Information on folk medicinal uses of the plants has become of improved interest in search for new therapeutic agent.
By Ashwani Kumar
| September 28th 2009 05:00 PM | Print
Information on folk medicinal uses of the plants has become of improved interest in search for new therapeutic agent. Huge information on medicinal plants exists as oral among the folklore and primitive societies of India, where a large number of potent medicinal herbs are found growing wild. Although, a huge quantity of ethnobotanical explorations has been done in various pockets of tribal and rural population, scattered throughout the country, but there is still a lot to be explored. Ethnobotanical investigations play crucial role in revealing the information about such plant species that can be source of safer, cheaper, and effective drugs for the benefit of humankind.
According to an estimate 70 percent, inhabitants still rely on herbs in India. Traditional healers are currently using about 2,500 species of plants from about 1000 genera (Jain et al., 2005). Ethnobotanical studies of different areas of Rajasthan state has been carried out by many workers in this field (Singh and Pandey, 1998; Mishra and Kumar, 2000, 2001; Trivedi, 2002; Katewa et al., 2004). Information on the uses of indigenous plants in traditional medicines in rural areas of Churu district has been recently documented by us (Parveen et al., 2007).
The plants of family Euphorbiaceae are mostly monoecious herbs, shrubs, and trees, sometimes succulent and cactus-like. With about 300 genera and 7,500 species, Euphorbiaceae is one of the largest families of plant world, which are further characterized by the frequent occurrence of milky sap. This family occurs mainly in the tropics, with the majority of the species in the Indo-Malayan region and tropical America. However, genus Euphorbia also has many species in non-tropical areas such as the Mediterranean, the Middle East, South Africa, and southern USA (Radcliffe, 1986; Chellaiah et al., 2006). A number of plants of the Spurge family are of considerable economic importance and many are grown as ornamental plants.