Traditional herbal medicine, ethno-botanist, psychological & mental disorders, Vijayapur, Karnataka, India


India is a major centre of origin and diversity of medicinal plants. Traditional knowledge of herbal remedy to treat human diseases is fast declining in many parts of the world, including India. In India, about 2500 species belonging to more than 1000 genera and about 158 families are used in indigenous system of medicine [14] Traditional practitioners have their own traditional knowledge to treat Psychological (Mental) Disorders. Psychological disorders {DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV, adapted from American Psychiatric Association) & ICD-10(International Statistical Classification of Diseases & Related Health Problems-10)} are a function of many factors, such as exposure to stress, genetic disposition, family background, and so on. In Psychology, stress is a feeling of strain & pressure. Insomnia or sleeplessness is a sleep disorder in which there is an inability to fall asleep or to stay asleep as long as desired. Amnesia is a deficit in memory caused by brain damage, disease or Psychological trauma. Anxiety disorders are type of abnormal behaviours characterized by unrealistic, irrational fear. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts & urges to perform repetitive, ritualistic behaviours. Depression is a state of low mood & aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behaviour, feelings & sense of well-being. Bipolar disorder is a diagnostic term describing individuals who experience episodes of mania or of both mania and depression. Dissociative disorders are stress-related disorders, characterized by amnesia, fugue, or multiple personality. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder often characterised by abnormal social behaviour and failure to recognize what is real. Most of the people do not approach doctors due to lack of knowledge, costly medicine, and different instrumental treatments like MRI, CAT, X-ray test, etc. Traditional healers & herbal medicines are very cheap & easily available. The present study was initiated with an aim to identify medicinal plants resources from traditional practitioners of Vijayapur district to treat the Psychological Disorders.

Study Area

The Vijayapur district of Karnataka state is located between north latitude 16°.01’, 17°.45’, and east longitude 75°.03’, 76°.29’. The district has its border with Belgaum, Bagalkot, Raichur, Gulbarga district and to north, Sholapur district of Maharashtra state.

Vijyapur district is plain Deccan plateau, which is from 365-610 mt height above sea level. This region is slope towards west to east. The river Doni, Krishna, Bheema, and their tributaries are flows according to the slope.

The total area of Vijayapur district is 10,541 sq kms. There are five talukas of Vijayapur district i,e., Vijayapur, Muddebihaal, Sindagi, Basavanbagevaadi and Indi. Bordered by the Bheema River in the north and the River Krishna in the south.

The district consists of the dry and arid tract of the Deccan Plateau. The temperature varies between 42°c during summer and 15°c during winter season respectively. In May mean maximum temperature is 40°c. The climate of this region is arid, tropical and steppe type.

The soil of Vijayapur district area is rich in content of basalt rock, magnetite, magnesium, aluminium and iron oxide.

The Vijayapur district receives normal rainfall 578.0 mm and the vegetation of this region is mainly dry and deciduous and may broadly as vegetation on plains. The natural vegetation near Alamatti Dam area is like dry and hot having rich flora. Many local traditional practitioners collect the plants from this area to cure the diseases.

Material and Methods

Ethno botanical survey during February 2014 to April 2016 carried out in Vijayapur district. For this, frequent field trips were made to 29 selected villages belonging to all 5 tehsils of the districts. 29 herbal healers were interviewed, data and information recorded in the standard questionnaire. Collected data and information include, Vernacular name of traditionally used medicinal plants, part used, method of preparation and dosage. Medicinal plant species were photographed in the field. Plant specimens were identified consulting with experts, by referring Flora of Gulbarga District [13] three volumes of the Flora of Presidency of Madras [1] The voucher specimens were stored at the herbarium centre, Department of Post graduate studies and Research in Botany, Gulbarga University, Kalaburagi.

Fig. 1: Fig:1

Map of the study area

Table 1: Medicinal plants used to treat some psychological ( mental) disorders by traditional practitioners of vijayapur(Bijapur) district

Scientific name Family Local/ Vern Name Habit Mental Disorders Mode of administration
Abrus precotorius L.HGUG-5013 Papilionaceae Gulaganji Tree Mental stress 10gm equal amount of root and leaves are crushed and made paste with ghee. Administered to apply forehead at night up to one week.
Annona reticulate L. HGUG-5027 Annonaceae Raamaphal Tree Schizophrenia Pulp of fruit is administered to eat early in the morning for three month or till the recovery
Annona squomosa L. HGUG-5028 Annonaceae Seethaphala Tree Depression Pulp of fruit is administered to eat early in the morning for one month
Bacopa monnieri(L.) Wettst HGUG-5033 Scrophulariaceae Neerbrahmi Herb Schizophrenia Leaves ground and administered to eat with honey every day morning and night.
Basella alba L. HGUG-5036 Basellaceae Basale Climber Anxiety 20-30 fresh leaves are taken and make 50ml of juice with water and it is administered to drink at night for 20-25 days
Benincasa hispida (Thunb.)cong. HGUG-5037 Cucurbitaceae Bhoodugumbal Climber Bipolar disorder Two teaspoonful of powder of mesocarp is administered to drink with a glass of cow milk twice a day. The oil of seed is applied to head about 3 month.
Brassica oleraceae L. Var. Capitata (L.) Alef. Brassicaceae Kyaabeeju Herb Insomnia 10-20 fresh leaves are taken and make its juice. It is administered to drink with buttermilk till recovery.
Cascabella thevesia L.Lippold HGUG-5047 Apocynaceae Kaadu kanagilu Shrub Insomnia Administration, 10-20gm of bark paste is made with goat milk and applied on forehead at bedtime for 15 days
Catharanthus roseus (L.)G. Don HGUG-5051 Apocynaceae Nithyamallige Herb Bipolar disorder Two fists of fresh leaves and flowers are crushed. The juice is administered to apply forehead at night up to two month
Erythrina suberosa (Roxb.) Papilionaceae Haarivaal gida Tree Dissociative disorder Half teaspoonful of powder of seeds, alternatively roots can also administered with honey in empty stomach once in day for 45-50 days
Evolves alsinoides (L.) HGUG-5068 Convolvulaceae Shankapushpi Small herb Mental retardation andSchizophrenia Whole plant is dried up and powdered. Administered to drink two teaspoonful with honey twice day till the recovery
Mucuna prurita Hk. HGUG-5082 Papilionaceae Thuruchi avare Climber amnesia Fresh leaves, stem and root are ground with water and administered to drink at night for 25 days. A teaspoonful powder of the dry seeds administered with water afternoon after food for 15 days, alternatively.
Musa paradisiaca L. Musaceae Baale gida Shrub Depression and Dissociative Disorder 2-3 fruits are administered to eat, when depression is felt. Fresh watery sap of stem and spathe is administered to drink when depression is felt and during the episodes of dissociations.
Myristica fragrans Houtt. Myristicaceae Jaakaayi Tree Amnesia,Schizophrenia and insomnia Dried fruit is ground and make 200mg of pill, administered with honey or goat milk twice a day till recovery.
Origanum majorana L. HGUG-5084 Lamiaceae Davana herb Bipolar disorder Leaves boiled with coconut oil are administered to gently massage head and forehead twice or thrice a day for 20 days.
Phoenix sylvistris (L.) Roxb. Arecaceae Sindi gida Tree Mental stress A 100ml of watery stem sap is administered to drink for 6-8 days or administered to drink for 10-12 days, juice of tender fruit.
Plumbago zeylanica L HGUG-5091 Plumbaginaceae Bili chithramoola Herb Dissociative Disorder 2-3 gm of, dried powered whole plant and equal amount of dried powered Bacopa monnieri and Acorus calamus is administered to drink twice a day with cow milk.
Portulaca oleraceae L. HGUG-5093 Portulocaceae Goli palle Small herb Depression and Schizophrenia 300gm of whole plant is crushed and administered to drink with 5ml of honey, twice a day till recovery. The leaves with stems also make use with salads of other vegetables with stone salt for better result.
Rostellularia diffusa (L.)Nees HGUG-5097 Acanthaceae Huchchu nelabevu Small herb 100gm of whole plant is ground with 100ml of water the juice is administered to drink till the recovery.
Rouvilfolia tetraphylla L. HGUG-5098 Apocynaceae Doddachandrike Shrub Insomnia and anxiety Dried root and leaves are powdered. This is administered to drink for insomnia once in a day at night and for anxiety a glass of fresh juice is administered up to one month.
Sesbania grandiflora(L.) Poir HGUG-5103 Papilionaceae Chogache Small tree Mental retardation (intellectual disability) 20-25gm of seeds are ground and administered to drink and 10-20 flowers are given to eat till the recovery.
Sida cordifolia L. HGUG-5104 Malvaceae Bennegarug Herb Schizophrenia and Obsessive compulsive disorder Initially, 100ml of, juice of whole plant is administered to drink with buffalo milk. Later it is reduced to half, till to the recovery.
Tabernaemontana divaricata(L)R Br. HGUG-5109 Apocynaceae Nandibattalu Shrub Mental stress and Depression Latex of plant is administered to apply on forehead thrice a day and 100ml of decoction of bark is advised to drink for 15 days.
Terminalia chebula Retz. HGUG-5111 Comretaceae Aralekaayi Tree Schizophrenia and mental retardation 300mg for children(mental retardation i.e. intellectual disability) and 600mg for adult, pills are administered to eat, for 6 month or till the recovery.
Trichosanthes anguinn L. ytrrtttgtHGUG-5116 Cucurbitaceae Padavalakaayi Climber Obsessive compulsive disorder 2-4 teaspoonful juice of leaves is given to drink for 4-5 month.
Vitex negundo L HGUG-5120 Verbinaceae Lakki Shrub Dissociative disorder 50gm of tender leaves and buds are ground with water; juice is advised to drink for 20 days.
Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal HGUG-5121 Solanaceae Ashwagandha Shrub Mental stress,Insomnia,Amnesia and anxiety 20gm of dried and powdered leaves and roots is advised to drink with goat milk twice a day, for 45 days.
Zea mays L. Poaceae Mekkejola Herb Bipolar disorder 5-6 teaspoonful of dried tender maize corn (seeds) powder is administered to drink with garlic or lemon juice with empty stomach for two month.
Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. HGUG-5087 Rhamnaceae Baarikaayi Tree Obsessive compulsive disorder and Schizophrenia 2-3 fists of tender leaves are ground and mixed with 150ml of water administered to drink and 6-8 drops are instilled in the nostrils till the recovery for both disorders.

Result and Discussion

In the present account, 29 species of angiosperms belonging to 28 genera and 20 families are reported (Table 1). The predominant family is Papilionaceae and Apocynaceae with 4 species, followed by Convolvulaceae, Annonaceae and poaceae with 2 species each. Data obtained from the survey is compiled in Table 1. All plant species scientific name, family, local name, Habit, mental disorder and mode of administration are provided. Review of related literature reveals that medicinal plants used by the traditional practitioners of this area are not recommended on other areas for same purpose [12] However these plants were used for other human ailments. For Instance root and bark of Sida cordifolia used for infections, diabetes and biliary problem. and Fruit of Terminalia chebula used for increase intelligence, good for eyes, to increase longevity, respiratory problems, coughs, piles, leprosy, edema, helminthiasis, breaking down of voice, chronic dysentery, constipation, tumour or swelling, jaundice, loss of appetite, stone dissolving [10] Silky hairs from the female inflorescence of Zea mays used to expel kidney stones [2]. Review of related literature also reveals that medicinal plants used by the traditional practitioners of this area are also recommended on other areas for same purpose [15] In Karnataka ethno-botanical studies on medicinal plants were conducted in Chikmagalur [4] Tumkur [17] Kodagu [7] Uttar Kannada [5] Bidar [5] Chitradurga [6] Shimoga[11] Gulbarga [13] Bhadra wild life sanctuary in Karnataka [8] and Bellary [16] districts. However ethnobotanical study in Vijayapur(Bijapur) district has not been reported. Among the plants reported Bacopa monnieri(L.)Wettst, Benincasa hispida (Thunb.)cong., Phoenix sylvistris (L.) Roxb. Sesbania grandiflora(L.), Sida cordifolia L., Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. are most effective medicinal plants to treat psychological disorder. Prescribed by 20 herbal healers (68%). Most of the people dependent on traditional herbal medicine because availability of effective drug plants. Hence, these plants can be taken up for further pharmacological and clinical studies. By this investigation researcher documented 29 plants can be used to treat various psychological disorders such as mental stress, Schizophrenia, Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar disorder, Insomnia, Mental retardation, Dissociative Disorder.