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Abstract

KALPNATH-A TRUSTED POTENT ETHNOMEDICINAL PLANT FROM NORTH CENTRAL TARAI FORESTS OF U.P. INDIA

T. P. Mall* and S. C. Tripathi

ABSTRACT

Bahraich U.P., India is blessed with diversified flora of more than 1200 plant species, Tharu tribals in side as well as around the forests. The tribals have strong belief in magicotherapeutic properties of plants for treatment of their ailments. The vegetation of the areas is mainly characterized by large member of herbaceous plants growing on verity of habitats along with scattered occurrence of many indigenous and exotic species of trees and shrubs in open areas or cultivated in gardens and along rode sides. The North Western Tarai belt in which Bahraich is situated is next to North East and Western ghats which represents one of the eighteen hot spots of the World mega biodiversity. In spite of all, the wealth of traditional knowledge is being lost, as the traditional culture is gradually disappearing. So as to document we have taken the project. Andrographis paniculata (Burm. f.) Wall. ex. Nees in Wall belongs to Acanthaceae is also known as Justicea paniculata Burm. F, J. patibross Russ, J. stricta Lam. ex Stud. Locally it is called as Kalpnath. In other parts of the country it is also known Kalmnegh, Kalupnath. This herb is extremely bitter in taste. The plant is known in north-eastern India as Maha-tita, literally king of bitters and known by various vernacular names as Chooraita, Chireita, Bhuinimba, Chireita, Kirayat, Siriya nangai, Nelabevu. In Ayurveda it is known as Kalmegh or Kalamegha, meaning "dark cloud". It is also known as Nila-Vembu, meaning "neem of the ground". though being a small annual herb, has a similar strong bitter taste as that of the large Neem tree (Azadirachta indica) During survey for ethnomedicinal plant, their uses, preparation medicines and made of their administration we came across certain formulations for typhoid, malaria, intermittent fever, liver ailments, nasal secretions, common cold where Kalpnath leaves are mixed with parts of other native plants. The plant is bitter, acrid, cooling, laxative, vulnerary, antipyretic, antiperiodic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, depurative, soporific, anthelmintic, digestive and useful in hyperdispsia, burning sensation, wounds, ulsers, chronic fever, malaria, intermittent fever, inflammations, cough, bronchitis, skin diseases, leprosy, colic, flatulence, diarrhea, dysentery, haemorrhoids etc. Kalpnath is also a reputed Homoeopathic medicine.

Keywords: Kalpnath, Andrographis paniculata, Ethnomedicine, North Central Tarai Forests.


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