Plant utilization against digestive system disorder in Southern Assam, India

J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Dec 4;175:192-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2015.09.020. Epub 2015 Sep 18.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Being one of the most common types of life threatening diseases in Southern Assam, India, the digestive system disorders (DSD) have gained much attention in recent decades. Traditional beliefs and inadequate income of mass population result in the use of alternative phytotherapies to treat the diseases.

Aim of the study: The present paper documents the medicinal knowledge and utilization of plants for treatment of digestive system disorders in Southern Assam, India by Disease Consensus Index (DCI). It also determines the most suitable plant species used to treat digestive system disorders in the study area.

Materials and methods: The study was based on ethnomedicinal field survey covering a period of 1 year from 2014-2015. The ethnomedicinal information was collected by using semi-structured questionnaires from different traditional Bengali people having knowledge on medicinal plants. Collected data were analyzed by calculating DCI.

Results: During the survey, 29 informants were interviewed and a total of 49 plants under 46 genera belonging to 33 families were listed. Data analysis revealed that Litsea glutinosa, Momordica charantia, Andrographis paniculata, Lawsonia inermis, Cleome viscosa, Psidium guajava, Ageratum conyzoides, Cuscuta reflexa, Cynodon dactylon and Carica papaya are the most prominent plants among the people of Southern Assam for treating DSD.

Conclusion: This explorative survey emphasizes the need to preserve and document the traditional healing practices for managing DSD inviting for more imminent scientific research on the plants to determine their efficacy as well as safety. With the help of statistical analysis (DCI), we propose 10 priority plants for DSD in present work. Systematic pharmacological study with these plants may contribute significant result.

Keywords: DCI; Digestive system disorder; India; Medicinal plants; OP value; Southern Assam.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires