Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol. 20 Issue 01, 2014; Page No.(59-71)

ETHNO-MEDICINAL SURVEY OF NORTH KASHMIR HIMALAYA - A CASE STUDY OF LOLAB VALLEY (J&K), INDIA

Fayaz Bhat, D.M. Mahajan, M.R.G. Sayyed and Asifa Bhat

Abstract

In India more than 95% of medicinal plants used in preparing medicines are harvested from wild. Medicinal plants are of great importance in healthcare of mankind in rural societies of Jammu & Kashmir and can become a leading producer of medicinal plants provided this sector gets due attention. An ethno medicinal survey was undertaken through frequent field visits, interviews and discussions with native nomadic tribes in Lolab Valley of Kashmir Himalaya to collect information and documentation of these medicinal plants. The Present study reveals the ethnomedicinal uses and conservation status of medicinal plants in the Lolab valley of Kashmir Himalaya. During the course of study, 132 species belonging to 60 families were recorded, including 30 trees, 26 shrubs, 72 herbs, 2 climbers and 2 ferns were recorded to be used under traditional health care system. Assessment of conservation status of flora showed that among132 species recorded 11% were endangered, 20% rare, 4% critically endangered, 18% vulnerable and 47% secure, and as per the habit-wise threatened status, the results indicate that among 26 shrubs, 4 were Vulnerable (VU), 3 Rare (R), 2 Critically Endangered (CR) and 17 Secure (S). Among 74 herbs found 16 were vulnerable, 13 endangered, 17 rare, 3 critically endangered and 25 secure. Among 30 tree species found 1 was vulnerable, 2 endangered, 4 rare and 23 secure. Only 2 ferns were found and both of them were in vulnerable category. Like other parts of the Indian Himalaya region, wild populations of medicinal plants of this region are under severe pressure of over harvesting and extensive grazing. A scientific strategy and action plan needs to be formulated for sustainable use of these resources.

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