Indian Journal of Agricultural Research

  • Chief EditorT. Mohapatra

  • Print ISSN 0367-8245

  • Online ISSN 0976-058X

  • NAAS Rating 5.60

  • SJR 0.293

Frequency :
Bi-monthly (February, April, June, August, October and December)
Indexing Services :
BIOSIS Preview, ISI Citation Index, Biological Abstracts, Elsevier (Scopus and Embase), AGRICOLA, Google Scholar, CrossRef, CAB Abstracting Journals, Chemical Abstracts, Indian Science Abstracts, EBSCO Indexing Services, Index Copernicus

Ethnobotany of Valuable Medicinal Plants Available in Chhattisgarh Plain Region of Balaghat District, Madhya Pradesh

N.K. Bisen1, S. Sarvade1,*, V.S. Gaur1, K. Gautam1
1Department of Agro-forestry, College of Agriculture, Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Jabalpur, Balaghat-481 331, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Background: Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh is one of the largest tribal dominated district in Central India. Baiga and Gond are the main two tribes of the Baihar, Birsa, Paraswada, Langi, Kirnapur, Katangi, Balaghat, Waraseoni and Lalbarra tehsils of Balaghat district. These tribes have enormous knowledge about medicinal properties of the plant species available in natural ecosystems (forests and grasslands). Therefore, the study aimed to investigate the plants used by these tribes for seminal debility and other diseases.

Methods: Survey was carried out during 2019-20 in Biahar, Birsa, Paraswada, Langi, Kirnapur, Katangi, Lalburra and Waraseoni tehsils of the district Balaghat. Judgmental/purposive sampling method used to collect the required information from the tribes of the locality.  

Result: Total 35 most important plants were used for curing various diseases and injuries. Along with their botanical description, we explained the method of intake of the plant medicines to cure the diseases. Around 39% of the plants used to cure seminal debility comes under herb category whereas shrub (28%), climber (11%), grass (6%), twiner (6%), small tree (5%) and big tree (5%). Whereas, 76% herbs utilized for curing other diseases, followed by shrub (18%) and twiner (6%).
In India, references to curative properties of some herbs in the Rig Veda seem to be the earliest records of use of plants in medicine (Vedavathy, 2003). The identity of several plants referred to in the Suktas of the Rig Veda can be fixed with reasonable certainty, e.g. of Semal, Pithwan, Palash and Pipal. However, references to plants in the Rig Veda were very brief. More account that is detailed available in the Atharva Veda. The period of Rig Veda is estimated to be between 3500 and 1800 B.C. After the Vedas, there is no information on the development of this science in India for a period of about 1,000 years (Khare, 2007; Tripathi and Mishra, 1971).
Then appeared the two most important works on Indian system of medicine, the works of Charak and Susruta, namely, the charak-Samhita and Susruta-Samhita. Susruta-Samhita deals with about 700 drugs, some of these are not indigenous to India. With the passing of time, more and more plants found entry into native medicine, taking the number of Indian medicinal herbs to about 1,500 (Humaira et al., 2021; Balkrishna et al., 2019; Chandra et al., 2017; Aniwal et al., 2006; Katewa and Galav, 2005; Kunhikannan et al., 1993).
India has one of the richest ethno botanical traditions in the world, it has been estimated that about 7,000 species of the plants are used for medicine in India in the traditional system of medicine because plants form the main resources base of traditional medicine. Among the Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda, the most prevalent system in the country, uses about 700 species of plants, Unani 400 species and Aamchior Tibetan system about 300 species. The folklore system plans an important role in meeting the health care needs of the rural community in India and use more number of plants than in the India systems of medicine (Elakkiya et al., 2020; Malik et al., 2020; Jadhav et al., 2016; Kala, 2017 and Thakur et al., 2015).
The state of Madhya Pradesh situated between latitudes 17° to 26° and longitudes 74° to 84° with average elevation 50° m in the heart of India.
Balaghat district is in the southeastern portion of the state. Balaghat is situated between 21°.19’ to 22°. 24’ North latitudes and 79°.31’ to 81°.33’ East longitudes with average elevation 288 m. It is the fifth largest district in the State, occupying an area of 9229 Sq. Km. The forest area of district is 4997 Sq. Km constituting 54% of the total geographical area. Total population of district is about 17 lakhs out of which 22.5% are tribes. The districthas varying soil types, ranging from alluvial to medium and shallow black, mixed red and black, mixed red yellow and sandy loam. The annual rainfall is about 1600 mm. Thus,the district comprises a rich flora consisting plants of medicinal and aromatic importance. The districtis blessed with large natural resources particularly for medicinal plants species available in the dense tribal in habited forests. Baiga and Gond are the main tribes of district Balaghat. These tribes mainly occur in Biahar, Birsa, Paraswada, Langi, Kirnapur, Katangi, Lalburra and Waraseoni tehsils. These tribes have vast knowledge of medicinal properties of the plant species available near their surroundings, which they use to treat the various ailments. It is observed that such knowledge acquired by a quack tribe during his lifetime goes in vain if it is not transferred to next generation (Deva and Shrivatsva, 1978; Sarvade, 2014; Sarvade et al., 2020).
Study was carried out by scientists of College of Agriculture, Murjhad Farm Waraseoni tehsil of Balaghat district, Madhya Pradesh during 2019-20. Biahar, Birsa, Paraswada, Langi, Kirnapur, Katangi, Lalburra and Waraseoni tehsils of the district Balaghat were selected to conduct survey work. Judgmental/purposive sampling method was used for sample collection (Muller-Dombois and Ellenberg, 1974). Samples were collected from the forest and grasslands ecosystems of the study sites (Champion and Seth, 1968; Deva and Shrivastava, 1978; Mishra, 1968). Several plant species were observed to be used by local tribes to treat the seminal debility. Plant sample collection and identification was done by the scientists involved in the research. Plant specific information on ethno medicinal values was collected through discussion with the local tribe and users of the area.
Total 35 medicinal plants were identified from the tribes of Balaghat district used for curing problems related to the seminal debility (18 species) and other diseases (17 species from 9 plant families) (Fig 1 and 3). Plant from the 14 families were recorded to cure seminal debility. Fabaceae family comprised 3 species, Malvaceae and Asparagaceae family comprised 2 species each and in rest of 11 family comprises 1 species each (Fig 1). Around 39% of the plants used to cure seminal debility comes under herb category of plant habit. It was followed by shrub (28%), climber (11%), grass (6%), twiner (6%), small tree (5%) and big tree (5%) (Fig 2). Another study in Balaghat scientists reported 43%tree species followed by herbs 26%, shrub 24% and climber 7% the total medicinal plants (Gwalwanshi and Bishwas, 2017).

Fig 1: Plant species used by tribes of Balaghat to treat seminal disability

Fig 2: Habit of the plant species used to treat seminal disability.

Fig 3: Plant species used by tribes of Balaghat to treat different diseases.

Plants used for curing other diseases 17 species from 9 families were identified by the tribes of Balaghat. Among these families Asteraceae family was dominant with 5 plant species, followed by Malvaceae (2), Lamiaceae (2) and Convolvulaceae. Whereas rest 5 plant families comprised 1 species each (Fig 3). Herb category plants (76%) were mostly utilized for curing other diseases, followed by shrub (18%) and twiner (6%) (Fig 4). Knowledge of ethnic healers on medicinal plants in Balaghat district was identified 33 plantsbelonging to 32 genera and 20 families (Gwalwanshi and Bishwas, 2016).

Fig 4: Habit of the plant species used to treat different diseases.

In one study in Balaghat 2011, identified 50 medicinal plant species from 50 genera and 31 families used to cure refractory diseases such as cancer, malaria, rheumatism, liver disorder and respiratory diseases (Jain et al., 2011).

The research workers in Botany, Ayurveda, Chemistry, herbal practitioner, students as well as sufferer will find this type of study useful. Balaghat district of M.P. state, blessed with natural vegetation consisting of a large number of important medicinal plants in the post. Due to the human intervention most of these valuable plants are in the path of threatened category. If proper measures are not taken for the conservation of these valuable plant species, these species will be extinct in a near future.
The authors are thankful to the Dean, College of Agriculture,
Balaghat for encouragement to prepare this manuscript. Authors also thankful to the Forest officers of the Balaghat Division and the local inhabitants for their help during the field work.

  1. Aniwal, P.N., Bellurkar, C.M., Bhosale, P.B. (2006). Use of indienous medicinal plants forrespiratory disorders. J. Daiying, Foods and H.S. 25(3/4): 218-223.

  2. Balkrishna, A., Mishra, R.K., Srivastava, A., Joshi, B., Marde, R., Prajapati, U.B. (2019). Ancient Indian rishi’s (Sages) knowledge of botany and medicinal plants since Vedic period was much older than the period of Theophrastus, a case study who was the actual father of botany? International Journal of Unani and Integrative Medicine. 3(3): 40-44.

  3. Champion, H.G., Seth, S.K. (1968). A Revised Survey of the Forest Type of India. Managers of Publications. Govt. of India Press, Delhi 6.

  4. Chandra, S., Kamboj, M.L., Kumari, A., Kumar, A., Rather, H.A. (2017). Potentiating immunity of dairy animals during transition period throughherbs - A review. Agricultural Reviews. 38(4): 297-303.

  5. Deva, S., Srivastava, M.M. (1978). An ecological study of the vegetation of Golatappar Swamp, Dehradun. Indian Journal of Forestry. Indian J. Forestry. 1(1): 45-52.

  6. Elakkiya, V., Krishnan, K., Bhattacharyya, A., Selvakumar, R. (2020). Advances in Ayurvedic medicinal plants and nano-carriers for arthritis treatment and management: A review. Journal of Herbal Medicine. 24: 1-90.

  7. Gwalwanshi, D.R., Bishwas, A.J. (2016). Some unique traditional knowledge (Ethno medicine) of ethnic healers of Balaghat district, Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Bharti Journal of Science. 60(1): 1-5.

  8. Gwalwanshi, D.R., Bishwas, A.J. (2017). Documentation of ethno-veterinary medicinal flora of Balaghat district, Madhya Pradesh, India. Int. J. Res. Ayurveda Pharm. 8(2): 279-284.

  9. Humaira, Pant, S., Dar, A.R., Akhter, A.,Wani, M.R. and Shah, N.H. (2021). Diversity and utilization of medicinal flora of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University Campus, Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Indian Journal of Agricultural Research. 55(1): 1-12.

  10. Jadhav, R., Sharma, Y.P., Sarvade, S. (2016). Growth and yield of Malaxis acuminata D. Don as influenced by type of planting material. Environment and Ecology. 34(4A): 1935-1940.

  11. Jain, S.P., Shrivastava, S., Singh, J., Singh, S.C. (2011). Traditional phototherapy of Balaghat district, Madhya Pradesh, India. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge.10(2): 334-338. 

  12. Kala, C.P. (2017). Traditional health care systems and herbal medicines. European Journal of Environment and Public Health. 1(1): 03.

  13. Katewa, S.S., Galav, P.K. (2005). Traditional herbal medicines from Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. 4(3): 237-245.

  14. Khare, C.P. (2007). Indian Medicinal Plants-An Illustrated Dictionary. Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg, New Delhi-India. 812 p.

  15. Kunhikannan, C., Varghese, M., Totey, N.G., Bisen, S.S., Khawarey, K.N. (1993). Plant diversity in and around Tadoba Lake, Maharashtra. Indian J. Trop. Biod. 1(1): 63-72.

  16. Malik, A., Sehrawat, K., Ahlawat, A. and Sehrawat, A.R. (2020). A comparative biochemical evaluation of in vivo and in vitro propagated Alhagim aurorum: an important medicinal plant. Legume Research. 43(5): 627-633.

  17. Misra, R. (1968). Ecology Work Book. Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Calcutta. 

  18. Mueller-Dombois, D., Ellenberg, H. (1974). Aims and Methods of Vegetation Ecology. John Wiley, New York, pp. 547.

  19. Sarvade, S. (2014). Agroforestry refuge for biodiversity conservation. International Journal of Innovative Research in Science and Engineering. 2(5): 424-429.

  20. Sarvade, S., Shrivastava, A.K., Rai, S.K., Bisen, S., Bisen, U., Bisen, N.K., Agrawal, S.B., Khan, M.I. (2020). Socio-economic study of farming communities, their knowledge on climate change and agroforestry systems in the cluster of villages of Chhattisgarh plain region, Madhya Pradesh. Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. 9(1): 2158-2166.

  21. Thakur, U., Dutt, B., Sarvade, S., Sharma, K.R. (2015). Effect of FYM doses and plant spacing on production of Oenothera biennis L. Indian Journal of Ecology. 42(2): 359-362.

  22. Tripathi, R.S., Misra, R. (1971). Phytosociological studies of the crop-weed association at Varanasi. J. Ind. Bot. Soc. 50: 142-152.

  23. Vedavathy, S. (2003). Scope and importance of traditional medicine. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. 2(3): 236-239.

Editorial Board

View all (0)