ISSN: 1204-5357

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STUDIES ON THE FOLKLORE MEDICINAL USES OF SOME INDIGENOUS PLANTS AMONG THE TRIBES OF THIASHOLA, MANJOOR, NILGIRIS SOUTH DIVISION, WESTERN GHATS

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Abstract

Popular knowledge of plants used by humans is based on thousands of years experience. By “trial and error”, people learnt how to recognize and use plants, including those with a magic-religious function. Knowledge of plant use was widespread in ancient civilizations. Until the middle of the 19th century, plants were the main therapeutic agents used by humans, and even today their role in medicine is still relevant. In the present paper an attempt has been made to explore and record the folklore medically important plants frequently used to treat different ailments by Toda tribe living in Thiashola, Manjoor, Western Ghats. During survey, the experienced old folk of these communities were interacted for gathering information. A total of 57 herbaceous medicinal plants from 54 genera under 29 families were enumerated. The above enumerated species are being practiced by the Tribals for treatment of various diseases like skin diseases (Centella asiatica, Erigeron karvinskianus, Helichrysum hookeriana), cancer (Cayratia pedata var. glabra), rheumatism (Anemone rivularis, Toddalia asiatica var. floribunda), jaundice (Physalis peruviana, Cynoglossum zeylanicum) and so on. The treatment given by them is found to be effective. Plants of Asteraceae (10 species) was largely represented followed by Poaceae and Urticaceae (5 species). The plants may be useful under rural healthcare system and for herbal drug industry