Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Amzad Basha Kolar*, Edwin Raj Esack, L. Vivekanandan and M. Ghouse Basha receive William Harvey Research Award-2015 in Ethnobiology

Breaking News: Amzad Basha Kolara*, Edwin Raj Esackb, L. Vivekanandanb and M. Ghouse Basha receive William Harvey Research Award-2015 in Ethnobiology

Amzad Basha Kolar*, Edwin Raj Esack, L. Vivekanandan and M. Ghouse Basha receive William Harvey Research Award-2015 in Ethnobiology

12 March, 2015, India, USA NEWS CORP

In a major move in the field of Ethnobiology, Amzad Basha Kolar*, Edwin Raj Esack, L. Vivekanandan and M. Ghouse Basha from India are awarded with William Harvey Research Award-2015 in Ethnobiology. The worldwide competition involved many countries. World’s scientific communities turn their attention to merit of the scientific concept involved in it. It is catalyzing the funding and research enthusiasm. The research findings appeared on world’s prestigious The Journal of Ethnobiology and Traditional Medicine. A quantitative ethnomedical study wasconductedamong the Malayalitribal communities of PachamalaiHills to document traditional knowledge of the tribes with respect to the medicinal plants and their potential medicinal uses. The study explored the traditional usage of 190 medicinal plant species in 158 genera belonging to 67 families (87.6% dicotyledons, 10.7% monocotyledons and 1.5% gymnosperm). Out of the 190 species employed to treat various ailments, there were 62 trees (32.63%), 43 herbs (22.6%), 25 shrubs (13.2%), 19 vines (10%), 14 sub-shrubs (7.3%), 10 stragglers (5.26%), 8 lianas (4.21%), 5 twiners (2.65%) and 4 climbers (2.61%). The majority of the Malayali tribals of Pachamalai Hills are highly dependent on local plants as their primary source of medicines. However, results from this study show that these communities are quite close-knit and share their knowledge only within the family or amongst their own. Furthermore, they are highly dependent on these plants, which will cause depletion of this medicinal plant wealth. The data documented in this study shows the social importance and may serve as a basis for further studies. This study reveals that medicinal plants play a pivotal role in the primary health care of the people of PachamalaiHills. This is reflected in the great diversity of plants used for medical purposes as well as in the wide range of their applications and associated procedures. The FIC and FL values were concurrent with the informants’ agreement about the different ailments treated by the Malayalitribals. The significant difference between the categories of KRI and KSI values shows that knowledge of medicinal plants is much richer and sharing of knowledge among the community is also very extensive. Multivariate analysis further confirms the existence of knowledge sharing and intentional selection of informants within the community. The Malayalitribe is highly dependent on medicinal plants, in which some of them were listed in IUCN RED-list categories, e.g. Aegle marmelos (VU), Aphanamixis polystachya (VU, Cayratia pedata (CR), Canarium strictum (EN), Celastrus paniculatus (VU), Cycas circinalis (CR), Gloriosa superb (NT), Moringa concanensis (VU), Pseudarthia viscid (NT), Santalum album (EN), Smilax zeylanica (VU), Terminalia arjuna (LRNT). The fact that these many medicinal plants have other uses may lead to their over exploitation, threatening their continuous survival in the area. Not many medicinal plants were cultivated solely for their medicinal values. So there is an urgent need to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of these medicinal plants. This will help to save not only the wealth of this region but also the health of the tribal community. For effective conservation strategies, there is a need to understand the medicinal plant wealth available in the particular region along with their status. There is no such documentation has been done till now in the Pachamalai hills, a part of Eastern Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. The majority of the Malayali tribals are highly dependent on local plants for their primary source of medicines. There are no reports about Ethnomedicinal survey till now in this area. The present work highlights the traditional usage of 190 medicinal plant species in 158 genera belonging to 67 families. The exploitation of medicinal plants for traditional medicine in this area is leading to depletion of medicinal plants. Present research is mainly concentrating on Ethnomedicinal survey and documentation of medicinal plants of Pachamalai hills. Not much importance is given to population studies. Medicinal plants richness of species, diversity, distribution, frequency, etc. are still need to calculate. The over exploitation of medicinal plants is need to be estimated to understand the status of medicinal plants in Pachamalai hills. Medicinal plants are national resource the use of which has continued in an unbroken tradition in India across two mellenia. Given their continuing social and growing economic importance on a bio cultural resource, on one hand and threats to their survival on the other hand. It makes imperative for the Government to see these vital floras as a national treasure, which must be protected and conserved. Something sort of a national policy on medicinal plants conservation is urgently needed. This must be followed by the immediate implementation of effective programmes in line with national policy. They thank all their study participants and traditional healers of the Malayali tribe of Pachamalai hills for sharing their valuable indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants during the field survey. The authors are thankful to the Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, for providing the DST-FIST Sponsored program in our department. The authors are also grateful to the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, for providing financial support under major research project grand number 31-157/2005 (SR). Finally, the authors would like to thank the reviewers for their useful suggestions and valuable comments.
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