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Research Article

Ethenomedicinal Survey of Plants of Khanabad Village and its Allied Areas, District Gilgit

Muhammad Sadiq Gorsi and Shama Miraj
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An exhaustive ethenomedicinal investigation of plants was carried out in Khanabad village and its allied pastures of district Gilgit. The paper encompasses 126 plant species distributed among 48 families out of which 42 families belong to dicotyledons, 2 monocotyledonous 3 gymnosperms and 1 pteridophyte. This study is primarily concerned with the therapeutic properties of medicinal plants. The information collected from the local people and list being mentioned are expected to prove helpful in shortlisting the plant species found in this area. It will assist the forest, pharmaceutical firms, medicos and wild life managers in their efforts for improving the public health service and medicinal plant wealth of the area.

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  How to cite this article:

Muhammad Sadiq Gorsi and Shama Miraj , 2002. Ethenomedicinal Survey of Plants of Khanabad Village and its Allied Areas, District Gilgit. Asian Journal of Plant Sciences, 1: 604-615.

DOI: 10.3923/ajps.2002.604.615



Khanabad is a small village of Hunza sub-division, which is 65 Km away from District Gilgit (Northern areas) at an elevation of 2000 meters above sea level (Personally documented). It is bounded on the South by Hunza River, on the East by Karimabad and Khunjrab and on the west by Mayoon, Hussainabad and Khizarabad villages. Raka Poshi (7,788 meter) the snow-capped mountain stands to its North. Summer is pleasant, while winter is very hard. July and August are the hottest months, whereas December and January are the coldest months of the year during which the temperature falls below the freezing point. The average mean maximum and minimum temperature of the year is 25.24 and 6 °C respectively. Geologically the rocks are of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary types (Sheikh 1975 ). Mostly the soils are sandy loam silty clay and clayey loam.

Human behavior has a direct impact on the plant communities with which they interact. These interactions are the focus of ethnobotany (Pei, 1995). Heinrich and Barerra (1993) have described the importance of ethno-botanical research in understanding relative importance of medicinal plants and their indigenous prescriptions and products for a society. Shinwari (1996) discussed the present status of ethnobotany in Pakistan. He stressed upon the need of exploration, documentation and application of traditional knowledge in the use of natural resources.

Leporatti and Lattanzi (1994) studied 27 medicinal plants ethenobotanically in Makran and discussed their traditional medicinal uses. Goodman and Ghafoor (1992) conducted ethenobotanical study in Baluchistan province. It is the region where a heterogeneous cultural group known as Baluch lives. They collected information about 114 plant species used by nomads and village dwellers. Shinwari and khan (1996) focused on information regarding traditional uses of plants of Kaghan valley. Shahzad et al. (1999) reported vegetation composition of Samahni valley (AJK). Shahzad and Qureshi (2001) have described the common ethenomedicinal uses of plants in Jatlan area district Mirpur (AJK). Dastagir (2001) reported the medicinal plants of Mai Dhani Hill, Muzaffarabad (AK). Bukhari (1996) reported that as many as 69 plant species are used as crude drugs by the local people and folk lore for treating various diseases in National Park Machayara Muzaffarabad (A.K). Khan (1996) reported phytosociological study in Babusar valley and recorded five plant communities in Babusar valley, district Diamer. He also described the vegetation type, range management and medicinal plants of the area. Rasool (1998) studied the medicinal plants conservation status of Northern areas and recorded 60 medicinal plants from different locations of Northern areas. Gorsi and Shahzad (2002) reported the medicinal uses of plants by the local community in Dhir Kot, district Bagh (AK). Local people collect medicinal plants for use as home remedies at large. Information about the collection, quantities and uses of the plants are badly needed to be communicated.

The present information can serve as the foundation for further investigation because no detailed ethenobotanical exploration has been carried out in this area so far.

Materials and Methods

The plant specimens were collected from different spots of Khanabad village and its allied pastures of district Gilgit during the period July-August 2000. The specimens collected were pressed in the blotting papers for removal of moisture, powdered naphthalene was sprinkled over the plants against fungal attack. Blotters were changed after every 2-3 days until the plants were fully dried. The dried plants were glued and mounted on herbarium sheets. Data relating to different ethenobotanical aspects were collected from local people of the areas. The collected plants were identified with the help of available literature (Nasir and Ali 1970-1987; kirtikar and Basu,1989). Further identification was done by comparing the collected plants with the collection in Herbarium, Department of Biological Sciences, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad. Most of the specimens of the collected species were deposited in the Herbarium of the Department of Botany, University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad.

Results and Discussion

Information about the usefulness of the plants as medicines has been collected and documented as used by the local people. The present study provides information about some therapeutic uses of 126 plant species belonging to 48 families out of which 42 families belong to dicotyledons, 2 monocots, 3 gymnosperms and pteridophyte (Table 1). These medicinal plants are either used singly (mufrad) or in combination (murakkab) with some other plant or plant parts. The plant drugs are generally used for curing several diseases. Since the uses are based on empirical knowledge, the scientific study of all these herbal drugs is highly desirable to establish their efficacy for safe use. The area needs proper protection for sustainable and long term conservation and survival of bio-resources. The medicinal plants can be protected by conservation programmes with the help of the local people. Regular chemical screening of different medicinal plants and their useful parts collected from the field in different seasons be done.

Table 1: Ethenobiological value of plants of Khanabad village and its allied areas, district Gilgit

The oil bearing medicinal plants should be fenced for chemical and biological investigation, as well as for preventing over grazing, cutting and use as fuelwood. These observations are in confirmation with the findings of (Shahzad and Qureshi, 2001; Dastgir, 2001; Gorsi and Shahzad, 2002). They also observed that rapid urbanization and unplanned exploitation have resulted in loss of such medicinally important plants species. In fact good management of the environment whether it is protected area or not, can not be achieved without the active involvement of local people.

It is therefor imperative to actively involve the suggestions of local people in evaluation, planning, implementation and monitoring process for sustainable development of natural resources.

Bukhari, S.A.H., 1996. Community uses of medicinal plants of national park Machyara Muzaffarabad Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Proceedings of the 1st Train. Workshop Ethenob. Applied Conserve, (WEAC'96), National Herbarium, PASA (NARC), Islamabad, Pakistan, pp : 39-64.

Dastagir, G., 2001. Medicinal plants of mai Dhani hill Muzaffarabad Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Hamdard Medicus, 1: 29-35.

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Gorsi, M.S. and R. Shahzad, 2002. Medicinal uses of plants with particular reference to the people of Dhirkot Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Asian J. Plant Sci., 1: 222-223.
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