A STUDY OF ETHNOMEDICINAL PLANT DIVERSITY OF SACRED NATURAL SITES OF PANCHKOSHI PILGRIMAGE OF VARANASI, UTTAR PRADESH INDIAAbstract
Introduction: Medicinal plants have always played a major role in primary health care system since time immemorial. Sacred natural sites is the prime place to encompass large medicinal plant with wide range of natural resources. It potentially conserves plant biodiversity with inclusion of sacred places and sacred water bodies. Apart from social and religious importance it, regulate air and water quality of environment. The purpose of this study was to document the floristic diversity and traditional approaches towards the ethnomedicinal plants of Sacred Natural Sites of Panchkoshi Pilgrimage of Varanasi district, Uttar Pradesh India. Methods: An ethnobotanical survey was conducted from May 2016 to April 2018. The information collected through open-ended and semi-structured questionnaire and data were analyzed through Informant consensus factor (ICF). Results: During the field study, 66 medicinal plant species belonging to 62 genera and 36 families used to heal different illnesses were recorded. Fabaceae has the dominant family with 8 plant species and Apocynaceae and Moraceae with 5 plant species followed by Malvaceae, Poaceae, Solanaceae, and Lamiaceae. With regard to life form, trees (46.97%) were the primary source of medicinal plants and leaves (32.22%) were the regularly utilized plant part. Moreover, the mode of preparation of plant remedies was decoction (25.77%). The highest ICF value was recorded for muskulo-skeletal problem (0.96). Conclusions: This study helps in prioritizing to create awareness among the locals regarding the needs for conservation of plants and related indigenous knowledge. It would also expand and contribute green cover of expanding urbanized district of Varanasi.
S. K. Patel, A. Sharma, A. K. Tiwari and G. S. Singh *
Institute of Environment & Sustainable Development, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.
30 April 2019
03 September 2019
13 November 2019
01 February 2020