Harnessing of local plant species by indigenous people of Hamirpur district for ethno-veterinary purposes
Traditional medicines have been playing significant role in livestock health care management since long especially in remote area. This paper is based on a field survey conducted to collect information for curing different ailments utilized by local people and tribals in the Hamirpur district, Himachal Pradesh. Total 541 households were interviewed involved as informants with fully prepared questionnaires; proper interaction along with group discussion. Information were collected from the selected sites regarding way to cure different ailments of animals which was further analyzed for the authenticity of data through different statistical quantitative indices. We found total 121 plant species belonging to 61 families that have been documented to be of common use for curing 78 different types of livestock. Total ailments were categorized into fifteen major categories based on the body organ systems of livestock. The highest number of ethno-medicinal plants were recorded from family Fabaceae followed by Asteraceae and other families. Leaves were the most commonly used part of the plant for the preparation of ethno-medicinal medicines followed by other plant parts. Achyranthes aspera, Acorus calamus, Pogostemon benghalensis are the most important plants used to cure different ailments on the basis of use value index. On the basis of Informant Consensus factor (FIC), diseases related to digestive system, reproductive system, respiratory and fever were considered as major ailments in the livestock. In conclusion, we found in this study that most of the plants are widely used to cure different ailments as reported previously by different workers. However, on the first hand, many new findings to cure different ailments of livestock have been found during this survey indicating need for conducting more studies to get valuable information from the local community which are not documented yet. It was also found that indigenous people have excellent information with respect to ethnoecological aspect. There is an urgent need to study and document the traditional uses before they are disappeared from the society or community and further study must be integrated with qualitative and quantatitative data to assess importance of plants for ethno-veterinery purposes.
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