Quantitative analysis of medicinal plants consumption in the highest mountainous region of Bahrain Valley, Northern Pakistan


N. Hassan, M. Ud Din, M. Shuaib, F. Ul-Hassan, Y. Zhu, Y. Chen, M. Nisar, I. Iqbal, P. Zada, A. Iqbal

The purpose of the current study was to provide information on traditional uses of medicinal plants used by the inhabitants of Bahrain valley, District Swat, Northern Pakistan. This is the first quantitative ethnobotanical survey from the locality. A total of 134 informants were interviewed through semi-structured interviews and group discussions. The data were analyzed through quantifiable tools, i.e., informant consensus factor (ICF), Relative frequency of citation (RFC), Fidelity level (FL), Direct Matrix Ranking (DMR) and Use value (UV) indices. A total of 72 medicinal plants from 45 families were studied. The largest numbers of medicinal plants were reported from family Asteraceae with 5 species. Highest (0.89) informant consensus factor was observed for gastrointestinal and lowest (0.54) as painkiller. Highest fidelity level (94.12%) was observed for Ajuga bracteosa and lowest (56.52%) for Plantago major. The Relative frequency of citation was observed high (0.43) for Valeriana jatamansi while lowest for Nerium oleander (0.04).  For Direct Matrix Ranking Melia azedarach (24) got first rank lowest (10) by Vitex negundo. Leaves (31%) were mostly used as the part used for ethnomedicines. Mostly herbs (65%) were detected for the preparation of ethnomedicines. Decoction (28%) was mostly observed with oral (76%) as a route of administration. The inhabitants in Northern Pakistan use mostly ethnomedicines for primary health care. Plants with high ICF value should be subjected to comprehensive pharmacological and phytochemical studies for novel drug discovery.

Keywords: Bahrain valley; informant consensus factor; medicinal plants; Northern Pakistan; traditional knowledge

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