Traditional herbal medicines are still under practice in different tribal areas of the state for the treatment of various diseases. These herbal traditional methods have been developed through experience of many generations. Tribals have also played an important role in preserving the germ plasm of certain crop plants by growing some of the traditional local races as well as wild relatives of the commonly cultivated crops, which are having specific characters of hardiness, disease resistance, drought resistance and on some occasions they have also helped in averting widespread famines.
Tribals also use herbal contraceptive, to control fertility and prevent pregnancy, thereby checking the population. For this purpose 16 plant species, recorded. Such herbal contraceptives have also been reported from various tribal areas of the state ( Jain et al., 2005).
The growing interest in herbal drugs owing to their minimal side effects, low cost and long lasting affectivity has opened a new global market for herbal drugs (Jhakar et al., 2004).
Since early age plants have served for human adornment for the millenia and people have been using various kinds of herbs to maintain their beauty.The study revealed that the use of plants as herbal cosmetics is prevalent among the tribal communities and represent not only a part of their ethnic culture but also witness the use of plants in their regular health care practices since ancient times. The most common plants recorded are Curcuma longa, Ocimum sanctum, Vitex negundo, Sesamum indicum and flour of Cicer aritinuma ( Ambasta et al., 1993, Sharma and Kumar, 2002 and Sharma et al., 2003).
The collection and documentation of tribal knowledge based on the cosmetic use of plants is no doubt a remarkable step keeping in view the fading ethnic traditions and culture. Attempts should be made to authenticate and evaluate the efficacy and cosmetic value of these plants and their products used by the tribals. Moreover, there is urgent need to conserve the germ plasm and cultivation of such plants in suitable agroclimatic zones for their better survival to meet the demand of herbal cosmetic industry for the welfare of human being.
During the present research on attempt has been made to place a brief note on the applied aspect of the fundamental principle of Ayurvedic therapy along with the concept of Ayurvedic classification of diseases and methods of cures and have a good grasp of the Ayurvedic treatment based on plant crude drugs (Jain et al, 2005, Sharma and Kumar 2007).
The collection, identification and documentation of ethnomedicinal data on biological resources are inevitable steps for bioprospecting. The native inhabitants are well-versed with the utilization of plants of their surrounding by their long trial and error method of using the herbal plants. These plants may serve as source of some important medicine against some major diseases. Therefore, these tribal and rural claims should be further validated scientifically.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been a serious life-threatening health problem since 1981 and is the most quickly spreading disease of the century. On account of recent reports of WHO and UNAIDS, at the end of 2001, an estimated 40 million people globally were living with HIV, out of them about 22 million people had died. Several plants have anti-HIV potential e. g. Artemisia annua, Croton tiglium, Curcuma longa , Glycyrrhiza lepidata, Polyalthia suberosa, Phyllanthus myrtifolius.
Out of an estimated 250,000 higher plants, less than 1% has been screened pharmacologically and very few in regards to AIDS. One can look towards a future of integrated medicine and hope that research in alternative medicine will help to identify what is safe and effective rather than marginalizing, unorthodox medical claims and findings (Jhakar et al., 2004)
Pharmacognosy is important not only as an academic exercise. It is the infrastructure on which evolution of novel medicines depends (Cordell and Colvard, 2005; Verpoorte et al., 2005; Kovacs et al., 2008). Several crude drugs provide essential intermediate for final synthesis of bioactive molecules. All over the world, the demand of herbal drug increased enormously. Eighty percent of world population depends on crude drug and folklore medicine.
Several plants are utilized in rural areas of Rajasthan namely Phyllanthes emblica, Azadirachta indica, Tinospora cordifolia, are used in diabeties ( Seema and Kumar, 2005; Sharma and Kumar, 2007). Boerhaavia diffusa, is generally used in liver disorders. Ageratum conyzoides, Calotropis procera, Piper nigrum are generally used as antileukaemic. Calotropis procera and Curcuma longa are used for face shadow, darkness and pimples on face. Phyllanthus emblica is given to cure jaundice generally with buttermilk.
In ayurvedic system of medicines a large number of plants are employed for the treatment of several diseases like cancer (Jain and Defellips, 1991; Sharma and Kumar, 2000, ,), depression and other nervous disorders (Mishra and Kumar, 2000), diabetes (Raghunathan and Mitra, 1982; Gupta and Kumar, 2002), rheumatism (Sanghi and Kumar, 2001), Leprosy (Sanghi and Kumar, 2002), skin disease (Saxena and Kumar, 2002) Urinary stone track disease (Mishra and Kumar, 2001a and b) hepatic disease (Sharma and Kumar, 2001), hair care (Sharma et al., 2003) disease of digestive system (Choudhary and Kumar, 2001, 2002), Malaria(Yadav and Kumar, 2001) paralysis (Sharma and Kumar, 2001). Several studies have reported traditional uses of medicinal plants (Seema and Kumar, 2004, 2005; Sharma and Kumar 2006; Parveen et al., 2007; Webster et al., 2008)
Plants produce secondary metabolites as defenses against animals, parasites, bacteria, and viruses, and so rely on these chemical and other deterrents for their survival. These secondary metabolites constitute the medicinal value of a drug plant, which produces a definite physiological action on human body (Sharma et al., 2007). Plants produce them for their own purposes and not for ours. These are synthesized in special cells from primary metabolic and always found only in certain specific plant organ(Kumar and Roy, 2006 and Kumar and Sopory 2008). These secondary metabolites can be classified because of their chemical structure, their solubility in various solvents or the pathway by which they are synthesized. Since these compounds are usually restricted to a much more limited group of organism, they have been of primary importance in taxonomic research. Biosynthetic pathways of some secondary metabolits such as phenolic from malonyl, alkaloid from amino acid and saponin from squalene have been well established.
Laticiferous plants belonging to family Euphorbiaceae Asclepiadaceae have widespread application in traditional medicines. Euphorbia hirta is often used for longer period against asthmatic problems for permanent recovery. The use of the plant parts as a crude drugs by various communities local people and vaidya’s in Rajasthan for various ailments no doubt indicates that the plant must have medicinal properties in it. Therefore, the a thorough screening is required of it’s bioactive properties for the reported efficacies.
- These plants may serve as source of some important medicine against some major diseases. Therefore, these tribal and rural claims should be further validated scientifically.
- Plants collected and reported from different tribal and rural areas of Rajasthan.
- Tribals of Jaipur the pink city and and use of tribal medicine
- Ethnobotanical studies provide vast amount of data with potential use in medicine.