By Ashwani Kumar
| September 20th 2009 06:47 PM | Print
Tribals of Jaipur district worship all the God and Goddesses of Hindu religion along with number of local deities. These deities are associated with a number of plant species. During the present survey 16 plant species have been recorded to be scared and auspicious, important one being of genus Ficus and Acacia. Ocimum sanctum and Aegle marmelos being sacred. Similar informations about herbal medicinal plants were provided by number of workers from various parts of country (Kirtikar and Basu, 1935; Nadkarni, 1954; Chopra et al., 1958; Sharma, 1982, Mishra and Kumar, 2001; Kumar and Roy, 2006; Kapil and Roy, 2007;Kumar and Sopory, 2008;).
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.