Author: Sajjad Hussain, Ghulam Murtaza, Ansar Mehmood and Rizwana Aleem Qureshi
Publishing Date: 2017
Volume 30 Issue 3
The aim of present was to document indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants traditionally used by inhabitants of Rawalakot Azad Kashmir and to screen selected medicinal plants for their antibacterial potential. Several field surveys were conducted to document indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants through interviews from local inhabitants during 2010-2013. During the study, 58 plant species, belonging to 37 families, were identified and their medicinal uses were recorded. Ethnobotanical data indicates that inhabitants of Rawalakot use medicinal plant mainly for the treatment of stomach, liver and sexual disorders. Usually fresh plant materials were used for medicinal preparations and administrated orally. Among all the species studied, three most frequently used medicinal plants Achillea millefolium, Berberis lycium and Zanthoxylum armatum were screened for their antibacterial potential by using disc diffusion method. The crude aqueous, petroleum ether and ethanolic extracts were found to be very active against selected bacterial strains. The present study contributes significantly to the medicinal plant knowledge and shows that medicinal plant knowledge is deteriorating among younger generations. Therefore, further research is needed to document indigenous knowledge, to find conservation status of medicinal plant species and to find antimicrobial compounds for more sophisticated usage of medicinal plants in future.
KEYWORDS: Medicinal plants, Rawalakot, Western Himalaya, conservation, indigenous knowledge, antimicrobial activity