Practice and Re-Emergence of Herbal Medicine

Exploring the Traditional System of Medicine With Special Emphasis on the Indigenous Practice of Herbal Remedy by the Tribals of North-East India

Author(s): Suman Kumar, Susankar Kushari, Himangshu Sarma and Damiki Laloo *

Pp: 1-24 (24)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815080414123010003

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The tribal people of India consider North-East India to be a hotspot. It contains eight states: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, and it borders international boundaries with Bhutan, Tibet, China, Burma and Bangladesh. The Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, which is home to a broad spectrum of unusual flora, fauna and microorganisms, is located in the Northeast Region. The region has the evergreen forest of the Brahmaputra River valley, wide leaf forest, dense bamboo and pine forest and the world's wettest location (Cherrapunji and Mawsynram), all of which help to maintain the region's unique biodiversity. North East region is the inhabitant of more than 145 significant tribal communities with the most dominating primitive societies, including the Abor, Mishing, Rabha, Khasi, Kuki, Naga, Meitei, Apatani, etc. Most of these communities are culturally and linguistically diverse. The NER's tribal population is literate compared to other parts of the country, and it's worth noting that the literacy rates in Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim and Manipur are all higher than the national average. Despite their high literacy rate, India's North-Eastern states continue to have poor transportation, power and medical services. The healthcare system is in bad shape, with only a few hospitals and nursing homes. As a result, the people residing in this area rely exclusively on a traditional system of medicines made by traditional healers from plants, animals and mineral resources. It was stated that medicinal herbs are prepared using traditional methods, such as maceration, decoction, and infusion, either alone or in combination with other plants. The key species of medicinal plants often employed by the traditional healers of the region are Acorus calamus, Aegle marmelos, Asparagus racemosus, Averrhoa carambola, Bryophyllum calycinum, Costus speciosus, Euphorbia neriifolia, Justicia adhatoda, Melia azadarachta, Plumeria acutifolia, Sida cordifolia, Sida rhombifolia and Swertia chirata. This extensive work will aid the researcher in locating previously unknown medicinal plants in order to build a new therapeutic method for isolating new chemical entities that are safe, pharmacologically active, and cost-effective. 

Keywords: Medicinal plant, North-East India, Traditional medicine, Traditional healers.

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