruit extract & Fruit juice2

        Dysmenorrhoea & Antidote of snake bite2

        Rumex hastatus D.Don

        JAB-GUH-20603

         

        H

        Leaf extract2

        (Cuts & wounds, nettle sitting reliever)2

        Rumex nepalensis Spreng.

        JAB-GUH-20602

         

        H

        Leaf5 infusion2

        (Dysmenorrhoea, stomach ache)2, Etching5

        Salvia hians Royle ex Benth.

        JAB-GUH-20555

        R2

        H

        Leaf juice2, Root5

        (Arthritic, pain & eczema, body swelling)2, (cold, coughs & anxiety)5

        Salvia nubicola Wall. ex Sw.

        JAB-GUH-20560

         

        H

        (Leaf paste, Root5 extract)2

        (Wounds, cold & cough)2, Fever5

        Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn.

        JAB-GUH-20649

         

        T

        Fruit2,4 & Seed4

        Hair2, (Expectorant, antiepileptic, Emetic, febrifuge & Dental cares)4

        Sarcococca saligna (D.Don) Muell.-Arg.

        JAB-GUH-20486

         

        S

        Leaves2, Roots5

        Joint pain2, Bawseer5

        Saussurea albescens (DC.) Sch.-Bip.

        JAB-GUH-20466

         

        H

        Flower heads2

        Bronchitis reliever2

        Saussurea auriculata (Spreng. ex DC.) Sch.-Bip.

        JAB-BSD-114072

        R2

        H

        Leaf paste2

        Venereal diseases2

        Saxifraga diversifolia Wall. ex Ser.

        JAB-BSD-14071

         

        H

        Root extract2

        Vermifuge2

        Selinum candollii DC.

        JAB-GUH-20409

         

        H

        Root5 powder2

        (Asthma, cough, hysteria)2, Toothache5

        Senecio graciliflorus DC.

        JAB-GUH-20462

         

        H

        (Leaf paste & Juice of heads)2

        (Ringworm diseases & insect bites, pussed ear)2

        Silene edgeworthii Bocquet.

        JAB-GUH-20499

         

        H

        (Leaf & young shoots juice)2

        Eye infections2

        Solanum suratteuse Burm.

        JAB-GUH-20660

         

        H

        (Fruits & flower buds)2

        (Fever, cough, asthama, gonorrhoea, eye ailments)2

        Solidago virgaurea L.

        JAB-BSD-114061

         

        H

        (Leaves & herb juice, Chewed roots)2

        (Kidney troubles, asthma, rheumatism, wounds, throat irritation)2

        Sorbaria tomentosa (Lindl.) Rehder

        JAB-GUH-20637

         

        S

        Fruits (smoke)2

        Asthama2

        Sorbus aucuparia L.

        JAB-GUH-20632

        R2

        T

        Fruit extract2

        Cough & Cold2

        Sorbus cuspidata (Spach) Hedlund

        JAB-GUH-20634

        R2

        T

        Bark decoction2

        Fever2

        Swertia chirayita (Roxb. ex Fleming) Karsten

        JAB-GUH-20538

        E3, Vu6

        H

        Leaves5

        Blood diseases5

        Swertia ciliata (G.Don) Burtt.

        JAB-BSD-114044

         

        H

        Plant extract2, Leaves5

        Malaria2, Blood purifier5

        Synotis alatus (Wall. ex DC.) C. Jeffrey & Chen.

        JAB-GUH-20681

        R2

        H

        Plant decoction2

        Fever2

        Taraxacum officinale Weber.

        JAB-GUH-20465

         

        H

        Root5 extract2

        (Migraines, hepatitis & head ache)2, Blood purifier5

        Taxus baccata L.

        JAB-GUH-20661

         

        T

        Bark2,5 & Bark Paste2

        (Plaster on fractured bones Headache)2 & (Breast Pile)5

        Triumfetta rhomboidea Jacq.

        JAB-GUH-20662

         

        H

        (Root juice, Fruits & Leaves)2

        (Cuts, delivery facilitation)2

        Urena lobata L.

        JAB-GUH-20568

         

        H

        Root paste2

        (Body pain & rheumatism)2

        Urtica ardens Link.

        JAB-GUH-20668

         

        H

        (Seed oil & Leaf extract)2

        (Sciatica, rheumatism, skin ailments, hair-wash for avoiding baldness)2

        Urtica dioica L.

        JAB-GUH-20664

         

        H

        (Seed oil & Leaf extract)2, Root5

        (Sciatica, rheumatism, skin ailments, hair-wash for avoiding baldness)2, Boils5

        Valeriana hardwickii Wallich

        JAB-GUH-20671

         

        H

        (Root5 decoction & Root paste)2

        (Urinary disorder, joint pains)2, Wounds5

        Verbascum thapsus L.

        JAB-GUH-20652

         

        H

        (Plant extract & Seeds)2, Leaf & flower5

        (Asthma, bronchitis, narcotic)2, (Ulcers, tumors & piles)5

        Vernonia anthelmintica (L.) Willd.

        JAB-GUH-20455

         

        H

        Leaf powder2

        (Intestinal disorder, fever & skin ailments)2

        Vernonia cinerea (L.) Less.

        JAB-GUH-20407

         

        H

        (Leaf extract & seeds)2

        (Dysentery, cold & cough)2

        Veronica anagallis-aquatica Linn.

        JAB-GUH-20658

         

        H

        Plant juice2

        (Cuts, burns & sores)2

        Viburnum cotinifolium D.Don

        JAB-GUH-20496

         

        T

        Bark decoction2

        Hepatic & digestive disorder2

        Viburnum erubescens Wall. ex DC.

        JAB-GUH-20490

         

        S

        Leaves2

        Insecticide2

        Viburnum grandiflorum Wall ex DC.

        JAB-GUH-20492

         

        S

        Bark Decoction2

        Hepatic troubles2

        Viburnum nervosum D.Don

        JAB-GUH-20493

         

        S

        Bark Decoction2

        Menorrhagia2

        Viola canescens Wallich

        JAB-GUH-20690

         

        H

        (Plant4 decoction, Root & Leaf5 juice)2

        (Malarial fever, bronchitis, asthma, emetic, cuts & wounds)2, (Headache,cold, cough & malaria)5, (Expectorant, antipyretic, diaphoretic)4

        Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Kurz

        JAB-GUH-20567

         

        S

        Leaves & bark, Dry flowers2

        Febrifuge, Haemorrhoids2

        Zanthoxylum armatum DC

        JAB-GUH-20460

        Vu3

        S

        Leaves & Fruits2 (Seed & Bark)5

        Mouth wash2 & tooth ache2,5 (Infection in stored grain)5

        Abbreviation Habit: T Tree, S = Shrub, H = Herb Status: R = Rare, Vu = Vulnerable, Ce = Critically Endangered, E = Endangered. Superscript: (1) = Red Data Book (IUCN, 1993), (2) = Gaur 1999, (3) = National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB, 2003), (4) = Joshi et al. 2010, (5) = Singh & Rawat 2011, (6) = Semwal et al. 2007.) J.A.B = Jahangeer Akbar Bhat, GUH = Garhwal University Herbarium, BSD = Botanical Survey Dehradun.

        http://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1746-4269-9-1/MediaObjects/13002_2012_302_Fig2_HTML.jpg
        Figure 2

        Total numbers of species, genera and families of plants having medicinal values.

        http://static-content.springer.com/image/art%3A10.1186%2F1746-4269-9-1/MediaObjects/13002_2012_302_Fig3_HTML.jpg
        Figure 3

        Percentage of plant parts used in preparing medicines for various ailments.

        Table 2

        Medicinal tree species in the study area (F- Frequency %, D- Density trees/100 m 2 )

        Species

        Family

        Zone-I

        Zone-II

        Zone-III

        Zone-IV

        Zone-V

          

        (1550-1750 m)

        (2000-2200 m)

        (2450-2650 m)

        (2900-3100 m)

        (3350-3550 m)

          

        F

        D

        F

        D

        F

        D

        F

        D

        F

        D

        Abies pindrow

        Pinaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        20

        0.25

        10

        0.10

        Aesculus indica

        Hippocastanaceae

        15

        0.15

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Callicarpa arborea

        Verbenaceae

        5

        0.05

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Carpinus viminea

        Corylaceae

        -

        -

        5

        0.10

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Hippophae salicifolia

        Elaegnaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        10

        0.15

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Juglans regia

        Juglandaceae

        5

        0.15

        5

        0.05

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Lyonia ovalifolia

        Ericaceae

        25

        0.30

        25

        0.50

        15

        0.30

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Myrica esculenta

        Myricaceae

        20

        0.30

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Neolitsea pallens

        Lauraceae

        30

        0.45

        5

        0.05

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Pinus roxburghii

        Pinaceae

        35

        0.55

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Pyrus pashia

        Rosaceae

        10

        0.10

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Rhododendron arboreum

        Ericaceae

        25

        0.25

        50

        0.90

        50

        1.10

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Sapindus mukorossi

        Sapindaceae

        10

        0.15

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Sorbus aucuparia

        Rosaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        25

        0.25

        Sorbus cuspidata

        Rosaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        15

        0.15

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Taxus baccata

        Taxaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        10

        0.10

        -

        -

        Viburnum cotinifolium

        Caprifoliaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        15

        0.25

        25

        0.35

        -

        -

        Ecological study of plant species

        Altitudinal zone-I (1550–1750 m)

        In this altitudinal zone ten trees were reported having medicinal values. The highest density (0.55 trees/100 m2) and frequency (35%) was found for Pinus roxburghii followed by Neolitsea pallens (0.45 trees/100 m2 density with 30% frequency). The lowest density (0.05 trees/100 m2) and frequency (5%) was observed for Callicarpa arborea (Table 2). Sixteen medicinal shrub species were found in this altitudinal zone. The highest density and frequency (1.85 plants/25 m2 and 52.50% respectively) was recorded for Debregeasia salicifolia followed by Woodfordia fruticosa (0.58 plants/25 m2, frequency 17.50%). Arachne cordifolia and Sarcococca saligna were found with the lowest density and frequency (0.18 plants/25 m2, 7.50%) (Table 3). A total of twenty nine herb species with medicinal values were found. Among the herb species, the highest density (0.93 plants/m2) was observed for Gonatanthus pumilus followed by Rumex hastatus (0.69 plants/m2). The highest frequency was again reported for Gonatanthus pumilus (16.25%) followed by Aster peduncularis and Cyathula tomentosa (15%). The lowest density and frequency (0.05 plants/m2 and 1.25% respectively) was recorded for Valeriana hardwickii (Table 4).
        Table 3

        Medicinal shrub species in the study area (F- Frequency %, D- Density plants/25 m 2 )

        Species

        Family

        Zone-I

        Zone-II

        Zone-III

        Zone-IV

        Zone-V

          

        (1550-1750 m)

        (2000-2200 m)

        (2450-2650 m)

        (2900-3100 m)

        (3350-3550 m)

          

        F

        D

        F

        D

        F

        D

        F

        D

        F

        D

        Arachne cordifolia

        Euphorbiaceae

        10.00

        0.18

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Buddleja asiatica.

        Buddlejaceae

        12.50

        0.43

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Clematis buchananiana

        Ranunculaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        5.00

        0.20

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Coriaria nepalensis

        Coriariaceae

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.25

        10.00

        0.58

        70.00

        2.73

        -

        -

        Cotoneaster microphyllus

        Rosaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        17.50

        0.68

        33.33

        0.23

        Debregeasia salicifolia

        Urticaceae

        52.50

        1.85

        7.50

        0.35

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Desmodium elagans

        Fabaceae

        -

        -

        7.50

        0.20

        5.00

        0.18

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Deutzia compacta

        Hydrangeaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        7.50

        0.30

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Elsholtzia fruticosa

        Lamiaceae

        -

        -

        10.00

        0.25

        12.50

        0.25

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Eupatorium odenophorum

        Asteraceae

        12.50

        0.48

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Holmskioldia sanguinea

        Verbenaceae

        10.00

        0.38

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Hypericum choisianum

        Hyperiaceae

        10.00

        0.20

        5.00

        0.18

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Indigofera heterantha

        Fabaceae

        12.50

        0.35

        15.00

        0.68

        40.00

        1.53

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Inula cappa

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.40

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Leptodermis lanceolata

        Rubiaceae

        15.00

        0.43

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Leycesteria formosa

        Caprifoliaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        5.00

        0.15

        7.50

        0.38

        -

        -

        Lonicera angustifolia

        Caprifoliaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        20.00

        0.48

        33.33

        0.38

        Persicaria polystachya

        Polygonaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        2.50

        0.05

        7.50

        0.35

        -

        -

        Prinsepia utilis

        Rosaceae

        10.00

        0.25

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Rhamnus virgatus

        Rhamnaceae

        15.00

        0.33

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Rhus javanica

        Anacardiaceae

        10.00

        0.33

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Rosa sericea

        Rosaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.65

        40.00

        1.63

        26.53

        1.23

        Roylea cinerea

        Lamiaceae

        15.00

        0.33

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Rubia manjith

        Rubiaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        10.00

        0.28

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Rubus niveus

        Rosaceae

        10.00

        0.28

        17.50

        0.85

        35.00

        1.45

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Sarcococca saligna

        Buxaceae

        7.50

        0.23

        2.50

        0.15

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Sorbaria tomentosa

        Rosaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.28

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Viburnum erubescens

        Caprifoliacae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.40

        10.00

        0.75

        -

        -

        Viburnum grandiflorum

        Caprifoliacae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        15.00

        0.43

        32.50

        1.05

        -

        -

        Viburnum nervosum

        Caprifoliacae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.38

        -

        -

        Woodfordia fruticosa

        Lythraceae

        17.50

        0.58

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Zanthoxylum armatum

        Rutaceae

        10.00

        0.33

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Table 4

        Medicinal herb species in the study area (F- Frequency %, D- Density plants/m 2 )

        Species

        Family

        Zone-I

        Zone-II

        Zone-III

        Zone-IV

        Zone-V

          

        (1550-1750 m)

        (2000-2200 m)

        (2450-2650 m)

        (2900-3100 m)

        (3350-3550 m)

          

        F

        D

        F

        D

        F

        D

        F

        D

        F

        D

        Aconitium hetrophyllum

        Ranunculaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        18.75

        0.33

        Ainsliaea apetra

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        31.25

        0.95

        -

        -

        Ainsliaea latifolia

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        32.50

        1.30

        11.25

        0.16

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Anaphalis contorta

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        10.00

        0.20

        23.75

        0.69

        -

        -

        Anaphalis margaritaceae

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        6.25

        0.16

        10.00

        0.16

        -

        -

        Anaphalis triplinervis

        Asteraceae

        6.25

        0.21

        8.75

        0.20

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Anemone obtusiloba

        Ranunculaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        15.00

        0.26

        Anemone rivularis

        Ranunculaceae

        -

        -

        3.75

        0.10

        11.25

        0.26

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Arisaema jacquemontii

        Araceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.23

        11.25

        0.29

        -

        -

        Artemisia japonica

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        13.75

        0.34

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Artemisia roxburghiana

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        7.50

        0.26

        2.50

        0.05

        -

        -

        Asparagus filicinus

        Asparagaceae

        -

        -

        3.75

        0.05

        10.00

        0.33

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Aster peduncularis

        Asteraceae

        15.00

        0.30

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Barleria cristata

        Acanthaceae

        10.00

        0.25

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Begonia picta

        Begoniaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.21

        -

        -

        Bergenia ciliate

        Saxifragaceae

        -

        -

        3.75

        0.08

        10.00

        0.18

        3.75

        0.09

        -

        -

        Bidens bipinnata

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        6.25

        0.15

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Bidens biternata

        Asteraceae

        5.00

        0.20

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Bidens pilosa

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.24

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Bistorta amplexicaulis

        Polygonaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        10.00

        0.36

        21.25

        0.61

        2.50

        0.21

        Bistorta vaccinifolia

        Polygonaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        7.50

        0.13

        Blumea lanceolaria

        Asteraceae

        7.50

        0.20

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Bupleurum falcatum

        Apiaceae

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.18

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Calanthe tricarinata

        Orchidaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        11.25

        0.20

        Cannabis sativa

        Cannabinaceae

        -

        -

        6.25

        0.25

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Clematis montana

        Ranunculaceae

        11.25

        0.33

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Clinopodium umbrosum

        Lamiaceae

        3.75

        0.09

        8.75

        0.16

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Corallodiscus lanuginosus

        Gesneriaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.16

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Cyathula capitata

        Amaranthaceae

        2.50

        0.06

        7.50

        0.24

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Cyathula tomentosa

        Amaranthaceae

        15.00

        0.59

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Cynoglossum glochidiatum

        Boraginaceae

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.21

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Cynoglossum lanceolatum

        Boraginaceae

        8.75

        0.26

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Delphinium vestitum

        Ranunculaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.16

        Dicliptera bupleuroides

        Acanthaceae

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.20

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Dipsacus inermis

        Dipsacaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        5.00

        0.09

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Elephantopus scaber

        Asteraceae

        7.50

        0.13

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Elsholtzia strobilifera

        Lamiaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        10.00

        0.25

        3.75

        0.10

        Euphorbia chamaesyce

        Euphorbiaceae

        8.75

        0.14

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Euphorbia hypericifolia

        Euphorbiaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        6.25

        0.16

        Euphorbia pilosa

        Euphorbiaceae

        3.75

        0.09

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.25

        12.50

        0.38

        -

        -

        Fagopyrum dibotrys

        Polygonaceae

        -

        -

        7.50

        0.23

        7.50

        0.14

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Fragaria nubicola

        Rosaceae

        12.50

        0.13

        7.50

        0.18

        10.00

        0.20

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Galinsoga parviflora

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.18

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Galium aparine

        Rubiaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.20

        6.25

        0.13

        Galium asperifolium

        Rubiaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        3.75

        0.10

        Geranium wallichianum

        Gerianiaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.26

        5.00

        0.15

        -

        -

        Gerbera gossypina

        Asteraceae

        11.25

        0.21

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Girardiana diversifolia

        Urticaceae

        12.50

        0.61

        6.25

        0.25

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Gonatanthus pumilus

        Araceae

        16.25

        0.93

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Gonostegia hirta

        Urticaceae

        2.50

        0.08

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

         

        -

        -

        Impatiens scabrida

        Balsamaniceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        3.75

        0.09

        -

        -

        Jurinea dolomiaea

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        5.00

        0.08

        Lamium album

        Lamiaceae

        -

        -

        6.25

        0.11

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Leucas lanata

        Lamiaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        7.50

        0.18

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Lindenbergia indica

        Scrophulariaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.24

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Maianthemum purpureum

        Liliaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        3.75

        0.05

        Morina longifolia

        Morinaceae

        -

        -

        3.75

        0.13

        3.75

        0.15

        6.25

        0.11

        -

        -

        Nepeta ciliaris

        Lamiaceae

        -

        -

        11.25

        0.16

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Nomocharis oxypetala

        Liliaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        11.25

        0.13

        Origanum vulgare

        Lamiaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        3.75

        0.09

        Paeonia emodii

        Paenoniaceae

        5.00

        0.18

        1.25

        0.05

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Parnassia nubicola

        Saxifragaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        15.00

        0.21

        -

        -

        Pedicularis hoffmeisteri

        Scrophulariaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.21

        Phalaris minor

        Poaceae

        6.25

        0.33

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Picrorrhiza kurrooa

        Scrophulariaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.23

        Pimpinella acuminata

        Apiaceae

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.15

        5.00

        0.06

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Pimpinella diversifolia

        Apiaceae

        -

        -

        7.50

        0.13

        -

        -

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.19

        Plantago depressa

        Plantaginaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        10.00

        0.16

        Plantago himalaica

        Plantaginaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        10.00

        0.20

        Podophyllum hexandrum

        Podophyllaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        11.25

        0.19

        Polygonatum verticillatum

        Liliaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.11

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Primula denticulate

        Primulaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        18.75

        0.31

        Ranunculus hirtellus

        Ranunculaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        20.00

        0.38

        Reinwardtia indica

        Linaceae

        -

        -

        5.00

        0.08

        7.50

        0.10

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Roscoea alpine

        Zingiberaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        13.75

        0.19

        -

        -

        Rubus nepalensis

        Rosaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        38.75

        1.15

        5.00

        0.11

        Rumex hastatus

        Polygonaceae

        12.50

        0.69

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Rumex nepalensis

        Polygonaceae

        -

        -

        26.25

        1.13

        23.75

        0.66

        -

        -

        27.50

        0.71

        Salvia hians

        Lamiaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.21

        Salvia nubicola

        Lamiaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        3.75

        0.06

        Saussurea albescens

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        6.25

        0.09

        16.25

        0.71

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Saussurea auriculata

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        13.75

        0.19

        Saxifraga diversifolia

        Saxifragaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        10.00

        0.15

        -

        -

        Selinum candollii

        Apiaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.20

        Senecio graciliflorus

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.15

        Silene edgeworthii

        Caryophyllaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.23

        7.50

        0.14

        -

        -

        Solanum suratteuse

        Solanaceae

        8.75

        0.16

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Solidago virgaurea

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        8.75

        0.13

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Swertia chirayita

        Gentianaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        12.50

        0.21

        -

        -

        Swertia ciliate

        Gentianaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        18.75

        0.30

        Synotis alatus

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        7.50

        0.13

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Taraxacum officinale

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        7.50

        0.13

        Triumfetta rhomboidea

        Tiliaceae

        8.75

        0.21

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Urena lobata

        Malvaceae

        6.25

        0.15

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Urtica ardens

        Urticaceae

        2.50

        0.20

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Urtica dioica

        Urticaceae

        7.50

        0.49

        6.25

        0.25

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Valeriana hardwickii

        Valerianaceae

        1.25

        0.05

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Verbascum thapsus

        Scrophulariaceae

        2.50

        0.10

        3.75

        0.05

        5.00

        0.08

        11.25

        0.30

        -

        -

        Vernonia anthelmintica

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        7.50

        0.16

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Vernonia cinerea

        Asteraceae

        -

        -

        7.50

        0.15

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Veronica anagallis-aquatica

        Scrophulariaceae

        2.50

        0.10

        -

        -

        18.75

        0.61

        -

        -

        -

        -

        Viola canescens

        Violaceae

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        -

        10.00

        0.19

        -

        -

        Altitudinal zone-II (2000–2200 m)

        In this altitudinal zone-II, five trees, eight shrubs and twenty nine herbs with medicinal values were observed (Table 2, Table 3 and Table 4 respectively). The highest density (0.90 trees/100 m2) and frequency (50%) was found for Rhododendron arboreum followed by Lyonia ovalifolia (0.50 trees/100 m2, 25%). The lowest density (0.05 trees/100 m2) and frequency (5%) was observed for both Juglans regia and Neolitsea pallens (Table 2). The highest density and frequency for shrubs (0.85 plants/25 m2, 17.50%) was recorded for Rubus niveus, followed by Indigofera heterantha (0.68 plants/25 m2, 15%) values. The lowest density (0.15 plants/25 m2, 2.50%) was reported for Sarcococca saligna (Table 3). A total of twenty nine herbs were found with medicinal values and the highest density (1.30 plants/m2) and frequency (32.50%) was observed for Ainsliaea latifolia, followed by Rumex nepalensis (1.13 plants/m2, 26.25%). The lowest density (0.05 plants/m2) was reported for Asparagus filicinus, Paeonia emodii, Verbascum thapsus, Bergenia ciliata, and Reinwardtia indica (0.08 plants/m2). The lowest frequency (1.25%) was recorded for Paeonia emodii (Table 4).

        Altitudinal zone-III (2450–2650 m)

        In this altitudinal zone-III, five trees with medicinal values were reported. Among these medicinal tree species, the highest density (1.10 trees/100 m2) and frequency (50%) was observed for Rhododendron arboreum. The lowest density (0.15 trees/100 m2) was recorded for Hippophae salicifolia and Sorbus cuspidata while as lowest frequency (10%) was observed for Hippophae salicifolia (Table 2). Fifteen shrub species with medicinal values were found in this altitudinal zone. The highest density and frequency (1.53 plants/25 m2 and 40%) was recorded for Indigofera heterantha followed by Rubus niveus (1.45 plants/25 m2, 35%), while the lowest density and frequency (0.05 plants/25 m2, 2.50%) was registered for Persicaria polystachya (Table 3). In the herb layer thirty (30) species were found. Among these Rumex nepalensis had the highest density and frequency (0.66 plants/m2, 23.75%), followed by Veronica anagallis-aquatica (0.61 plants/m2, 18.75%). The lowest density (0.06 plants/m2) was recorded for Pimpinella acuminata (Table 4).

        Altitudinal zone-IV (2900–3100 m)

        In this altitudinal zone-IV, three tree species, nine shrub species and twenty two herb species with medicinal values were encountered (Table 2, Table 3 and Table 4). In the tree layer, the highest density (0.35 trees/100 m2) and frequency (25%) was found for Viburnum cotnifolium followed by Abies pindrow. The lowest density and frequency (0.10 trees/100 m2, 10%) was observed for Taxus baccata (Table 2). For shrub species, the highest density and frequency (2.73 plants/25 m2, 70%) was recorded for Coriaria nepalensis while the lowest density (0.35 plants/25 m2) was recorded for Persicaria polystachya. Leycesteria formosa and Persicaria polystachya had the lowest frequency (7.50%) (Table 3). Among the herb species, the highest density (1.15 plants/m2) and frequency (38.75%) was observed for Rubus nepalensis followed by Ainsliaea apetra (0.95 plants/m2, 31.25%). The lowest density and frequency (0.05 plants/m2, 2.50% respectively) was found for Artemisia roxburghiana, followed by Bergenia ciliata and Impatiens scabrida (Table 4).

        Altitudinal zone-V (3350–3550 m)

        Only two trees species with medicinal value were reported in the altitudinal zone-V. Sorbus aucuparia had the highest density and frequency (0.25 trees/100 m2, 25%), while Abies pindrow followed (0.10 trees/100 m2, 10%) (Table 2). Of the three shrub species encountered Rosa sericea was most common (1.23 plants/25 m2), followed by Lonicera angustifolia (0.38 plants/25 m2), and Cotoneaster microphyllus (0.23 plants/25 m2). The highest frequency (33.33%) was observed for both Cotoneaster microphyllus and Lonicera angustifolia, while Rosa sericea was much less frequent (26.53%) (Table 3). Among the thirty one herbs Rumex nepalensis (0.71 plants/m2, 27.50%), and Ranunculus hirtellus (0.38 plants/m2, 20%) had the highest density and frequency. The lowest density value (0.05 plants/m2) was found for Maianthemum purpureum, while Bistorta amplexicaulis was observed with lowest frequency (2.50%) (Table 4).

        Ethnomedicinal study of plant species

        Of the total one hundred and fifty two species of ethnomedicinal plants complied for ethnomedicinal uses in the Himalayan region and Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary areas including 49 plant species of these were too reported from both the villages (Gundhaar and Ransi) of study area of Madhmeshwar, in KWLS. The scientific names, part used and ethnonomedicinal uses of these plants reported from the villages Gundhaar and Ransi is shown in Table 5. The reported 49 ethnomedicinal plants used to cure several ailments such as fever, cough, pain, wounds, cuts, insecticides, diarrhoea, dysentery, kidney problems, eye diseases, stop bleeding, abdomen pain, indigestion, antiseptic, healing foot cracks, mouth wash, blood diseases etc. The contribution of plant parts used by the inhabitants of Gundhaar and Ransi villages, was reported highest for roots (32%), followed by leaves (27%). Flowers, seeds and fruits contributed 8% for each and lowest contribution was reported for barks and resin of 3% and 1% respectively.
        Table 5

        Medicinal uses of plant species reported from the present study area

        Scientific name

        Present study

         
         

        Plant part used

        Medicinal uses

        Aconitium hetrophyllum Wallich

        Root

        Fever and cough

        Aesculus indica (Wall. ex Cambess.) Hook.f.

        Seed

        Rheumatic pain

        Anaphalis margaritaceae (L.) Benth

        Leaves

        Wounds and cuts

        Anemone rivularis Buch.-Ham. ex DC

        Leaves

        Wounds

        Artemisia japonica Thunb.

        Leaves

        Insecticide

        Asparagus filicinus Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don

        Root

        Diarrhoea and dysentery

        Barleria cristata L.

        Root

        Wounds

        Bergenia ciliata (Haw.) Sternb.

        Root

        Fever, kidney calculi, diarrhoea

        Blumea lanceolaria (Roxb.) Druce

        Leaves

        Cuts

        Dicliptera bupleuroides Nees

        Leaves

        Skin diseases, cough, wounds

        Elsholtzia strobilifera Benth.

        Whole plant

        Wounds

        Eupatorium odenophorum Spreng.

        Leaves

        Skin diseases

        Galium aparine L.

        Roots

        Eye diseases and stop bleeding

        Geranium wallichianum D. Don ex Sweet

        Root

        Dysentery and cold

        Girardiana diversifolia (Link) Friis

        Whole plant

        Abdomen pain and indigestion

        Hippophae salicifolia D.Don

        Fruits

        Dandruff

        Indigofera heterantha Wall. ex Brandis

        Leaves

        Dysentery and cough

        Juglans regia L.

        Leaves

        Insecticides

        Jurinea dolomiaea Boiss.

        Root

        Incense

        Leycesteria formosa Wallich

        Leaves

        Lice killing

        Morina longifolia Wall. ex DC.

        Root

        Antiseptic, Burns, wounds

        Myrica esculenta Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don

        Leaves and fruits

        Skin diseases and wounds

        Origanum vulgare L.

        Leaves

        Tooth ache

        Pedicularis hoffmeisteri Klotz.

        Whole plant

        Indigestion

        Phalaris minor Retz.

        Root

        Wounds

        Picrorhiza kurrooa Royle ex Benth.

        Root

        Stomach ache

        Pinus roxburghii Sargent

        Resin

        Healing foot cracks

        Podophyllum hexandrum Royle.

        Root

        Antiseptic, wounds

        Polygonatum verticillatum (L.) All.

        Root

        Gastric problems

        Primula denticulata Sm.

        Root and flower

        Lice killing

        Prinsepia utilis Royle

        Seed and roots

        Stomach problems

        Pyrus pashia Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don

        Fruits

        Digestive disorders

        Ranunculus hirtellus Royle.

        Whole plant

        Wounds and cuts

        Reinwardtia indica Dumort.

        Flower juice

        Mouth wash

        Rhododendron arboreum Smith

        Flower juice

        Health tonic

        Roscoea alpina Royle

        Root

        Urinary infections

        Rubia manjith Roxb. ex Fleming

        Flowers

        Health tonic

        Rubus nepalensis (Hook.f.) Kuntze

        Root

        Burns

        Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn.

        Fruit and seeds

        Hair and antiseptic

        Sarcococca saligna (D.Don) Muell.-Arg.

        Leaves

        Bone and muscle pains

        Silene edgeworthii Bocquet.

        Tender plant parts

        Eye infections

        Swertia chirayita (Roxb. ex Fleming) Karsten

        Leaves

        Fever and blood diseases

        Synotis alatus (Wall. ex DC.) C. Jeffrey & Chen.

        Whole plant

        Fever

        Taxus baccata L.

        Bark

        Breast infection

        Urena lobata L.

        Root

        Muscle pains

        Urtica ardens Link.

        Leaf and seeds

        Skin and hair diseases

        Urtica dioica L.

        leaves

        Hair wash

        Veronica anagallis-aquatica Linn.

        Whole plant

        Wounds and burns

        Zanthoxylum armatum DC

        Bark

        Tooth ache

        Ethnobotany explains the holistic relationships between plants and people [36]. Rapid global biodiversity loss is an issue of critical concern, with approximately 5000 species of animals and 25,00 species of plants currently listed as endangered, threatened, or at risk of overexploitation [37]. The Himalayan range is rich in endemic and medicinal plant diversity [38]. Uncontrolled developmental activities are causing a great loss to the biodiversity in the Indian Himalayan region, where medicinal plants in particular are declining at a very fast rate due to their over exploitation for trade [39], and it is believed that excessive anthropogenic activities are the main cause of decline in the population and availability of medicinal plants in the region [38, 40]. There are many protected areas (PAs) across the Himalayan region but not a single PA has been specifically established to ensure the conservation of medicinal plants.

        The plant species reported from the Madhmeshwar area of KWLS were one hundred and fifty two species having medicinally important value with one hundred twenty three genera belonging to sixty one families. In comparison [41] explored the Pindari area of Nanda Biosphere Reserve and reported 224 plant species with medicinal values. [42] recorded 701 species of medicinal plants of which 138 species were trees, 135 shrubs and 421 were herbs in various forest types of Uttarakhand. [43] presented a list of 41 medicinal plants with their medicinal uses and mode of application of Pauri Garhwal Himalaya. [44] reported 135 species having medicinal values from the Panwalikantha at an elevation of 3800 m. [45] reported a total of 335 medicinal plant species from the high altitude cold desert areas of Lahul-Spiti in Ladkh of which 45 were rare and endangered. [46] reported 228 species with medicinal and aromatic properties from Renuka Wildlife Sanctuary of Himalaya. Many of these medicinal plants are under of threat due to their heavy extraction [47]. A total of 1748 species having medicinal value have been reported from Indian Himalayan Region [15] contributing 90% of raw material for herbal industries in India and for export [48]. World trade figures suggest that India ranks next to China exporting raw material of medicinal plants [49].

        The most commonly used parts of ethnomedicinal plants as collected through different literature survey were leaves (32%), roots (24%), whole plants or plant (13%), followed by fruits (9%) and seeds and flowers (6% each). This corroborates with [50] who also found that leaves were the most frequently used plant parts (48%) followed by stem bark (16%), roots and root bark (10%), while the fruits, whole plant, and aerial parts accounted for less than 10% for each. [19] reported that a single plant may be used for curing more than one ailment and observed that roots and root based preparations are the most used plant parts. [51] reported from Nepal that bark, flower, fruit, leaf, root, rhizome, tuber, seed, shoot, resin, and wood were used in this sequence.

        In the study eighteen endangered plant species were found. [52] reported 37 species from Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable and low risk near threatened using IUCN criteria. [15] reported that, as a result of over extraction 3.5% of the medicinal plants of the Indian Himalayan Regions (IHR) fall in different categories of threats.

        In the study, the density and frequency for Aconitium heterophyllum was 0.33 plants/m2 and 18.75% while for Jurinea dolomiaea it was 0.08 plants/m2 and 3.75% respectively. Picrorhiza kurrooa was found with density of 0.23 ind/m2 having frequency of 12.50% while Podophyllum hexandrum with 0.19 plants/m2 density and 11.25% frequency. [53] reported 0.33 ind/m2 density of Aconitium heterophyllum in a part of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary and [54] in Gori valley reported a total 0.465 ind/m2, and [55] found a density of 1.0 ind/m2 at Hari Ki Dun area to 2.57 ind/ m2 in Tungnath area of Garhwal Himalaya. [56] reported 2.721 ind/m2 and 86% values of density and frequency for Jurinea dolomiaea in alpine meadows of Kumaun Himalaya. [57] reported a density of 7 ind/m2 and frequency of 100% for Jurinea dolomiaea in rocky areas in alpine area of Chhota Bhangal in Himachal Pradesh. Working on the population density of Picrorhiza kurrooa, [54] reported a density of 3.89 ind/m2 from upper Gori valley and 4.5 ind/m2 in the valley of Flowers National Park, while [53] reported density values of 3.36 ind/m2 in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. [47] reported 2 ind/m2 density of Podophyllum hexandrum in Pin Valley National Park, while [58] reported 21.8 to 94.73 ind/m2 density and [54] reported 0.193 ind/m2 in Gori valley, with a density of 0.98 ind/m2 in the Valley of Flowers National Park and 0.72 ind/m2 in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. In contrast [59] found only density values of 0.012 ind/m2 and a frequency value of 18.70% in its natural habitats in Kashmir Himalaya.

        The study indicates that in-depth phytochemical and pharmacological investigations would be of interest for some plants with unique or lesser known medicinal applications. The conservation of plant biodiversity in the Indian Himalayan region has become a major concern and more detailed studies on population structure and regeneration rates are needed to plan conservation measures. The traditional knowledge of plant species as medicine is vanishing rapidly, and traditional health care systems are disappearing, and the oral transmittion of knowledge is clearly decreasing. Therefore, the knowledge of indigenous uses of native plants needs to be studied before it gets extinct [60].

        Conclusions

        Considering the ecological importance and population status of important ethnomedicinal species, we recommend the preparation of micro-plans for each important medicinal species, including data on best harvesting practice and quantity to be harvested. Most of this data is unknown for most medicinal plants. Propagation of plants using tissue culture techniques and conventional methods to allow for their transplantation into natural habitats and niche areas of the species will be an important step towards their conservation. Additional ecological studies, including population assessments using standard ecological methods are needed to effectively plan the conservation and management for threatened, rare and endangered species. The development of agro-production techniques for certain species of Garhwal Himalaya can help to meet the requirement of raw material for commercial use and reduce the pressure on the existing populations in natural habitats.

        Declarations

        Acknowledgments

        The authors are thankful to the villagers of the study area to provide valuable knowledge about ethnomedicinal plants. Authors are also thankful to Dr Prashant Pusalkar (BSI) and Dr R. M. Panuli (GUH) for their help in identification of the plants specimen.

        Authors’ Affiliations

        (1)
        Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, H.N.B, Garhwal University
        (2)
        William L. Brown Center, Missouri Botanical Garden

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