[Year:2020] [Month:April-June] [Volume:5] [Number:2] [Pages:21] [Pages No:67 - 87]
Background: This study is about the importance of documenting locally available medicinal plants gaining attention worldwide. Locally available plant resources are the main sources of raw materials for the local primary healthcare system. Documentation of the local medicinal plant resources is very important to check the status and depletion situation of the existing resources. The worldwide scenario of increased activity in conservation and cultivation reflects the importance of documentation of medicinal plants. Objectives: Documentation of locally available medicinal plant diversity of Hassan District, Karnataka, India. Materials and methods: Team comprising a botanist, an Ayurvedic physician, and a field assistant conducted two medicoethno botanical survey tours of 7 days each during October 2017 and March 2018. The study was conducted in randomly selected forest sections/beats in Arsikere, Yeslur, Sakleshpur, Arakalagud, Hassan, Belur, Alur, Holenarasipura, and Channarayapatna forest ranges of Hassan district. Sampling was done by adopting the belt transact method at the randomly selected forest areas, and representative herbarium specimens were collected as reference samples at geographical location along with filed photographs. Observations: Medicinal plant wealth of Hassan district is rich due to its varied vegetation types such as wet evergreen tropical rain forest in western Malnad part and dry tropical scrub vegetation in plain lands in east, north, and southern regions of the district. During the survey tours, the survey team documented 317 plants from nine forest ranges in Hassan district. Of these 317 plant species, 106 species found with promising medicinal properties were presented with botanical name, family, Sanskrit and local names, habit, habitat, abundance, part used, medicinal uses, accession number, and GPS location. These plants are used in various diseases ranging from chronic diseases such as ulcers, arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular complaints, hepatitis, diabetes, skin diseases; general complaints such as digestive problems, urinary disorders, fever, headache, dysentery, diarrhea, cold, cough, hemorrhoids, inflammations, wounds, cuts, etc. Use of various parts such as root, tuber, leaf, fruit, seed, whole plant, bark (stem and root), resin, etc., have been mentioned for these plants. Among the dominant families, Leguminosae contributes 10 species, while Apocynaceae and Lamiaceae represent 7 and 5 species, respectively, and Malvaceae, Menispermaceae, and Rubiaceae 4 species each. Conclusion: Among the 106 medicinally important plants that spread in 55 families, about 61 species are distributed in dry deciduous forests while 40 are restricted to moist to wet forests of the district and rest of them are growing in open forest patches.