Use of menispermaceae family plants in folk medicine of Bangladesh
Jahan, Farhana Israt
Chowdhury, Anita Rani
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The Menispermaceae family of flowering plants comprises of about 70 genera and 420 species. The plants belonging to this family are mostly climbing plants and the great majority of the species can be found in countries with a tropical climate. Although small, the family contains a number of plants with scientifically recognized important pharmacological activities. The folk medicinal system of Bangladesh mainly relies on medicinal plants for treatment of various ailments, where the folk medicinal practitioners (otherwise known as Kavirajes) use whole plants or plant parts for oral or topical administration for treatment of ailments. We conducted an ethnomedicinal survey throughout over 100 regions and among seven different tribes of Bangladesh to collect data on the use of Menispermaceae family plants for medicinal purposes. Data was collected with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and plant specimens as pointed out by the Kavirajes were identified at the Bangladesh National Herbarium. Six species belonging to the Menispermaceae family were observed to be in use by the Kavirajes. These six species were Cocculus hirsutus, Stephania glabra, Stephania japonica, Tinospora cordifolia, Tinospora crispa, and Tinospora sinensis. Of the six species, Stephania japonica and Tinospora cordifolia were most frequently used for treatment of ailments like diabetes, edema, pain, bone fracture, debility, gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory tract disorders, helminthiasis, malaria, hepatic disorders, tuberculosis, measles, urinary tract disorders, and hypertension. The folk medicinal use of several of these plants has been validated through scientific studies.
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