Medicinal plant dynamics in indigenous medicines in farwest Nepal

Kunwar, Ripu M. and Acharya, Ram P. and Chowdhary, Chhote L. and Bussmann, Rainer W. (2015) Medicinal plant dynamics in indigenous medicines in farwest Nepal. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 163. pp. 210-219. ISSN 0378-8741


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Indigenous medicinal systems have evolved after the shock of original contact of traditional healers with the indigenous traditions because decreasing availability of indigenous medicinal plants and assimilation of new species are increasingly occurred.

Materials and methods: In this study, we appraised the distribution and usage of indigenous and nonindigenous
botanicals and their habitats and their uses in indigenous medicines of farwest Nepal following literature and herbarium specimens review, participatory field visits and ethnobotanical surveys.

Results: Because farwest Nepal is least suitable for staple cereal crops, local people have always heavily
relied on locally available wild plants. The extensive usage of medicinal plants in farwest Nepal indicates
that the plant use is an integral part of culture. Indigenous plants are highly susceptible to overharvesting
and their population and distributions have been impacted in response to the introduction of nonindigenous
species. Sparse distribution of indigenous species and easy access to non-indigenous species and their habitats, compounded by the need to find for alternatives for species in decline and to treat new diseases, lead to the increment in use of non-indigenous species. Secondary and community forests are gaining importance for the harvest of non-indigenous medicinal plants as they are easily accessible
and old-growth forests are overexploited. Besides easy access, ecological versatility and multiple usefulness
of secondary habitats and non-indigenous species also contribute to their increasing use in local pharmacopoeias.
Conclusion: The acceptance of non-indigenous resources is analogous to the cultural evolution and dynamic indigenous knowledge systems, and considered as an adaptive asset.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - No Department (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - No Department (1 Jul 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2017 07:35
Last Modified: 18 May 2017 05:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: medicinal plants; secondary forests; non-indigenous species; traditional medicines; Nepal
Fields of Research (2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function
Fields of Research (2020): 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4102 Ecological applications > 410203 Ecosystem function
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960810 Mountain and High Country Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
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