POWERFUL MEDICINAL HERBS USED AGAINST INTESTINAL INFECTIONS BY THE LOCAL POPULACE OF BANDIPORA DISTRICT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR, INDIA
Parvaiz Ahmad Lone*
Helminthic infections continue to be the major health hazard to the people, especially those living in in remote rural areas in the tropical developing countries. Although these infections do not cause significant morbidity and mortality when compared with many other parasitic infections, they do cause substantial, but often less measurable effects like malabsorption, diarrhoea, anaemia and other states of poor health, particularly in infants and school going children. Though at present in the markets there are several synthetic anthelmintics available against these parasites, the fact remains that a large proportion of the world‟s population still does not have access to, or cannot afford the modern medicines, particularly in remote rural areas. Besides, the continued usage of current anthelmintic drugs is also posing a major problem of drug resistance in several parasite species. Thus, there is an urgent need for newer and inexpensive drugs that are able to act for longer periods before resistance sets in. In this context, traditional medicines, based largely on medicinal plants, offer a major and accessible source of health care to people living particularly in developing countries. Bandipora is a northern biodiversity rich Himalayan district of Jammu and Kashmir state. The people of this district have not yet lost their faith on herbal medicine and they still prefer to practice traditional mode of treatment. Present paper gives a detailed account on some plants used traditionally against helminthic infections by the local people of Bandipora district. A total of 13 species belonging to the equal number of genera and 11 different families were found to be used for effective cure of these infections. It is through this study that the people can know the efficacy of certain medicinal plants against helminthic infections. Further, the medicinal potential and efficacy as vermicidal or vermifugal- of plants documented in this study can be scientifically validated through phytochemical and pharmacological studies.
Keywords: Helminthic Infections, Bandipora, Herbal Formulations, Medicinal Plants.
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