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Table 4 Ethnobotanical uses of parasitic and mycoheterotrophic plants in the Nepal Central Himalaya

From: An ethnobotanical analysis of parasitic plants (Parijibi) in the Nepal Himalaya

Scientific name and voucher number(s)a Vernacular name(s)b Part(s) used Traditional use(s) Reference(s) Notes on ethnobotanical use(s)
Aeginetia indica L. Ankuri Makuri NP, Kum Kum NP, Puksur NP, Entire Plant Ritual Object Current Study The entire plant is placed in shrines or on alters during Teej festival as a symbol of Shiva and Parvati.
  Gaura Parbata NP   Medicine [26, 89] As medicine, the fresh plant juice is consumed to reduce fever.
Balanophora polyandra Griffith. Ek Lebir NP Entire Plant Ritual Object Current Study Both jhankris and kabres that R. phalloides exhibits particularly potent spiritual properties; however, B. polyandra is also used for a variety of ritual purposes. As a ritual object, both plants are collected on Tuesdays, decorated with turmeric, and kept inside the house. They may be combined with Citrus spp. to combat the evil eye or to ward off spirits. As medicine, the root of B. polyandra is dipped in hot/boiling water and then massaged on the afflicted area. For use as vermicide, the entire plant is ground into paste and diluted, and then consumed for a week.
Rana ARO 41    Medicine  
Rhopalocnemis phalloides Jungh. Ek Lebir NP Entire Plant Ritual Object Current Study
Rana ARO 42     
Boschniakia himalaica Hook. & Thomson ex Hook. Besegano NP, Kangdol TA Entire Plant Ritual Object Current Study The entire plant is placed in shrines or on alters during various festivals, including Teej. The festivals and the blooming time for this species allign.
     [29]
Centranthera cochinchinensis var. nepalensis (D. Don) Merr. Gumteolee NP Entire Plant Fodder [29] The entire plant is an alternative fodder.
Cuscuta chinensis Lam. Aakashjeli NP,Dul-shagTI, Ghu-ghu-sazin TI Entire Plant Medicine Current Study People do not differentiate the use of Cuscuta at the level of the taxonomic classification.
O’Neill Rana ARO 2    Ritual Object [81] Instead, yellow color is the only essential factor considered when harvesting Cuscuta tendrils. As medicine, Cuscuta is used to treat heptatic diseases, including jaundice. Fresh tendrils are washed and ground into paste.
Cuscuta europaea var. indica Engelm. Aakashbeli NP, Drhul-shuck TI, Mhasu Lahara NW, Entire Plant Medicine Current Study, This paste is then mixed with hot water and consumed as a soup (jhol) for as long as symptoms persist.
O’Neill Rana ARO 1, 18 Sati NP   Fodder [29, 80, 90] Variations on this treatment include boiling fresh plants and then inhaling the vapor, or placing Cuscuta tendrils under the patients’ bed to enhance the recovery process. This preparation, particularly as soup, is also used and consumed to treat asthma, body pains, cough, dandruff, diarrhea, gastric pain, headache, stomach disorders, tonsilitis, and urticaria. Some practitioners expose patients’ bodies to plant smoke to reduce swelling. Tibetan groups perscribe this plant to treat reproductive disorder and to increase libido or sex drive.
Cuscuta reflexa var. brachystigma Englem. Aakashbeli NP, Aakashlati TH, Entire Plant Medicine Current Study
O’Neill Rana ARO 39 Amar Lata NP, Amarvel NP, Baora TH   Fodder [91]
Cuscuta reflexa var. reflexa Roxb. Aakashbeli NP, Akasbela NP, Akasbeli NP, Akasebeli RJ, Entire Plant Medicine Current Sudy Cuscuta is also invoked during healing rituals in the Terai as a symbol of Shiva’s hair. In these locations, fresh tendrils are also worn as a protective amulet. Our study also recorded two ethnoveterinary uses in Tamang communities, including as a poultice to treat wounds and as a tonic relieving blood from the urine of bulls (loombhadi). As fodder, only red tendrils are consumed as they are considered to be less bitter.
O’Neill Rana ARO 9, 10, 12, 13, 19 Akashbel NP, Akashbeli NP, Akashabeli NP, Aakashjeli GU, Fodder [19, 29, 3859, 90]
  Akashe Lahara MA, Amar Lata NP/LI, Amarlathi TH, Ritual Object  
  Amaruela SN, Asparsa SN, Baora TH,    
  Bimfang-gummu-bidong ME, Chimchimpona LI,    
  Chhoti Hadjori TH, Janailaharo NP, Piyari TH,    
  Sewanli TH, Taarghey TA, Ur-lang-du TA, UrlaraTA   
Dendrophthoe falcata (L.f.) Etting. Ainjeru NP, Ajeru NP, Banda NP,Rhiniya MO/NP, Aerial Parts Medicine Current Study Practitioners grind leaves into a paste to treat dermic conditions, including rashes, pus, and boils.
O’Neill Rana ARO 14 Mandargon Banda SA, Nihi TA Fruit Food [29, 41, 6069] Pulverated bark paste is also used as an abortifacient and to correct menstural problems. When combined with other plants, the paste can be used to treat fractures. Children consume its sweet fruit, which is also considered to be antiseptic. Leaves may be combined with Urtica doica to treat bone fractures.
Dendrophthoe pentandra (L.) Miquel. Ainjeru NP Entire Plant Fodder Current Study The entire plant is an alternative fodder.
O’Neill Rana ARO 11      
Eulophia dabia (D. Don) Hoch. Amrita Panktikanda NP, Hatti Paila NP, Mujjatak SN Entire Plant Medicine, Food [7073] As medicine, leaf paste is considered to be a vermicide. The fruit is considered edible.
Eulophia spectabilis (Dennst.) Suresh Amarkand NP Entire Plant Medicine, Food [69] As medicine, leaf paste is considered to be a vermicide. The fruit is considered edible.
Euphrasia himalayica Wettst. Hare NP, Mendosan NP Entire Plant Ritual Object [29, 73] Dried bark powder is burned as a ritual incense.
   Inflorescence    
Helixanthera ligustrina (Wall.) Danser Ainjheru MA, Bhringe GU, Lisso NP Entire Plant Medicine Current Study As medicine, leaf paste is considered to be a vermicide. The fruit is considered edible.
O’Neill Rana ARO 21, 22   Fruit Food [29, 62, 65, 68]  
Helixanthera parasitica Lour. Lisso NP Entire Plant Fodder Current Study The entire plant is an alternative fodder.
O’Neill Rana ARO 29     [71, 74, 75]  
Loranthus lambertianus Schult. Lisso NP Entire Plant Fodder [71] The entire plant is an alternative fodder.
O’Neill Rana ARO 30      
Loranthus odoratus Wall. Ainjeru NP, Donglanais TA, Khik RA Entire Plant Medicine, Material, Current Study Fruit commonly ingested for its laxative and to treat gastric problems. Masticated fruit placed is used in Tamang communities to catch birds, particularly in winter.
O’Neill Rana ARO 5    Food [26, 62, 7577]
Macrosolen cochinchinensis (Lour.) Tiegh Ainjeru NP Entire Plant Medicine Current Study As medicine, leaf paste is consumed to relieve migranes.
O’Neill Rana ARO 7    Fodder [62, 78]  
Orobanche aegyptiaca Pers. Nil jhar NP, Thokaa TH, Thokaraa TH Seed Material Current Study Projectile seeds are used as toys in the Terai.
Rana ARO 43     [29]  
Orobanche alba Steph. ex Willd. Ngoh Droh-shang-tzey TI, Juphal NP Entire Plant Medicine [71] Pulverized root tissue is applied to burns and scalding wounds and the whole plant is used to relieve vertebrae, waist, and/or leg pain, increase appetite, and heighten the senses.
   Root   
Osyris quadripartita Salzm. ex Decne. Nundhiki NP Leaf Medicine [58, 68] Leaf poultice is used to reduce inflammation, and is also valued as a powerful emetic.
Osyris wightiana Wall. ex Wight Bakhre Kursani NP, Huri NP, Jhyalala TA, Aerial Parts Medicine [29, 7981] Whole plant paste is used to reduce inflammation and sprains. Pulverized bark is used to treat indigestion, young, dried leaves can be consumed as tea substitute.
  Nundhiki NP, Nundhikya NP, Reskap Sang KH   Food  
Pedicularis bifida (Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don) Pennell Pennell NW Root Medicine [90] Pulverized root tissue is used to relieve joint pain.
Pedicularis bicornuta Klotzsch. Lukhru Karpo TI Inflorescence Medicine [80] Inflorescence paste is used to treat vaginal and seminal discharges.
Pedicularis gracilis Wall. ex Benth subsp. gracilis Pennell NW Root Medicine [90] Pulverized root tissue is used to relieve joint pain.
Pedicularis oederi Vahl. Phul NP Entire Plant Fodder [82] The entire plant is an alternative fodder.
Pedicularis oliveriana Prain. Lukhru Mhookpo TI Inflorescence Medicine [82] Inflorescence used to reduce inflammation, ease gastric pain or disorders, and treat poisoning.
Pedicularis longiflora Rudolph subsp. tubiformis Lugro Shero GU, Sersenlugdu NP, Sung NP Entire Plant Medicine [29, 83, 84] Entire plant is consumed to treat cough, sore throats, hepatitis, and lymphatic disorders. It is less commonly employed to treat poisioning, seminal/vaginal discharges, and disorders associated with alcoholism.
(Klotzsch) Tsoong Lugru Serpo TI    
Pedicularis punctata Decne. Lukhru Mugpo TI, Mishran SN Inflorescence Medicine [82] Tibetan communities use inflorescence to treat fever, cancers, and premature graying of hair.
Pedicularis pyramidata Pall. ex. Steven L’ang Nah TI Entire Plant Medicine [82] Entire plant is consumed to combat fluid retention, including inflammation of bone and the accumulation of serous fluids.
Pedicularis rhinanthoides Schrenk Phul NP Entire Plant Medicine [82] Entire plant is consumed to treat cough, sore throat, hepatitis, and lymphatic disorders. It is less commonly employed to treat poisioning.
Pedicularis siphonantha D. Don Cheelmootee Swa LI, Muferdudolu LI, Ponki LI Entire Plant Medicine [29, 81, 84] Entire plant is consumed to treat cough, sore throat, hepatitis, and lymphatic disorders. It is less commonly employed to treat poisioning.
  Lugru Marpo TI, Lugru Mugpo TI    
Santalum album L. Chandan NP, Sirkhandaa NP, Sonme Sang KH Aerial Parts Medicine [67, 70, 82] Pulverized root tissue is applied to burns and scalding wounds. Tibetan communities use this plant to treat inflammation of lungs, heart, and muscle tissues. Wood oil is particularly important for treating inflammation.
  Tzenthen Karpo TI   Fodder  
Scurrula elata (Edgeworth) Danser Aaingero NP, Aainjeru NP, Aijeru NP, Aijhery LI, Ainjer NP, Entire Plant Medicine, Fodder, Current Study Entire plant is ground into a paste and used to relieve joint pain and hasten fracture recovery. Fruit is considered to be edible, and is also used for trapping birds.
O’Neill Rana ARO 23, 27, 37 Bhringe GU, Che SA, Khik KH, Lissau NP, Lisso NP, Naie TA Fruit Material [46, 51, 71, 91]
Scurrula parasitica L. Ainjeru NP, Lisso NP Entire Plant Fodder Current Study Fruit is considered edible, and the entire plant is used as fodder. However, some reports detail that shoots induce vomitting and loss of appetite in livestock.
O’Neill Rana ARO 6, 24, 35   Fruit Food [26, 62, 68]
Scurrula pulverulenta (Wall.) G. Don Ainjeru NE/NP, Bhringe GU Entire Plant Medicine Current Study Pulverized bark is boiled in water and consumed to treat heptatic disease. Fruit is considered edible, and is also used for trapping birds.
O’Neill Rana ARO 33   Fruit Fodder [62]
Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze Cange NP Entire Plant Fodder [29] Young stems are considered edible.
   Fruit Food   
Taxillus vestitus (Wall.) Danser Ainjeru NP, Lisso NP Entire Plant Medicine Current Study Plant poultice is used to reduce joint swelling and muscle inflammation.
O’Neill Rana ARO 25    Food [62, 80]  
Taxillus umbellifer (Schult.) Danser Ainjeru NP, Lisso NP Entire Plant Fodder Current Study Fruit is considered edible, and entire plant is sometimes used as fodder. However, shoots are believed to induce vomitting and loss of appetite in livestock.
O’Neill Rana ARO 26   Fruit Food [71]
Viscum album L. Ainjeru NP/CH, Bang TH, Hadchud NP, Hadjor TH, Harchu NW, Entire Plant Medicine Current Study Viscum species, commonly when bearing fruit, are used to treat a variety of musclo-skeletal disorders and affilctions, including fractured or dislocated fingers, limbs, spines. These treatments are considered most effective when plant is combined with Cinnamon bark and leaves (Cinnamomum verum), Nettle root (Girardinia diversifolia),Pinus roxburghii leaves, and ground bear bones. These substances are mixed and ground into a paste, and are applied to said appendage for a minimum of two months. Leaves are also considered useful for treating earaches, spleen disorders, tetanus, epilepsy, and blood diseases. As medicine, the fruit from both plants is considered to be a favorable laxative, aprhodisiac, and cardiotonic. Ripe fruit were also used as a glue when mixed with water, and is particularly effective for trapping parrots. Ethnoveterinary uses include treatment for cattle wounds and bloating. Viscum articulatum is perceived to confer greater medicinal action than V. album.
O’Neill Rana ARO 20 Harchul TA, Harchur NP, Hajoda NE/NP, Harjor GU, Fruit Material [42, 51, 85, 86]
  Gandhamadini SN, Jiwantika SN, Lisso NP, Mecho TA, Fodder  
  Nai TA,Sano Hatchur NP   Food  
Viscum articulatum var. articulatum Burm. Ainjeru NP, HadachurNP, Hadjod NP, Harchu NW, Entire Plant Medicine, Material, Current Study
O’Neill Rana ARO 16, 17 Bojha RA, Gandhmadini SN, Kathkomunjga SA,   Food, Fodder [47, 69, 71]
  Lisso NP    
Viscum articulatum var. liquidambaricolum Burm. F. Ainjeru NP, Hadachur NP, Hadjod NP, Harchu NW, Entire Plant Medicine, Material, Current Study  
O’Neill Rana ARO 3 Bojha RA, Gandhmadini SN, Kathkomunjga SA, Lisso NP Food, Fodder [42]  
  1. aVoucher specimen are deposited at TUCH
  2. b CH, Chepang; GU, Gurung; KH, Khaling; MA, Magar; MO, Moosahar; NP, Nepali; NW, Newar; RA, Rai; SA, Satar; SN, Sanskrit; TA, Tamang; TI, Tibetan; TH, Tharu