Research Article

Ethno-medicine for Gastrointestinal Diseases by the Savaras of Andhra Pradesh  

S. Prasanthi , J. Suneetha , Reddy T.V.V. Seetharami
Department of Botany, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam 530003, India
Author    Correspondence author
Medicinal Plant Research, 2017, Vol. 7, No. 2   doi: 10.5376/mpr.2017.07.0002
Received: 13 Dec., 2016    Accepted: 15 May, 2017    Published: 05 Aug., 2017
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Prasanthi S., Suneetha J., and Seetharami Reddi T.V.V., 2017, Ethno-medicine for gastrointestinal diseases by the Savaras of Andhra Pradesh, 7(2): 7-18 (doi: 10.5376/mpr.2017.07.0002)

Abstract

Exclusive studies on gastrointestinal diseases by the Savaras, a primitive tribal group in Andhra Pradesh are not reported necessitating the present investigation. The study yielded 102 species of pants covering 92 genera and 53 families used for curing gastrointestinal ailments. Fabaceae is the dominant family with 7 species followed by Apocynaceae, Euphorbiaceae (6 each); Caesalpiniaceae, Rutaceae, Rubiaceae, Liliaceae (4 each) and others. Herbs are dominant (42.15%) followed by trees (33.33%), shrubs (14.70%) and climbers (9.80%). Leaf is used in maximum practices (26.97%) followed by root (21.71%), stem bark (13.81%), seed and whole plant (7.89% each), root bark (5.26%), rhizome (3.36%), bulb (2.63%), stem and gum (1.31% each) and others. Allmania nodiflora, Tephrosia procumbens and 66 practices were found to be new or less known.

Keywords
Et hnomedicine; Gastrointestinal diseases; Savaras; Andhra Pradesh

1 Introduction

Herbal medicine is the oldest form of health care system known to mankind. Herbs had been used by all cultures throughout the history. It is an integral part of the development of modern civilization. Primitive tribes added the medicinal power of herbs in their area to its knowledge base. The approach of the herbal medicine is not just about alleviating symptoms. More importantly, it is concerned with helping the body to cure itself. We have abandoned the basic folk wisdom of generations in favor of synthetic drugs, which might not stand the test of time. Despite the advances of modern medicine, the vast majority of the world’s population still depends on herbal remedies to cure its illness.

 

Diarrhea is also called loose motions. It is the passage of watery stools, usually at least three times in a 24-hour period. Diarrhea is not itself a disease, but can be a symptom of several diseases. It is a condition in which the sufferer has frequent and watery bowel movements caused by bacteria or viruses. Children who are malnourished suffer much more. It occurs worldwide and causes 4% of all deaths and 5% of health loss to disability. The key factors are unclean water, dirty hands at mealtime, spoilt food, poor sanitation and unhygienic conditions.

 

Dysentery is also called bloody flux. It is a serious condition affecting the large intestine caused by protozoa and bacilli and characterized by inflammation and ulceration of the bowel, which is a colic pain in the region of the abdomen and passing of liquid or semi-formed stools with mucus and blood. Bacterial infections are by far the most common causes of dysentery. The tribal people ordinarily resort to indigenous phytotherapeutic methods of treatment, which is mainly based on plants and exists in the folklore of rural masses. Here we come across an astonishing therapy where the gastrointestinal diseases are treated by plant drugs. Though there are publications on gastrointestinal diseases (Borah et al., 2006; Chanda et al., 2007; Kamble et al., 2008; Mitra and Mukherjee, 2010; Kagyung et al., 2010; Murthy and Vidyasagar, 2013) exclusive studies on a primitive tribal group are not reported in literature necessitating the present study.

 

The study area lies between 17⁰ 50’ and 19⁰ 15’ of Northern latitude and 83⁰-84⁰ 45’ of Eastern longitude covering a total area of 2436.93 sq km in the Eastern Ghats of Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh. The total population of Andhra Pradesh is 76,210,007 (2001 census) of which the tribes constitute 5,024,104 (6.59%) of the total population. Of the total eight tribal communities recognized as primitive tribal groups (PTGs) by the government of India in Andhra Pradesh, Savaras are one among them with a population of 75,241 speaking Savara language which belongs to Kol Munda group of Astro-asiatic family of languages.

 

2 Material and Methods

Ethnobotanical survey was undertaken for a period of 7 years from 2008-2014 in 48 interior tribal pockets with good forest cover and 73 vaidhyas and practitioners were consulted. Interviews were conducted with the Savara tribal people at their dwellings. During oral interviews, specific questions were asked and the information supplied by the informants was noted. The knowledgeable informants were taken to the field and along with collection of plants for the voucher specimens, the use of the plants as given by the tribal informants was noted. Each medicinal practice was cross checked with at least 3-4 informants, critically analyzed and documented. Plant specimens were deposited in the Herbarium of the Department of Botany, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.

 

3 Enumeration

In the enumeration, plant species used for curing various gastrointestinal disorders are arranged alphabetically with Latin name followed by vernacular name with voucher number, type of ailment, parts used, method and mode of preparation in a tabular form (Table 1). The newly reported species and practices were marked with an asterisk (*).

 

 

Table 1 Ethnomedicinal plants used for treating gastrointestinal diseases

 

4 Results and Discussion

The study yielded 102 species of pants covering 92 genera and 53 families used by the Savaras of Andhra Pradesh for curing gastrointestinal diseases viz., anthelmintic, antiemetic, cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, gastritis, laxative, stomachache, stomatitis, ulcers, etc. Fabaceae is the dominant family with 7 species followed by Apocynaceae, Euphorbiaceae (6 spp each); Caesalpiniaceae, Rutaceae, Rubiaceae, Liliaceae (4 spp each), Sterculiaceae, Combretaceae, Asteraceae, Solanaceae, Amaranthaceae (3 spp each); Mimosaceae, Myrtaceae, Menispermaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Acanthaceae, Lamiaceae, Aristolochiaceae, Araceae, Piperaceae, Zingiberaceae, Poaceae (2 spp each) and others with one species each. Habit-wise analysis showed the dominance of herbs with 43 species (42.15%) followed by trees (34 spp 33.33%), shrubs (15 spp 14.70%) and climbers (10 spp 9.80%). Morphological analysis showed the maximum utilization of leaf in 41 practices (26.97%) followed by root (33 21.71%), stem bark (21 13.81%), seed and whole plant (12 each 7.89%), root bark (8 5.26%), rhizome (5 3.36%), bulb (4 2.63%), stem and gum (2 each 1.31%) and bulb, prop root, flower and latex (one each 0.65%). They are administered either in the form of paste, powder, pulp, decoction, extract, or pill along with either water, hot water, milk, goat milk, cow milk, buttermilk, rice washed water, honey, lemon juice, ghee, castor oil, coconut oil, curd, salt, garlic, ginger, sugar, sugar candy or jaggery. Dysentery and stomachache are cured using 29 prescriptions each followed by anthelmintic (21); ulcers (14); diarrhea (12); diarhea and dysentery and gastritis (8 each) throat ulcers (7); peptic ulcers and dystentery, stomachache (4 each); antiemetic and stomach ulcer (3 each); mouth ulcers (2) and cholera, laxative, pus oozing ulcers, ulcers in stomach, anthelmintic and stomachahche, stomachache and ulcer, stomachache and gastritis, mouth ulcer and stomatitis (1 each). Of the total 152 practices 119 involve single plant only followed by 19 with two plants, 10 with three plants, 2 with four plants and one each with five and six plants. Allmania nodiflora, Tephrosia procumbens and 66 practices were found to new or less known (Jain, 1991; Kirtikar and Basu, 2008). Plants used for similar purpose in different parts of India and its neighbors are Mangifera indica for diarrhea; Aegle marmelos, Syzygium cumini for dysentery; Holarrhena pubescens, Psidium guajava, Punica granatum for diarrhea and dysentery by the local people in central Nepal (Bhattarai, 1993); Acacia nilotica, Punica granatum for diarrhea; Achyranthes aspera, Ficus benghalensis for dysentery by the Saora and Kondh tribes of Ganjam and Phulbani districts of South Orissa (Mohanty and Padhy, 1996); Aegle marmelos, Psidium guajava, Punica granatum for dysentery by the Garo, Khasi, Jaintia, Naga, Kuki, Manipuri, Mizo, Mara, Pawsi, Chakmas, Dafla tribes of Mizoram (Bharadwaj and Gakhar, 2003); Syzygium cumini for dysentery by the local people of Dibrugarh district of Upper Assam (Borah et al., 2006); Holarrhena pubescens for diarrhea and dysentery by the local healers, Bongthings, in Sikkim Himlayas (Chanda et al., 2007); Cissampelos pareira for stomachache by the Bhilla, Thakar, Warli and Konkana tribes of Northwest Maharashtra (Kamble et al., 2008); Syzygium cumini, Tridax procumbens for dysentery by the Sahanra, Binjhal, Kondh, Gond, Munda, Kuli, Kalanga, Oran, Mirdha, Dharua, Kisan, Kharia and Parja tribes of Bargarh district, Orissa (Sen and Behera, 2008); Acacia nilotica, Aegle marmelos, Helicteris isora, Psidium guajava, Punica granatum, Syzygium cumini for dysentery by the Mullu kuruma tribe of Wayanad district, Kerala (Silja et al., 2008); Aegle marmelos for diarrhea, Acacia nilotica, Piper nigrum for dysentery ,Punica granatum for diarrhea and dysentery; Aspagarus racemosus for gastritis and Wrightia tinctoria for stomachache by the people of 11 districts of Karnataka (Shiddamallayya et al., 2010); Helicteris isora, Holarrhena pubescens for dysentery by the Gond, Kol, Baiga, Panica, Khairwar, Manjhi, Mawasi, Agaria tribes of Rewa district, Madhya Pradesh (Shukla et al., 2010); Butea monosperma as anthelmintic, Cyperus rotundus for dysentery, Aegle marmelos for diarrhea and dysentery, Cissampelos pareira and Tephrosia purpurea for stomachache by the Rabha, Rajbanghsi, Santal, Munda, Oraon, Polia/Polly, Lepcha, Toto tribes of North Bengal (Mitra and Mukherjee, 2010); Aegle marmelos, Punica granatum for dysentery, Andrographis paniculata for stomachache by the Hmar tribe of Cachar district, Assam (Nath and Choudhury, 2010); Psidium guajava for diarrhea and dysentery and Zingiber zerumbet for stomachache by the Adis, Gallos, Khambas, Membas, Mishims tribes of Dehang-Debang Biosphere Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh (Kagyung et al., 2010); Aegle marmelos, Clerodendrum viscosum, Holarrhena pubescens, Psidium guajava, Teerminalia bellirica for dysentery by the Chakma, Marma, Tripura tribes of Chittagong Hill tracts of Bangladesh (Biswas et al., 2010); Punica granatum for diarrhea and dysentery and Aloe vera as laxative by the Abbasies, Tareen, Jadoon, Syeds, Mashwani, Tanolis, Awans, Qureshis, Sardars and Sheikhs tribes of Abbottabad district, North West Frontier Province, Pakistan (Abbasi et al., 2010); Aegle marmelos, Careya arborea, Psidium guajava, Punica granatum for diarrhea; Achyranthes aspera, Andrographis paniculata, Holarrhena pubescens for dysentery by the Santhal, Kolha, Bathudi, Kharias, Mankidias, Gond, Ho tribes of Mayurbhanj district, Orissa (Rout and Panda, 2010); Alangium salvifolium for diarrhea; Acacia nilotica, Ficus benghalensis, Punica granatum, Terminalia bellirica for dysentery by Bhil and Bhilala tribes of Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh (Wagh et al., 2011); Aegle marmelos, Holarrhena pubescens, Psidium guajava, Punica granatum for diarrhea by different ethnic people and tribal communities Lepchas, Limboos, Bhutias and Nepalese of Darjiling district of West Bengal (Moktan and Das, 2013); Achyranthes aspera, Tridax procumbens for dysentery by the Valmikis, Koravas, Kurubas and Lambanees belonging to various communities and tribes of Bellary district, Karnataka (Murthy and Vidyasagar, 2013); Aegle marmelos, Syzygium cumini for dysentery, Nyctanthes arbor-tristis as anthelmintic by the Dimasa tribe of Barrak valley, South Assam (Nath et al., 2013) and Mangifera indica for diarrhea; Bauhinia purpurea, Holarrhena pubescens, Soymida febrifuga for dysentery by the people of Gumla, Dhanbad, Bokaro, East and West Singhbhum, Saraikela-Kharsawan districts of Jharkhand (Sanjeev Kumar, 2015). Common methods of obtaining medicinal plants were from the wild and cultivation. This study provides empirical ethnobotanical data for curing gastrointestinal disorders and preserve the indigenous knowledge of the Savaras of Andhra Pradesh.

 

5 Conclusion

The Savaras of Andhra Pradesh are highly dependent on these medicinal plants as they are easily available in their vicinity and proved to be effective. The most widely used plants for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases by most of the vaidyas are Aegle marmelos, Holarrhena pubescens and Phyllanthus emblica. These promising plants be taken up for further pharmacological and clinical studies useful in the formulation of new drugs for gastrointestinal diseases.

 

Acknowledgement

The authors are grateful to the Savaras of Andhra Pradesh for sharing their valuable knowledge on gastrointestinal diseases and help during field work.

 

References

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