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Ethno-medicinal plants used by the people of Nawalparasi District, central Nepal

  • Chaudhary, R. P.
  • Bhattarai, S.
  • Taylor, R. S.

Despite new advances in modern medicine, the cultural use of plant in traditional medicine continues from ancient time to this day all over the world. The present research seeks to explore ethnomedicinal plants used by the local people of Nawalparasi district for primary healthcare. Local healers were interviewed regarding the detail uses of plants. When convenient a jungle or forest walk was also conducted, accompanying local healers for plant collection and detailed information gathering. A rich and unique diversity of 94 ethnomedicinal plant species belonging to 49 families under 86 genera were documented. In Nawalparasi, the expense of modern medical treatment combined with the poor economic status of indigenous people and a strong belief in the traditional medicine and traditional medical practitioners are the main reasons for the persistence of the traditional healing system. In addition, we have also documented a lack of continuation and flow of indigenous knowledge from the elders to the younger generation. Youth tend to be attracted by the wave of modernization and do not appreciate the importance of conservation of traditional knowledge. The use of plants in Nawalparasi is an old tradition and the exploration of such unique cultures should be completed thoroughly so that the oral traditions are not lost forever. Immediate conservation and management approaches of valuable medicinal plants with the involvement of local indigenous people of Nawalparasi district will encourage the sustainable conservation of both biological and cultural diversity.

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