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      Medicinal plants used by traditional healers in Kancheepuram District of Tamil Nadu, India

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          Abstract

          An ethnobotanical survey was undertaken to collect information from traditional healers on the use of medicinal plants in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu during October 2003 to April 2004. The indigenous knowledge of local traditional healers and the native plants used for medicinal purposes were collected through questionnaire and personal interviews during field trips.

          The investigation revealed that, the traditional healers used 85 species of plants distributed in 76 genera belonging to 41 families to treat various diseases. The documented medicinal plants were mostly used to cure skin diseases, poison bites, stomachache and nervous disorders. In this study the most dominant family was Euphorbiaceae and leaves were most frequently used for the treatment of diseases.

          This study showed that many people in the studied parts of Kancheepuram district still continue to depend on medicinal plants at least for the treatment of primary healthcare. The traditional healers are dwindling in number and there is a grave danger of traditional knowledge disappearing soon since the younger generation is not interested to carry on this tradition.

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          Most cited references42

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          Knowledge and use of medicinal plants by local specialists in an region of Atlantic Forest in the state of Pernambuco (Northeastern Brazil)

          The study of local knowledge about natural resources is becoming increasingly important in defining strategies and actions for conservation or recuperation of residual forests. This study therefore sought to: collect information from local populations concerning the use of Atlantic Forest medicinal plants; verify the sources of medicinal plants used; determine the relative importance of the species surveyed, and; calculate the informant consensus factor in relation to medicinal plant use. Data was obtained using semi-structured forms to record the interviewee's personal information and topics related to the medicinal use of specific plants. The material collected represent 125 plants, distributed among 61 botanical families, with little participation of native plants. This study demonstrated that local people tend to agree with each other in terms of the plants used to treat blood-related problems, but cite a much more diverse group of plants to treat problems related to the respiratory and digestive systems – two important categories in studies undertaken in different parts of the world. The local medicinal flora is largely based on plants that are either cultivated or obtained from anthropogenic zones, possibly due to the use and access restrictions of the legally protected neighboring forest. Despite these restrictions, the species with the highest use-value by this community was Pithecellobium cochliocarpum (Gomez) Macb., a native plant of the Atlantic Forest.
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            Studies on pharmaceutical ethnobotany in the region of Turkmen Sahra, north of Iran (Part 1): general results.

            This paper is the result of ethnobotanical survey on the Turkmens of Golestan and Khorasan Province (Iran) conducted from June 2002 to the end of 2003. Turkmens are traditionally an isolated ethnic group residing in northern parts of Iran. We studied the folk herbal medicine among Turkmens of Iran. Totally, 136 species from 51 families were documented from which 120 species used as medicinal and 84 species mentioned by three or more informants. Information about plant uses is all summarized in Table 1. Some interesting and endemic species have been reported for medicinal uses, also some new uses for common species were documented. Some of these species are good targets for further analysis.
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              Ethnobotany of caiçaras of the Atlantic Forest coast (Brazil)

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Ethnobiol Ethnomed
                Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
                BioMed Central (London )
                1746-4269
                2006
                7 October 2006
                : 2
                : 43
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Entomology Research Institute, Loyola College, Chennai – 600 034, India
                [2 ]Department of Applied Biology, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
                Article
                1746-4269-2-43
                10.1186/1746-4269-2-43
                1615867
                17026769
                7ace4863-4a22-41ce-a836-a58ce13caf75
                Copyright © 2006 Muthu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 6 June 2006
                : 7 October 2006
                Categories
                Research

                Health & Social care
                Health & Social care

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