Open access peer-reviewed chapter

Medicinal Plants and Traditional Practices of Baiga Tribe in Amarkantak Region of Eastern Madhya Pradesh

Written By

Ramesh Kumar Ahirwar

Submitted: March 10th, 2021 Reviewed: April 12th, 2021 Published: June 10th, 2021

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.97697

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Abstract

The present ethnobotanical study was carried out in Amarkantak region eastern part of Madhya Pradesh during January 2018 to January 2019 to document the medicinal plants used by the Baiga tribes. Traditional medicinal plants used by the Baiga tribes of 37 plant species belonging to 35 genera and 28 families used to menstrual disorder, piles, sore throat, respiratory disorder, haematuria, miscarriage, jaundice, fever, insanity, leucorrhoea, bleeding during pregnancy, spermatorrhea, infertility in women, motiabind, scorpion bite, wounds of animals, stomach disorder, intestinal worms, diabetes, leukoderma, rheumatism, scabies, wart and easy delivery etc. and other various unreported medicinal plants are reported here.

Keywords

  • Ethnomedicine
  • Baiga tribe
  • Madhya Pradesh

1. Introduction

The district Anuppur in Madhya Pradesh located between 23°15′ to 24°N Latitude and 81°0′ to 81°45′E Longitude, covering an area of 3701 sq. km. The district is surrounded by Korea district (Chhattisgarh) in the East, Dindori district in the West, Shahdol district in North and Northwest district in Umaria (Figure 1). This region is popularly known as the Plateau of Beghel-Khand for its rich and diverse flora. The Pushprajgarh block of Anuppur district mostly inhabited by Gond, Baiga, Panika, Kol, Agaria tribes in sporadic remote hill tracts. The total population of the study site is 194,574. The maximum temperature goes up to 45°C in the month of May and minimum recorded is 20°C in the month of January. The area has been categorised as Central India sub-tropical forest endowed with various forest as natural resources. The holy river ‘Narmada’ origin in Amarkantak in ‘Mai ki Bagiya’passes through the district Anuppur, Madhya Pradesh. The Baigasare one of the oldest aboriginal tribes and classified as one of the primitive tribes of Madhya Pradesh based on pre-agricultural technology, low literacy and stagnant and diminishing population [1]. The area has been categorised as Central India sub-tropical forest endowed with various forest as natural resources. The Baigatribes still practice on herbal medicines. Hence, the use of herbs to treatment of various health disorders is being done at a very low cost. A number of valuable research papers on ethno-medicinal plants of the Amarkantak region have been published by various researchers [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. However, the vast storage of ethno-medicinal information of these study areas has not been fully documented. In the present paper, an attempt has been made to present indigenous knowledge and uses of wild plants, which are used by Baigatribes for treatment of various ailment diseases.

Figure 1.

Location map of study area in Amarkantak region (District Anuppur), Eastern Madhya Pradesh.

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2. Methodology

Intensive ethnobotanical explorations were conducted in seven villages, namely Pushprajgarh, Jamunadadar, Bijora, Bhejari, Paladongari, Bendi and Karondapani of district Anuppur from January 2018 to January 2019. The method adopted for collection of data was interview with Baigatribes, local medicine men (Vaidyas) and one to one discussion about therapeutic uses of local plants in the treatment of various diseases. A questionnaire was prepared to gather data for this purpose. The herbarium specimens were prepared by following the standard method [8]. Plants used by the tribal were identified with the help of Flora of Madhya Pradesh [9, 10, 11] and identification was confirmed by consulting the herbaria of Botanical Survey of India, Central Regional Circle, Allahabad (BSA). These voucher specimens are prepared and deposited in the herbarium of Department of Botany, Pt. S.N.S. Govt. Post Graduate College, Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh. The plants are arranged alphabetically according to their botanical name followed by family, local name and mode of administration for different diseases as given in the (Table 1).

S.No.Botanical nameFamilyLocal nameUses
1Abrus precatoriusL.FabaceaeGhumchiTwo spoonful of seed paste (red variety) is given orally once daily before breakfast for 3 days to cure menstrual disorder.
2Abutilon indicum(L.) Sweet.MalvaceaeKanghiLeaves are boiled in coconut oil and the oil is externally applied on head once daily for one week to cure cold and scabies on the head.
3Acacia nilotica(L.) Willd. ex DelileMimosaceaeBamoorFresh leaf paste (20 gm) is externally applied on anus daily in the morning after bath for 15 days to cure piles.
4Achyranthes asperaL.AmaranthaceaeLathjiraRoot paste is externally applied on affected area immediately after scorpion sting.
5Alpinia calcarataRoscoeZingiberaceaeKulanjanRoot in small pieces, chewed once in a day for 4 times to cure sore throat.
6Andrographis paniculata(Burm. f.) Wall. ex NeesAcanthaceaeChiraytaDecoction of the whole plant (15 ml) is given orally thrice in a day for 7 days to cure respiratory disorder.
7Asparagus racemosusWilld.LiliaceaeSatavarFresh tuber juice (15 ml) mixed with a cup of cow’s milk is given orally twice in a day for 10 days to cure haematuria.
8Azadirachta indicaA. Juss.MeliaceaeNeemLeaf juice (10 ml) mixed with a cup of water is given orally once in a day before breakfast for 7 days to prevent miscarriage.
9Bauhinia variegataL.CaesalpiniaceaeKachnarA spoonful of sun-dried flower bud powder mixed with a cup of water is given orally twice in a day for 21 days to cure piles.
10Boerhavia diffusaL.NyctaginaceaePunarnavaRoot decoction (10 ml) mixed with a cup of water is given thrice in a day for 7 days to cure jaundice.
11Bryonia laciniosaL.CucurbitaceaeShivlingiA teaspoonful crushed seed with a glass of water is given orally once in the morning before breakfast for 3 months to cure sterility in women.
12Buchanania lanzanSpreng.AnacardiaceaeChironjiLeaf juice (15 ml) mixed a cup of water taken twice in a day for 2 days to prevent dysentery.
13Butea monosperma(Lam.) Taub.FabaceaeChheulaFlowers are boiled in water and the water is used to take bath for 3 days to cure mild fever among children.
14Cordia macleodiiHook. f. & ThomsonBoraginaceaeDahimanSeed paste (20 gm) is given orally with added sugar lump (Misri) 10 gm once in a day in the morning before breakfast for 40 days to get relief from insanity.
15Curculigo orchioidesGaertn.HypoxidaceaeKali musaliDecoction of fresh rhizome (10 ml) mixed with a cup of water is given orally twice in a day for 7 days to cure leucorrhoea.
16Cuscuta reflexaRoxb.CuscutaceaeAmerbelStem paste (20 gm) with 2-3 seeds of black pepper powder (Piper nigrumL.) is mixed and the paste is given orally once in the morning on empty stomach for 3 days to cure jaundice.
17Cynodon dactylon(L.) Pers.PoaceaeDoobiWhole plant juice (30 ml) mixed with a glass of cow’s milk is given orally once at the bedtime for 3 days to cure bleeding during pregnancy.
18Cyperus rotundusL.CyperaceaeNagarmothaRhizome extract (5 ml) with one teaspoonful of honey is to take orally thrice daily for 3 days to cure diarrhoea.
19Ferula assa-foetidaL.ApiaceaeHeengOleo-gum-resin (5 gm) (It’s obtained from the rhizome and root of the plant) is mixed with a cup of lukewarm water and applied on the stomach of the child, twice in a day for 3 days to cure flatulence.
20Ficus benghalensisL.MoraceaeBargadA spongy sugar-cake (Batasa) filled with latex (4 drops) is eaten once in a day in the morning after breakfast for 20 days to cure spermatorrhea.
21Ficus racemosaL.MoraceaeDumerFlower buds (7 buds at a time) which is ground well and mixed with a glass of cow’s milk is consumed after dinner for 4 months to cure infertility in women.
22Gloriosa superbaL.LiliaceaeKalihariFresh root paste (20 gm) and 3 fruits of black pepper (Piper nigrumL.) are mixed in a glass of lukewarm goat’s milk and it is given orally once at the bedtime for 3 days of pregnancy, which can be up to 3 months, for abortifacient.
23Hedychium coronariumJ. KoeingZingiberaceaeGulbakavaliTwo drops of flower arrackis dripped into human eyes thrice in a day for 15 days to prevent cataract (Motiabind).
24Helicteres isoraL.SterculiaceaeMarorphaliSeed powder (5 gm) mixed in a glass of water is given orally twice in a day for 3 days in case of gastroenteritis.
25Ipomea pes-tigridisL.ConvolvulaceaePanchpatiyaLeaf paste is externally applied on the affected area just after scorpion bite. Meanwhile, two spoonsful are given orally with a cup of water.
26Jatropha curcasL.EuphorbiaceaeBhakrendaLatex of stem is externally applied on wounds twice in a day for 5 days to cure wounds of animals.
27Kigelia pinnata(Jacq.) DC.BignoniaceaeBalamkhiraFruit juice (5 ml) is mixed in a cup of water and it is given orally twice in a day for 3 days to cure stomach disorder.
28Madhuca longifolia(J. Koeing) Macbr. var. latifolia(Roxb.) ChevalierSapotaceaeMahuaDecoction of bark (10 ml), mixed with a glass of water, is given orally twice in a day for 3 days to cure stomachache.
29Mucuna pruriens(L.) DC.FabaceaeKevanchA teaspoonful of sun-dried powder, mixed with a glass of water, is given orally once daily for 7 days to remove intestinal worms.
30Nyctanthes arbor-tristisL.OleaceaeHarsingarLeaf juice (5 ml) mixed with a cup of water is given orally twice in a day for 20 days as a cure for excessive thirst and loss of weight caused by diabetes.
31Plumbago zeylanicaL.PlumbaginaceaeChitrakA teaspoonful of sun-dried root powder is diluted in a cup of boiled water to make a paste and the paste is externally applied twice in a day on affected area for 3 months to cure leukoderma.
32Pongamia pinnata(L.) PierreFabaceaeKaranjSeed oil is applied twice in a day for one month on the affected area to cure rheumatism.
33Pterocarpus marsupiumRoxburghFabaceaeBeejaA cup of filtrate, which is filtered from the water used for soaking its bark for a night, is consumed on empty stomach once in a day for 3 months to cure diabetes.
34Ricinus communisL.EuphorbiaceaeRendiLeaves are boiled in water and the water is used for bathing once in a day for one month to cure scabies.
35Terminalia arjuna(Roxb. ex DC.) Wight & Arn.CombretaceaeArjunLeaf juice (5 ml) mixed with a cup of water is given orally twice in a day for 15 days to cure wart.
36Terminalia bellirica(Gaertn.) Roxb.CombretaceaeBaheraFruit decoction (100 ml) is given orally once daily in the morning before breakfast for a week to cure piles.
37Ziziphus nummularia(Burm. f.) Wight & Arn.RhamnaceaeJharberiA teaspoonful of root paste (10 ml), mixed with a cup of water, is given orally for easy delivery.

Table 1.

Ethnomedicinal uses of plants by Baigatribe in Amarkantak region.

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3. Results and discussion

The ethnobotanical research reports 37 plant species belonging to 35 genera and 28 families used for curing various diseases by the Baiga tribes in the Amarkantak region. The representing plants are mostly used to cure various diseases viz. menstrual disorder, piles, sore throat, respiratory disorder, haematuria, miscarriage, jaundice, fever, insanity, leucorrhoea, bleeding during pregnancy, spermatorrhea, infertility in women, abortifacient, Motiabind, scorpion bite, wounds of animals, stomach disorder, intestinal worms, diabetes, leukoderma, rheumatism, scabies, wart and easy delivery. The presence of such a large number of medicinal plants indicates that the area has a very rich diversity of medicinal plant species and is a site for different indigenous knowledge. The present ethno-medicinal information provided in this paper, is compared with well-known Indian medicinal literature [12, 13, 14]. The result of the present study continues to play a vital role in the healthcare system of the tribal people and paves the way for the development and discovery of new drugs.

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Acknowledgments

The author is grateful to the Baiga tribal people, who have shared unreservedly valuable information in the field during to study area.

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Conflict of interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.

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Written By

Ramesh Kumar Ahirwar

Submitted: March 10th, 2021 Reviewed: April 12th, 2021 Published: June 10th, 2021