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  • Open Access

Regional trade of medicinal plants has facilitated the retention of traditional knowledge: case study in Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan

Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine201915:6

https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-018-0281-0

  • Received: 31 August 2018
  • Accepted: 9 December 2018
  • Published:

Abstract

Background

The ethnic groups in Gilgit-Baltistan have been utilizing local resources in their centuries-old traditional healing system. Most tribes within these ethnic groups still rely on traditional healing systems. We aim to understand the current status, uses, and abundance of medicinal plants, associated traditional knowledge, and trade.

Materials and methods

The study incorporated over 300 local community members (70% men and 30% women) in focused group discussions, semi-structured interviews, and homework assignments for 8th to 12th grade students to document traditional knowledge (TK) in six districts in Northeast Pakistan. We calculated various indices such as informant consensus factor, use value, relative frequency of citation, and CoKriging. These indices, along with repetitively used medicinal plants, were used to analyze differences in studied locations.

Results

Most of the community members still rely on traditional medication in the study areas. However, we found the highest number of medicinal plants used in Skardu and Gilgit compared to other districts and these two districts also represent trade centers and a highly populated area regarding medicinal plants. Results indicate connection amongst the surveyed villages signifying mixing of knowledge from different sources, with certain areas more influenced by traditional Chinese medicine and others more by Ayurveda and Unani.

Conclusion

TK is mostly retained with elder community members; however, those directly linked with market value chain retain rich knowledge on traditional use of the medicinal plants from the region. Major trade centers in the region also coincide with a high density of medicinal plant occurrence, knowledge, and higher utilization. Therefore, with the increasing trade in medicinal plant in the region, there is potential for rejuvenation of this knowledge and of plant use in the region.

Keywords

  • Ethnomedicine
  • Ethnoecology
  • Medicinal plants
  • Traditional knowledge
  • Trade in medicinal plants
  • Gilgit-Baltistan

Introduction

Gilgit-Baltistan, the northeast mountainous region of Pakistan, is outstanding for its rich ethnic diversity [13]. This region is situated in a strategic geographical location that is important as a part of the ancient silk route and its position along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor [35]. For centuries, knowledge exchange has occurred between indigenous dwellers and migrants and peddlers from the southern, northern, and western parts of Asia. Besides, the region is one of the important plant areas in the Himalaya, Karakoram, and Hindukush (HKH) landscape [612]. In the epoch of Anthropocene, as for other parts of the world, this region also experienced problems due to human population growth and associated land use transformation that severely affected both important species and the wider ecosystem [1315]. Still natural resources, especially plant diversity, are very significant for ethnic communities in this mountainous landscape [10, 14, 16, 17]. Plants are the source of energy and food, a building material for houses, and a main component of the health care system as folklore medicine [1827].

There are about 600 species of flowering plants in Pakistan that are utilized as medicinal plants and around 500 of these have global significance and studies available [9, 16, 28]. Around 50,000 traditional healers and informal Pansaris (retailers) are registered in Pakistan who frequently utilize and sell 400–600 plants species for their medicinal, cultural, traditional, and spiritual benefits [2931]. Gilgit-Baltistan, with above 300 reported species of MAPs, is a hotspot for medicinal plants and their utilization in Pakistan [9, 1214, 16, 27, 30, 3241]. With seven districts and an ideal mountainous landscape, this region is naturally suitable for high-value medicinal plants. The local communities have been utilizing this resource for many generations [9, 12, 15, 33, 36, 4245]. Several researchers have previously documented traditionally used medicinal plant from different districts in this region. Shedayi and Gulshan (2012) and Shedayi et al. (2014) in Ghizer district; Khan et al. (2013) and Akhtar et al. (2016) in Hunza; Bano et al. (2014) in Skardu; Khan and Khatoon (2007) and Fahad and Bano (2012) in Gilgit; Abbas et al. (2016) in Baltistan and the contributions of Hussain et al. (2011), Khan et al. (2011), Qureshi et al. (2006), and Ali et al. (2017) are important and noteworthy for the documentation of plant species used locally for medicinal purposes besides reporting on the modes of their uses and diseases targeted/cured through traditional herbal practitioners.

In addition to the utilization of medicinal plants in the traditional healing system, trade in herbal raw material and product is not new in the area. As this region serves as an ancient trade route that connects south Asia with China, Central Asia, and West Asia; trade in medicinal plants and exchange of traditional healing knowledge is very likely. For instance, archeological studies reveal the influence of cultural incursions from the Indian subcontinent, China, Scythia (Eurasia), Transoxiana (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, southern Kyrgyzstan, and southwest Kazakhstan), and Ancient Greece, amongst others on traditional medicinal system [3, 46]. Before the introduction of Islam, the communities in Gilgit-Baltistan were predominantly practicing Buddhism [3, 4650]. The region is recognized for its contributions towards survival and expansion of Ayurveda during the British regime [51]. Hakim Ajmal Khan is a famous Indian physician who worked for the revival of Ayurveda and Unani systems during the British era by establishing an Ayurveda and Unani medical college and a pharmaceutical company besides continuing with his own clinical practice of the systems [52]. Before the region completely came under Dogra Raj of the Kashmir State, Hunza, Gilgit, Nagar, and Ghizer mainly remained under Chinese influence, whereas Skardu, Astore, Ghanche, and Diamer remained under Tibetan influence [3, 46]. Recently, with development of the Karakoram Highway (KKH) and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that follow the ancient Silk Routes [3, 50] in the region, this area has become important junction of trade.

Our research provides the first comparative study for six districts of Gilgit-Baltistan where the influence of Chinese, Ayurveda, Unani, and Tibetan healing systems on folk knowledge has been observed. Traditional knowledge of medicinal plants is often socially integrated through communal learning and intercultural exchange. Medicinal plants in mountainous terrain are known for their distribution in elevation corridors or endemism to a particular locality. We therefore aim to explore the richness of traditional knowledge of medicinal plants, their uses, distribution, and trade in the mountainous region of Gilgit-Baltistan, learn about the knowledge exchange between the old and young generation as well as amongst different communities and localities of the region, and how medicinal systems like Chinese, Ayurveda, Tibetan, and Unani influenced the use of traditional medicine system in the region. We also explore the possible factors behind the general decline in knowledge about medicinal plants, yet the continued use of traditional medicine for treatment of different diseases and how the current markets and market players supplement this phenomenon. We take an inventory of these plants, their use value, and local importance at a regional level and current markets. We also look at how these factors and the influence of different medicinal systems in the region compliment the transfer of knowledge to younger generations and across different ethnicities and locations in the region.

Materials and methods

Study area

Gilgit-Baltistan is located in the far north of Pakistan, with Afghanistan to the north and west, China to the north and east, and India to the south [8]. The seven districts are spread over an area of 72,496 km2. The region is rugged and mountainous, located amongst three of the highest mountain ranges—the Himalayas, the Karakoram, and the Hindukush (HKH) and home to the largest number of glaciers outside the polar region [36, 53, 54].

The study was focused on Gilgit, Hunza, Nagar, Ghizer, Skardu, and Astore Districts of Gilgit-Baltistan. The residents are divided into sub-groups based on their origin as well as their ethno-linguistic clustering (Fig. 1). Yashkun, Sheen/Shinaki, Wakhi (those who migrated from Wakhan), Burushos, Dom, Brokpa, and Balti are the main tribes of the area; some Kashmiris, Kohistani, Mongols, Mughals, Rajas, Pathans, Gujar, Soniwal, Mon, Hor, and Kashgari also reside here [35, 5560]. The majority of Gilgit-Baltistan is sparsely populated with these tribes, but Ghizer is dominated by Burushos; Gilgit, Hunza, and Nagar have Burushos, Sheen, and Yashkun; Diamer and Astore are majorly populated by Sheen, Yashkun, and Kohistani communities; and Skardu and Ghanche are predominantly Mon, Hor, and Mongols [60, 61]. The languages spoken by Burushos, Sheen, and Yashkun are Shina, Burushaski, Wakhi, and Khowar (only Ghizer and parts of Hunza) while the Mongols, Mon, and Hor speak Balti [9, 38, 60, 62].
Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Area map showing vegetative cover, settlements, center of major ethno-linguistic clusters, and surveyed areas in Gilgit-Baltistan

Communities in Gilgit-Baltistan are dependent on agricultural resources and live close to the forest area (Fig. 1). Land cover changes, lack of resource management and sustainable harvesting policies, and political interests at massive scale in the HKH and Pamir mountain ranges have severe and long-lasting impacts on the region [6366]. Medicinal plants and traditional medication have been used for generations for curing different diseases [34, 36, 63, 67]. Since opening of KKH in 1982 [4], markets for local products started to develop, thus exerting pressure on natural resources [33, 68].

Ethnobotanical survey

The study was carried out from January 2017 to May 2018, during which 300+ local community members were approached via focused group discussions (FGDs), semi-structured interviews, and homework assignments for 8th to 12th Grade school and college students. The participants included men and women community members, local traditional health practitioners (THPs), community elders, and wholesalers and retailers of medicinal plants. Following the snowball sampling methodology [6974], a total of 15 FGDs and 240 individual interviews were conducted for data collection. Sixty students were provided with a set of questionnaires to reach their families and understand what kind of plants/herbal remedies are used in the families and how traditional knowledge is preserved within a family. This method was tested in Nepal and was quite effective to document traditional knowledge [75]. Prior permission and consent for data collection and publication was obtained from all the participants. The homework assignments for school students were administered under the supervision of concerned class teachers. Data on age and gender was also acquired from the participants. These methods resulted in data covering an ethnobotanical inventory of plants, part used, therapeutic utilities, the location and timing of acquiring the resource, and the existing markets with trade opportunities. The initial taxonomic identification of medicinal plants was done by a taxonomist in the field [7678] and by cross-referencing photographs, voucher specimens, and the local name of species with previously available material and literature from the study area [9, 35, 41, 79, 80]. Information on local names of plant species, and parts of the plant utilized for different medicinal purposes was recorded. Collected specimens were mounted on herbarium sheets and identified by the taxonomists in the Karakoram International University. The voucher specimens were authenticated through the plant list (www.theplantlist.org), tropicos (www.tropicos.org), and flora of Pakistan (www.efloras.org) and deposited in the herbarium of the Karakoram International University.

Quantitative analysis

We regressed age of participants against the number of species reported by respective age group and people engaged in the trade of medicinal plants during the survey to understand TK in the region. We used CoKriging method [81] to interpolate the number of species recorded and used in various medical conditions from the surveyed locations to recognize section of highest medicinal plant use in the region. Kriging is an advanced geostatistical procedure that generates an estimated surface from a scattered set of points with z values. CoKriging is multivariate extension of Kriging method that uses information from one or more correlated variables measured in the same range. This method is useful in mountainous areas with rugged terrain. This method has been tested and used in tree richness mapping, abundance mapping, and recognizing areas at high risk of species invasion [8183].

We calculated quantitative measures like informant consensus factor (ICF), use value (UV), and relative frequency of citation (RFC) for medicinal plants based on 208 illnesses categorized into 29 ailment groups from each district in the survey. The illnesses were categorized based on a particular part of the body affected or particular illnesses for multiple parts of the body. For example, all kinds of skin illnesses were categorized under skin infections while diseases related to stomach and intestinal disorders were grouped into stomach and intestine category (further detail is available in Additional files 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12). A brief description of the quantitative measures is provided below:

Informant consensus factor (ICF)

The ICF was calculated to find a consensus between participants on the reported treatments for each set of diseases [79, 84, 85]. ICF was calculated using given formula [79, 86, 87];
$$ \mathrm{ICF}=\frac{\left(\mathrm{Nur}-\mathrm{Nt}\right)}{\left(\mathrm{Nur}-1\right)} $$

where Nur indicates the number of use reports for a specific disease category and Nt mentions the number of taxa used for the disease category.

Use value (UV)

Use value determines the quantitative measure for relatively important local plant species [78, 8789]. The use value is calculated using the following formula:
$$ \mathrm{UV}=\frac{\sum \mathrm{Ui}}{N} $$

where∑Ui is the total number of use reports for a given species and N is the total number of participants inquired for the species.

Relative frequency of citation (RCF)

Ethno medicinal data was quantitatively analyzed using RFC which indicated the local importance of medicinal species. The RFC was calculated using given formula [87, 89, 90]:
$$ \mathrm{RFC}=\frac{\mathrm{FC}}{N}\left(0<\mathrm{RFC}<1\right) $$

where FC is the number of participants reporting on the use of a plant species and N is the total number of participants in the survey.

Discriminant analysis (DA)

We used discriminant analysis to delimit the geographical differences of the ethnobotanical knowledge using quantitative measures (viz. UV and RCF), highly used species, and number of treatments. Discriminant function analysis or discriminate analysis (DA) determines naturally occurring groups and the variables responsible for segregating amongst them [9193].

Results and discussion

Demographic features of the participants

More than 300 participants including 70% men and 30% women were interviewed during the survey (Fig. 2). The Yashkun, Sheen/Shinaki, Burushos, Wakhi, and Balti communities approached during the survey possessed good knowledge on medicinal plants use. Although these tribes maintain individual identities representing different parts of the mountainous region, the cross-cultural interactions have led to the growth and diversification of the traditional knowledge. The results from FGDs, HH, and market surveys revealed that regardless of ethnicity, THPs and retailers retain a significant level of information on the medicinal plants of the region, the locations from where the plants can be acquired and the ailments they can be utilized for. Although the participants from the community and THPs provided more extensive information than the retailers, when it came to the question of how to use a certain plant as medicine, the retailers had ample information to share on a higher number of medicinal plants and their general uses (Fig. 3 Fig. 4a). We found that participants above 50 years of age had significant traditional knowledge regarding utilization of medicinal plants. This was evident from the number of species and their uses reported per interview where a higher number of species was reported by participants above 50 years of age. Our results from the linear regression (R2 = 0.65; p < 0.0001) also revealed that number of species reported increase with age of the participant (Fig. 4b). The students responding to homework assignments mostly brought information from women representatives of the household, thus providing relevant information on which plant species are kept at home and used for treating common sicknesses.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2

a Comparison of medicinal plant species highest occurrence and uses in Gilgit-Baltistan region. b Linear regression showing relation of age and number of plant species reported. Legend TK = participants and Trade = retailers and traditional healers

Taxonomic diversity

We documented a total of 231 species representing 141 genera and 61 families (Table 2). Compositae was the most dominant family with 30 (12.9%) species reported, followed by Leguminosae, Lamiacceae, Rosaceae, Polygonaceae, Ranunculaceae, Salicaceae, Apiaceae, and Berberidaceae, with 16 (6.9%), 15 (6.5%), 15 (6.5%), 14 (6.1), 10 (4.3%), 10 (4.3%), 9 (3.9%), and 9 (3.9%) species, respectively. In total, 208 diseases were treated with documented species. The herbaceous flora accounts for 64% of the total reported species followed by shrubs at 20%, trees at 13%, and grasses at 3% (Fig. 5). Figure 6 represents the percentages of uses of different parts of the medicinal plants (further detail is available in Additional files 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 where a comprehensive list of species is provided besides the district level analysis).

During the survey, the participants revealed that medicinal plants are acquired from special locations and at a specific time, i.e., during a FGD in Upper Hunza (Gojal), the participants mentioned that medicinal plants are found both at the village and in pastures, yet the plants from pastures are used for medicinal purposes as those found in villages are not considered effective for medication. This needs to be scientifically verified from the field area, yet cases of same plant species presenting different chemical traits has been a known fact [94, 95].

Occurrence and markets for medicinal plants in Gilgit-Baltistan

Interpolated results revealed that the utilization as well as high occurrence of medicinal plants is mainly concentrated in two locations (Fig. 7). Valleys from Skardu, Gilgit, and Ghizer are reported for the highest number of medicinal plants and their uses. There are no formal markets for medicinal plants in the region [35]. Gilgit and Skardu being the main business hubs serve as main markets for wholesale, retail, and purchase of medicinal plants. Besides, small amounts of the medicinal plants are supplied to bigger markets in Rawalpindi and Lahore by the wholesalers. The market players reported Skardu, Astore, and Gilgit districts as the main suppliers of medicinal plants as well.
Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Section of the highest use and occurrence of medicinal plants and uses in Gilgit-Baltistan region

Participants from the market revealed that most of the large herbal medicine production companies in Pakistan rely on raw materials from Indian Territory representing the same region across the border. Although a clear percentage of product flow was not known, during the market survey, the participants mentioned that the current markets for locally available plants are limited to the small town market centers and partly target markets in big cities like Rawalpindi (10%) and Lahore (10%) with meager shares moving out across the border to China (1–2%). The participants emphasized the involvement of government agencies for sustainable promotion, collection, and utilization of diverse plant resources in the region.

According to the retailers in Gilgit-Baltistan, Thymus linearis, Delphinium brunonianum, Bergenia stracheyi, Saussurea heteromalla, Saussurea lappa, Carthamus tinctorius, Peganum harmala, Rheum emodi, Mentha longifolia, Mentha arvensis, Valeriana wallichii, Berberis lyceum, and Elaeagnus rhamnoides account for the most demanded and utilized species. Although most of the customers were aware of the uses, the retailers had significant knowledge of the plant species they sold. Our survey results revealed that there is a large group of locals in Gilgit-Baltistan who rely on traditional medicine, yet these practices and the knowledge associated with them is rapidly depleting from the region. All the participants included in the survey had used medicinal plants for treating a medical condition at least once in their life. 79.5% of participants reported a transfer of knowledge from family elders. Out of these, 48% were above 50 years, 38% above 40 years while only 13% were below 40 years of age. 29.1% reported learning from community elders, of whom 64% were above 50 years, 32% above 40 years and only 3% below 40 years. 15.6% reported that they had acquired knowledge through interaction with other people, including THPs, plant collectors, and traders from other communities that include 87% above 50 years and 13% above 40 years. 20.1% were not aware of any treatments through medicinal plants which included only 4 and 26% participants above 50 and 40 years of age respectively while 70% of these participants fell below 40 years of age. Our results clearly indicate that the main source of knowledge transfer rests within the family. Yet only 13% of participants below the age of 40 confirmed that they had received such knowledge from within the family. Traditional healers in the community are experts in recognizing and collecting medicinal plants while other community members are not fully aware of the exact timing for collection. This is one of the main reasons why knowledge transfer is mainly through family elders as family secrets are not shared with outsiders. This allows the family to practice special medicinal remedies as well as retain a good image as regular suppliers to the wholesalers, retailers, and THPs in the region. The gradual expansion of trade and an increasing demand for medicinal plants in and outside the region has a positive impact on knowledge sharing. Most of the suppliers involved in the supply chain of medicinal plants represent the age group 40–60 which raises great concern for the future. Those representing the younger age group are either not collecting proper plants at the proper time or are too keen on gaining more financial benefits, thus not taking long-term conservation into account while collecting. This ever increasing gap between the young and old generation is affecting the knowledge transfer mechanism, in combination with over-exploitation and lack of conservation strategies, and the impacts of climatic changes. Such issues have also been observed in other studies [9, 30, 34, 42].

Informant consensus factor (ICF)

The ICF analysis was done separately for each location in order to assess a clearer picture on which diseases stand out at each location and how many plant species are utilized for their treatment. Table 1 includes the ICF values for diseases divided into 29 disease categories from each of the study locations. The table indicates that stomach and intestinal disorders, respiratory disorders, skin infections, internal and external wounds, pain relief, ear, nose and throat disorders, hepatitis, and livestock diseases were the top disease categories reported from all the field sites during the field study. Most of the ailment categories were reported with a high ICF value based on the number of species and their usage reports. This is an indication of homogeneity in responses of the participants from each of the study sites in terms of the medicinal plant species and the modes of their use for addressing a particular disease. The results from ICF values clearly indicate that diseases related to stomach and intestinal disorders; respiratory disorders especially asthma; skin infections; and ear, nose, and throat infections were most common diseases, which is also supported by various publications [13, 18, 41]. Besides, the communities generally rely on medicinal plants for treating different kinds of internal and external wounds [10, 13, 18, 39, 41]. It is also evident that community members owning livestock hugely depend on traditional mode of medication [38].
Table 1

ICF, number of uses, and species used for each disease category

Category of diseases

Central Hunza

Ghizer

Gojal Hunza

Jalalabad

Kargha

Nagar

Skardu

Astore

ICF

Number of use reports

% age of use report

Number of species used

% age of species

ICF

Number of use reports

% age of use report

Number of species used

% age of species

ICF

Number of use reports

% age of use report

Number of species used

% age of species

ICF

Number of use reports

% age of use report

Number of species used

% age of species

ICF

Number of use reports

% age of use report

Number of species used

% age of species

ICF

Number of use reports

% age of use report

Number of species used

% age of species

ICF

Number of use reports

% age of use report

Number of species used

% age of species

ICF

Number of use reports

% age of use report

Number of species used

% age of species

Wounds

0.92

103

4.82

9

5.77

0.93

101

4.12

8

3.85

0.89

48

6.16

6

5.77

0.94

97

3.97

7

4.24

0.89

185

9.36

21

8.71

0.91

139

7.18

13

7.39

0.87

209

9.04

28

9.27

0.89

19

3.85

3

4.23

Skin infections

0.92

163

7.62

14

8.97

0.93

230

9.38

16

7.69

0.89

36

4.62

5

4.81

0.95

256

10.49

15

9.09

0.91

138

6.98

13

5.39

0.90

148

7.64

15

8.52

0.90

222

9.60

24

7.95

0.89

45

9.13

6

8.45

Pain relief

0.95

340

15.90

17

10.90

0.92

227

9.25

18

8.65

0.92

49

6.29

5

4.81

0.94

290

11.88

17

10.30

0.90

199

10.07

20

8.30

0.93

214

11.05

15

8.52

0.89

203

8.78

23

7.62

0.91

23

4.67

3

4.23

Kidney and uterus

0.95

101

4.72

6

3.85

0.90

99

4.04

11

5.29

0.94

19

2.44

2

1.92

0.96

122

5.00

6

3.64

0.86

110

5.56

16

6.64

0.95

118

6.10

7

3.98

0.85

137

5.92

21

6.95

0.89

38

7.71

5

7.04

Diaphoretic

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

1.00

7

0.29

1

0.48

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

1.00

3

0.15

1

0.41

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

Others

0.95

82

3.83

5

3.21

0.93

141

5.75

11

5.29

0.88

70

8.99

9

8.65

0.91

36

1.47

4

2.42

0.89

20

1.01

3

1.24

0.93

110

5.68

10

5.68

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

Cardiac stimulant

1.00

11

0.51

1

0.64

0.91

36

1.47

4

1.92

0.85

14

1.80

3

2.88

0.94

91

3.73

6

3.64

0.85

14

0.71

3

1.24

0.95

20

1.03

2

1.14

0.89

10

0.43

2

0.66

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

Stomach and intestine

0.94

305

14.26

18

11.54

0.93

429

17.49

30

14.42

0.90

126

16.17

14

13.46

0.96

236

9.67

11

6.67

0.90

483

24.43

51

21.16

0.91

271

14.00

24

13.64

0.90

638

27.58

63

20.86

0.87

107

21.70

15

21.13

Asthma/breathing/respiratory/pulmonary

0.93

180

8.42

14

8.97

0.94

261

10.64

17

8.17

0.90

80

10.27

9

8.65

0.94

134

5.49

9

5.45

0.90

145

7.33

15

6.22

0.93

122

6.30

9

5.11

0.86

210

9.08

30

9.93

0.90

68

13.79

8

11.27

Anti-inflammatory

0.92

14

0.65

2

1.28

0.90

62

2.53

7

3.37

0.92

14

1.80

2

1.92

0.91

65

2.66

7

4.24

0.84

51

2.58

9

3.73

0.90

41

2.12

5

2.84

0.83

42

1.82

8

2.65

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

Cancers

1.00

8

0.37

1

0.64

0.93

44

1.79

4

1.92

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

1.00

67

2.74

1

0.61

0.93

41

2.07

4

1.66

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

1.00

5

1.01

1

1.41

Cytoprotective

0.92

50

2.34

5

3.21

0.94

124

5.06

8

3.85

0.88

9

1.16

2

1.92

0.94

122

5.00

8

4.85

0.92

66

3.34

6

2.49

0.92

40

2.07

5

2.84

0.89

20

0.86

3

0.99

1.00

5

1.01

1

1.41

HIV

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

1

0.05

1

0.41

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

Hepatitis

0.90

94

4.39

10

6.41

0.90

50

2.04

6

2.88

0.85

34

4.36

6

5.77

0.92

66

2.70

6

3.64

0.78

38

1.92

9

3.73

0.92

65

3.36

6

3.41

0.85

49

2.12

8

2.65

0.85

41

8.32

7

9.86

Anti-stress/hypertension

0.93

70

3.27

6

3.85

0.93

42

1.71

4

1.92

0.85

14

1.80

3

2.88

0.95

39

1.60

3

1.82

0.87

16

0.81

3

1.24

0.92

40

2.07

4

2.27

0.88

33

1.43

5

1.66

1.00

14

2.84

1

1.41

Hepatoprotective/liver

0.94

19

0.89

2

1.28

0.92

27

1.10

3

1.44

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.91

83

3.40

8

4.85

0.86

23

1.16

4

1.66

0.96

24

1.24

2

1.14

0.81

28

1.21

6

1.99

1.00

4

0.81

1

1.41

Ear, nose, and throat

0.94

211

9.86

14

8.97

0.93

177

7.22

14

6.73

0.90

101

12.97

12

11.54

0.94

266

10.90

17

10.30

0.87

143

7.23

19

7.88

0.95

169

8.73

10

5.68

0.84

139

6.01

24

7.95

0.86

43

8.72

7

9.86

Menses/diseases

0.90

43

2.01

5

3.21

0.88

17

0.69

3

1.44

1.00

5

0.64

1

0.96

0.93

31

1.27

3

1.82

0.90

11

0.56

2

0.83

0.90

50

2.58

6

3.41

0.90

11

0.48

2

0.66

1.00

5

1.01

1

1.41

Brain and nervous disorders

1.00

10

0.47

1

0.64

0.89

28

1.14

4

1.92

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.93

128

5.24

10

6.06

1.00

5

0.25

1

0.41

0.81

17

0.88

4

2.27

0.86

8

0.35

2

0.66

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

Weight loss and fat reduction

0.96

26

1.22

2

1.28

0.86

23

0.94

4

1.92

0.90

11

1.41

2

1.92

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

1.00

7

0.35

1

0.41

0.91

45

2.32

5

2.84

0.89

20

0.86

3

0.99

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

Eye diseases

0.96

26

1.22

2

1.28

0.93

15

0.61

2

0.96

0.88

17

2.18

3

2.88

0.93

28

1.15

3

1.82

0.93

15

0.76

2

0.83

0.94

17

0.88

2

1.14

0.83

25

1.08

5

1.66

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

Diabetes

0.97

32

1.50

2

1.28

0.90

62

2.53

7

3.37

1.00

5

0.64

1

0.96

0.92

39

1.60

4

2.42

0.87

16

0.81

3

1.24

0.90

64

3.31

7

3.98

0.82

29

1.25

6

1.99

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

Teeth and gums

0.92

39

1.82

4

2.56

0.91

35

1.43

4

1.92

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.93

45

1.84

4

2.42

0.85

21

1.06

4

1.66

0.92

26

1.34

3

1.70

0.88

41

1.77

6

1.99

0.88

26

5.27

4

5.63

Blood purifier/diseases

0.93

84

3.93

7

4.49

0.91

131

5.34

13

6.25

0.91

23

2.95

3

2.88

0.95

111

4.55

7

4.24

0.86

64

3.24

10

4.15

0.93

69

3.56

6

3.41

0.87

125

5.40

17

5.63

0.87

31

6.29

5

7.04

Vomiting/nausea/altitude sickness

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

1.00

3

0.39

1

0.96

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

1.00

7

0.36

1

0.57

1.00

7

0.30

1

0.33

1.00

7

1.42

1

1.41

Livestock diseases

0.96

94

4.39

5

3.21

0.92

61

2.49

6

2.88

0.87

76

9.76

11

10.58

0.93

44

1.80

4

2.42

0.89

132

6.68

15

6.22

0.88

75

3.87

10

5.68

0.87

102

4.41

14

4.64

0.91

12

2.43

2

2.82

Sexual diseases/stimulant

1.00

9

0.42

1

0.64

0.94

17

0.69

2

0.96

0.94

19

2.44

2

1.92

0.94

19

0.78

2

1.21

1.00

5

0.25

1

0.41

1.00

4

0.21

1

0.57

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

Hemorrhoids/piles

1.00

7

0.33

1

0.64

1.00

7

0.29

1

0.48

1.00

3

0.39

1

0.96

0.92

14

0.57

2

1.21

0.88

25

1.26

4

1.66

0.94

33

1.70

3

1.70

1.00

5

0.22

1

0.33

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

Maternal health

0.94

18

0.84

2

1.28

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

1.00

3

0.39

1

0.96

1.00

12

0.49

1

0.61

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

1.00

8

0.41

1

0.57

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

0.00

0

0.00

0

0.00

Relative frequency of citation (RFC) and use value (UV)

The RFC and UV values for each plant species were calculated in order to validate the frequency of citation for the species used for different ailment categories. The values were calculated at district level in order to authenticate the local frequency of use. The RFC value is used for verifying the use of a medicinal plant species for different diseases while the UV value is an indication for the relative importance of these species in a particular population [78]. The highest RFC value from all the sites was calculated for Dracocephalum nuristanicum Rech.f. & Edelb. (0.7) followed by Cupressus sempervirens L., Prunella vulgaris L., and Potentilla argyrophylla Wall. ex Lehm., averaged at 0.47 each indicating that these species were highly reported by the participants of the study. RFC directly depends on the number of participants mentioning use of a particular plant (FC); therefore, the abovementioned plants were very commonly used in the study area. The UV values for Amaranthus viridis L. (0.33), Artemisia herba-alba Asso (0.28) and Astragalus zanskarensis Bunge (0.25), and Aconitum violaceum Jacquem. Ex. Stapf (0.25) were the highest averaged from the field sites. The results indicate the usage and reliance on medicinal plants for treatment of multiple diseases. Such reliance on medicinal plants in both humans and livestock are reported from the region [9, 16, 18, 30, 34, 38, 41]. Table 2 includes a list of reported species from all the six districts of Gilgit-Baltistan with their local names, parts used, mode of their utilization, the average values for RFC and UV, number of ailment categories addressed, and the number of uses reported for each of the plant species. Area wise details for each of these species is provided in Additional files 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 while the detailed list of diseases categorized in 29 ailment categories is provided in S12.
Table 2

RFC, UV, number of uses, and ailments of species from each location

S no.

Family

Species

Local name

Part used (Kargha-K, Nagar-N, Skardu-S, Ghizer-Gh, Hunza-H, Astore-A, Gilgit-G)

Mode of use (Kargha-K, Nagar-N, Skardu-S, Ghizer-Gh, Hunza-H, Astore-A, Gilgit-G)

Location (Astore-Astore, Ghizer-Ghizer, Gojal-Gojal, Central Hunza-Hunza, Jalalabad-Jalalabad, Kargha-Kargha, Nagar-Nagar, Skardu-Skardu)

Average of RFC

Average of UV

Ailment categories

No. of use responses

Voucher no.

Previous citation

 

1

Amaranthaceae

Aerva lanata (L.) Juss.

Shutpask

Whole plant

Ash (H, N, K, Gh, A), decoction (S, A, Gh, H, K)

Gojal

0.175

0.214286

3

14

MAS-089

17

 

2

Achyranthes aspera L.

larghaky

Flower

Paste

Kargha

0.2

0.176471

3

17

MAS-238

40, 41

 

3

Chenopodium album L.

Snew, Sheleet, Kunoaw

Leaf (S), whole plant (H, Gh

Paste, infusion, poultice, decoction

Ghizer, Gojal, Hunza, Skardu

0.21875

0.136706

8

59

MAS-121, MAS-153, MAS-457

9, 12, 13, 17, 33, 37

 

4

Dysphania botrys (L.) Mosyakin & Clemants

Khama, Khord

Aerial (K), whole plant (S, H)

Powder, decoction

Gojal, Jalalabad, Skardu

0.194444

0.12619

7

57

MAS-128, MAS-229, MAS-482

35

 

5

Amaranthus viridis L.

Dhimdo

Leaf

Paste, direct

Kargha, Nagar

0.1

0.333333

3

10

MAS-314, MAS-376

14

 

6

Allium humile Kunth

Chung

Bulb

Infusion, direct

Skardu

0.266667

0.176471

3

17

MAS-381

12, 13, 17

 

7

Allium carolinianum DC.

Kachpauk, Booma, Chong

Bulb (K, S, A), leaf, bulb (H)

Paste (S), direct, decoction

Astore, Gojal, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.205

0.22988

21

102

MAS-012, MAS-112, MAS-346, MAS-424

12, 13, 17

 

8

Allium cepa L.

Ghashoo, Xong, Song

Bulb (K), leaf, bulb (S), poultice, bulb (H)

Poultice, decoction, direct (H, S, Gh, N, K), paste (S, A, K, Gh)

Hunza, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.16875

0.202381

9

50

MAS-179, MAS-305, MAS-365, MAS-489

9, 33, 38, 39

 

9

Allium sativum L.

Zgoqpa, Bukpa

Bulb

Direct

Hunza, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.31875

0.110367

11

149

MAS-180, MAS-306, MAS-366, MAS-490

9, 33, 39

 

10

Anacardiaceae

Pistacia mutica Fisch. & C.A.Mey.

Daraaw

Branches

Oil

Hunza

0.2

0.142857

1

7

MAS-137

9, 33

 

11

Pistacia khinjuk stocks

Kakavomn

Galls, resin, wood, leaf

Direct, decoction

Jalalabad

0.175

0.071429

6

84

MAS-203

15

 

12

Apiaceae

Heracleum candicans Wall. ex DC.

Ghang

Leaf

Decoction

Skardu

0.266667

0.071429

1

14

MAS-392

12

 

13

Pimpinella diversifolia DC.

Kohniod

Whole plant

Powder, decoction

Astore, Kargha, Skardu

0.269444

0.15

9

60

MAS-028, MAS-270, MAS-440

13

 

14

Pleurospermum candollei (DC.) C.B. Clarke in Hook. f.

Braqshundun

Whole plant

Decoction

Astore, Skardu

0.35

0.142857

2

14

MAS-037, MAS-449

13

 

15

Angelica glauca Edgew

Choro, Chora

Root (K), stem, seed, root (Gh)

Decoction, powder, direct

Ghizer, Kargha

0.216667

0.166667

10

55

MAS-078, MAS-284

11, 16

 

16

Carum carvi L.

Filizooh, Zera, Hayyo

Seed (K, S), seed, fruit (Gh)

Decoction, powder, direct (Gh)

Ghizer, Kargha, Skardu

0.205556

0.139184

8

66

MAS-084, MAS-290, MAS-472

11, 12, 16

 

17

Daucus carota L.

Phopuce, Jangli, Jut Ghachoon, Ghasoon, Gholafuvi lona

Leaf, seed (H, N), leaf (S)

Direct, decoction

Hunza, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.291667

0.134921

7

57

MAS-181, MAS-307, MAS-367, MAS-491

9, 32, 33

 

18

Coriandrum sativum L.

Ausu, Naski

Seed

Decoction, direct

Hunza, Kargha, Skardu

0.213889

0.119929

4

41

MAS-183, MAS-309, MAS-493

9, 33, 39

 

19

Foeniculum vulgare Mill.

Badian

Fruit (K), seed (S)

Decoction

Kargha, Skardu

0.2375

0.099206

2

25

MAS-326, MAS-511

38, 39

 

20

Heracleum pinnatum C.B. Clarke

Hltireet

Leaf

Direct

Kargha, Skardu

0.295833

0.142857

2

14

MAS-328, MAS-513

39

 

21

Asteraceae

Allardia tomentosa Decne.

Tarkham

Leaf, flower

Grinded

Skardu

0.2

0.230769

3

13

MAS-380

39

 

22

Leontopodium leontopodinum

Naqposhoto

Seed

Decoction

Kargha, Skardu

0.341667

0.098086

4

41

MAS-329, MAS-514

39

 

23

Berberidaceae

Podophyllum emodi Wall. ex Hook.f. & Thomson

Shingoy

Root, rhizome

Decoction

Kargha

0.2

0.2

2

10

MAS-245

11, 53

 

24

Berberis pseudumbellata R.Parker

Ishkeen, Shokurum, Skyurboo

Root, stem, bark (K), whole plant (S), flower, fruit, seed (A)

Decoction, powder

Astore, Jalalabad, Kargha, Skardu

0.325

0.114213

10

111

MAS-019, MAS-220, MAS-261, MAS-431

13, 15, 19, 27, 34, 39

 

25

Berberis lycium Royle

Zolg, Ishkeen, Skyurboo

Root, leaf, seed, bark, fruit, flower (S, K, N), root, leaf, fruit (H), root, leaf, stem, fruit (Gh)

Decoction

Ghizer, Gojal, Hunza, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.322222

0.092532

55

743

MAS-061, MAS-118, MAS-351, MAS-454

9, 14, 16, 17, 32, 33, 34, 37, 38

 

26

Berberis brandisiana Ahrendt

Ishkeen, Ishkenachi

Root, stem, bark

Decoction

Jalalabad, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.33125

0.114998

39

490

MAS-235, MAS-312, MAS-374, MAS-497

15, 34

 

27

Berberis orthobotrys Bien. ex Aitch.

Ishkeen,Skyurboo

Root, stem, bark (K), root, stem (S

Decoction

Jalalabad, Kargha, Skardu

0.341667

0.112444

15

121

MAS-236, MAS-313, MAS-498

15, 34

 

28

Berberis parkeriana C.K.Schneid.

Ishkeen,Skyurboo

Root, stem

Decoction

Kargha, Skardu

0.354167

0.154762

5

33

MAS-317, MAS-502

34

 

29

Berberis stewartiana Jafri

Ishkeen, Shokurum

Root, leaf

Decoction

Kargha, Skardu

0.25

0.224599

6

28

MAS-318, MAS-503

34

 

30

Berberis ulicina Hook.f. & Thomson

Ishkeen, Shokurum

Root, leaf

Decoction

Kargha, Skardu

0.2625

0.204861

5

25

MAS-319, MAS-504

34

 

31

Berberis vulgaris L.

Ishkeen, Shokurum

Fruit (S), leaf, fruit (K)

Decoction, direct

Kargha, Skardu

0.304167

0.154762

6

39

MAS-320, MAS-505

12, 34, 39

 

32

Betulaceae

Betula utilis D.Don

Xuxi, Halli, Jowzee, Furze, Staqpa

Bark, wood (N, K, H), bark (S)

Decoction, direct

Gojal, Hunza, Jalalabad, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.2375

0.099554

13

143

MAS-123, MAS-167, MAS-225, MAS-477

9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 39, 53

 

33

Boraginaceae

Onosma hispida Wall. ex G. Don

Kangmar

Whole plant

Decoction

Astore, Kargha

0.291667

0.162338

5

32

MAS-020, MAS-262

11, 13

 

34

Brassicaceae

Brassica oleracea var. botrytis L.

Phul Gobi

Flower

Direct

Hunza

0.175

0.166667

1

6

MAS-132

9

 

35

Descurainia sophia (L.) Webb ex Prantl

Khashir

Whole plant

Powder, decoction

Astore, Skardu

0.233333

0.174242

4

23

MAS-034, MAS-446

13

 

36

Raphanus sativus L.

Moolo, Gholafuvi sonma

Leaf

Direct

Hunza, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.2875

0.071584

5

99

MAS-182, MAS-308, MAS-368, MAS-492

9, 39

 

37

Brassica oleracea var. capitata L.

Band Gobi

Flower

Direct

Hunza, Nagar

0.15

0.133333

2

16

MAS-186, MAS-369

9

 

38

Brassica juncea (L.) Czern.

Sarsung mar

Seed

Oil

Kargha, Skardu

0.191667

0.142857

2

14

MAS-323, MAS-508

39

 

39

Lepidium latifolium L.

Sonma

Leaf (K), leaf, root (S)

Powder, infusion (S)

Kargha, Skardu

0.3375

0.171429

4

22

MAS-330, MAS-515

12

 

40

Buxaceae

Buxus papillosa C.K. Schneid

Angaroo

Leaf

Oil

Skardu

0.233333

0.083333

1

12

MAS-388

38

 

41

Campanulaceae

Codonopsis clematidea (Schrenk) C.B.Clarke

Loo sunma/Bajo mindoq

Flower

 

Astore, Skardu

0.366667

0.107143

2

21

MAS-032, MAS-444

12, 13

 

42

Cannabinaeae

Cannabis sativa L.

Thoonch

Seed (N, H), whole plant (K)

Direct

Hunza, Kargha, Nagar

0.258333

0.132762

12

101

MAS-178, MAS-304, MAS-364

9, 14, 33, 53

 

43

Capparaceae

Capparis spinosa L.

Kraba, Kavir, Kappar, Chopir, Shorot, Champarrang, Thoonch

Root, bark, fruit, seed, branches, flower (N, K), root, fruit, seed (S), seed, flower, fruit (H)

Oil (H, N, K), powder, decoction, oil (S), paste (H)

Gojal, Hunza, Jalalabad, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.276389

0.093599

25

302

MAS-124, MAS-226, MAS-359, MAS-478

9, 12, 15, 17, 33, 37, 38, 39, 53

 

44

Caprifoliaceae

Lonicera microphylla Willd. ex Schult.

Pushkar

Stem, brnaches, fruit

Paste

Jalalabad

0.2

0.043478

1

23

MAS-199

15

 

45

Valeriana wallichii DC.

Mushk-bala

Root (K, H), rhizomes (S)

Powder, decoction, paste

Gojal, Kargha, Skardu

0.266667

0.149335

6

40

MAS-130, MAS-300, MAS-484

11, 17, 38

 

46

Lonicera asperifolia Hook. f. & Thomson

Krraba

Leaf

Direct

Kargha, Skardu

0.270833

0.142857

2

14

MAS-331, MAS-516

39

 

47

Caryophyllaceae

Cerastium fontanum Baumg.

Bloghar

Whole plant

Direct

Astore, Kargha, Skardu

0.222222

0.118276

6

54

MAS-024, MAS-266, MAS-436

13

 

48

Compositae

Anaphalis nepalensis

Chikee

Flower, fruit

Dried flower, powder, fume (Gh)

Ghizer

0.233333

0.142857

1

7

MAS-039

16

 

49

Artemisia annua L.

Xoon

Whole plant

Direct

Ghizer

0.233333

0.157895

3

19

MAS-040

37

 

50

Artemisia dubia Wall. Ex Bess.

Bursay

Whole plant

Paste, powder

Ghizer

0.2

0.142857

3

21

MAS-041

37

 

51

Artemisia herba-alba Asso

Kho Bursay

Whole plant

Decoction

Ghizer

0.2

0.272727

3

11

MAS-042

37

 

52

Saussurea heteromalla (D.Don) Hand.-Mazz

Kali zira

Weed

Paste, direct

Ghizer

0.1

0.111111

2

18

MAS-049

16

 

53

Anaphalis triplinervis (Sims) Sims ex C.B.Clarke

Yeepwoosh

Leaf, flower

Poultice, dried leaf and flower

Gojal

0.225

0.166667

4

24

MAS-090

17

 

54

Tragopogon dubius Scop

Kreel woosh

Flower

Decoction

Gojal

0.15

0.142857

1

7

MAS-104

17

 

55

Achillea millefolium L.

Yarrow

Flower

Decoction, poultice

Kargha

0.175

0.142857

3

21

MAS-237

40, 41

 

56

Artemisia laciniata Willd.

Khampa

Leaf

Paste

Kargha

0.3

0.142857

1

7

MAS-239

11, 12

 

57

Artemisia rutifolia Spreng. Ex Spreng

Kho Bursay

Aerial

Paste

Kargha

0.175

0.142857

1

7

MAS-240

38

 

58

Artemisia fragrans Willd

Kho Bursay

Aerial

Powder

Skardu

0.266667

0.166667

1

6

MAS-384

38

 

59

Artemisia santolinifolia Turcz. Ex Krasch.

Kho Bursay

Leaf, stem

Powder, paste

Skardu

0.266667

0.2

2

10

MAS-385

39

 

60

Jurinea dolomiaea Boiss.

Sathing

Leaf, root

Decoction, poultice

Skardu

0.233333

0.214286

3

14

MAS-393

12

 

61

Pseudognaphalium luteoalbum (L.) Hilliard & B. L. Burtt

Thliri

Leaf

Decoction

Skardu

0.366667

0.142857

1

7

MAS-404

12

 

62

Senecio chrysanthemoides DC.

Api mindoq

Leaf, flower, root

Decoction, poultice

Skardu

0.233333

0.157895

3

19

MAS-409

12

 

63

Tanacetum senecionis (Jacquem. ex Besser) J.Gay ex DC.

Hilteree/Tialo

Flower

Powder, infusion, decoction

Skardu

0.4

0.166667

3

18

MAS-411

38

 

64

Taraxacum officinale (L.) Weber ex F.H.Wigg.

Doduli, Mamo Shikinachi, Ishkanachi, Shantha, Talkhting, Khosmas

Leaf, root (K, Gh), leaf, flower (S), leaf, latex (H), latex (A)

Decoction, powder (K), infusion (S)

Astore, Ghizer, Gojal, Hunza, Kargha, Skardu

0.222222

0.161198

18

136

MAS-003, MAS-051, MAS-415

9, 13, 14, 16, 17, 33, 37, 38, 53

 

65

Artemisia brevifolia Wall

Rooner, Bursay, Taroqtpesk, Bustae

Leaf (N, K), leaf, flower (S, H), whole plant (A,Gh)

Poultice, direct

Astore, Ghizer, Gojal, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.216667

0.218759

12

62

MAS-006, MAS-054, MAS-109, MAS-418

13, 17, 35, 37, 38, 39

 

66

Artemisia maritima L.

Rooner, Zoon, Bursay

Leaf, bud, flower (N, K, Gh), aerial (H), flower (A)

Direct, paste, decoction (Gh)

Astore, Ghizer, Hunza, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.270833

0.112619

18

228

MAS-007, MAS-055, MAS-142, MAS-419

9, 11, 14, 16, 33, 37, 39, 40, 41, 53

 

67

Artemisia sieversiana Ehrh.

Hampa, Khampa

Leaf (K, A, N), leaf, flower, root (S)

Infusion, decoction, paste

Astore, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.183333

0.20211

6

29

MAS-022, MAS-264, MAS-349, MAS-434

12, 39

 

68

Cousinia thomsonii C.B.Clarke

Charchu

Flower

Diret

Astore, Skardu

0.266667

0.142857

2

14

MAS-033, MAS-445

13

 

69

Carthamus tinctorius L.

Pock, Poong

Flower, seed

Decoction, oil

Ghizer, Hunza

0.370833

0.079828

14

175

MAS-066, MAS-154, MAS-459

9, 16, 32, 33, 37

 

70

Echinops echinatus Roxb.

Jacheer

Whole plant

Decoction, direct

Ghizer, Hunza, Kargha, Nagar

0.260417

0.103175

6

96

MAS-072, MAS-160, MAS-281, MAS-356

9, 14, 16

 

71

Saussurea lappa (Decne.) Sch.Bip.

Minal

Root (K), stem, root (Gh)

Powder, paste, decoction

Ghizer, Kargha

0.204167

0.139959

9

75

MAS-082, MAS-288

11, 16, 37, 53

 

72

Artemisia scoparia Waldst. & Kitam.

Khobustae

Leaf, flower (K, S), whole plant (Gh)

Paste, fume (Gh), decoction (S)

Ghizer, Kargha, Skardu

0.202778

0.176667

6

43

MAS-083, MAS-289, MAS-471

13, 37

 

73

Cichorium intybus L.

Ishkinachi, Caroop, qarali Chicknachi

Whole plant (N, K), root, leaf (S)

Direct, infusion, decoction, decoction (H)

Gojal, Hunza, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.251667

0.148798

12

99

MAS-126, MAS-297, MAS-360, MAS-480

12, 14, 17, 33

 

74

Tanacetum gracile Hook.f. & Thomson

Cerpho bursay, serfo bursay, Bursay

Leaf

Decoction, powder (S), direct

Hunza, Kargha, Skardu

0.252778

0.155844

5

32

MAS-185, MAS-311, MAS-495

12, 39, 40, 41

 

75

Artemisia absinthium L.

Zoon

Whole plant

Infusion, paste, powder

Kargha, Nagar

0.175

0.177778

4

24

MAS-315, MAS-377

9, 11, 14

 

76

Seriphidium brevifolium (Wall. ex DC.) Ling & Y.R.Ling

Bursay

Leaf (K), flower (S)

Powder, decoction, direct

Kargha, Skardu

0.320833

0.142857

2

14

MAS-336, MAS-521

12, 39

 

77

Tanacetum falconeri Hook.f.

Haltiry, Htialo, Pholing, Zoon, Tyalo

Whole plant (K), leaf (S)

Direct, powder

Kargha, Skardu

0.204167

0.190909

4

21

MAS-338, MAS-523

13, 39

 

78

Convolvulaceae

Canvolvulus arvensis L.

Thringthringmo

Whole plant

Decoction, powder

Astore, Kargha, Skardu

0.197222

0.166667

3

18

MAS-023, MAS-265, MAS-435

13

 

79

Cuscuta reflexa Roxb.

Ghbul thaq

Stem, flower (K), whole plant (S)

Decoction, direct (S)

Kargha, Skardu

0.2375

0.1625

4

26

MAS-325, MAS-510

38, 39

 

80

Crassulaceae

Rhodiola imbricata Edgew.

Chundol

Root

Powder

Skardu

0.233333

0.222222

4

18

MAS-406

12

 

81

Cucurbitaceae

Cupressus sempervirens L.

Saro

Fruit, stem

Decoction, direct

Ghizer

0.466667

0.095238

2

21

MAS-044

16, 37

 

82

Citrullus vulgaris Schrad.

Bowar

Fruit

Decoction

Hunza

0.225

0.045455

1

22

MAS-133

9, 33

 

83

Cucurbita pepo L.

Hosar

Seed

Oil, direct

Nagar

0.4

0.085714

3

35

MAS-339

9

 

84

Cupressaceae

Juniperus squamata Buch.

Cheleh, Chili, Hlashuk, Yarz, Shukpa

Fruit, twigs

Infusion, oil, paste

Ghizer

0.233333

0.132075

7

53

MAS-045

37

 

85

Juniperus turkestanica Kom.

Cheleh

Leaf, fruit, wood

Powder, decoction

Jalalabad

0.175

0.054054

2

37

MAS-198

15

 

86

Juniperus excelsa M.Bieb.

Cheleh, Chili, Hlashuk, Yarz, Shukpa

Fruit, wood, leaf (N, K, H), fruit (S, A)

Ash, powder, decoction, paste (Gh)

Astore, Ghizer, Gojal, Jalalabad, Kargha-Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.245238

0.157465

25

194

MAS-004, MAS-052, MAS-107, MAS-416

12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 37

 

87

Juniperus communis L.

Mitthary, Oshuk

Fruit, wood (K, A, S), fruit, wood, oil (Gh)

Infusion, decoction, paste, powder (A)

Astore, Ghizer, Jalalabad, Skardu

0.272917

0.145114

13

112

MAS-009, MAS-057, MAS-215, MAS-421

13, 15, 37

 

88

Elaeagnaceae

Elaeagnus rhamnoides (L.) A.Nelson

Buru, Buroh, Seabuckthorn, Soq, Rema, Zakh, Chanso, Karsoq

Leaf, fruit, seed, root, wood (K, N), leaf, fruit, seed (S), fruit (H), fruit, stem, leaf (Gh), fruit, leaf (A)

Ash, direct, decoction, powder

Astore, Ghizer, Gojal, Hunza, Jalalabad, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.323958

0.106938

43

747

MAS-002, MAS-050, MAS-105, MAS-414

9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 30, 33, 38, 39, 53

 

89

Elaeagnus angustifolia L.

Shekarkuch, Gindawar, Ghonair, Sisk, Ghundair

Whole plant (N, K), flower, fruit, gum (Gh, H)

Direct, powder, decoction,

Ghizer, Gojal, Hunza, Jalalabad, Kargha, Nagar

0.295833

0.080555

25

331

MAS-059, MAS-116, MAS-350, MAS-452

9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 32, 33, 37

 

90

Ephedraceae

Ephedra intermedia Schrenk & C.A.Mey.

Shaay Soom

Stem, root

Decoction

Jalalabad

0.2

0.061538

4

65

MAS-194

57

 

91

Ephedra gerardiana Wall. ex Stapf

Soom, Say, Yemook, Sopat, Sopt

Whole plant (K, Gh), aerial (S), leaf, stem (H)

Decoction

Ghizer, Gojal, Hunza, Jalalabad, Kargha, Skardu

0.294444

0.097941

22

239

MAS-060, MAS-275, MAS-453

9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 32, 33, 37, 38, 53

 

92

Equisetaceae

Equisetum arvense L.

Thangshingy harswa, Thangshing stwa

Aerial (S), whole plant (A)

Decoction

Astore, Skardu

0.283333

0.142857

2

14

MAS-035, MAS-447

13, 38

 

93

Ericaceae

Rhododendron anthopogon D. Don

Chauman

Leaf, flower

Infusion, decoction

Skardu

0.3

0.15

3

20

MAS-407

12

 

94

Gentianaceae

Swertia petiolata D. Don

Brama

Leaf, root

Paste, decoction, powder (A)

Skardu

0.233333

0.210526

4

19

MAS-410

12

 

95

Gentiana olivieri Griseb.

Tikta

Leaf, flower (K), leaf (S)

Direct

Kargha, Skardu

0.233333

0.162338

3

18

MAS-327, MAS-512

12, 39

 

96

Geraniaceae

Geranium nepalense Sweet

Bamik

Fruit, root

Poultice, decoction, powder

Skardu

0.3

0.235294

4

17

MAS-391

12

 

97

Grossulariaceae

Ribes himalense Royle ex Decne.

Murshatooh

Fruit

Powder

Jalalabad

0.175

0.075

3

40

MAS-204

15

 

98

Ribes orientale Desf.

Ghonashatooh

Root

Powder

Jalalabad

0.2

0.033333

2

60

MAS-205

15

 

99

Ribes alpestre Wall. ex Decne.

Shumlooh, Skioruru

Root, flower

Powder, direct

Astore, Gojal, Jalalabad, Skardu

0.189583

0.109821

9

109

MAS-011, MAS-111, MAS-217, MAS-423

13, 15, 17

 

100

Iridaceae

Crocus sativus L.

Zafran

Flower

Powder

Kargha, Skardu

0.266667

0.142857

2

14

MAS-324, MAS-509

39

 

101

Juglandaceae

Juglans regia L.

Achow, Ashooh

Root, kernel, wood (N), root, kernel, seed, wood (K), kernel (S, H)

Oil, direct

Hunza, Jalalabad, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.276667

0.098536

11

139

MAS-173, MAS-301, MAS-488

9, 13, 15, 33

 

102

Lamiaceae

Nepeta floccosa Benth.

Buzlanj

Leaf, flower

Decoction, infusion

Gojal

0.2

0.172414

5

29

MAS-098

17

 

103

Isodon rugosus (Wall. ex Benth.) Codd

Phaypush

Leaf, branches

Powder

Jalalabad

0.2

0.097561

4

41

MAS-197

15

 

104

Dracocephalum nuristanicum Rech.f. & Edelb.

Shamdun

Leaf, flower, seed

Paste, decoction, infusion

Skardu

0.7

0.064935

5

77

MAS-389

12, 38, 39

 

105

Mentha haplocalyx Briq.

Shoma

Leaf

Direct, paste

Skardu

0.3

0.214286

3

14

MAS-394

39

 

106

Nepeta leucolaena Benth. ex Hook.f.

Askuta

Whole plant

Powder, decoction

Skardu

0.366667

0.035714

1

28

MAS-395

12, 38

 

107

Prunella vulgaris L.

Harswa

Leaf

Decoction

Skardu

0.466667

0.153846

4

26

MAS-403

12

 

108

Mentha royleana Wall. ex Benth.

Foling, Gudunj

Leaf (K, A, S), leaf, flower (H)

Powder, paste (H), direct, infusion

Astore, Gojal, Kargha, Skardu

0.291667

0.104499

9

91

MAS-013, MAS-113, MAS-257, MAS-425

12, 13, 17, 38, 39

 

109

Thymus linearis Benth.

Tumuro, Tumburu, Tumburuk

Whole plant (N, S), leaf, flower (H), flower (A)

Decoction, infusion

Astore, Gojal, Nagar, Skardu

0.222917

0.100514

12

151

MAS-014, MAS-114, MAS-347, MAS-426

12, 13, 17, 53

 

110

Mentha longifolia (L.) L.

Fileel, Whadan, Phileel

Leaf, flower (H, K, N), leaf (Gh)

Powder, paste, decoction (Gh)

Ghizer, Gojal, Kargha, Nagar

0.252083

0.12514

29

319

MAS-065, MAS-122, MAS-278, MAS-353

14, 16, 17

 

111

Mentha sylvestris L.

Bundoo

Leaf, flower

Decoction

Ghizer, Hunza

0.241667

0.101515

8

74

MAS-067, MAS-155, MAS-460

9, 33, 37, 53

 

112

Thymus serphyllum L.

Tumuro, Ree tumburuk

Whole plant (K, Gh), leaf, flower (S), aerial (H)

Decoction

Ghizer, Hunza, Kargha, Skardu

0.33125

0.079512

17

268

MAS-074, MAS-162, MAS-283, MAS-467

9, 11, 14, 16, 33, 37, 38

 

113

Mentha arvensis L.

Peeno

Leaf (S, K), whole plant (Gh)

Powder, direct, paste

Ghizer, Kargha, Skardu

0.275

0.138889

6

44

MAS-085, MAS-291, MAS-473

37, 38, 39

 

114

Perovskia abrotanoides Kar.

Faring bursay

Flower

Infusion

Hunza, Kargha, Skardu

0.202778

0.126246

6

57

MAS-184, MAS-310, MAS-494

12, 39, 40, 41

 

115

Mentha spicata L.

Podina

Whole plant

Decoction

Hunza, Nagar

0.3375

0.046801

8

160

MAS-189, MAS-372

9, 33

 

116

Stachys tibetica Vatke

Khampa

Leaf

Powder, direct

Kargha, Skardu

0.304167

0.049043

2

41

MAS-337, MAS-522

39

 

117

Leguminosae

Astragalus frigidus (L.) A.Gray

Shashal

Leaf, stem

Powder

Astore

0.233333

0.176471

3

17

MAS-001

13

 

118

Astragalus falconeri Bunge

Hapocho

Leaf, stem

Powder

Ghizer

0.233333

0.083333

1

12

MAS-043

16

 

119

Melilotus officinalis (L.) Pall.

Bissasing

Whole plant

Decoction

Ghizer

0.333333

0.115385

6

52

MAS-046

16, 37

 

120

Astragalus strictus Benth.

Zhop/Thope

Leaf, flower

Direct

Gojal

0.175

0.142857

1

7

MAS-091

17

 

121

Melilotus alba Ledeb.

Sinjhi

Aerial

Paste

Gojal

0.175

0.166667

2

12

MAS-096

17

 

122

Caragana brevifolia Kom.

Hapoocho

Root

Direct, decoction

Jalalabad

0.175

0.058824

1

17

MAS-191

15

 

123

Caragana tragacanthoides var. himalaica Komarov

Hapoocho

Root

Direct, decoction

Jalalabad

0.225

0.037037

1

27

MAS-192

15

 

124

Robinia pseudoacacia L.

Kekar

Resin, wood, legumes

Paste

Jalalabad

0.35

0.076923

2

26

MAS-206

15

 

125

Astragalus zanskarensis Bunge

Shukpa

Leaf, stem

Paste, ash

Skardu

0.2

0.25

2

8

MAS-386

39

 

126

Trifolium fragiferum L.

Gul-e-Nasreen

Leaf, flower

Direct

Skardu

0.233333

0.142857

2

14

MAS-413

38

 

127

Trifolium pratense L.

Chita-batta, Ol, Jangli shaftal

Flower

Powder

Astore, Hunza, Kargha, Skardu

0.2125

0.078571

6

76

MAS-017, MAS-147, MAS-260, MAS-429

9, 13, 14, 40, 41

 

128

Cicer microphyllum Benth.

Stranjungstwa

Whole plant

Astore, Kargha, Skardu

0.230556

0.087446

3

35

MAS-025, MAS-267, MAS-437

13

 

129

Medicago sativa L.

Ucharg, Ishfit

Whole plant

Direct, powder, decoction

Ghizer, Gojal

0.2

0.134921

9

70

MAS-058, MAS-115

16, 17, 37

 

130

Sophora mollis (Royle) Baker

Khakhul, Popshing, Pushool

Leaf (K, Gh), leaf, seed (S), whole plant (H)

paste, powder, decoction (S)

Ghizer, Gojal, Hunza, Kargha, Skardu

0.243333

0.10857

10

108

MAS-119, MAS-151, MAS-277, MAS-455

9, 12,16, 17, 38, 39

 

131

Glycyrrhiza glabra L.

Shalako

Root, rhizome (Gh), rhizome (K)

Decoction, paste

Ghizer, Kargha

0.3

0.091954

12

145

MAS-079, MAS-285

11, 16, 37

 

132

Trigonella foenum-graecum L.

Shamilik

Leaf (K), whole plant (S, Gh)

Direct, decoction

Ghizer, Kargha, Skardu

0.277778

0.111683

6

62

MAS-086, MAS-292, MAS-474

37, 38, 39

 

133

Astragalus psilocentros Fisch.

BiowaCharchu, Biacharchoo, Sokhrus, Hapoocho

Leaf, stem (K, H), leaf, root, thorny branches (S),

Decoction, infusion (S)

Ghizer, Hunza, Kargha, Skardu

0.258333

0.153501

9

63

MAS-088, MAS-166, MAS-294, MAS-476

9, 12, 13, 38

 

134

Linaceae

Linum usitatissimum L.

Human

Seed

Powder

Hunza

0.175

0.07874

10

127

MAS-134

9, 32, 33

 

135

Lythraceae

Punica granatum L.

Danooh, Sio, Dolum, Danu

Fruit, root (K, S), flower, fruit, seed, bark (H)

Decoction, paste, powder, direct

Gojal, Hunza, Jalalabad, Skardu

0.26875

0.112524

19

220

MAS-125, MAS-169, MAS-227, MAS-479

9, 15, 17, 33, 38

 

136

Malvaceae

Malva neglecta Wallr.

Shanishah

Whole plant

Powder, decoction

Gojal

0.125

0.071429

1

14

MAS-095

17

 

137

Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench

Bhindi

Seed, fruit

Infusion

Hunza, Jalalabad, Nagar

0.308333

0.064052

3

57

MAS-174, MAS-233, MAS-362

9

 

138

Morus nigra L.

Kini Marooch

Whole plant

Decoction, paste, direct

Hunza

0.225

0.1

3

30

MAS-135

33

 

139

Ficus carica L.

Faag, Faak

Fruit, stem latex (N, H, K), fruit (Gh)

Poultice, direct, powder, paste

Ghizer, Hunza, Jalalabad, Nagar

0.275

0.096875

16

203

MAS-070, MAS-158, MAS-224, MAS-355

9, 15, 16, 33

 

140

Morus alba L.

Marooch, Shae Marooch

Whole plant

Decoction, paste, direct

Hunza, Jalalabad

0.275

0.065763

7

119

MAS-171, MAS-230

9, 15, 32, 33

 

141

Nitrariaceae

Peganum harmala L.

Spandur, Isman, Ispandure, Supandour

Whole plant (N, H), seed (Gh, S)

Powder, decoction, paste (H)

Ghizer, Gojal, Hunza, Nagar, Skardu

0.288333

0.097728

14

143

MAS-063, MAS-120, MAS-352, MAS-456

9, 16, 17, 33, 38, 53

 

142

Nyctaginaceae

Mirabilis jalapa L.

Gul-e-Abbas

Flower

Paste

Hunza, Kargha

0.1875

0.142857

2

14

MAS-176, MAS-302

40, 41

 

143

Oleacea

Fraxinus hookeri Wenz.

Kasunar

Bark, wood

Decoction

Jalalabad

0.275

0.047619

2

42

MAS-195

15

 

144

Fraxinus xanthoxyloides (G.Don) Wall. ex A.DC.

Kasunar

Bark, wood

Decoction

Jalalabad

0.175

0.055556

2

36

MAS-196

15

 

145

Olea ferruginea Wall. ex Aitch.

Kawoo

Leaf, wood, bark

Direct, decoction

Jalalabad

0.2

0.071429

1

14

MAS-200

15

 

146

Onagraceae

Epilobium latifolium L.

Pondol

Leaf, flower

Paste, decoction

Skardu

0.233333

0.071429

1

14

MAS-390

12

 

147

Orchidaceae

Dactylorhiza hatagirea (D.Don) Soó

Narmada

Root, rhizome

Powder

Gojal

0.15

0.090909

1

11

MAS-094

17

 

148

Orobanchaceae

Pedicularis cheilanthifolia Schrenk

Serfo spanthing

Leaf

Decoction

Skardu

0.3

0.166667

2

12

MAS-396

12

 

149

Pedicularis pectinatiformis Bonati

Sunpo spanthing

Leaf

Infusion

Skardu

0.233333

0.157895

3

19

MAS-397

12

 

150

Papaveraceae

Corydalis crassifolia Royle

Sackros/Zarvosh

Whole plant

Gojal

0.2

0.142857

1

7

MAS-093

17

 

151

Papaver somniferum L.

Mardakhaw

Latex

Decoction

Hunza

0.175

0.115385

3

26

MAS-136

9, 33

 

152

Pinaceae

Pinus roxburghii Sarg.

Chirpine

Resin, wood

Paste, powder, direct

Ghizer

0.233333

0.121212

4

33

MAS-047

37

 

153

Picea smithiana (Wall.) Boiss.

Kachul

Resin, wood

Powder, decoction

Jalalabad

0.2

0.071429

1

14

MAS-201

15

 

154

Pinus gerardiana Wall.ex Lamb.

Cheenh

Resin, wood, leaf

Decoction, direct, paste, powder (k)

Jalalabad

0.175

0.096774

3

31

MAS-202

15

 

155

Pinus wallichiana A.B.Jacks.

Cheenh

Resin, wood, leaf

Infusion, powder

Nagar

0.175

0.142857

3

21

MAS-340

15

 

156

Plantaginaceae

Plantago ovata Forssk.

Ispaghol

Seed, leaf, root

Powder, infusion

Ghizer

0.233333

0.069767

3

43

MAS-048

16

 

157

Picrorhiza kurroa Royle ex Benth.

Karroo

Leaf, bark, root, rhizome

Paste

Kargha

0.2

0.130435

3

23

MAS-244

11

 

158

Plantago major L.

Shiltive, Boqna

Root, seed, leaf (K), seed (S), leaf, seed (Gh, H)

Direct, decoction, oil (S)

Ghizer, Hunza, Kargha, Skardu

0.2875

0.104482

9

127

MAS-073, MAS-161, MAS-282, MAS-466

9, 14, 33, 37, 38, 53

 

159

Plantago lanceolata L.

Sman Hrswa, Sepgilk, Yeeps

Flower, leaf (S), leaf, seed (H)

Decoction, infusion, paste (S), ash (H)

Gojal, Skardu

0.295833

0.121667

6

49

MAS-131, MAS-485

12, 17

 

160

Poaceae

Zea mays L.

Makayee

Fruit

Direct

Hunza

0.125

0.142857

1

7

MAS-139

9, 33

 

161

Cymbopogon jwarancusa (Jones) Schult.

Izkhar Makki

Flower

Decoction

Kargha

0.175

0.133333

2

15

MAS-242

40, 41

 

162

Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.Br.

Cha soq

Stem

Direct

Kargha

0.175

0.0625

1

16

MAS-243

39

 

163

Saccharum bengalense Retz.

Phoroo

Root, stem

Powder

Kargha

0.175

0.190476

4

21

MAS-247

14

 

164

Hordeum vulgare L.

Cha Fay, York

Seed

Powder

Gojal, Kargha, Skardu

0.263889

0.161905

4

24

MAS-129, MAS-299, MAS-483

17, 39

 

165

Avena sativa L.

Nas Choo, Sheshar

Seed (S), seed, leaf (H)

Decoction

Hunza, Skardu

0.270833

0.144796

5

47

MAS-190, MAS-496

9, 39

 

166

Polygonaceae

Rheum tibeticum Maxim. ex Hook. f.

Sheepod

Stem

Direct

Gojal

0.2

0.142857

1

7

MAS-102

17

 

167

Bistorta amplexicaulis (D.Don) Greene

Onbu

Root

Powder, decoction, infusion

Skardu

0.266667

0.214286

3

14

MAS-387

12

 

168

Polygonum affine D. Don.

Strin mindoq

Root, flower

Decoction, infusion

Skardu

0.4

0.142857

3

21

MAS-398

12

 

169

Polygonum tataricum L.

Bro Kho-Bro

Leaf, seed

Powder, decoction

Skardu

0.233333

0.157895

3

19

MAS-399

38

 

170

Rheum spiciforme Royle

Khakhol

Leaf, root

Direct, powder

Skardu

0.266667

0.214286

3

14

MAS-405

39

 

171

Rumex chalepensis Mill.

Sa-shing

Root

Decoction

Skardu

0.266667

0.083333

1

12

MAS-408

38

 

172

Fagopyrum esculentum Moench

Bro, Ghiawas, Stabro, Baraw

Seed (K, H, A), leaf, seed (S)

Direct, paste, powder

Astore, Hunza, Kargha, Skardu

0.195833

0.150985

12

89

MAS-016, MAS-146, MAS-259, MAS-428

9, 13, 33, 38

 

173

Rumex nepalensis Spreng.

Churkeen, Rashona

Root (K), leaf (A)

Paste

Astore, Kargha

0.229167

0.142857

2

14

MAS-021, MAS-263, MAS-433

13, 14

 

174

Rheum australe D. Don

Shoot, Lachu

Root (K, A), leaf, root, stem (S)

Powder, infusion, decoction

Astore, Kargha, Skardu

0.280556

0.155556

8

50

MAS-030, MAS-272, MAS-442

12, 13

 

175

Oxyria digyna (L.) Hill

Span Harswa, Skyurbutaq

Leaf (S), aerial (A)

Powder, decoction

Astore, Skardu

0.233333

0.177778

4

24

MAS-036, MAS-448

12, 38

 

176

Rheum emodi

Jarochuntal, Chontal

Whole plant

Decoction

Ghizer, Hunza

0.258333

0.120909

5

61

MAS-068, MAS-156, MAS-461

9, 16

 

177

Rumex hastatus D. Don

Churki

Whole plant (K), leaf, root, stem, fruit (Gh)

Direct, decoction, powder (Gh)

Ghizer, Kargha

0.3

0.093168

3

53

MAS-080, MAS-286

14, 16, 37

 

178

Bistorta affinis (D.Don) Greene

Buma

Leaf

Powder

Kargha, Skardu

0.204167

0.142857

2

14

MAS-322, MAS-507

39

 

179

Polygonum hydropiper L.

Thangmarcy

Leaf (K), aerial (S)

Decoction

Kargha, Skardu

0.2625

0.188235

5

27

MAS-333, MAS-518

14, 38

 

180

Primulaceae

Primula macrophylla D. Don

Benufsha

Whole plant

Decoction, powder

Gojal

0.175

0.083333

1

12

MAS-101

17

 

181

Primula denticulata Sm.

Daoo

Leaf, root

Decoction, powder, infusion (s)

Skardu

0.4

0.2

4

20

MAS-401

12

 

182

Primula farinose L.

Spangpunar

Flower

Paste, decoction

Skardu

0.366667

0.142857

2

14

MAS-402

38

 

183

Rananculaceae

Clematis baltistanica Qureshi & Chaudhri

Margush, Murgushi, Chindrik

Leaf, flower (H), whole plant (K)

Paste

Gojal, Jalalabad, Kargha

0.208333

0.086652

6

76

MAS-127, MAS-228, MAS-298

9, 14

 

184

Aconitum nepellus L.

Booma, Sai booma

Flower, leaf (N, H, K), whole plant (K), aerial (S)

Direct

Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.2

0.231481

7

31

MAS-316, MAS-378, MAS-501

11, 38, 53

 

185

Ranunculus trichophyllus Chaix ex Vill.

Threadleaf crowfoot

Whole plant

Paste, infusion

Kargha

0.175

0.111111

2

18

MAS-246

14

 

186

Thalictrum foetidum L.

Momeran

Leaf

Direct

Kargha

0.225

0.142857

1

7

MAS-248

39

 

187

Aconitum violaceum Jacquem. Ex. Stapf

Booma

Root

Decoction, powder

Skardu

0.233333

0.25

4

16

MAS-379

12

 

188

Aquilegia fragrans Benth.

Karfo Koo-kuk

Leaf, flower

Paste, decoction

Skardu

0.233333

0.133333

2

15

MAS-382

38

 

189

Aquilegia pubiflora Wall. Ex Royle

Koo-kuk

Leaf, flower

Paste

Skardu

0.233333

0.111111

2

18

MAS-383

38, 53

 

190

Thalictrum foliolosum DC.

Momyrun

Root

Decoction

Skardu

0.4

0.142857

2

14

MAS-412

38

 

191

Delphinium brunonianum Royle

Makhoting

Leaf, flower (K), whole plant (S, A)

Decoction, powder (S), infusion (S)

Astore, Kargha, Skardu

0.269444

0.132937

8

75

MAS-026, MAS-268, MAS-438

12, 13, 38, 39

 

192

Pulsatilla wallichiana (Royle) Ulbr.

Zgiongmonana Loqparimandoq

Flower

Powder

Astore, Skardu

0.316667

0.142857

2

14

MAS-038, MAS-450

13

 

193

Rosaceae

Comarum salesovianum (Stephan) Asch. & Graebn.

Noghurdoom woosh

Flower

 

Gojal

0.175

0.142857

1

7

MAS-092

9

 

194

Potentilla eriocarpa Wall. ex Lehm.

Amber

Leaf, flower

Gojal

0.1

0.142857

1

7

MAS-099

17

 

195

Potentilla microphylla D. Don

Zatspirg

Leaf, seed

 

Gojal

0.175

0.222222

2

9

MAS-100

17

 

196

Rubus irritans Focke

Icheejeh

Fruit

Direct

Jalalabad

0.325

0.061224

3

49

MAS-207

15

 

197

Potentilla argyrophylla Wall. ex Lehm.

Serfo Harswa

Whole plant

Paste

Skardu

0.466667

0.142857

1

7

MAS-400

12

 

198

Rosa webbiana Wall. ex Royle

Shighaye, Sia marpho, Chereer, Sia sarfo

Bark, wood (K), flower, bark (S), fruit, seed, wood (H, A)

Decoction

Astore, Gojal, Hunza, Jalalabad, Skardu

0.238333

0.103989

10

116

MAS-010, MAS-110, MAS-144, MAS-422

9, 13, 15, 17, 38, 53

 

199

Prunus armeniaca L.

Jui, Jaroty, Chooli

Fruit, kernel, oil

Direct, oil, powder, paste

Astore, Hunza, Jalalabad, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.276389

0.082586

49

706

MAS-015, MAS-145, MAS-218, MAS-427

9, 13, 15, 32, 33, 38, 39

 

200

Spiraea canescens D.Don

Darah, Skhsi

Flower, stem, wood

Oil, decoction

Astore, Jalalabad

0.175

0.066667

3

52

MAS-018, MAS-219

13, 15

 

201

Potentilla salesoviana Steph.

Sniarmastwa, Karfo mindoq

Flower

Infusion (s), paste

Astore, Kargha, Skardu

0.222222

0.116883

8

78

MAS-029, MAS-271, MAS-441

12, 13,38

 

202

Rosa brunonii Lindl.

SiaMarpho, Siya

Bark

Decoction, powder (k), infusion (s)

Astore, Kargha, Skardu

0.216667

0.142857

3

21

MAS-031, MAS-273, MAS-443

12, 13

 

203

Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A.Webb

Badum, Balth, Kono, Stargi mar

Kernel, flower

Direct, oil, paste, decoction (s)

Ghizer, Hunza, Jalalabad, Kargha, Nagar, Skardu

0.231944

0.11893

21

194

MAS-069, MAS-223, MAS-354, MAS-462

15, 16, 32, 39

 

204

Rosa indica L.

Ghulab

Flower

Paste, oil

Ghizer, Hunza, Skardu

0.313889

0.090149

6

62

MAS-076, MAS-164, MAS-469

32, 37, 38

 

205

Malus domestica Borkh.

Skamkooshu

Fruit

Powder

Kargha, Skardu

0.270833

0.142857

2

14

MAS-332, MAS-517

39

 

206

Potentilla bifurca L.

Tarqan

Flower (K), aerial (S)

Infusion (S), decoction (K)

Kargha, Skardu

0.345833

0.103343

4

54

MAS-334, MAS-519

12, 38, 39

 

207

Prunus persica (L.) Batsch

Takushu Choo

Fruit

Paste (k), decoction (s)

Kargha, Skardu

0.2375

0.171429

3

17

MAS-335, MAS-520

39, 53

 

208

Salicaceae

Salix babylonica L.

Muchoor

Leaf, bark, seed, gum

Decoction, paste, direct

Hunza

0.125

0.142857

4

28

MAS-138

9

 

209

Salix acmophylla Boiss.

Brawoon

Leaf, bark, stem, branches

Decoction, paste

Jalalabad

0.275

0.074627

5

67

MAS-208

15, 53

 

210

Salix denticulata Andersson

Brawoon

Leaf, bark, stem, branches

Decoction, paste, direct

Jalalabad

0.225

0.083333

5

60

MAS-209

15

 

211

Salix iliensis Regel

Brawoon

Leaf, bark, stem, branches

Decoction, paste, direct

Jalalabad

0.175

0.09434

5

53

MAS-210

15

 

212

Salix sericocarpa Andersson

Brawoon

Leaf, bark, stem, branches

Decoction, paste, direct

Jalalabad

0.175

0.096154

5

52

MAS-211

15

 

213

Salix turanica Nasarov

Brawoon

Leaf, bark, stem, branches

Decoction, paste, direct

Jalalabad

0.2

0.1

5

50

MAS-212

15

 

214

Salix alba L.

Mori Bayao, Bayo

Leaf, bark

Decoction, paste, direct

Ghizer, Kargha

0.225

0.099462

5

55

MAS-081, MAS-287

14, 16

 

215

Populus alba L.

Fulsoo, Turaq

Leaf, wood (K), leaf (H)

Decoction

Hunza, Jalalabad

0.1375

0.107143

2

21

MAS-172, MAS-231

9, 15, 33

 

216

Populus nigra L.

Jerpa

Leaf

Decoction

Hunza, Jalalabad, Nagar

0.166667

0.119048

3

28

MAS-175, MAS-234, MAS-363

15, 33

 

217

Salix tetrasperma Roxb.

Byao, Bew

Leaf, bark

Decoction, paste, direct

Hunza, Kargha

0.2

0.107143

2

21

MAS-177, MAS-303

9, 14

 

218

Saxifragaceae

Saxifraga hirculus L.

Sitbark

Whole plant

Decoction

Gojal

0.15

0.117647

4

34

MAS-103

17

 

219

Bergenia himalacia Boriss.

Sanspur

Root

Powder, decoction

Kargha

0.175

0.133333

2

15

MAS-241

9, 11, 12, 16, 33, 53

 

220

Bergenia stracheyi (Hook.f. & Thomson) Engl.

Sasper, Khichlay

Root, leaf

Infusion, powder, paste, direct

Ghizer, Hunza, Nagar, Skardu

0.25625

0.14944

18

124

MAS-075, MAS-163, MAS-357, MAS-468

9, 11, 12, 16, 33

 

221

Bergenia ciliata (Haw.) Sternb.

Shafus, Shaphus

Leaf (K), leaf, seed (S)

Powder, decoction, direct

Kargha, Skardu

0.308333

0.162338

12

75

MAS-321, MAS-506

12, 13, 39

 

222

Solanaceae

Solanum nigrum L.

Gabeeli, Gabilo, Drumbashokhlo

Whole plant (N,Gh), leaf, fruit (K), fruit, seed (H), fruit (A)

Direct, decoction (K), powder (Gh)

Astore, Ghizer, Gojal, Kargha, Nagar

0.243333

0.125426

20

190

MAS-005, MAS-053, MAS-252, MAS-343

13, 14, 16, 17, 37

 

223

Hyoscyamus niger L.

Landungstwa

Seed

Paste, poultice, decoction

Astore, Kargha, Skardu

0.25

0.15873

3

19

MAS-027, MAS-269, MAS-439

13, 53

 

224

Datura stramonium L.

Daturo, Datura

Seed (H), flower, fruit, seed, leaf (Gh, K)

Decoction, ash (K), paste (K)

Ghizer, Hunza, Kargha

0.266667

0.105286

13

138

MAS-071, MAS-159, MAS-280

9, 14, 16, 33, 37, 53

 

225

Capsicum annuum L.

Marooch

Fruit

Direct

Hunza, Nagar

0.2375

0.065613

5

101

MAS-187, MAS-370

9

 

226

Tamaricaceae

Myricaria squamosa Desv.

Targ

Leaf, flower

Powder

Gojal

0.175

0.178571

5

28

MAS-097

17

 

227

Thymelaeaceae

Daphne mucronata Royle

Nirko

Leaf, fruit, wood

Paste, poultice

Jalalabad

0.275

0.088889

4

45

MAS-193

15

 

228

Urticaceae

Urtica dioica L.

Khaeshing

Whole plant (S, K), leaf, root (Gh)

Direct, decoction, paste (S)

Ghizer, Kargha, Skardu

0.236111

0.132675

12

149

MAS-087, MAS-293, MAS-475

13, 37, 53

 

229

Violaceae

Viola serpens Wall. ex Ging.

Skora mindoq, Lillo

Flower (S), whole plant (Gh, H)

Decoction

Ghizer, Hunza, Skardu

0.258333

0.124008

6

58

MAS-077, MAS-165, MAS-470

9, 16, 33, 38

 

230

Zingiberacaceae

Curcuma longa L.

Halichi

Stem

Powder

Hunza, Nagar

0.275

0.088933

4

45

MAS-188, MAS-371

32

 

231

Zygophyllaceae

Tribulus terrestris L.

Kokoloq, Kokoring, Huk ga kurice

Whole plant (Gh, K, A), seed (S), fruit (H)

Paste, decoction

Astore, Ghizer, Hunza, Kargha, Skardu

0.23

0.142857

9

63

MAS-008, MAS-056, MAS-255, MAS-420

9, 13, 33, 37, 38, 39

 

Medicinal systems and affiliations

This region has already witnessed invasion by different cultures and practices [3, 4651]. The passes created by the Indus River system in Hunza, Shigar, Shyjok, Ghizer, Gilgit, and Astore valleys served as the main travel routes for such invasions and exchanges as Gilgit got its famous name “gate to India” [3]. This region witnessed influence from Chinese, Tibetan, ancient Indian, and Unani systems [3, 46]. This influence was reflected during the field survey while recording the uses and modes of use of medicinal plants.

Fifty percent of the participants were able to answer the question related to influence of medicinal systems on the indigenous knowledge existing in the region; where 28% referred to Chinese influence, 23% chose Indian subcontinent while 18 and 14% selected Scythian/Transoxianan, and ancient Greek influence on the traditional medicinal system. It is worth mentioning that 41% of these participants referred to a mix of at least two of these systems in the current traditional medicinal system. Most of the participants from Astore and Skardu mentioned Indian subcontinent followed by Scythian/Transoxianan and ancient Greek influence while participants from Hunza, Nagar, Gilgit, and Ghizer ranked Chinese influence on top followed by Indian subcontinent, Scythian/Transoxianan, and ancient Greek. The market players on the other hand opted for a mix of all these systems together as they deal with customers from the whole region and are exposed to all medicinal systems prevailing in the region. Another reason for a mixed system described by the market players is the fact that these markets were traditionally placed at regional centers, thus were exposed to THPs representing different systems. Their experiences with these THPs and fulfilling their demands made them acquire traits from all the systems. Although a clear boundary could not be drawn between these systems, it is likely that medicinal practices in Hunza, Nagar, Ghizer, and Gilgit were influenced by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) system while the remaining part of study area was dominated by a mix of Ayurveda and Unani systems.

Discriminant analysis (DA)

Discriminant analysis revealed that Astore was distinct from other surveyed areas whereas some overlap can be observed in other surveyed areas (Fig. 8). Gojal showed similarity with Skardu and Kargha, while Jalalabad showed few similarities with Kargha and Hunza. Hunza, Nagar, and Ghizer showed very similar traits while sharing few similarities with Skardu, Kargha, and Jalalabad. This analysis mainly considered top 10 medicinal plants used and the parameters calculated from each location. This does not represent linkage with healing systems but separates geographical location, tribal representation, and connectivity to other parts of the region, e.g., China, India, and routes to Western Asia. It also reflects on migration and integration of the local tribes as well as those coming from outside and provides an insight on the influence of different invaders, travelers, and businessmen.
Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Grouping survey sites in Gilgit-Baltistan based on the medicinal plants and their use reports

Plant species have responded to latitudinal and elevational changes in their habitat and adjusted over time, yet the increasingly rapid pace of these changes is challenging their adaptability and ability to respond [9698]. The association of traditional knowledge with these species, trade potentials, and transfer of knowledge from old to new generation will have a direct effect on the conservation of plant species and associated TK [90, 99103].

Key discussion points

The environment and climatic conditions of Gilgit-Baltistan make it geographically one of the best locations for growth and nourishment of medicinal plants [6, 9, 34, 104]. Traditional medicinal practices hold a significant place in the lives of the local communities. The markets at Gilgit and Skardu are serving as trade centers for medicinal plants from the whole region, and the wholesalers stationed here are responsible for small-scale trade in important plant species in both local and national markets. The study shows that most of the large herbal medicine production companies in Pakistan rely on supply of medicinal plants from Indian territory—representing the same region across the border—indicating that the production and trade of medicinal plants is well organized across the border. The trade of medicinal plants in Pakistan is informal, with little to none state interventions and incentives [35, 105]. The high marketability of medicinal plants has led many local people to over-exploit this valuable resource. Over-exploitation of medicinal plant species is widespread across the region, exacerbated by some local people attempting to maximize financial benefits in a single harvest, with little concern for the ramifications for subsequent years [9, 30, 34, 42].

This study clearly reveals the importance and contributions of the THPs and retailers as well as the transfer of knowledge within the families from elders to the younger generation for the retention of indigenous medicinal knowledge, where and when to acquire a particular species and the utilization of medicinal plants. The THPs preserved existing knowledge and showed a great deal of openness to knowledge sharing. They attributed the loss of knowledge between generations, not to any failure of their own to impart knowledge, but rather to a lack of learning aptitude in the younger generation [34, 106]. Retailers have adapted well to the demands of different ethnic and tribal groups. These factors point towards a high level of cooperation, collaboration, and openness to knowledge exchange amongst the ethnicities and tribes of Gilgit-Baltistan. Local public and private institutes can therefore play a vital role in clustering the knowledge and bridging the gaps by providing platforms for recording, sharing, and disseminating traditional knowledge.

We found that Gilgit-Baltistan’s position as a gateway between the Central and South Asia caused its exposure to a number of traditional medicinal systems including the Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, Unani, and Tibetan—which highly influenced traditional medicine knowledge in this region [3, 46]. Our study design and timeline restricted us from further exploration of these historical details. Therefore, we were not able to explore the timeline and actual contributions of these systems to local knowledge. However, it appears likely that medicinal practices in Hunza, Nagar, Ghizer, and Gilgit were influenced by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) system while the remaining part of the study area was dominated by a mix of Ayurveda and Unani systems. This is an interesting finding and deserves further research. Most parts of Pakistan are primarily relying on a mix of Unani and Ayurveda medicinal systems—a combination which is rarely found elsewhere [107]. A dedicated study exploring the approaches followed by these medicinal systems, their complementarities, and differences could lead to the generation of highly valuable scientific findings that could contribute to the communities relying on these systems globally.

With the involvement of multiple stakeholders (the relevant local government departments, herbal medicine-producing companies, THPs, and the interest of the national government), medicinal plants and associated traditional knowledge from Gilgit-Baltistan can make a substantial contribution to traditional health practices at a national level as well as contribute significantly to the national market and the livelihood resources of local communities. Proper licensing will allow the THPs to legally practice, document, and disseminate their knowledge. The concerned government departments can provide a platform for THPs from the region to get registered and licensed as hakims [39]. Our effort to involve school students in the collection of data is a way of exposing the younger generation to identification of their resources and developing their interest in traditional knowledge and why it is important to ensure its transfer to them from the older generation. Such a consortium will also prove beneficial for the production of medicinal plants on a commercial scale, their sustainable utilization, and organizing refreshers on different aspects associated with medicinal plant resources for the local THPs, retailers, and collectors in order to ensure an optimal and efficient utilization of the available resources.

These points are of utmost importance when it comes to the conservation and transfer of traditional medicinal knowledge to future generations. Worldwide, patients are increasingly opting for medications involving traditional techniques, herbal medicine, and meditation [108, 109]. Gilgit-Baltistan has natural medicinal resources, a vast indigenous knowledge bank, and most importantly one of the best mountainous landscapes for tourism and meditation. It is doubtless the best option to be considered for developing into a sanctuary through government interventions. Gilgit-Baltistan, considered to be home to the ideology of “SHANGRI LA” with its abundant natural resources, can provide a home to those who seek medication through centuries-old traditional knowledge, sacredly transferred from one generation to another.
Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Details of the age and gender of participants of survey

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Age groups of participants, and the average number of species reported from different age group and retailers

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Habitat/life form of species reported during the survey

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Percentage of the parts of plants used for medicinal purposes

Conclusions and recommendations

The diverse plant resources and the geographical importance of the region for trade and travel routes, historically made Gilgit-Baltistan a hotspot for cultural, religious, and traditional knowledge exchange. Being part of an ancient trade route, the resident communities adapted and upgraded their traditional healing systems through interactions with the Indian subcontinent, China, Scythia, Transoxiana, and Ancient Greece. This influence and amalgamation of Chinese, Ayurveda, Unani, and Tibetan medicinal systems is apparent in local traditional knowledge. Our study revealed that most of the local people still rely on indigenous healing practices. Higher knowledge and use of medicinal plants is retained in the areas that also serve as main trade centers in the region. The trade of medicinal plants in the region is the one key factor in retaining traditional knowledge on medicinal plant utilization. This continued reliance on medicinal plants shows the significance of these traditional practices. A thorough evaluation is needed by ethno-pharmacologists and other concerned institutions working for public health and hygiene, especially focusing on THPs, market actors and old folk from the region. For strategies to be devised for market exploration, raising awareness, and continuity of TK, involvement is required from Government institutions, research organizations, NGOs, donors, and the private sector.

Abbreviations

CPEC: 

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

DA: 

Discriminant analysis

FC: 

Frequency of citation

FGD: 

Focused group discussion

HH: 

Household

HKH: 

Himalaya Karakoram Hindukush Mountain Range

ICF: 

Informant consensus factor

KKH: 

Karakoram Highway

MAPs: 

Medicinal and aromatic plants

NGO: 

Non-Governmental Organization

RFC: 

Relative frequency of citation

TCM: 

Traditional Chinese medicine

THP: 

Traditional health practitioner

TK: 

Traditional knowledge

UV: 

Use value

Declarations

Acknowledgements

We are thankful to the participants of the field survey for their cooperation and time. The Law Enforcement Agencies at Gilgit-Baltistan especially Captain Faisal Anwar, Captain Muhammad Awais Salim, and their entire team are thanked for their support and provision of services in times of need.

Funding

The study was conducted under the “Investigating and recalibrating traditional ecological calendars and climate change adaptation in the Himalaya region” funded by Bureau of International Cooperation Chinese Academy of Sciences, Grant No. 151853KYSB20160032. Additional support was provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Grant No. 41661144001. Funds acquired from these sources were utilized for field visits, collecting, and analyzing data and interpretation of results.

Availability of data and materials

In addition to the data presented through tables and figures in the main text, all the data supporting the findings and results is available in the additional files provided with the manuscript.

Authors’ contributions

MAS, SR, and JX conceptualized, planned, and designed the study. MAS and TK led the data collection team of SA, CK, AP, ZB, and SB. MAS and SR analyzed the data, wrote, and finalized the manuscript. RH and JX revised the paper. SR and JX supervised the first author during his doctoral research. All the authors have read and approved the final manuscript prior to submission.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The study is based on field surveys, and no human or animal trials were involved or conducted. Formal consent was obtained from participants prior to data collection and publication. In addition, International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE) code of ethics http://www.ethnobiology.net were strictly followed while conducting the research.

Consent for publication

Formal consent was obtained from participants prior to data collection and publication.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, 650201, Yunnan, China
(2)
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China
(3)
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), East and Central Asia Office, Kunming, 650201, Yunnan, China
(4)
Missouri Botanical Garden, Post Office Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166, USA
(5)
Department of Biological Sciences, Karakorum International University, Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan

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