Study on ethnomedicinal plants of Kibber Wildlife

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Study on ethnomedicinal plants of Kibber Wildlife

Journal of Medicinal Plants Research
Full Length Research Paper
Sanctuary: A cold desert in Trans Himalaya, India
Usha Devi’, M. K. Sethz, Pankaj Sharmal* and J. C. Rana’ ‘National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Regional Station, Phagli, Shimla (HP) – 171 O04, India.
Department of Bio-Sciences, Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla-171 O05 (HP), India
Accepted 4 December, 2013

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The present study aimed to document the use of ethnomedicinal plants by Bodh or Bhotia tribe residing around Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary, a cold desert protected area in trans Himalayan Region. First-hand information on traditional knowledge was collected from Amchis (Folk healers) and local knowledgeable  people of age groups that are between 30 and 75 years along with thorough review of previous studies in Indian Himalayan Region. informants citations were also recorded for various ailments for which the species were used by which authenticity of the uses made can be assessed. The study provides information on the indigenous uses of 69 plant species, which are distributed among 25 families and 54 genera, that is,  Angiosperms (24 families, 53 genera and 68 species), Gymnosperms (1 family, 1 genus and 2 species). Out of the total plants, 65 were herbs and four were shrubs.

Key words: Cold desert, ethnomedicinal, medicinal plants, traditional knowledge, Indian Himalaya.


Himalayan region covers roughly 10% of India total land surface and harbours 18,440 species of the flora (Singh and Hajra, 1996) out of which 1750 species are medicinal (Samant et al., 1998). To consen/e such a rich biological diversity, 9.2% of its area is under protected area network (Kala, 2005a).
Cold desert is the 16th Biosphere Reserve of India and comprising about 7,770 kmz area including Pin Valley
National Park and Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary (Henceforth, KWLS) in Spiti valley (Srivastava, 2010). More than 900 plant species have been recorded from the area (Aswal and Mehrotra, 1994) of which many plant species are of local importance and are hitherto unexploited. Though the indigenous knowledge about medicinal plants usually passed through words of mouths from one generation to the next or their descendants inherit the medico-spiritual manuscripts (Malik et al., 2011). Hence, many important species that leads to drug discovery may be lost in absence of proper documentation. Moreover, in the face of the emerging threats of destructive harvesting, habitat destruction and bio-piracy (Gadgil, 1996; Utarsh et al., 1999) it becomes imperative to document the valuable indigenous knowledge of these plants. Therefore, this study has been undertaken with the aim of collecting, identifying and recording the details of ethnomedicinal plants along with their mode of preparation/application, status, nativity and
range of utility of the species. In addition to this, comparative studies of the recorded information with
previous works from Indian Himalaya (Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2007, 2009; Ballabh et al., 2008;
Chandrasekar and Srivastava, 2009; Jain, 1991; Kala, 2005b; Lal and Singh, 2008; Sharma et al., 2004, 2006,
2011; Singh et al., 2009, 2012; Singh, 2012; Singh and Lal, 2008; Sood et al., 2000; Srivastava et al., 1992;
Uniyal et al., 2006) was also done. *C0rresponcIing ciuthor. E~moiI: Tel: +91 9459517152. Fax: + 91-0177-2835453.

Plate 1. Villages around K\NLS and Grazing pressure: (a) Hikkim village; (b) Langza village; (c)
Komic village; (d) Grazing animals in KWLS.


Study area

Famous among the tourists all over the world, Spiti division in Trans Himalaya region of Lahaul and Spiti  district of Himachal Pradesh, India includes Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary. It lies between 32°50‘ and 32°30‘ N latitudes and 78° to 77°32‘ E longitudes (Figure 1). It spreads over an area of about 1400 kmz and bordered in the northern catchment of the Spiti River and is flanked by Ladakh to the north and Tibet to the east (Kala, 2005a). The altitude of sanctuary varies from 3,500 to 6,700 m above mean sea level (Green, 1993).
During winters, the temperature drops up to -35°C. Summer has mean maximum temperatures around 25°C. Precipitation is mainly in form of winter snow (Mishra, 2001). In winter months (October to April), the region remains cut-off from adjoining area due to very heavy snowfall. Flowering in the flora initiates in April to July months, when snow starts melting. The vegetation is dry alpine steppe type and shrubs seldom exceed a height of 1 m. The vegetation is mainly dominated by shrubs like Caragana, Lonicera, Artemisia and Ephedra and herbaceous plants like Allium, Aquilegia, Arnebia, Primu/a and Thymus. There are about 13
villages situated nearby the periphery of the sanctuary except one village (Kibberi) which has only two households which exists inside the sanctuary area (Plate 1).

Bhot or Bhotia tribal community that inhabits in the area is overwhelmingly Buddhists (Census of India, 1991). They have a wealth of knowledge on the use of medicinal plants in their locality. Furthermore, due to its remoteness and lack of modern health facilities, local people depend on available plant resources and
traditional medicine systems known as Amchi system of medicine, which is principally based on Tibetan system of medicine. The Amchi (herbal practitioners) considered experts in medicinal uses of
plants and are playing an important role in providing health coverage to local people. Ethnomedicinal surveys, identification and data presentation Field sunleys were carried out in and around K\NLS during the
period of 2009 to 2012 for studying details of ethnomedicinal plants.

First-hand information on traditional knowledge related to plant species was collected from the stakeholders, that is, by interacting
and interviewing Amchi (Traditional/Folk healers of Spiti valley), elderly knowledgeable people of age group between 30 and 75 years. Total 5 Amchis and 20 local knowledgeable inhabitants of
different age group were inten/iewed through semi-structured questionnaires of which 23 were male and only two were female (Table 1). Details for local names of the plants, parts used, ailments
treated, mode of administration, and curative properties were recorded. Altitude of the area was noted down with the help of GPS (Make; Garmin GPSmap76CSx). Status of occurrence of plants
was recorded through visual observations and information provided
by local inhabitants.
Most of the plants were identified on spot and the rests were
brought to the laboratory and identified through local floras (Aswal
and Mehrotra, 1994; Chowdhery and Wadhwa, 1984; Dhaliwal and
Sharma, 1999; Murti, 2001; Polunin and Stainton, 1984; Singh and
Rawat, 2000) and available literature. Standard procedures were
adopted for collection, preserving and identifying the specimens
(Jain and Rao, 1977). The voucher specimens were also matched
and compared with the authentic specimens available in the
herbarium (BSD) of Botanical Survey of India (BSI), Dehradun and
deposited in the laboratow herbarium of Himachal Pradesh
University, Shimla, as reference material. Nativity (denotes the
place of origin/first record of the species) of the plants (Anonymous,
1970; Samant et al., 1998;; http:/
is also determined. The information is given in a tabular form as
scientific names of plants in alphabetic order along with family, local
names, altitudinal range, nativity, status, habit, parts used,
ethnomedicinal uses reported, names of ailments, and modes of
administration/formulations (Table 2). Study was compared with
previous works and informants citations also recorded for various

3402 J. Med. Plants Res.
Plate 2. Few ethnomedicinal plants of KWLS: (a) Aconogonum tortuosum; (b) Allium carollinianum; (c)
Arnebia euchroma; (d) Artemisia maritima; (e) Caragana brevifolia; (f) Carum can/i,” (g) Dactylorhiza
hatagirea; (h) Dracocephalum heterophyllum; (i) Ephedra intermedia; (j) Hyoscyamus niger; (k) Lactuca
tararica; (I) Oxytropis microphylla; (m) Pedicularis bicomuta; (n) Semenovia thomsonii
ailments for which the species were used so that the validity of the
uses can be assessed (Table 4).
In the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR), the use of medi-
cinal plants is still a tradition continued by local people or
ethnic communities (Kala, 2005a) and traditional
medicine systems play an important role in daily health
care of poor people. Strong belief in the traditional
medicinal system and efficient curative properties are the
reasons to prefer traditional medicine over modern
medication. Each plant has some medicinal value and all
of the informants (100%) use medicinal plants to treat at
least some ailments. Here, the study provides infomwation
on the indigenous uses of 69 species of ethnomedicinal
plants (Plate 2). These plants were distributed among 25
families and 54 genera, that is, Angiosperms (24 families,
53 genera and 68 species), Gymnosperms (1 family, 1
genus and 2 species). As study area falls under cold
desert, herbs constitute higher number of medicinal
plants with 65 species and only four species were shrubs.
Among the angiosperms, the largest proportion of
medicinal plants collected belonged to the family
Asteraceae (13 species) followed by Apiaceae and
Polygonaceae (6 species each), Lamiaceae (O5 species),
Ranunculaceae and Scrophulariaceae (4 species each),
Gentianaceae and Fabaceae (3 species each). Gymno-
sperms were represented by Ephedraceae family only.
As species richness decreases along attitudinal gradient
(Trigas et al., 2013), distribution of maximum species (49
species) occurred between 3500 and 4500 m zone and
only 20 species were present above 4500 m. 26 species
were native to the Himalayan region and remaining 43
species were non-natives. Notable native species were
Aconitum violaceum Jacq. ex Stapf, Dactylorhiza
hatagirea (D. Don.), Heracleum candicans Lindl,
Hyoscyamus niger L., Picrorhiza kurrooa Royle ex Benth,
Saussurea bracteata Decne, Rheum moorcroftianum
Royle, etc. High-altitude Himalayan zone is full of fragile
habitats and is rich in native species (Dhar et al., 1993;
Kumar et al., 2011); therefore, presence of large number
of native species highlights its conservation priority.
Majority of these plants were used for fever, joint pain,
headache, cough, indigestion, cuts/wounds, blood
purification, jaundice, skin problem, asthma, cold, sexual
problems, etc. These ailments were grouped under 15
ailment categories (Figure 2). Maximum species were
used to cure gastrointestinal problem such as indigestion,
stomachache gastric problems, food poisoning,
constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, etc., which is in
compliance with earlier works from cold desert (Sood et
al., 2001; Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2009). Different plant
parts used for making herbal preparations to cure these
ailments were roots, leaves, stem, seeds, rhizomes and
seeds, etc (Figure 3). Mode of administration of the
herbal preparation included oral administration, paste

Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary
Devi et al. 3403
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Figure 1. Map of the study area showing KWLS.
application and inhalation (Table 3). Internal ailments
were commonly treated by making herbal preparations in
powder or in decoction form. To make powder, plant part
is dried in shade and grinded into fine powder and stored
for future use. The decoction was prepared by boiling the
plant parts in water until the volume of the water reduced
to the minimum or required amount. However, extract of
the plant part is prepared by straining well-pounded fresh
material, e.g. extraction of fresh leaves of Potentilla
bifurca L. used for headache. Seeds of H. niger are burnt
on fire and smoke is inhaled in case of toothache. Raw
leaves of Christolea crassifo/ia Camb. are chewed for
improving eye site. Most of the formulations of herbal
plants were taken once or twice a day as a full dose,

3404 J. Med. Plants Res.
Number of spec
30~ 28
18 18
13 12 12
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Figure 2. Graph showing categories of ailments cured by different plants species.
Table 1. Age group of informants.
Flower/Leaves,4 Seed 3 Flower/Fruit,1 {Flower/Stem,1
‘ | .
Flower, 6
Leaves, 1
Whole plant, 14
__;_/__ _Rhizome, 1
part, 15
Figure 3. Pie diagram showing different plant part used for curing various ailments.
Age group Male Female
depending on age, health and types of ailment.
As investigation of records of plant based on medicinal
treatments, it becomes obvious that some of the plants
are being used more frequently than the others to cure
various ailments. Therefore, the ailments considered
under present explorations, were analyzed further for
comprehensive details on the indigenous use pattern. For
specific uses of the plants, citations of the informants
were assessed (Table 4). The most cited species were:

Table 2. Ethnomedicinal plants of K\NLS.
Devi et al. 3405
Altitude (m)
Ethnobotanical uses reported in KWLS
Allium carolinianum DC
Allium przewalskianum Regel
Bupleurum falcatum L.
Bupleurum hamiltonii Balakr.
Carum can/I L.
Heracleum candicans Wall. ex DC.
Heracleurn canescens Lindl
Semenovia thomsonii (C.B.Clarke) Manden,
Anaphalis triplinerus (Spreng.) Hand, Mazz.
Anemisia dracunculus L.
Mao, Siazira
Carolina USA
China Occ
Reg Himal
As Trop
Europe Or Asia
Reg Himal
Reg Himal
Reg Himal
Reg Himal
Europe Or Reg
H Wp
Ap, Rt
Whole plant is powdered and ‘/2 teaspoon taken for
joints pains.
Leave are dried in shade and made into powder.
Powder boiled with one glass of water till V; glass
of decoction left and taken for cold
‘/1 teaspoon dried root powder used for fever and
5-6 g powder of dried aerial part used for fever.
Roots are boiled with water and decoction are
taken for cough and influenza
Powder of dried seeds used for indigestion,
dysentery, cold and ulcers twice in a day with
meals. For meumatism bulk of seeds tied in a
cotton cloth, than socked into hot apricot oil and
applied on affected part
One teaspoon of dried root powder taken orally for
food poisoning and sexual problems
Root paste used for skin problem
Seeds are boiled with 100 ml water, when 50 ml left
decoction taken for headache and gastric problem
Paste of fresh leaves applied on the cuts and
wounds for healing
Extraction of whole plant used to relief toothache
and fever.

3406 J. Med. Plants Res.
Table 2. Contd.
Arremisia maritima L.
Aster flaccidus Bunge
Cousinia thomsoni C. B. Clarke
Lactuca macrorhiza (Roy|e) Hook. f.
Lactuoa talarica (L.) C.A. Meyer
Saussurea bracteata Decne
Scorzonera virgafa DC
Taraxacum officiriale Weber
Waldheimia stoliczkai Ostenf,
Waldheimia tomentosa (Decne) Regel
Youngia glauca Edgew
Arnebia euchroma (Royle ex Benth.) l.M.
Arnebia guttata Bunge.
451 0-4760
Europe Reg Caucas
Reg Himal
Reg Himal
As Occ Ind Or
Reg Himal
China Mongol
Reg Temp Bor el
Tibet Occ
Reg Temp As Bor
Reg Himal Turkest
Sh wp, Lf
H Wp
H Rt
H Ap
H Wp
H Fl
H Ap
H St, Fl
H Fl
H Ap
H Ap
H Lf, Rt
H Rt
Paste of whole planl apllied on cuts, wounds.
Decoction of leaves is used to cure cough, joint
pains and fever
5-6 g powder of dried whole plant taken for cold
V1 teaspoon of dried root powder used to cure joint
pains twice in a day
‘/1 teaspoon powder of aerial parts used injaundice
and headache one in a day
Decoction of whole plant used for joint pains
Decoction of flower head given in fever and to
improve blood circulation once in a day
Decoction of aerial parls used in jaundice
Powdered of stem and flowers are used for
stomachache and cough with lukewarm water once
5-6 g powder of dried flowers used for food
‘/2 teaspoon powder of aerial parts used for food
poisoning once in a day
3-5 g powder of dried aerial part used for jaundice,
indigestion and fever twice in a day
Powder of leaves used to control cough. Root paste
used on cuts and wounds. Roots are used with
mustered oil to control dandruff
Root paste used on cuts and wounds

Table 2. Contd.
Devi et al. 3407
Christolea crassifolia Camb.
Codonopsis clematidea (Schrenk) Clarke
Codonopsis ovata Benth.
Gypsophilla cerasitoides D. Don
Chenopodium album L.
Chenopodium botrys L
Rhodiola cretinii (R. Hamet) H. Ohba.
Ephedra gerardiana Wall. Ex Stapf
Ephedra intermedia Schrenk el C.A. Meyer
Corydalis govaniana Wall.
Genliana leucomelaena Maxim. ex Kush.
Reg Himal
Reg Himal
Reg Himal
Reg Temp et Trop
Reg Bor
Reg Himal
As Centr Himal China
Reg Himal
Mongol Tibet
Raw leaves are chewed for improving eye site
About 6 g powder of aerial parts given in joint pains
once or twice a day. Root powder used as
Root paste used on cuts/wounds
Paste of aerial parts used for cuts/wounds
V; teaspoon powder of whole plant used for
headache and seminal weakness
Decoction of whole plant used in headache,
stomachache and disturbed menstruation
About 50 ml of decoction of roots powder used for
kidney problem and asthma
Decoction of aerial parts given for joint pain, blood
purification, pneumonia, gastric problems and as a
liver tonic
‘/1 teaspoon powder of aerial parts given for asthma
twice in a day
‘/1 teaspoon of powder of dried flowers used in
blood purification twice in a day
Whole plant is powdered and ‘/1 teaspoon
consumed to cure jaundice

3408 J. Med. Plants Res.
Table 2. Contd.
Gentianella moorcroftiana (Wall. ex D. Don)
Airy Shaw.
Gentianella tenella (Rottb.) Borner
Geranium pretense L.
Geranium wallichianum D. Don ex Sweet
Ribes orientale Desf.
Dracocephalum heterophyllum Benth.
Elsholtzia eriostachya (Benth.) Benth.
Mentha Iongifolia (L.) Huds.
Nepeta podostachys Benth.
Thymus linearis Benth.
Jirug serpo
4285- 4722
Reg Himal
Reg Bor et Arct
Europe As Bor
Reg Himal
Reg Himal
Reg Himal Turkest
Reg Himal
Reg Bor Temp
Sh Fr, Rt
Lt, Wp
‘/1 teaspoon powder of aerial parts used to cure
jaundice and indigestion
Decoction oi‘ whole plant used in liver and spleen
complaints once or twice in a day
Decoction of leaves are given to cure diarrhoea
and as liver tonic
‘/1 teaspoon powder of flowers used for fever and
to improve digestion once or twice a day depending
on patient condition
Extraction of fruits used for constipation. Roots
paste used forjoints pain
Powder of whole plant used to control cough and
headache twice in a day
V1 glass decoction of whole plant used to remove
intestinal parasites
1 teaspoon powder of dried leaves is used to treat
headache and joint pain. Plant extract of whole
plant used for indigestion
Decoction of leaves used for fever
About 40-50 ml decoction of whole plant used for
stomachache, cold and cough. Paste of whole
plant applied for skin problem

Table 2. Contd.
Devi et al. 3409
Dactylorhiza hatagirea (D. Don.) Soo
Caragana brevifolia Komarov.
Oxylropis microphylla (Pallas) DC.
Trigorie/Ia pubescens Edgew. ex Baker
Aconogohum toiiuosum (D. Don) Hara
Bislorla afflnis (D. Don) Greene
Oxyria digyha (L.) Hill
Polygonum viviparum L.
Rheum moorcroftianum Royle.
Rumex nepalensis Spreng.
Primula reptans Hook. f. ex Watt
Taksa Nakpo
4134 -4700
41 24-4760
3893 -4660
4650 -4780
Reg Himal
China Ind Or
Ind Or
Reg Himal
Reg Himal
Reg Bor Alp et Arct
Reg Bor et Arct
Reg Himal
Europe As Bor
Reg Himal
One teaspoon powdered of root used for backache,
sexual problems, and as tonic with milk at bed time.
Patient suffering from high blood pressure should
avoid this. Root paste used on cuts and wounds for
Decoction oi‘ root used for controlling blood
V; teaspoon powder of flowers and leaves used in
case of animal bite twice in a day.
Powder of flowers and leaves is used to cure fever
and in past for m forskin problem
1 teaspoon (adult) or 1/1 teaspoon (child) powder
of dried aerial part used as liver tonic twice in a day
‘/1 teaspoon of powder of whole plant used to cure
diarrhea and vomiting
‘/1 teaspoon powder of aerial part used for
indigestion and as liver tonic once in a day
Root extract used for piles and vomiting
‘/2 teaspoon powder of roots used for indigestion
and constipation twice in a day
Decoction of roots used to cure gastric problem
Powder of flowers used for curing cough with
lukewarm water

3410 J. Med. Plants Res.
Table 2. Contd.
Aconitum rotundifolium Kar. et. Kir.
Aconilum violaceum Jacq. ex Stapf
Aquilegla fragrans Benth.
Clematis oiientalis L.
Potentilla atrosanguinea Lodd.
Polentilla bifurca L.
Rosa webbiana Wall. ex Royie
Rubia tibelica Hook. f.
Bergenia Stracheyi (Hook. F. 8. Thoms.)
Pedicularis bicornuta Klotzsch ex Klotzsch
and Garcke
Pedicularis Iongif/ora Rudoph ssp. tubiformis
(Klotzsch) Pennell
Ludud dorge
As Centr
Reg Himal
Reg Himal
Reg Himal Orlens
Reg Bor Temp
Reg Caucas As Bor
Reg Himal
Tibet Occ
Reg Himal
Reg Himal
Fl, Fr, Rt
Lf, Fl, Rt
Fl, |_r
5-6 g root powder used for cough, fever and
Roots are dried, grind into fine powder and boiled
with water and ‘/2 glass of decoction use for
stornachache , fever, cough and as liver tonic once
in a day
‘/1 teaspoon powder of aerial parts given in diabetes
and joint pains twice in a day
Powder of flowers and fruits are used for dysentery
and extraction of roots is given for stomachache
Paste of leaves used for healing of cuts/wounds
Extraction of leaves used for headache
1/2 teaspoon fruit powder used for lung problems
and headache
1 teaspoon dried fruit powdered are taken orally for
blood purification
V1 glass of decoction of leaves and flowers used for
indigestion and fever twice in a day. Roots paste
applied for body pain
‘/4 powder of aerial parts used for joint pain once
in a day and past of aerial part cuts/wounds
‘/1 teaspoon powder made up of flowers and leaves
used in general weakness twice in a day

Table 2. Contd.
Devi et al. 3411
Plcrorhiza kurrooa Royle ex Benth Honglen 4500-4750 Reg Himal R H Rz, Lf
Scrophularia dentala Royle ex Benth. Karpa
Hyoscyamus nlger L. Thuklang
3900-4200 Reg Himal C H Lf
3600-3850 Reg Himal S H Sd
Decoction of rhizome given for jaundice, asthma,
fever, stomachache and also used as liver tonic
once in a day. ‘/1 glass decoction of leaves used for
Powder of dried leaves used for heart problem
Paste made up of seeds used to cure boils. Smoke
of seeds is inhaled in toothache
Afr: Africa, Alp: Alpine, Am: America, Amphig: Amphigaea, Ap: Aerial part, Arab: Arabia, Arct: Arctic, As: Asia, Austr: Australia, Baluchist: Baluchistan, Bor: Borealis, C: Common, Caucas:
Caucasus, Centr: Central, Cosmop: Cosmopolitan, et: And, Fl: Flower, Geront: Gerontia, H: Herb, Hb: Habit, Himal: Himalayan, Hisp: Hispan, Ind: Indian, Lf: Leaves, Mediterr: Mediterranean,
Min: Minor, Mongol: Mongolia, N. Zel: New Zeyland, Occ: Occidentalis, Occ: Occurrences, Or: Oriental, PU: Part used R: Rare, Reg: Region, Rt: Root, R1: Rhizome, S: Scattered, Sh: Shrub,
Sd: Seed, Slbir: Siberia, Soongar: Soongarica, SubTrop: SubTropical, Temp: Temperate, Trop: Tropical and Turkist: Turkistan, Wp: Whole plant.
Table 3. Mode of administration of various plant species.
Species Powder Decoction Extraction Paste Inhale Raw
Number of Species
44 17 4 14 1 1
Carum can/i L. (96%, cold; 76%, Indigestion),
Arnebia euchroma (Royle ex Benth.) (88%,
dandruff; 60.0%, cuts/wounds), H. niger (84%,
toothache), etc. These plants are preferred for
medicinal preparation and the high percentages of
the informant’s citations indicate reliability of
reported uses and good evidences of their
effectiveness. Similarly, to assess the range of
utility of the species, recorded information about
medicinal plant was compared with previous
works which indicates that 45 species were known
to cure 37 ailments, which are either new or less
known for the area (marked with asterisk‘). The
species with high frequency of utilization and
those which have news or less known uses need
further analysis for the discovery of potential new
drugs. Comparing the present study with previous
work, the uses of a lot of medicinal plants was
noted comparable with our findings which have
strengthened the observations recorded under the
present work and might indicate their pharmacolo-
gical effectiveness. Ephedra gerardiana Wall. Ex
Stapf, Corydalis govaniana Wall. and Rubia
tibetica Hook. f. were reported for blood
purification (Jain, 1991; Sharma et al., 2011;
Singh, 2012; Singh et al., 2012, 2009; Singh and
Lal, 2008); root paste of Bergenia stracheyi
(Hook. F. & Thoms.) Engle. used for joint pains
and general body pain (Sharma et al., 2006; Sood
et al., 2001); leaf paste of Potent///a atrosanguinea
Lodd. used for healing of wounds (Jain, 1991).
Similarly, the use of P. kurrooa to cure fever
recorded from Eastern Himalaya Region (Kala,
2005b) also support infomwation gathered under
the present investigation. The findings of similar
plants for same medicinal uses justify poten-
tialities of these plants. However, for some
species, information on their biological activity and
chemical constituents is also available in the
literature (Chandel et al., 1996; Chauhan, 1999;
Kirtikar and Basu, 1981) that evidence the mode
of application being practiced by the local people
is likely to be effective.
Analysis of data regarding the status of
medicinal plants showed majority of species in the
study area were common (44 species) and few
scattered (19 species). Six of the plant species
were rarely found in the study area, namely,
Aconitum rotundifolia Kar. et. Kir., A. violaceum,
B. stracheyi, P. karrooa, R. moorcroftianum, S.
bracteata. Most of the common plants were found
in the vicinity of the villages, but rare and threats
species which are used in herbal preparation
frequently, are collected from the high altitude

3412 J. Med. Plants Res.
Table 4. Ailmentwise informants citation and previous uses reported.
Reponed ethnomedicinal use
Aconitum rotundifolium
/-lconifum violaceum
Aconogonum lortuosum
Allium carollinianum
Allium przewalskianum
Anaphalis triplinerus
Aquilegia fragrans
Amebia er/chroma
Arnebia guttata
Anemisia dracunculus
Aitemisia maritima
Liver tonic*
Liver tonic
Joints pain *
Joint pains*
Cuts /Wounds
Cuts l\Nounds
Joint pain
Fever, joint pain, jaundice, blood purification, cough (Singh, 2012; Singh et al., 2012; Chandra Sekar and
Srivastava, 2009); antipyretic, insect bite, headache (Jain, 1991)
Gastrointestinal complaints, renal pain, rheumatism, stomachache (Sharma et al., 2011; Jain, 1991), fever
(Chandra Sekar and Srivasiava, 2009; Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2007)
Liver, stomach disorder (Singh, 2012; Singh et al., 2012; Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009; Singh and Lal,
2008; Sood et al., 2001), kidney and urinary disorders (Ballabh et al., 2008); blood purifier (Singh et al., 2009)
Stomach disorder (Singh, 2012; Singh et al., 2012; Singh and Lal, 2008; Sharma ef al., 2006); diuretic, stimulant
(Sharma et al., 2011; Singh et al., 2009; Jain, 1991)
Stomach complaints (Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2009)
Cystitis, gout, eczema, psoriasis, blood sugar (Singh, 2012; Lal and Singh, 2008; Sharma et al., 2006); snake
bite, body pain, boils, headache (Singh et al., 2009)
Cough and dryness in throat, blood purification (Singh, 2012; Singh et al., 2012; Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2007);
abortifacient, hairtonic, blood pressure, backache, headache (Sharma et al., 2011; Singh et al., 2009; Sood et al.,
2001; Jain, 1991); anti-inflammatory, eye disease, cuts, wounds, toothache, antimicrobial, antipyretic, earache
(Lal and Singh, 2008; Sharma et al., 2006); kidney and urinary disorders (Ballabh et al., 2008)
Cold and cough, wounds (Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009; Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2007)
Stomach complaints (Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2009); carminative for animals, throat infection, toothache and in
menstrual cycle (Sharma et al., 2011; Singh et al., 2009); kidney and urinary disorders (Ballabh et al., 2008)
Skin diseases, joint pains (Singh, 2012; Lal and Singh, 2008); tonic, abdominal parasites, antiseptic, blood
purifier, gastric disorders (Singh et al., 2012; Sharma et al., 2011; Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2009; Singh et al.,
2009; Singh and Lal, 2008; Kala, 2005; Sood et al., 2001; Srivastava et al., 1992; Jain, 1991)

Table 4. Contd.
Devi et al. 3413
Aster flaccidus
Bergenia Stracheyi
Bistorta affinis
Bupleurum falcatum
Bupleurum hamiitonii
Caragana brevifolia
Carum can/I
Chenopodium album
Chenopodium botrys
Christolea crassifolia
Clematis anentalis
Body pain
Blood cholesterol’
Joint pain
Seminal weakness*
Menstruation problem*
Improving eye site
Pulmonary infection, malaria (Singh et al., 2009); cuts (Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009)
Ulcers and blisters in mouth (Singh, 2012; Singh et al., 2012); antiscorbutic, astringent, diuretic, febrituge, kidney
stone, ophthalmic, scurvy, tonic, joint dislocation, cuts, wounds, astringent, fever, ophthalmic, tonic (Sharma et
al., 2011; Singh et al., 2009; Jain, 1991); stomach complaints (Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2009; Srivastava et al.,
1992); body swelling (Sharma et al., 2006); kidney stone, diuretic, joint pains (Ballabh et al., 2008; Sood et al.,
Flatulence, dysentery (Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009; Sood et al., 2001); cold, diarrhea, cough, irritation of
throat (Sharma et al., 2004; Jain, 1991).
Stomach complaint, abdominal inflammation, fever and liver complaints (Singh et al., 2012; Singh, 2012;
Srivastava etal., 1992; Jain, 1991).
Stomach complaint, earache, cold, cough, fever, rheumatism, liver disease (Singh, 2012; Ballabh and Chaurasia,
2009; Singh et al., 2009; Srivastava et al., 1992; Jain, 1991); skin infection (Lal and Singh, 2008), kidney and
urinary disorders (Ballabh et al., 2008); body weakness (Sood et al., 2001)
Constipation (Singh et al., 2009; Sood et al., 2001); skin diseases, urine complaint (Ballabh et al., 2008; Jain,
Anthelmitic, diuretic, headache, laxative, liver complaints, stomachache, headache (Singh, 2012; Singh et al.,
2012; Sharma et al., 2011; Singh et al., 2009; Sood et al., 2001; Jain, 1991); asthma, expectorant, stomach
disease, weakness, vomiting (Malik et al., 2011)
Boils (Sood et al., 2001), improving eye site( Chandra Sekar and Snvastava, 2009)
Fever (Singh et al,, 2009)

3414 J. Med. Plants Res.
Table 4. Contd.
Codonopsis clematidea
Codonopsis ovata
Coiydalis govaniana
Cousinia thomsoni
Dacty/orhiza hatagirea
Draoocephalum helerophyllum
Elsholtzia eriostachya
Ephedra gerardiana
Ephedra intermedia
Gentiana Ieucomelaena
Gentianella moorcroftiana
Gentianella tenella
Joint pains
Blood purification
Joint pain
Sexual problems
Health tonic
Intestinal parasites*
Joint pains
Blood purification
Gastric problems
Liver tonic
Asthma ’
Liver complaint*
Rheumatism, skin disease (Sharma et al., 2011, Singh et al., 2009; Sood et al., 2001; Jain, 1991), diarrhea
(Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009)
Swollen joint, bruises (Jain, 1991); oxytoxic, wound healing (Sharma et al., 2011; Singh et al., 2009; Chandra
Sekar and Srivastava, 2009 ); vigor vitality (Sharma et al., 2004)
Blood purification, drying up of excess pus, wounds, fractured bones (Sharma et al., 2011); antipyretic, diuretic,
eye disease, gastric pain, liver complaints, muscular pain, skin disease, syphilis, tonic (Singh et al., 2009; Ballabh
and Chaurasia, 2007; Sharma et al., 2004; Jain, 1991)
Swellings and joint pains (Singh et al., 2012; Sharma et a)., 2011; Sood et alc, 2001)
Antibiotic, wound healing, bone fracture, cough, cold, cuts, sexual dysfunction, rheumatism, blood purifier, tonic,
many ayurvedic and unani medicine preparations (Singh et al., 2012; Sharma et al., 2011; Singh et al., 2009;
Singh and Lal, 2008; Lal and Singh, 2008; Jain, 1991); kills round worms (Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2009; Shanna
et al., 2006); kidney and urinary disorders (Chandra Sekar arid Srivastava, 2009; Ballabh et al., 2008); fever
(Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2007), sexual power and nen/e debility (Sharma et al., 2004)
Eye complaints (Singh, 2012; Singh et al., 2012; Sood et al., 2001; Jain, 1991); cold, cough (Ballabh and
Chaurasia, 2007)
Asthma, blood purifier, cardiac ailments, headache, hepatic disease, pneumonia fever, rheumatism (Singh, 2012;
Singh et al., 2012; Singh et al., 2009; Singh and Lal, 2008; Jain, 1991); asthma, hay fever, allergy, respiratory
disorder, sunbum, (Sharma et al., 2006); liver problem, cough, fever, cardiac ailments (Sharma et al., 2011; Sood
et al., 2001; Jain, 1991), toothache, blood and bile complaints (Srivastava et al., 1992), Fever (Ballabh and
Chaurasia, 2007)
Jaundice (Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009)
Liver disorders (Singh, 2012; Singh et al., 2012; Singh and Lal, 2008); fever, cough, rheumatism, gastric
problems blood purification, cold, headache (Singh et al., 2009; Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009; Ballabh
and Chaurasia, 2007; Sood etal., 2001; Jain, 1991)
Fever (Jain, 1991)

Table 4. Contd.
Devi et al. 3415
Geranium pretense
Geranium wallichianum
Gypsophilla cerasitoides
Heracleum candicans
Heracleum canescens
Hyoscyamus niger
Lactuca macrorhiza
Lactuca tatarica
Mentha Iongifolia
Nepeta podostachys
Oxyn’a digyna
Oxytropis microphylla
Spleen complaint‘
Liver tonic
Food poisoning
Sexual problems*
Skin problems*
Jaundice *
Joint pain*
Headache *
Joint pain*
Liver tonic’
Animal bite *
Liver and stomach disorders, cold, cough (Singh, 2012; Singh et al., 2012; Sharma et al., 2011; Ballabh and
Chaurasia, 2009; Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009; Singh and Lal, 2008; Sood et al., 2001; Jain, 1991),
fever (Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2007); black dye, poultice to bruises, cough, jaundice, gastric disorder, headache
(Singh et al., 2009)
Astringent, ear and eye diseases and toothache (Jain, 1991)
Boils, wounds (Singh et al., 2009; Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009)
Abdominal pain and gastric disorder (Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009; Sood et al., 2001); fever, hemorrhage
and abdominal cramps caused by the intestinal worms (Sharma et al., 2011), leucoderma, menstrual complaints
(Jain, 1991), eczema, ringworm infection, leucoderma, menstrual disorders (Singh et al., 2009)
Astringent, asthma, hysteria, muscular pain, sedative, toothache, vermifuge, whooping cough (Singh et al., 2009;
Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009; Sood et al., 2001; Jain, 1991), toothache, pharyngitis and malignant ulcers
(Singh, 2012; Singh et al., 2012; Sharma, et al., 2011), toothache (Snvastava et al., 1992)
Stomach disorders (Singh, 2012; Singh et al., 2012; Singh and Lal, 2008; Sood et al., 2001)
Stomach complaints (Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2009; Srivastava et al., 1992; Jain, 1991); antiseptic, carminative,
stimulant, applied on wound to kill maggots (Sharma et al., 2011; Singh et al., 2009; Jain, 1991), boils (Sharma et
al., 2004)
Kidney and urinary disorders (Singh et al., 2009; Ballabh et al., 2008)
Appetizer, fever, laxative (Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2009; Singh et al., 2009; Jain, 1991); cold, cough (Srivastava
et al., 1992)

3416 J. Med. Plants Res.
Table 4. Contd.
Pediculaiis bicomuta
Pedicularis Iongiflora
Picmrhiza kurrooa
Polygonum viviparum
Polentilla atrosanguinea
Potentilla bifurca
Primula reptaris
Rheum moorcroftianum
Rhodiola cretinii
Ribes orientale
Rosa webbiana
Rubia tibetica
Joint pain
Genernal weakness’
Piles *
Indigestion ’
Kidney problem *
Joints pains*
Lung problem*
Blood purification
Liver and gall bladder problems, excessive seminal discharge, oedema (Sharma et al., 2011); chest pain,
backache, bleeding through mouth (Sood et al., 2001), cold, fever (Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2007); burns,
rheumatism, gout (Singh et al., 2009)
Gastric pain, blood vomiting, dysentery (Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009; Sood et al., 2001)
Fever (Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009; Sharma et al., 2006; Uniyal et al., 2006); abdominal pain, anemia,
antispasmodic, arthritis, asthma, cardiotonic, cold, cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, fever, cold influenza,
jaundice, bile secretion, purgative, laxative, circulation, neck pain, intemal wound, stomach disease (Sharma et
al., 2011; Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2009; Singh et al., 2009; Kala, 2005; Srivastava et al., 1992; Jain, 1991);
kidney and urinary disorders (Ballabh et al., 2008); Abdominal pains, stop nose bleeding (Sharma et al., 2004)
Bloody dysentery, blood pressure, wounds (Singh, 2012); abscess, astringent, diarrhea, dysentery, ulcer,
leucoderma, sore throat, lung diseases (Sood et al., 2001; Jain, 1991)
Toothache (Sharma et al., 2004), wound healing (Jain, 1991)
Headache (Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009 )
Internal injury (Singh et al., 2009)
Purgative and diuretic (Singh et al., 2009; Sood et al., 2001)
Sexual dysfunctions (Singh and Lal, 2008); Jaundice, stomachache, vigour vitality, hepatitis, (Singh et al., 2012;
Jain, 1999); lmpotency and jaundice (Singh, 2012; Singh et al., 2009), constipation, throat irritation (Srivastava et
al., 1992), fever (Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2007)
Blood purification (Singh, 2012; Singh etal., 2012)

Table 4. Contd.
Devi et al. 3417
Rumex nepalensis
Saussurea bracteata
Scorzonera virgata
Scrophularia dentaia
Semenovia lhomsonii
Taraxacum officinale
Thymus linearis
Trigonella pubescens
Waldheimia stoliczkai
Waldheimia tomentosa
Youngia glauca
Gastric problems
improve blood circulation*
Heart problems*
Gastric problem*
Stomachache ”
Skin problem
Skin problem’
Food poisoning’
Food poisoning*
Boils, colic, diuretic, dysmenorrheal, purgative, scunry, swelling of muscle, stomachache preparations (Sharma et
al., 2011; Slngh et al., 2009; Jain, 1991); rheumatism, liver disorder, burn (Slngh, 2012; Slngh and Lal, 2008);
indigestion (Kala, 2005); anti allergic (Uniyal el al., 2006)
Cold, cough, fever (Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2007; Jain, 1991)
Stomach and liver disorders (Slngh et al., 2012; Slngh et al., 2009; Slngh and Lal, 2008; Sood et al., 2001)
Headache (Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009)
Liver complaints, blood purification, bowel complain, dislocation of joints, dysentery, gastric ulcer, headache,
kidney disease, wounds ( Slngh, 2012; Slngh et al., 2012; Sharma et al., 2011; Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2009;
Slngh et al., 2009; Ballabh et al., 2008; Slngh and Lal, 2008; Lal and Slngh, 2008; Sharma et al., 2004; Sood et
al., 2001; Srivastava et al., 1992; Jain, 1991)
Antifungal, antibacterial, pain reliever during childbirth’ whooping cough, epilepsy, skin eruption, bile secretion,
hair loss, stomach complaint, cold, toothache, kill hookworms, liver compliant (Sharma et al., 2011; Ballabh and
Chaurasia, 2009; Slngh and Lal, 2008; Sharma et al., 2006; Sood et al., 2001; Jain, 1991); stomach complaint,
infection in teeth (Slngh, 2012); to improve memory in child ((Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009)
Blood purification, cold, cough, fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea (Chandra Sekar and Srivastava, 2009;
Ballabh and Chaurasia, 2007; Jain, 1991)
Rheumatism ( Srivastava et al., 1992; Jain, 1991)
Jaundice (Slngh et al., 2012; Slngh and Lal, 2008); bums, heart disease (Jain, 1991)

3418 J. Med. Plants Res.
area of the sanctuary. These species are thinly
distributed in the region and seen at a few spots only;
however, the local people declare about their wide
occurrence in several localities quite sometimes ago. In
addition to overexploitation, migratory livestock of sheep
and goats grazed on the unrivalled pasture of Kibber
Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) destroy the vegetation
through physical injury and affected the regeneration of
herbaceous vegetation and most of these plants are
becoming locally threatened. As the use of aerial parts
and leaves is safe and sustainable (Giday et aI., 2003;
Mahmood et al., 2012) as compared to use of roots,
seeds, fruits, flower and whole plant which leads
destructive effects on the growth of plants population in
nature (Amri and Kisangau, 2012; Ghimire et al., 2008).
In most cases, aerial parts are used but they uprooted as
whole plant. This lack of effort to sustain use of resources
may result in their permanent depletion from natural
habitats. Therefore. local people and herbal practitioners
should be educated on sustainable methods of
harvesting medicinal plants without compromising their
availability for future use. Encouragement of cultivation is
likely to be useful. Most of the high altitude medicinal
plant species are used by the leading herbal industry in
the country (Chauhan, 2011). Therefore, infomation
regarding commercial value of these high valued
medicinal plants may be disseminated to the local
farmers. This would not be a viable option of income
generation to local people but in turn it would help in the
conservation of species and also help to take the
pressure off wild stocks, thus helping conserve genetic
The observations and findings made under the present
investigation concluded that abundant indigenous
knowledge on traditional medicine mainly involving the
use of the natural plant resources, still exist and plays a
significant role in meeting the primary healthcare needs
of the tribal people of this cold desert. They use 100% of
locally available plant resources to cure various ailments
which provide a cheaper and accessible alternative to the
high cost pharmaceutical remedies. High dependability
and strong belief of the local people on the curable
properties of the available plants resources depicts their
pharmaceutical potential. Thus, study should be of great
use to pharmaceuticals point of view which would provide
baseline information for future research and biological
resources management. However, overexploitation,
habitat destruction, overgrazing, increasing tourism,
environmental degradation and unsustainable utilization
of rare and high valued medicinal plants from the wild are
the major threat to their existence. Therefore, ex situ
consen/ation and sustainable utilization would prevent
their permanent depletion from the area.
Authors are highly thankful to the local inhabitants of the
villages surveyed in and around the KWLS for their
willingness to share the valuable knowledge and
wholehearted co-operation.
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