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The land of Highlanders

Folk Medicines of Mizoram

India has rich diversity of medicinal plants distributed in different geographical and environmental conditions. Tribal people in different parts of India use their traditional ecological knowledge received from their ancestors and contemporary society, in primary health care. The traditional systems of medicine together with folklore systems continue to serve a large portion of the population, particularly in rural areas, in spite of the advent of the modern medicines. Out of about 15,000 species of higher plants in India, medicinal uses have been attributed to 1500 species. Mizoram is one of the eight states of North-East India, situated in the extreme of Himalayan ranges covering 21,087 km2 and situated between 92º15´and 93º26´ E longitude and 21º58´ and 14º35´N latitude. The state has two international borders, Myanmar in the east and Bangladesh in the west. Mizoram has the most variegated hilly terrain in the eastern part of India. The hills are steep and are separated by rivers which flow either to the north or the south creating deep gorges between the hill ranges. The average height of the hills is about 900 meters. Mizoram has great natural scenic beauty and endless variety of landscape and is very rich in flora and fauna. Almost all kinds of tropical trees and plants thrive in Mizoram. The hills are marvelously green. Temperature of the state varies from 11 0 C - 21 0 C during winter and 20 0 C - 30 0 C during summer. In Mizoram, the number of doctors and other medical staff is very low, in comparison to the total population, and due the under developed communication system in the state the people of the rural areas cannot avail of modern methods of treatment and they search for remedies from nature. The local traditional healers are the only source of health service providers to the localities. The folk medicinal claims have been documented during the ethno medico botanical field trips of Mizoram with a view to conserve and bring this indigenous knowledge to the scientific community.

No. Botanical Name Sanskrit Name Local Name Place of collection Distribution Indication Part used Mode of use
1Allium sativum L. LashunaPurunaLunglei, Mizoram Cultivated Abdominal colic Bulb Two bulbs chewed with water thrice daily till recovery of abdominal colic.
2Ananas comosus (L) Merr. BahunetraLakhuiheLunglei, Mizoram Cultivated Kidney stone Leaves One glass cruised juice taken orally for one month daily.
3Begonia thomsoniiA. DC. - SekhupthurDarlawn, Mizoram Rare Piles Leaves and stems One cup expressed juice of both leaves and stems taken orally thrice daily for one month.
4ClerodendrumcolebrookianumWalp. - PhuihnamLunglei, Mizoram Not common High blood pressure Leaves One glass boiled juice taken orally twice daily for 1 week.
5Costusspeciosus(Koen.ex. Retz.) Sm. KebukSumbulDarlawn, Mizoram Not common Burning micturationRhizome One cup juice from rhizome taken orally at an interval of 2 hours till the symptoms subsides.
6Curcuma longa L. HaridraAiengLunglei, Mizoram Cultivated Gastric ulcer Rhizome One cup crushed juice taken orally in empty stomach for one month relieves the pain.
7Euphorbia hirta L. DugdhikaZawhtehloLunglei, Mizoram Sporadic Kidney stone Leaves 5 ml boiled juice taken orally thrice daily for one month.
8Hedyotis scandens Roxb. - KelhnamaturLunglei, Mizoram Scattered Liver enlargement Leaves One glass crushed juice taken orally twice daily for 2 weeks.
9Hedyotis scandens Roxb. - LaikingtuiburDarlawn, Mizoram Scattered Malaria Leaves One cup crushed juice taken orally at an interval of 2 hours daily for 7 days.
10Indigofera tinctoria L. NiliniSaisiarDarlawn, Mizoram Rare Scabies & ring worms Leaves Leaves paste applied on affected part twice daily and decoction of the leaves are also used for bath in scabies.
11Melocannabaccifera(Roxb) Kurz. BanshMautakLunglei, Mizoram Abundant Ringworm Fruits Internal secretion of cut fruits, applied locally on ring worms.
12Mimosa pudica L. LazzaluHlonuarDarlawn, Mizoram Common Diabetes Leaves One cup leaves juice taken orally twice daily in empty stomach for 1 month.
13Scoparia dulcis L. - VawkektumtuakDarlawn, Mizoram Common Dysentery Whole plant One cup crushed juice taken orally at an interval of 2 hours for one week.
14Zanthoxylum sp. - Ching-it Lunglei, Mizoram Rare Fever Leaves One glass of boiled decoction taken every 6 hour orally.
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