Monday, 20 July 2015

Ethnobotanical assessment of plant resources of Banda Daud Shah, District Karak, Pakistan


The Indigenous knowledge of plants is scientifically and culturally very significant. This paper elucidates the empirical findings of an ethnobotanical survey of Banda Daud Shah, District Karak, Pakistan.
Data collection was carried out from October 2011 to September 2012. Total twelve survey trips were made, three in each season. About 100 respondents were interviewed; most of them were aged people between 60--70 years. Interviews were conducted using structured questionnaire composed of variety of questions regarding ethnomedicinal uses of plants of the study area. Direct matrix ranking (DMR), informant citations and market survey of multipurpose plants were also carried out.
The local community was using 58 plant species belonging to 52 genera and 34 families for different purposes. A total of 25 plant species were herbs followed by 18 shrubs. Leaf (45%) was the most commonly used plant part followed by the whole plants (23%). In total, 40 plant species were medicinally used to treat variety of diseases, of which highest number of species being used for gastro-intestinal problems (19 spp.), expectorant (3 spp.) and antipyretic (3 spp.). Beside medicinal values, 25 species were used for fuel and 18 for fodder purposes. Informant consensus showed that gastrointestinal and respiratory infections were ranked highest (FIC = 0.75) among all ailments. According to DMR output, Dalbergia sisso ranked first due to high multipurpose uses among all species and was found most threatened with higher market value.
The investigated area is rural in nature and the inhabitants are highly dependent on the native plants for their health care needs and other requirements like fuel wood and fodder due to financial constraints and unavailability of resources. Medicinal plants for high ranked diseases may be phtyochemicaly and pharmacologically investigated to prove their efficacy. The local medicinal flora is facing overexploitation, overgrazing and improper way of collection. Proper conservation strategies such as controlled grazing, reforestation and rangeland management among many others may be adopted to promote the sustainable use of medicinal plants.