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Table 2 Plant species used for curing different ailments by the Lepcha tribe of Dzongu valley in North Sikkim, India

From: Ethnomedicinal plant use by Lepcha tribe of Dzongu valley, bordering Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve, in North Sikkim, India

S. No. Botanical Name Family Parts used and the methods
1 Abies densa Griff. Abietaceae Fresh leaves Juice is taken orally to relieve stomach pain and fever.
2 Aconitum ferox Wall ex Ser. Ra nunculaceae Rhizome, extremely poisonous, is detoxified by continuous boiling with water for 24 hours or more and then cut into small pieces and dried. Dried pieces are chewed to cure cough, fever, skin diseases and to relieve gout pain.
3 Aconitum heterophyllum Ranunculaceae Rhizome is dried up and taken to relieve body-ache, fever, cold, cough, nose discharge etc.
4 Aconitum spicatum Stapf. Ranunculaceae Rhizome is detoxified by non-stop boiling with water at least for 24 hours, and cut into small pieces and dried, and chewed in case of food poisoning, diarrhoea, cough, inflammation of intestine. Dried rhizome is powdered and consumed to relieve body pain, ear and nose discharge.
5 Acorus calamus Linn. Araceae External application of rhizome paste cures skin diseases and on the forehead in case of fever. Small piece of dried rhizome is taken curing distressing cough. Dried cut piece is given to child for speech clarity or to stammering child.
6 Aesandra butyracea (Roxb.) Baehni Sapotaceae Fruit juice applied on the body before sleeping to soften skin; fruit edible.
7 Ageratum conyzoides Linn. Asteraceae Leaf juice is applied externally to heal surface wounds. Decoction of herb is also given to cure stomach ailments such as diarrhoea, dysentery and intestinal colic with flatulence
8 Allium cepa Linn. Liliaceae Eating raw bulbs eaten raw reduces fever acting as cooling agent.
9 Allium sativum Linn. Liliaceae Raw bulbs are taken in case of indigestion and altitude sickness. Bulb paste cures skin diseases, and the bulb juice is poured in the ear to treat earache. Bulb fried with mushroom act as antidote on snake bite. To drive the snake away from the vicinity of the house during summer months, the rhizome is crushed to mix into with water to sprinkle around the house.
10 Amaranthus tricolour Linn. Amaranthaceae Curry prepared from green leaves stops diarrhoea. Seeds grounded into powder, mixed with water and taken as an infusion to cure general gastric problems. Beaten seeds are fried with butter and fed to pregnant women to lessen pregnancy pains.
11 Amomum subulatum Roxb. Zingeberaceae Gargle with seed decoction with water, is used to treat teeth and gum infection. Pounded root mixed with water treats urinary infection in cattle.
12 Ampelocissus sikkimensis (Laws) Planch. Vitaceae Plant juice cures sores in mouth and tongue of an infant, and treats foot and mouth disease in cattle.
13 Artemesia vulgaris Linn. Asteraceae Crushed leaves inserted in the nose stop bleeding. Water, mixed with crushed leaves, in taking bath prevents and cures allergy. Raw leaves chewed are good for mouth ulcer; also find uses in rituals.
14 Bauhinia variegata Linn. Caesalpiniaceae Dried buds are chewed to cure ulcers and bleeding piles. During toothache bark juice is taken in the form of tonic.
15 Bergenia ciliata (Haw.) Sternb. Saxifragaceae Crushed rhizome is tied around the fractured bone to heal; the paste is applied on the cuts and wounds.
16 Bischofia javanica Blume Bischofiaceae Chewing raw leaves treat sore throat. Drinking bark cure diarrhoea.
17 Brassica campestris Linn. Brassicaceae Seed oil is applied to wounds to speed up healing and prevent infection. Oil applied on forehead relieves headache. To keep hair black and healthy, the oil is applied with massage.
18 Calamus macracanthus T. Anders. Arecaceae Juice of crushed leaves used as eye drop cures eye infection and other eye diseases.
19 Canna indica Linn. Cannaceae Edible rhizome is boiled and taken during fever.
20 Cannabis sativa Linn. Urticaceae Pounded seeds mixed with water taken in very minute quantity during severe body pain; the leaves given to cattle in flatulence.
21 Carica papaya Linn. Caricaceae Raw fruit is crushed, squeezed and the milky extract given to females for aborting unwanted pregnancy.
22 Cedrela toona Roxb. Meliaceae Bark is crushed and the paste is applied to cure ulcers. Flower is chewed to promote menstrual discharge in females.
23 Celastrus paniculatus Willd. Celastraceae Seed paste is applied in case of skin irritation/allergy; good for gout.
24 Cinnamomum tamala (Buch.-Ham.) Nees. & Eberm. Lauraceae Leaves are rubbed on the body surface of the scabies affected person.
25 Cissampelos pareira L. Menispermaceae Plant extract is given to treat diarrhoea, dysentery, indigestion and urinary disorders. Root is used as antidote. Leaves applied on wounds heal and cure stomach pain.
26 Citrus aurantofolia Christum Rutaceae Root powder mixed with water kills stomach worms. Fruit prevent vomiting sensation. Pounded leaves and seeds relive stomach ache in cattle.
27 Citrus medica Linn. Rutaceae Chewing dried fruit skin helps preventing dysentery. Fruit is good for indigestion. Roots are tied together along with a copper coin and placed in women's naval during child birth, which is believed to expedite the expulsion of the placenta after child birth.
28 Citrus reticulata Blanco. Rutaceae Juice by squeezing fruit skin is applied into the eyes to cure eye problems; dried fruit skin chewed to treat stomachache, tonsillitis, fever, and headache.
29 Clematis buchananiana DC Ranunculaceae Juice extracted by crushing fresh roots is inhaled, for having strong smell, to treat sinusitis and headache.
30 Colocasia antiquorum var. esculenta Linn. Araceae Juice of crushed roots and leaves is applied on warts. Corms are eaten as vegetable. Fresh leaves and rhizomes are used to stimulate lactation in cows.
31 Coriandum sativum Linn. Apiaceae Shoot is chewed raw to expel gas and bowel, helpful in digestion; mixed with Fenugreek and Thyme taken along with tea relieves stomach pain.
32 Costus speciosus Smith. Zingeberaceae Rhizome mixed with sugar used to treat veneral diseases; being pungent, it is used as a substitute to zinger. Juice taken before breakfast cures urinary tract infections.
33 Cucurbita pepo Linn. Cucurbitaceae Seed powder taken with water acts as vermifuge. Fresh leaf paste acts as a soothing agent if applied on the burn portion. Ripen fruits cure jaundice.
34 Curcuma aromatica Salisb. Zingeberaceae Rhizome powder taken with water relieves nausea, stomachache and expels gas.
35 Curcuma caesia Roxb. Zingeberaceae Fresh rhizome is eaten raw to expel gas.
36 Curcuma longa Linn. Zingeberaceae Drinking water boiled with root cures throat pain, cold, cough and fever.
37 Curcuma zedoaria Roxb. Zingeberaceae Fresh rhizome paste is applied externally to cure skin diseases. Rhizome eaten raw cures diarrhoea and colic, and helps in digestion
38 Cynodon dactylon (Linn.) Pers. Poaceae Crushed root juice is taken to relieve piles. Root paste applied heals cuts and wounds. Boiled leaf and root juice help in treating diarrhoea and dysentery.
39 Daphne cannabina Wall. Thymelaeaceae Root is crushed and the boiled juice is given during food poisoning. Raw leaves are fed to baby goats during diarrhoea and fever. Traditional paper is made from the bark and the stalks are used to weave mats.
40 Datura fastuosa Linn. Solanaceae In case of rabid dog bite, seed eaten raw in very minute quantity. To treat asthmatic fits, smoke from burnt leaves is inhaled.
41 Dicentra thelictrifolia (Wall) Hk.f & Th. Fumariaceae Taking water boiled with crushed root stops excessive bleeding in females.
42 Dichroa febrifuga Lour. Hydrangeaceae Leaf powder is taken during fever. Ink is prepared from berries.
43 Dillenia indica Linn. Dilleniaceae Fruit juice mixed with sugar and water is taken to treat fever. Fruit helps to relieve constipation. Leaves are used to treat dysentery.
44 Diplazium polypodioides Bl. Filices Eating fresh and dry root helps stop dysentery.
45 Disocorea alata Linn. Dioscoreaceae To relieve throat pain, rhizome is eaten raw.
46 Drymeria cordata Willd. ex Roem & Schult. Caryophyllaceae The plant is warmed while wrapped in a cloth and emanating vapour inhaled in the case of sinusitis and nose blockade. Also, it is a remedy for headache. To relive sore throat pain, fever and headache, the plant either eaten raw or cooked.
47 Eleusine coracana Linn. Poaceae Fermented seeds are taken with traditional drink as medicine during bodyache due to exhaustion. It is also given to the gastric patients.
48 Entada pursaetha ssp.sinohimalensis Grierson & Long Mimosaceae Juice or paste of crushed bark is applied externally to cure skin diseases. Paste of seeds is applied to cure mumps. Seed powder is mixed with water for cleansing hair, and has an anti-dandruff agent.
49 Equisetum debile Roxb. Ex Vaucher Equisetaceae Juice obtained from crushing aerial part is applied on the fresh wounds, nose bleeding etc. to clot blood.
50 Eupatorium cannabinum Linn. Asteraceae Juice obtained through crushing fresh leaves and tender shoots is applied to cuts, and the remains are placed over the wounds to stop bleeding immediately and this is highly effective in the prevention of infection further.
51 Euphorbia pulcherrima Linn. Euphorbiaceae Plant latex is applied on the toothache site to relive pain; this need great care as the latex is allergic.
52 Evodia fraxinifolia Hook. f. Rutaceae Ripe fruit is boiled to crush and the paste is applied on the forehead during giddiness; chewing raw or dried fruit treat indigestion. Fruits are also used to make chutney.
53 Fagophyrum esculentum Moench Polygonaceae Powdered grains are baked into chapattis (Bread) and given to treat diarrhoea.
54 Ficus cunia Ham. Moraceae The latex is applied externally to reduce boils.
55 Ficus hirta Vahl. Moraceae Root decoction treats food poisoning.
56 Ficus religiosa Linn. Moraceae Water extract of any plant part is given during burning sensation of the genitals. Bark soaked in water and the water is taken to stop vomiting. Fruit juice is used in to treat cracked feet.
57 Gouania leptostachya DC Rhamnaceae Past of leaves is applied to cure sores and inflammation.
58 Helianthus annus Linn. Asteraceae Root decoction as a gargle relieves toothache; dried flower chewed cures ulcers, fever, cough and cold. Leaves crushed and mixed with water and taken bath cures Allergy and skin diseases are treated taking bath with leaves crushed into water.
59 Heracleum wallichii DC. Apiaceae Dried fruits are chewed to treat sinusitis and influenza. Root juice is taken to cure diarrhoea; seeds are locally used as chatni.
60 Hibiscus esculentus Linn. Malvaceae Fruit mucilage acts as soothing agent on cuts.
61 Holarrhena antidysenterica Wallich Apocynaceae Powder of barks, seeds and leaves is taken with water helpful in in dysentery.
62 Hordeum vulgare Linn. Poaceae Gruel is made by the powdered grains and given in case of painful indigestion. Barley water with honey is prescribed in bronchial coughs.
63 Hydrocotyle asiatica Linn. Apiaceae Fresh plant parts crushed and ingested orally cure sores of throat and lungs. Leaf juice is used as eye drops to cure eye infection. Dressing with leaf paste reduces swelling or and applied in wounds. Juice of shoots treats gastritis and constipation.
64 Juglan regia Linn. Juglandaceae Fresh bark juice is taken to remove worms from the stomach. Bark and leaves crush act as a fish poison. The nuts are eaten. The shell of the fruit when crushed gives out black color which was used previously to paint the door and the windows.
65 Kaempferia sikkimensis (King ex Baker) K. Larsen Zingeberaceae Poultice formed from crushed bulbs is applied to heal bone fractures, dislocation and wounds.
66 Lantana camara Linn. Verbinaceae The juice of crushed leaves is applied to the fresh cut and wounds to heal. Crushed leaves are tied over the sprain to relieve pain.
67 Leea macrophylla Roxb. Leeaceae Seeds are wrapped, as small pack, in a cloth and tied around the neck of the children, which is believed to cure stomach pain. Also, the seeds are chewed to treat viral fever.
68 Lindera neesiana (Wall ex Nees) Kurtz. Myrsinaceae Seeds crushed and taken with water stops vomiting sensation.
69 Litsea citrata Blume Lauraceae Fruits are chewed to treat stomach disorders, headache; also used in making chutney.
70 Lobelia angulata Forst. Lobeliaceae Whole plant is boiled and given in case of throat pain and fever. Tender shoot is smashed and the juice is applied externally to treat boils and inflammation.
71 Luffa aegyptiaca Mill. ex Hook. f. Cucurbitaceae Juice of leaves cures conjunctivitis. Tender fruit is taken as vegetable. The course sponge of mature fruit is used as a bath scrub.
72 Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. Solanaceae Raw fruit is taken during indigestion and to prevent bleeding from the gums.
73 Marsdenia roylei Wight. Asclepiadaceae Decoction of unripe fruit, root and leaf is to relieve burning sensation in the genitals.
74 Mentha arvensis Linn. Lamiaceae Raw leaves chewed help to check stomach related disorders: gastritis, acidity, indigestion etc., also used to flavour chutney.
75 Mimosa pudica Linn. Mimosaceae Decoction of roots is helpful to control piles; root paste is applied externally to cure boils.
76 Momordica charantia Linn. Cucurbitaceae Fruit juice is good for diabetics; juice acts as blood purifier. Juice of tender shoot or root is applied at the point of snake bite.
77 Morus indica Linn. Moraceae Bark and leaf decoction cures sore throat; fruit is edible and cures throat infection and swelling. Seed extract is applied to heal foot cracks.
78 Mucuna marcrocarpa Wallich Fabaceae Seed powder taken with water helps remove round worm from stomach.
79 Musa paradisiacal Linn. Musaceae Person suffering from fever is advised to drink sap released from the plant directly.
80 Mussaenda frondosa Linn. Rubiaceae Whole plant is boiled and decoction is given to treat fever, asthma and cough.
81 Nasturitium officinale R. Br. Brassicaceae The aerial part decoction is given to relieve body pain; also eaten as salad.
82 Oroxylum indicum (L.) Kurz Bignoniaceae Bark and seeds are powdered and mixed with water, and strained; the concoction is fed to patients suffering from high fever or pneumonia, which believed to restore health or brings down fever. Unbroken pod is also used in rituals.
83 Oxalis corniculata Linn. Geraniaceae Whole plant is chewed raw and the juice acts as an appetizer; also checks boil. Fresh plant decoction taken treats dysentery. Fruit is consumed to lessen throat pain.
84 Paederia scandens Merrill Rubiaceae Dried fruit is powdered and applied over teeth to relieve tooth ache and prevent tooth decay.
85 Pandanus nepalensis St. John Pandanaceae Tying or wrapping up the young and tender leaves from upper part of the stem on the surface act as an antidote to snake poison/bite. It may also be chewed as breath sweetener. Fresh leaves act as cockroach repellant. Leaves are used for making mats, carry bags, fishing bags and for thatching purpose. Fruits are seen being eaten by monkeys and rats.
86 Phyllanthus emblica Linn. Euphorbiacea Fruit is eaten raw to treat cough, diarrhoea, and dysentery.
87 Phytolacca acinosa Roxb. Phytolaecaceae Fresh leaves are boiled and consumed to relieve bodyache and diarrhoea.
88 Picrorhiza kurroaa Benth. Scrophulariceae Dried rhizome is boiled in water and taken to cure fever, cough, etc.
89 Pieris ovalifolia Ericaceae Leaves either crushed or mixed with water are rubbed on the body to reduce inflammation, irritation and allergies.
90 Piper longum Linn. Piperaceae Dried seed powder paste is applied to reduce sprains; the powdered roots are given to treat cold and cough.
91 Plantago eroasa Wallich Plantaginaceae Leaf paste is applied to heal wounds. Seed powder is taken with water treats diarrhoea and dysentery.
92 Polygonum viviparum Linn. Polygonaceae Root juice boiled with water is given in case of fever and stomach upset.
93 Prunus cerasoides D. Don Rosaceae Bark is powdered and applied externally on the fractured bone along with other processs of treatment; fruit is edible.
94 Psidium guajava Linn. Myrtaceae Young leaves and tender shoots taken raw cure mouth ulcers, sore throat, cough, toothache. Drinking bark powder mixed in hot water is best local remedy for dysentery with blood in stool; fruits are edible.
95 Pteris biaurita Pteridaceae Mashed petiole extract applied on the cuts and wounds stop bleeding and infections.
96 Rhododendron arboreum Smith Ericaceae Dried flowers crushed and mixed with water stop excessive bleeding in female. Fresh leaves chewed stop dysentery. Flower petals clear throat choking due to fish or chicken bone.
97 Rhododendron campanulatum D. Don Ericaceae Leaves are chewed and the juice from the crushed leaves relieves cough.
98 Rhus semialata Murr. Anacardiaceae Sour juice of fruits is boiled with water, and concentration is further mixed with water and raw egg, treats diarrhoea and dysentery. It is also used as food preservative.
99 Rubia cordifolia Roxb. ex Fleming Rubiaceae Root decoction with water is given to cure urinary infection; paste is used as an ointment to skin diseases. Root is also used to make dyes.
100 Rubus ellipticus Smith Rosaceae Young shoot is chewed raw to relieve sudden stomach pain. Root decoction given to the children to get rid of stomach warm. Root paste is applied on forehead during severe headache; fruit is edible.
101 Rumax nepalensis Sreng. Polygonaceae Juice prepared by smashing leaves and young shoots is applied to heal wounds. Root is crushed and the juice applied on the scalp prevents hair loss.
102 Saccharum officinarum Poaceae Juice is taken to cure jaundice.
103 Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn. Sapindaceae Scalp is washed with fruit to remove dandruff and lice.
104 Schima wallichii (DC.) Korth. Theaceae Bark is rubbed on the caterpillar infected portion removes its hair.
105 Semecarpus anacardium Linn. f. Anacardiaceae Root paste (poisonous) is applied externally on the affected portion cures skin diseases. Decoction of the bark is given to the animals to treat worms.
106 Solanum khasiana C.B. Clarke. Solanaceae Smoke, through burning the seeds, is directed to the infected teeth to cure toothache and tooth decay.
107 Spermadictyon suaveolens Roxb. Rubiaceae Root paste is applied externally to relieve joint pain.
108 Sphagnum squarrosum Crome Sphagnaceae Hunters and graziers use whole moss for dressing wounds in place of absorbent cotton or gauze. It is also act as an important source of fuel for them.
109 Stephania hernandifolia Walp. Minispermaceae Paste of crushed leaves is applied on the boils for opening; water kept in bulbous root is sprinkled in the poultry farm to prevent from bird flu.
110 Swertia chirayita (Roxb. Ex Flem.) H. Karst. Gentianaceae Juice obtained through boiling the entire plant is taken to cure fever, cold, cough, diarrhoea, and stomach-ache.
111 Thysanolaena maxima Kurtz. Poaceae Root paste applied on boils helps it in opening up faster. Juice from boiled roots used as gargle in case of bad breath and kills worms in stomach on drinking. Broom and roots are tied together along with a copper coin and placed in women's naval during child birth, believed to expedite expulsion of the placenta after child birth. During wedding rituals and Pujas (Prayers) for newly constructed houses, individual stalks or bouquet are placed in several locations around the house to create an auspicious environment.
112 Tupistra nutans Wall. Liliaceae Inflorescence is powdered and mixed with water and taken to relieve body pain.
113 Usnea sikkimensis Parmeliaceae Hunters and graziers use it to bandage surface wounds and skin eruptions or boils. It is inserted in the nostril to stop nose bleeding. Shepard put it in the shoe to prevent or treat blisters.
114 Urtica dioica Linn. Urticaceae Root paste is applied on minor bone fracture and dislocation. Root and seed decoction is taken to treat diarrhoea and cough. Curry, prepared using shoot tips, is given to female during child delivery as their slipperiness is believed to help delivering child. It should not be taken by a person who has been bitten by rabid dogs which is believed to aggravate the problem. Stems are beaten, dried and boiled to make threads and woven into traditional nettle clothing. Spines believed to stimulate milk production, when cows do not lactate, they are believed to be possessed and beaten with nettles for normal lactating. Shamans beat humans during exorcism rituals with nettles in a belief to drive away evil spirits from body; this should not be touched or eaten by family members of deceased person on the day of death. If the decease is one's father or mother, this prohibition remains for one year. Nettle is planted on the child's grave in a belief that the evil spirit of child will not come out to trouble other family members.
115 Valeriana hardwickii Wallich Valarianaceae Extract of crushed roots is taken to treat urine trouble.
116 Viscum articulatum Burm.f. Loranthaceae Paste prepared from the entire dried plant is applied to heal fractured bone, and dislocation.
117 Zanthoxyllum alatum Roxb. Rutaceae Branchlet used as toothbrush to relieve toothache. Berries (2–3) taken to cure stomach ache and toothache. Berries are crushed and rubbed on the leg which acts as leech guard.
118 Zingiber officinale Rose. Zingeberaceae Rhizome is roasted and chewed to treat cough, fever and throat problem.