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Table 1 Inventory of vertebrate species used for medicinal purposes by members of Nyishi (N) and Galo (G) tribes in Arunachal Pradesh (N E India)

From: Vertebrates used for medicinal purposes by members of the Nyishi and Galo tribes in Arunachal Pradesh (North-East India)

  Common names Vernacular name Scientific name Used by N or G Parts used Indication Prescription Uses elsewhere in India
Fish
1 Eel Ngub (G,N) Anguilla sp. N & G Body mucus Burns Body mucus to be applied on burn areas of the body Fresh blood is drunk to treat asthma and general weakness by Ao tribe of Nagaland [49].
2 Fresh water fishes Ngui (N) Semiplotus sp., Labeo rohita N Stomach & gut Stomach ache & digestive problems Intestines & stomach are smoked in fire, mixed with salt and taken with rice 2-3 times a day. Also taken as a preventive measure. Cervical vertebra of L. rohita are used in urine blockage problem by the Saharia of Rajasthan [67].
3 Gangetic goonch Nguri (G) Bagarius bagarius G Fins, bones Body burns, Stomach pain Smoked dried bones/fins are burnt to ash and applied on burnt portion twice a day. A pinch of ash is taken along with water. ---
4 Catfish Ngui (G) Amblyceps sp. G Bones Body burns. The cooked fish bones are burnt to ash and applied to the burn or wound until healing is observed. The ashes can be preserved for further use. ---
5 Ballitora minnow Ngoka ngui (N) Nyoka pagra (G) Psilorhynchus ballitora N & G Whole body Diarrhoea Smoked, dried fish is eaten ---
6 Kingfish + earthworm Ngui + tadar (N) Semiplotus sp.+ Pheretima sp. N Whole body Smallpox Cooked with fish and fed to the children suffering from smallpox ---
Amphibia
7 Frog Taker (N) Rana sp. N Whole body Wound healing Live crushed frog is applied to wounds from insect bites (must be carried out near fire place) twice a day. Skin is used for wound healing by Ao tribe of Nagaland [49].
Flesh is used for wound healing by Irular, Mudugar, Kurumber of Western Ghat Kerala [60].
Reptiles
8 Python Burum (G,N) Python molurus N & G Body fats Massage for joint pain Fats are stored in bamboo containers and used in body massage to cure joint pain. Similar fat used for treatment of rheumatic pain, toothache by Irular, Mudugar, Kurumber tribes of Western Ghat Kerala [60]. But, fried meat is used to improve eyesight while snake's slough is used for cattle by Garasiya people of Rajasthan [21]. Fat is reported in treatments of leprosy by tribal populations of Tamil Nadu [61].
9 Cobra Tabih (G) Naja sp. G Flesh 1. Preventive
2. Foot and mouth disease of cattle
3. Magical
1. Cooked meat is taken as preventive measure for common diseases like colds, flues and epidemics.
2. Raw meat is crushed with little salt and fed to cattle suffering from foot and mouth disease.
3. Taking snake meet keeps away from evil spirits.
Meat is believed to improve eye sight & facilitates urination. Similar use in foot and mouth disease of cattle but tribes like Koya, Guthikoya, Lambada, Mala of Andhra Pradesh use skin unlike raw meat in [59]. Slough is used to decorate the home and as well in worship by Garasiya people of Rajasthan [21].
10 Monitor lizard Horkek(G) Baminsopin (N) Varanus bengalensis N & G Flesh Cough, fever Flesh boiled and taken whenever available as a preventive measure for coughs and fevers. Meat promotes strength and vitality and fat used for joint pain by Koya, Guthikoya, Lambada, Mala tribes of Andhra Pradesh [59]. Skin and fat used for treating piles, rheumatism, body pain by Ao tribe of Nagaland [49]. Fat is used for massage to treat arthritis by Irular, Mudugar, Kurumber tribes of Western Ghat Kerala [60]. Cooked flesh is eaten by Garasiya people of Rajasthan to promote body stamina [21]. Oil is used for back pain [68]. Flesh is used to treat arthritis by tribals of Tamil Nadu [61].
Birds
11 Hornbills:
1. Necked
2.Weathered
3. Great
4. Pied
Poe, Paga (N,G) 1. Aceros nipalensis,
2. A. undulatus
3. Buceros bicornis,
4.Anthracoceros albirostris
N & G Fats, . Body massage to ease body pains Stored fats are commonly used for massaging aching body parts. Cooked flesh is used for the treatment of rheumatic pain by Irular, Mudugar, Kurumber tribes of Western Ghat Kerala [60].
12 Crow Pa (N) Pak (G) Corvus splendens N & G Flesh Stomach disorder Dried meat is taken to minimize stomach upsets.
Meat fed to children improves their intelligence.
Flesh is used for treatment of rheumatism, paralysis, earache by Ao tribe of Nagaland [49]. Fat is used to treat smallpox & malaria by Mompa tribe of Arunachal Pradesh [27]. Meat cooked in mustered oil is used for leucoderma by Irular, Mudugar, Kurumber tribes of Western Ghat Kerla [60]. Excreta are topically applied to cure blisters by Garasiya people of Rajasthan [21]. Flesh is traditional medicine for whooping cough by Kachch of Gujrat [69] and anaemia in tribals of Tamil Nadu [61].
13 Eagle Kyokam (N) Spilornis cheela N Fat and feathers Burns, wounds body sprains Oil applied locally and wounds covered by feathers. Fat is used to treat sprains & burns by Ao Nagas [49], but malaria & typhoid by Arunachal Pradesh's Mompas [27].
14 Owl Puptal (G) Bubo nipalensis B. bubo G Flesh Maleness (malevolency) Smoked flesh is taken Owls are of importance in the zootherapeutic treatments, but the species differ in different parts of the country. Similar use: Meat of Strixaluca nivicola (owl) promotes strength & vitality as used by Koya, Guthikoya, Lambada, Mala tribes of Andhra Pradesh [59] and Shoka people of Uttaranchal [70], but wings of Otus bakkamoena burnt and inhaled in order to reduce stomachache by Garasiya of Rajasthan [21].
Mammals
15 Mithun Sobo (G) Sebe (N) Bos frontalis N & G Gall bladder, testicles. 1. Dysentery, Coughs & fever
2. Lactation of mother
1. Gall bladder is filled with rice powder and tied properly and smoked dry. A pinch of it is cooked with rice and taken until disease is cured.
2. A pinch of smoked, dry testes is cooked and fed twice a day to a mother who is secreting less milk than expected after delivery.
Penis is used to treat skin disease, breast pain of lactating mother by Ao tribe of Nagaland [49]; also reported from Arunachal Pradesh [26].
16 Goat Sabing (N) Capra hircus N Gall bladder & frontal bone. Fever & early pregnancy pain, stomach ache The frontal bone is burnt and taken in pinches mixed with boiled water 2-3 times a day to minimize fever and early pregnancy pain. Gall bladder is cooked with rice and taken for stomach ache. Meat is reported to stimulate digestion among tribes like Koya, Guthikoya, Lambada, Mala of Andhra Pradesh [59]. Soup of leg bone is used to cure weakness; urine is used for tuberculosis by Saharia tribe of Rajasthan [67]. Urine of Capra sibirica is used to treat asthma by Ao tribe of Nagaland [49].
17 Rat Kojak (N) Rattus sp. N Whole body To minimize pain after conception Whole body is burnt and crushed or powdered, taken with rice as a painkiller after conception (early pregnancy). ---
18 Mole Kor tab (N) Talpa sp. N Flesh Tuberculosis Flesh/Meat is cooked and eaten in order to cure tuberculosis. Flesh is used for asthma by Ao tribe of Nagaland [49].
19 Fox Siyali (N) Vulpes bengalensis, Canis aureus N Flesh Tuberculosis Meat is boiled or roasted and taken. Fat is used for rheumatism, skin disease by Irular, Mudugar, Kurumber tribes of Western Ghat Kerala [60].
20 Wolf Sarchi (N) Canis lupus N Skin Coughs & fevers, epidemics Skin (whenever available) is burnt and taken in pinches as a preventive measure. Meat is used to cure asthma, paralysis & arthritis by Koya, Guthikoya, Lambada, Mala of Andhra Pradesh [59].
21 Porcupine Sihi (N) Hoi (G) Hystrix sp. N & G Gall bladder, stomach & intestines, flesh Diarrhoea, gastritis, tuberculosis 1. Gall bladder, stomach and intestines (whenever available) are boiled and taken with rice as a preventive measure for diarrhoea and gastritis. 2. The meat and stomach portions are cooked and fed to a person suffering from tuberculosis. Similar use: Dried stomach & intestine used for digestive disorders by Koya, Guthikoya, Lambada, Mala of Andhra Pradesh [59]; bile for dysentery by Ao tribe of Nagaland [49]; boiled flesh for stomachache, piles, breathing trouble by Irular, Mudugar, Kurumber of Western Ghat Kerala [60]; boiled gut content is used to treat stomachache, indigestion and coughs and colds by tribals in Arunachal Pradesh [26].
22 Pangolin Hosik(G) Manis pentadactyla G Nails Boils For piercing the boils (assumed antiseptic property) ---
23 Mongoose Sanf sakyo (N) Herpestes javanicus N Whole body Preventive measure for any disease Roasted or boiled and taken as a preventive measure to avoid diseases. Properly cooked penis is used to treat impotence by males of Ao tribe in Nagaland [49].
24 Deer Hudum, hocher (G) Sudum (N) Moschus chrysogaster, M. moschiferus N & G Gall bladder, fresh blood umbilicus Malaria, diarrhoea, Fevers, stomach upset, body immunity, tuberculosis Rice is cooked with fresh gall bladder and 100-200 g are taken once a day till some improvement is seen. A pinch of smoke dried umbilicus is mixed in 1/2 litre boiled water and fed to the patient till disease is cured (same prescription for all indications). Boiled blood is taken as food and considered to improve body immunity. Similar: Musk is used to cure malaria, heart ailments and to promote immunity to lactating mothers by Koya, Guthikoya, Lambada, Mala of Andhra Pradesh [59]; malaria, diarrhoea by Mompa of Arunachal Pradesh [27].
25 Sambar deer Hudum (G) Cervus unicolor G Horn Bursting open boils Crushed horn particles added with very little salt and are used for bursting off boils. Fat: massaged in cases of asthma & rheumatism by Irular, Mudugar, Kurumber tribes of Western Ghat Kerala [60]. Paste of antler to treat herpes by Saharia tribe of Rajasthan [67], the same prescription applied directly on the stomach by Garasiya people of Rajasthan for treatment of stomach ache [21]. Penis is used to treat hydroceles by tribal population of Tamil Nadu [61].
26 Moon bear Black bear Hutum (G) Sutum (N) Ursus thibetanus, Selenarctos thibetanus N & G Gall bladder Malaria, diarrhoea, fever, stomach upsets, other common diseases, body immunity. The bladder is filled with rice powder and smoke dried; a pinch is either mixed with rice or taken directly once a day, till the disease gets minimized. Dosage is same for all. Similarly: Gall bladder of Selenarctos thibetanus is used for treatment of malaria, typhoid and other serious fevers by Mompa of Arunachal Pradesh [27]; same prescription to treat stomach ache and diarrhoea, in Arunachal Pradesh [26] and bile of Selenarctos is used to cure malaria by Ao Nagas [49].
27 Tiger Pate (N) Panthera tigris N Bone and marrow Jaundice Cooked into soup and fed to the patient. Dried bones are used for treating rheumatic and other body pain by Mompa of Arunachal Pradesh [27]. Flesh and fat are used for treatment of leprosy by tribal population of Tamil Nadu [61].
28 Clouded leopard Common leopard Hogya (N) Neofelis nebulosa, Panthera pardus N Bone marrow Body pains Bone marrows are preserved in bamboo cups and used for body massaging Fat is used as massage for body pain by Koya, Guthikoya, Lambada, Mala tribes of Andhra Pradesh [59] instead of bone marrow. Flesh is used for treating typhoid, malaria, rheumatic pain by Mompa of Arunachal Pradesh [27].