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Traditional Use of Plants as Medicine and Poison by Tagin and Galo Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh

Tonlong Wangpan, Jumpee Tasar, Tapi Taka, Jentu Giba, Phongam Tesia, Sumpam Tangjang.


The tribal communities concealing Arunachal Pradesh, India uses medicinal plants for treating ailments and poisonous plants for fishing and hunting. The study was conducted with an objective to explore the important medicinal and poisonous plants of the Upper Subansiri district. Data was collected using standard questionnaires and group interviews. The plants were identified referring various flora and herbaria. A total of 36 plants belonging to 26 families were reported, of which 26 were medicinal and 10 were poisonous plants. Leaves (53%) were the most commonly used plant part in herbal therapy, while, 33% of the plants were used in paste form. Among the poisonous plants, score for the harmful part was maximum (36%) for the whole plant. The commonly observed reactions caused by these plants include allergy, nausea, itching, fever and death in severe cases. According to the quantitative data collected from the informants, medicinal plants C. glandulosum (96%), A. houstonianum (94%) and C. asiatica (92%) were reported with the highest Fidelity Score. Maximum people of the region still depend on herbal medicine for treatment and use poisonous plants for hunting and fishing. However, biochemical investigation of these traditional medicines may unveil new direction in the modern health care system.

Key words: Poisonous plants, ethnomedicine, indigenous knowledge, Eastern Himalaya

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