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Medicinal Plant’s Wealth of Aravalli Hills, Gurgaon District, Haryana, India



Narendra Kumar and S.M. Paul Khurana
 
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ABSTRACT

Background and Objective: The Aravalli hills of Gurgaon district Haryana have high richness of biodiversity. This necessitates to find medicinal wealth for human use. The aim of this study was to investigate and record medicinal uses of plants by the inhabitants of in and around Aravalli hills in Gurgaon district, Haryana, India. Materials and Methods: An ethnobotanical study was conducted from March, 2014-2019 onwards through personal interviews of local villagers/farmers. The standard ethnobotanical methods were followed. The plants were identified by available literature and flora. The data was collected though a series of field investigations. The systematic and random sampling methods were employed to study different locations. Ethnobotanical information was gathered using semi-structured interviews. Results: The paper records (count) 53 important plant species of medicinal value from different families. Most of the plant species belonged to family Fabaceae followed by Moraceae and Asteraceae. Conclusion: Hence, the study revealed that Aravalli hills Gurgaon has much useful medicinal floras, that local people can use the parts of the plant in disease treatment and can modify, the ways of formulation application/administration and ingredients used in preparation.

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Narendra Kumar and S.M. Paul Khurana, 2020. Medicinal Plant’s Wealth of Aravalli Hills, Gurgaon District, Haryana, India. Research Journal of Medicinal Plants, 14: 96-103.

DOI: 10.3923/rjmp.2020.96.103

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=rjmp.2020.96.103
 
Received: January 07, 2020; Accepted: February 10, 2020; Published: June 15, 2020



INTRODUCTION

Human societies have been in close contact with their environments since the beginning of their formation and used the ingredients of the environment to obtain food and medicine1. India has a long history and strong base for Ayurveda, which is the traditional herbal medical system. Herbal plants play an important role in prevention and treatment of human diseases2. The word Ethnobotany is structured by combining two Greek words: Ethnos and Botane. Ethnos represents 'people' and Botane means 'herb'. It means that 'the study of people and herbs'. It can be called as study of people and plants (trees, shrubs and herbs)’. This was introduced by Jain3 that Ethnobotany is 'the study of the utilitarian relationship between human beings and vegetation in their environment which includes its medicinal uses.

Now, Ethnobotany is a well known branch of Botany having received much attention in the developed countries like USA, UK, France and in several other parts of the world. Indian Vedic literature covers a lot of information relevant to Ethnobotany in which Charaka Samhita appears to be the most important. Various parts of India was covered with dense forests having a large number of medicinal planst. Local people had immense knowledge on various applications of plants. Keeping this in mind, usage of medicinal plants was investigated in some parts of the country4-6.

But only a little work has been done in Aravalli hills of Haryana. This covers vast surface having high richness of biodiversity in this area necessitating us to start a number of ethnobotanical investigations and results to be documented. Therefore, documentation of medicinal plants and their usage by local inhabitants of Haryana Aravalli hills is an important issue. The objective of this study was to collect and document information about the medicinal plants used by inhabitants of the hills of Aravalli in and around Gurgaon district, Haryana, India.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Study area: The study was carried out at Aravalli hills of Gurgaon district Haryana from March, 2014-December, 2019.

Details of study area: The Aravalli Hills is a range of mountains running approximately 692 km (430 mi) in a southwest direction, starting in north India from Delhi and passing through southern Haryana.

Image for - Medicinal Plant’s Wealth of Aravalli Hills, Gurgaon District, Haryana, India
Fig. 1:A general view Aravalli hills

The latitude of Gurgaon, Haryana is 28.457523 and the longitude is 77.026344. Gurgaon can be located at the cities place category with the GPS coordinates of 28°27' 27.0828'' N and 77°1' 34.8384'' E. Gurgaon has an elevation of 226 m that is equal to 741 feet.

A large diversity of medicinal plants (Tree, Herb and Shrub) occurs in Aravalli range. Before starting the field work on medicinal uses of plants and the study area (Hills of Aravalli) in and around Gurgaon district Haryana, India general information about the area was informally collected from the inhabitants (villagers/farmers) of the Aravalli hills (Fig. 1, 2a-c).

Identification of plants: For this study standard ethnobotanical methods were followed3,7,8. The plants were identified by available literature and flora9-13. Two broad steps of ethnobotanical investigations were adopted. In the first step direct contact with local people/farmers was made to collect first hand information from each study site. In the second step an indirect approach was adopted and information was gathered in different ways, such as; consulting traditional local Vaidyas (doctors/hermits) going through the diaries of foresters, plant collectors and also ancient literature.

Collection of information on way of application and use: Information on medicinal plants was also recorded about the plant parts used, vernacular names, way of preparation of medicine either from individual plant or in combination with other plants. The data gathered was analyzed for various genera and species of high value medicinal plants in order to understand and list the pattern of diversity of the particular medicinal plants and their uses.

Image for - Medicinal Plant’s Wealth of Aravalli Hills, Gurgaon District, Haryana, India
Fig. 2(a-c):
Views of flora of Aravalli hills, (a) Flora near AUH Gurgaon, (b) Dense forest and (c) Flora where cultivation started

RESULTS

A total of 53 species (Table 1) of medicinal plants belonging to different families have been documented. It is evident from Table 1 that family Fabaceae covered 5 species, Moraceae 4 species and Asteraceae 3 species while other families showed 2 or 1 species, respectively.

The information gathered revealed that local people of Aravalli in and around Gurgaon use different plants or plant parts for management of several diseases/illness. The plant parts which were mostly utilized were leave. These medicinal plants are quite effective remedies against various diseases such as; cold, cough, stomach-ache, fever, diarrhoea, diabetes, jaundice, dysentery, back-ache, ulcers etc. The local herbalist uses these plants as healers in traditional medicines. The local people and farmers use different plants for curing various minor to major infections. They prepare medicines in many ways using different parts of plants for various problems. Whole plant or sometimes mainly the root, stem bark, fruit and latexs are taken.

DISCUSSION

A total of 53 species were recorded in which family Fabaceae covered 5 species, Moraceae 4 species and Asteraceae 3 species while other families showed 2 or 1 species, respectively. India have wealth of 6,600 medicinal plants14. A study of Daniels15 revealed that Western Ghats has 4500 species. Northeast India has India's richest reservoir of plant diversity16 and harbours 40% of India’s endemic plant species17.

Floristic survey of district Karnal, Haryana (India) conducted in 2011-2012 by Kaur and Vashistha18, revealed 71 ethnobotanical species belonging to 67 genera of 38 families. Among the families Leguminosae (8 species) was the most dominant family followed by Asteraceae (7 species). For preparation of the medicines plant parts mainly used are leaves, fruits, seeds and roots18 this study also showed that peoples are using these parts.

Ethnobotanical methods using semi-structured interviews conducted at Rewari and Mahendergarh district of Haryana revealed that a total of 48 species of medicinal plants belonging to 26 families. People of these districts have been using these plants in treatment of more than 60 diseases19. Sharma et al.20 recorded 48 plants used by the Meo community. The difference in number type or species may be due to locations and climatic variations.

The local inhabitants (people and farmers) of the Aravalli, hills in and near Gurgaon district of Haryana have in depth knowledge on plants providing many remedies for various disease problems of human beings and livestock. Aravalli hills are now losing many medicinal plants cover and some plants are now getting rare as confirmed by the elders.

Table 1:
Medicinal value of plants recorded from local inhabitants of Aravalli hills near Gurgaon district of Haryana, India
Image for - Medicinal Plant’s Wealth of Aravalli Hills, Gurgaon District, Haryana, India
Image for - Medicinal Plant’s Wealth of Aravalli Hills, Gurgaon District, Haryana, India
Image for - Medicinal Plant’s Wealth of Aravalli Hills, Gurgaon District, Haryana, India

This was observed during field study too. Overgrazing, soil erosion, drought and deforestation are the major factors which affect various medicinal plants. So, one should work in close connection with governmental and non-governmental organizations in order to help find traditional knowledge on medicinal plant species for future generations. If the present trend remains unchecked many high value medicinal plants may soon be extinct. Awareness should be created for conservation and for sustainable use of traditional medicinal plants. It needs In situ and Ex situ conservation measures for medicinal plants which are getting scarce in these places still they are harvested as wild only. There must be conservation priority for multipurpose plants (plants with more diversified medicinal uses). This is because of high intensity of harvesting which leads to over-exploitation.

More attention is needed on medicinal plants on their role that they play in environmental protection, poverty alleviation and health care. It needs more in depth investigations to document indigenous knowledge on medicinal plants.

CONCLUSION

The recorded all species (53) have immense potential useful in different ailments and it needs large scale trials for use and conservation. It effectively depicted that peoples living in hilly area have deep ethnobotanical knowledge in and around Gurgaon district of Haryana which is useful for pharma industry.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT

This study discovers that Aravalli hills of Gurgaon district Haryana have high richness of biodiversity covering 53 important plant species. That can be beneficial for human for treating various human ailments. This study will help the researcher to uncover the critical areas of the ways of formulation application/administration and ingredients used against diseases. Thus a new theory on dependence of plant products may be advocated which will reduce the cost of synthetic medicines. This study discovers the possible use of medicinal plants. This study will help the researcher to investigate more for its conservation.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Authors are thankful to the Amity University, Haryana authorities for the facilities and constant encouragement.

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