Anthropological Study of EthnoMedicinal Plants in Baramulla District, Jammu and Kashmir UT, India
Background:The topography and weather conditions of Jammu and Kashmir has led the use of traditional medicinal plants for various ailment since ages. Jammu and Kashmir possess rich diversity in medicinal plants because of its geological, geographical, physiological, topographical and diverse climatic conditions. This study was conducted with the aim of documenting the knowledge associated with different medicinal plants in Baramulla District, Jammu and Kashmir UT, Northern India. Methods: The study was conducted from Jan-2020 to March-2021. The number of informants which were selected for the study was 399 (272 males and 127 females). Data were collected using semi-structured interviewsand group discussions. The listing of medicinal plants found in the area was done, also calculated informant consensus factors (ICF), fidelity level (FL) and performed ranking and paired comparisons. The analysis of Data wasdoneusing descriptive statistics and using SPSS software. Results: Overall, 21 medicinal plants were documented belonging to 20 families. Families Fabaceae and Solanaceae were the most important ones. Leaves of medicinal plants were most used as compared to flowers. The most used preparation method for preparation of traditional medicines was found boiling/cooking. The key informants were found most knowledgeable with the mean knowledge of (4.85) and general informants possess the mean knowledge of (2.98). Old age group people also had good mean knowledge of (4.91) as compared to young folks who had mean knowledge of (2.14).Rosawebbianawas the most preferred medicinal plant for treating cough followed by Punica granatum. for treating jaundice. Conclusions:BaramullaDistrict possess a rich ethnomedicinal profile with great medicinal plant diversity and the traditional knowledge about use, preparation and application of these plants for various ailments. Though there are some factors which had led to the decrease or minimal use of these plants these factors include, agricultural expansion, urbanisation, modern education, use of allopathic medicines. Hence knowledge about the benefits of using traditional plants over allopathic medicines among the young generation need to be revived by the elders or through different studies which in turn will help to protect these plants and will ensure use of these plants in the district.