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Herbal medicines used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus in Arunachal Himalaya, northeast, India

Tag, Hui and Kalita, P and Dwivedi, P and Das, AK and Namsa, Nima D (2012) Herbal medicines used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus in Arunachal Himalaya, northeast, India. In: JOURNAL OF ETHNOPHARMACOLOGY, 141 (3). pp. 786-795.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2012.03.007


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Medicinal plants have played an important role in treating and preventing a variety of diseases throughout the world. Khampti tribal people living in the far-flung Lohit district of the Eastern Arunachal Himalaya, India still depend on medicinal plants and most of them have a general knowledge of medicinal plants which are used for treating a variety of ailments. This survey was undertaken in Lohit district in order to inventory the medicinal plants used in folk medicine to treat diabetes mellitus. Materials and methods: Field investigations were conducted in seventeen remote villages of Lohit district starting from April 2002 to May 2004 through interviews among 251 key informants who were selected randomly during our household survey. To elucidate community domains and determine differences in indigenous traditional knowledge of medicinal plants with anti-diabetic efficacy, we repeated our field survey starting from April 2008 to May 2010 with one hundred traditional healers locally called as ``Chau ya'' in Khampti of Lohit district. ``Chau ya'' traditional healers who know and use medicinal plants for treating diabetes mellitus were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. Results: This study reports an ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants in Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh reputed for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Forty-six plant species were identified in the study area to treat diabetes mellitus by the Khamptis ``Chau ya'' traditional healers. Comparative published literature survey analysis of this study with other ethnobotanical surveys of plants used traditionally in treating diabetes mellitus suggests that eleven plant species make claims of new reports on antidiabetic efficacy. These plant species are Begonia roxburghii, Calamus tenuis, Callicarpa arborea, Cuscuta reflexa, Dillenia indica, Diplazium esculentum, Lectuca gracilis, Millingtonia hortensis, Oxalis griffithii, Saccharum spontaneum, and Solanum viarum. Some of the plants reported in this study have an antidiabetic effect on rodent models but none have sufficient clinical evidence of effectiveness. Conclusions: The wide variety of medicinal plants that are used to treat diabetes mellitus in this area supports the importance of plants in the primary healthcare system of the rural people of Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh. The finding of new plant uses in the current study reveals the importance of the documentation of such ethnobotanical knowledge. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to Elsevier Ireland Ltd
Keywords: Khamptis ``Chau ya'' traditional healers;Diabetes;Herbal medicine;Traditional knowledge;Arunachal Pradesh
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Microbiology & Cell Biology
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2012 12:53
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2012 12:53
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/44830

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