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Observation on potential ethnobotanical wild edible plants of Jharkhand

Kaushal Kumara, S. G. Abbasa & M. H. Siddiquib aFaculty of Forestry, Birsa Agricultural University, Kanke, Ranchi- 834006 (India)
Received , 20th December, 2014; Revised: 20th January, 2015

Abstract : In Jharkhand state due to tribal wisdom and their attachment to the ambient vegetation, the ethnobotanical study becomes an important aspect. The tribal communities mainly Santhal, Pahraia, Oraon, Munda, Kol, Kharwar, Ho etc. have rich knowledge on plant and plants product because many wild plants as to suuplement nutritional requirements as well as in the form of ethnomedicine for primary healthcare for treatment of many diseases. There are more than 400 plants having tribal or ethnobotanical names by the practical knowledge and experience of local tribal communities in their own ethnic culture. The ethnobotanical knowledge has been transmiited through oral tradition from one generation to next generation. In the present communication some wild edible plants are documented, which are widely utilized by the tribal and rural people of Jharkhand and fulfilling the requirement of nutritional components in day to day life. The plants viz. Amaranthus spinosus L. (‘Kanta bhaji’)- twigs, Bauhinia purpurea L. (‘Koinar sag’)- leaves, Boerhaavia diffusa L., Trianthema monogyna L. (‘Khapra arak’)- twigs, Cassia tora L. (‘Chakundi arak’)- leaves, Centella asiatica (L.) Urban (‘Beng sag’/’Rote ara’)- whole plant, Hibiscus sabdariffa L. (‘Kudroom’)- flowers and fruits, Indigofera pulchella (‘Jirhul’)- flowers, Limnophila indica (L.) Druce (‘Nanha-hemcha’)- twigs, Marsilea minuta L. (‘Susni sag’)- whole plant, Portulaca spp. (‘Nuni sag’/ ‘Jitia sag’)- twigs, Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Poir (‘Agust phool’)- flowers etc. are most commonly used amongst all the tribal communities and rural people. Most of the plant species are collected by the people from wild and their cultivation practices are very rare. Various studies have been carried out in past and it has been enumerated that many wild edible plants are available in Jharkhand in indigenous conditions. However, the above ethnobotanical data described herewith based on wild edible plants have most significant due to the fact that these species are cooked as vegetable and are found effective for treating different ailments, diseases and disorders. Hence, there is a need to explore the biodynamic nutritive compounds and to promote the cultivation practices for benefits of societies in terms of healthcare. Besides, some wild edible mushrooms like ‘Rugra’ (Geastrum sp.) and ‘Khukri’ (Termitomyces heimii) are also widely utilized by the people of Jharkhand, which requires scientific evaluation.

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