Key Words

Ethnomedicinal Plants, Tribal People, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Visakhapatnam District.


Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease and it involve rheumatoid nodules, vasculitis, eye inflammation, cardio pulmonary disease are manifestation of the disease [1]. Rheumatoid arthritis is not an inherited disease. Rheumatoid arthritis has 19th century roots and a 20th century pedigree. Although its name was introduced in the 1850s. Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by persistent sinusitis, systemic inflammation and auto antibodies (particularly to rheumatoid factor and citrullinated peptide). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory, systemic autoimmune disease that affects about 1% of the general population in Western countries and is two to three times more common in women than in men. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed 20,000 medicinal plants globally; India’s contribution is 15-20%. According to the WHO estimation, about 80% of the populations in developing countries depend directly on plants for its medicinal uses [2][3]. In India, out of the 17,000 species of higher plants, 7,500 are known for medicinal uses [4]. India is one of the twelve mega diversity countries of the world with a rich diversity of biotic resources [5]. The joints may be somewhat warmer and more pink or red than neighboring skin. Prolonged inflammation causes damage and immobility of the joint. This disease is more common in women and elderly persons [6]. It is estimated that 64%-84% of world’s population depends on traditional medicine [7] [8]. Traditional knowledge forms the basis for innovations of novel drugs for the benefit of the humanity. Several workers have been working on ethno medicinal plants from Indian coastal regions [9][12].

Study Area


Visakhapatnam district with an area of 11, 161 Km2 (4.1% of the area of the state) is one of the north eastern coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh. The study area lies between 17º – 34′ 11″ and 18º – 32′ 57″ northern latitude and 18º-51′ 49″ and 83º-16′ 9″ in eastern longitude. It is bounded on the north partly by Orissa state and partly by Vizianagaram district, on south by East Godavari district, on west by Orissa state and east by Bay of Bengal with 43 mandals, of which 11 (Chintapalli, Koyyuru, G.K.Veedhi, G.Madugula, Paderu, Pedabayalu, Munching put, Hukumpeta, Dumbriguda, Araku valley and Ananthagiri) are situated in the hilly areas known as the agency area [Fig. 1]

Material and Methods

The focus of the present study is to record the ethnobotanical knowledge with special reference to medicinal plants possessed by the tribal people. They represent the pockets of human gene pool and have distinct habitats and habits with ample knowledge on the medicinal properties of their surrounding plants. Plants employed in materiel culture and plants associated with folk songs, folk tales, worship, mythology, taboos, magico-religious beliefs, ceremonies etc. were studied in addition to vernacular names. For more information and conformation of the plants we are conducted field visits in the intensive forest pockets. All plants were identified with the help of floras and literature [13][16].

Table 1: Ethnomedicinal Plants used for Rheumatoid arthritis by tribal people in Visakhapatnam District.

S.No Common Name Scientific Name Habit Family Parts
1. Gurivinda Abrus precatorius L. Shrub Fabaceae Root
2. Ankolamu , Udugu Alangium salvifolium (Linn.f.)Wang. Shrub Alangiaceaee Leaf
3. Samudrapala Argyreia nervosa (Burm.f.) Boj. Shrub Convolvulaceae Root
4. Seemakanada Arisaema tortuosum (Wall.)Schott Herb Aracaceae Tuber
5. Eswari Aristolochia indica Linn. Herb Aristolochiaceae Root
6. Vepa Azadirachta indica A.Juss. Tree Meliaceae Leaf
7. Uppicampa Azima tetracantha (Cav.) Alef. Shrub Salvadoraceae Leaf
8. Kanapa Barringtonia acutangula (Linn.) Gaertn. Tree Barringtoniaceae Stem bark
9. Koramaddi, Bridelia retusa L.Spreng. Tree Euphorbiaceae Stem bark
10. Manerteega, Celastrus paniculatus Willd. Shrub Celastraceae Seed
11. Duserateega Cocculus hirsutus (L.) Diels Shrub Cucurbitaceae Root
12. Pasupu Curcuma longa L. Herb Zingiberaceae Rhizome
13. Ummetha Datura metal L. Shrub Solanaceae Leaf
14. Uvva chettu Dillenia pentagyna Roxb. Tree Dilliniaceae Stem bark
15. Reddivari nanabalu Euphorbia hirta L. Herb Euphorbiaceae Leaf
16. Marri Ficus benghalensis L. Tree Moraceae Bark
17. Atti, Medi Ficus racemosa L. Tree Moraceae Latex
18. Adavinabhi Gloriosa superb Linn. Climber Lilliaceae Root
19. Ratna puurusha Hybanthus ennaespermus (L.) F.Muell. Herb Violaceae Root
20. Nallakokkitha Ipomoea obscura (L.) Ker.Gawl. Herb Convolvulaceae Leaf
21. Chennangi Lagerstroemia parviflora Kurz. Tree Lytheraceae Stem bark
22. Velaga Limonia acidissima L., Tree Rutaceae Root
23. Narra alagi Litsea glutinosa (Lour.)C.B.Robinson. Tree Lauraceae Stem bark
24. Krishna thulasi Ocimum tenuiflorum L. Shrub Lamiaceae Leaf
25. Kanuga chettu Pongamia pinnata (L.) Tree Fabaceae Root bark
26. Dhari gummadi Pueraria tuberose DC. Shrub Fabaceae Root
27. Bhusi chettu Schleichera oleosa (Laur.) Oken. Tree Sapindaceae Stem bark
28. Nalla jeedi Semecarpus anacardiumL.f. Tree Anacardiaceae Stem bark
29. Somida Soymida febrifuga (Roxb.) Tree Meliaceae Bark
30. Kovila chettu Sterculia urens Roxb. Tree Sterculiaceae Stem bark
31. Sukali, Barranki Streblus asper Lour. Shrub Moraceae Root
32. Adaviallam Zingiber roseum (Roxb) Roscoe Herb Zingiberaceae Rhizome

Result and Discussion

The use of medicinal herbs is still a tradition, continued by ethnic communities. The herbal raw drugs required for the preparation of medicines were collected from nearby forests. They possess a vast knowledge of the treatment. The method of treatment is traditional and drugs are used in crude form only. It is a matter of survival for them. Many scientists, researchers and environmentalists all over the world are now striving to explore, document and use the resource base knowledge for the welfare of the wider human race. Documentation of traditional knowledge related to plant resources is known as ethnobotany (17-20). Analysis of information presented in (Table 1) indicates that Visakhapatnam District possesses rich knowledge about the plant resources around them. A total of 32 angiosperm plant taxa belonging to 31 genera of 23 families have been identified and recorded for ethnobotanical uses. Out of the 23 families Moraceae and Fabaceae were the dominated families with each of 3 species, followed by Lamiaceae, Zingiberaceae, Miliaceae, Euphorbiaceae, and Convolvulaceae each of 2 taxa and remains have single species of each. Out of the total 32 flowering species, trees are 14, shrubs 10, herbs 7, climbers 1. The study showed that trees were dominating the forest.


Plants have been a prime source of highly effective conventional drugs for the treatment of many forms of arthritis. From the above review it should be evident that there are many medicinal plants which exert anti-arthritic activity at a particular dose. It is evident from the interviews conducted in different villages; knowledge of medicinal plants is limited to traditional healers, herbalists and elderly persons who are living in rural areas.