NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS AND ITS ROLE IN BASTARTRIBAL LIVELIHOODSNishant Ghode
The Bastar is the largest single block of Sal halophytic forest in the world. The forest lies at the feet of theIndravati River and is spread across areas of Bastar division, Chhattisgarh. In addition to its scenic beauty,the forest also contains a great variety of natural resources. Non-timber forest products (NTFPs) play animportant role in the livelihoods of tribal people in theBastar division. The cross-fertilization by bee increasesaverage agricultural yield by 20 to 25 percent. Its products like honey, wax, pollen, royal jelly, propolis, beevenom have immense medical importance. Honey is useful for healing the wounds, helps to build uphemoglobin, used as laxative blood purifier, preventive against cold, cough, sore throat, eye ailments,burns and gastrointestinal disorder etc. Honey has antibiotic property and is effective in reducing the riskof heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Pollen lowers blood pressure, increases hemoglobin and erythrocytecontent, useful in pernicious anemia, sterility, hypertension, in complaints of the nervous and endocrinesystem. Royal jelly has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, vasodilative and hypotensive,antioxidant, anti-hypercholesterolemic and antitumor property. Royal jelly has a diuretic effect, preventsobesity, builds up resistance to infection, regulates the functioning of the endocrine glands andis good forarteriosclerosis and coronary deficiency. Bee venom acts as antibiotic and useful for loweringof bloodpressure, in neural disorders and rheumatoid arthritis and acute rheumatic carditis, treating certain eyediseases, hypertension and gynecological and childrenâs diseases. Propolis, a resinous substance haspharmacologically active constituents as flavonoids, phenolics and other various aromatic compounds.Propolis has antibacterial, antifungal antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory proprieties. It is used totreat mouth and gum disorders, gum decay, resistance to general illness, cure burns and fungal skincomplaints. Beeswax is used to prepare polishes, waterproofing, electrical insulation, cosmetics, cold creamsetc. It is also useful in engineering, pharmaceutical and confectionary industries.