Exploration of Polyherbal Formulations Used by Folk Healers of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India
Sinimol T Peethambaram, Susmitha Bonthu, Srikanth Narayanam
Andaman and Nicobar, Folk healers, Polyherbal formulation, Tribes
Citation Information :
Peethambaram ST, Bonthu S, Narayanam S. Exploration of Polyherbal Formulations Used by Folk Healers of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. J Drug Res Ayurvedic Sci 2018; 3 (2):85-95.
Introduction: Various communities settled in Andaman and Nicobar Islands along with native tribes still possess a rich treasure of traditional medicinal knowledge. It is very necessary to document their indigenous knowledge of health and healthcare practices before they become used to the modern medicine and forgot to use native plants in their day-to-day practice. In the traditional system of medicine, plant-based medications are mostly used since time immemorial. This knowledge of the drug, drug preparations either from single or combination of numerous plants, i.e., poly herbalism orally descended from generations to generations uninterruptedly.
Objectives: Documentation of the polyherbal (compound) formulations practiced by the native of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India.
Materials and methods: The team of Regional Research Centre of Ayurveda, Port Blair conducted 23 periodical surveys visiting 75 different forest beats of Andaman and Nicobar Islands during 2013 to 2016, and local traditional folk healers were also interviewed as per the structured questionnaire based on ethno-medicinal survey protocol.
Observations: Sixty-nine folklore claims related to compound formulation was registered during surveys; out of which maximum, i.e., 12 claims were for treatment of fever (Jwara) and 7 for pain in the abdomen (Udarashoola). The plants Annona squamosa L. and Senna occidentalis (L.) Link. Syn. Cassia occidentalis Link. were used as an ingredient in 12 formulations to cure a maximum number of ailments. Fresh leaves were mostly used in preparing the compound formulation (92.42%), and medicines were mostly used in the form of Swarasa (39.13%) and followed by Kalka (30.43%).
Conclusion: Native folk healers of Andaman and Nicobar Islands are using a wide variety of Ayurvedic compound formulation so further well planned pharmacological, toxicological and clinical studies required to confirm the efficacy of these folklore claims to develop new formulations.
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