The Jaisalmer district a part of Thar Desert is very rich in medicinal plant wealth. These medicinal plants have been used by local people and tribal communities since long time in herbal and folk remedies. Kalbelia, Nats, Bhils, Raika, Bhopas, Banjara, Gadolia-Lohar, Garasia and Saharia tribal communities of this district have a rich knowledge of plants based traditional medicines. Fifteen ethnomedicinal plants like Abrus precatorius Linn., Aerva persica Burm.f., Argemone mexicana Linn., Calligonum polygonoides Linn., Chenopodium album Linn. Cleome viscosa Linn., Commiphora wightii Arnott., Corchorus depressus Linn., Cucumis melo Linn., Euphorbia hirta Linn., Fagonia indica Burm., Grewia tenax Forsk., Salvadora oleoides Decne., Solanum nigrum Linn. and Ziziphus nummularia Burm. have been selected for this research work. The present investigation is aimed to create awareness about the ethnomedicinal value of the plants and their uses to draw the attention of pharmacologists, phytochemists and pharmaceuticals.
Ethnomedicinal plants, Jaisalmer district, Herbal and Folk Remedies
Arid zone of Rajasthan is fortunately gifted with 628 species belonging to 352 genera and 87 families . About one-fourth of the total plants of the Indian Thar desert are useful for the welfare of human beings and domestic animals for food, fuel, fodder, medicine and other requirements. The erratic rainfall and poor soil fertility have marked effect on the vegetation of the Indian desert. Despite the prevailing harsh climatic conditions, the Indian Thar desert comprises richest plant diversity among the other desert of the world . The Ethnomedicinal plants of Rajasthan have been studied for their medicinal uses in herbal and folk remedies by many workers [3-16]. The present chapter highlights the importance of ethno- medicinal plants of Jaisalmer district of Rajasthan. Jaisalmer is located in the western part of the state Rajasthan forming a part of the Thar Desert. Kalbelia, Nats, Bhils, Raika, Bhopas, Banjara, Gadolia-Lohar, Garasia and Saharia communities of this district have a rich knowledge of plants based traditional medicines used in herbal and folk remedies.
Material and Methods
The Fifteen ethno-medicinal plant species growing in Jaisalmer district and their voucher plant specimens have been collected and maintained in the herbarium, P.G. Department of Botany, Govt. Dungar College, Bikaner. Information regarding the utility has been gathered from local people, tribal communities, vendors as well as experts of Ayurvedic field etc.
Observations and Discussion
Important Fifteen ethnomedicinal plants are described here in brief with their botanical name, family, local name and ethnomedicinal uses.
Abrus precatorius Linn.
Family – Fabaceae
Local name – Chirmi, Chanboi, Ratti, Sarmai, Chormoi
Aerva persica Burm.f.
Local name – Bui, Buari
Argemone mexicana Linn.
Family – Papaveraceae
Local name – Pili Kateli, Pila Dhatura, Satyanasi
Calligonum polygonoides Linn
Family – Polygonaceae
Local name – Phog, Phoglo, Phogro
Chenopodium album Linn.
Family – Chenopodiaceae
Local name – Bathua, Chilario
Cleome viscosa Linn.
Family – Capparaceae
Local name – Bagro, Handi-bagro, Pili-hulchul
Commiphora wightii Arnott.
Family – Burseraceae
Local name – Guggul, Gugal
Corchorus depressus Linn.
Family – Tiliaceae
Local name – Cham-ghas, Bahypali, Munderi
Cucumis melo Linn.
Family – Cucurbitaceae
Local name – Kachara, Kharbiyo, Baro kacho
Euphorbia hirta Linn.
Family – Euphorbiaceae
Local name – Duchoni, Dudhi.
Fagonia indica Burm.
Family – Zygophyllaceae
Local name – Jawasio, Dhamaso
Grewia tenax Forsk
Family – Tiliaceae
Local name – Gangoti, Gangi, Gangeron
Salvadora oleoides Decne.
Family – Salvadoraceae
Local name – Kharo jal, Jal, Pilu
Solanum nigrum Linn.
Family – Solanaceae
Local name – Makoi, Kali papoten, Mukkoe, Chirpoti
Ziziphus nummularia Burm.
Family – Rhamnaceae
Local name – Bordi, Jhar Bor, Pala Bor, Borti
The Jaisalmer district of western Rajasthan exhibits a great variety of geology, physiography, and peculiar edaphic and climatic conditions. The region is a rich repository of genetic material of important arid medicinal plant wealth. These plants are not valued as herbal drugs but also utilized for food, fodder, gums & resins, essential oils, dyes, fatty oils, condiments, spices etc. These studies of ethnomedicinal aspects will be useful for further researches in the field of pharmacology, phytochemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry.
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