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Medicinal Plants Used by Traditional Healthcare Practitioners of Dominant Tribes of Koraput in Odisha

The paper documents the medicinal plants growing naturally in the forests used in traditional
healthcare system by major tribal communities inhabiting four southern districts of Odisha,
India. In the tribal villages, traditional healthcare practitioners (THPs) are responsible for
collection, processing, and administration of herbal medicines acquired through inherited
knowledge. We recorded 294 medicinal plants, out of which 34 plants are commonly used
by nine dominant tribes though the mode of preparation, plant parts used, and the treating
ailments vary within the tribes. Malaria, diarrhea, and skin infections are the most commonly
occurring diseases treated with a variety of herbal medicines and the tribes depend strongly
on the THPs. Although several medicinal plants utilized in primary healthcare have been
recognized, their conservation, sustainable use, and benefi t sharing is lacking. A garden of
medicinal plants was established to protect the traditional knowledge of tribal communities
for Access and Benefi t Sharing (ABS) under the Biodiversity Act (BD Act), 2002, empowering
with modern and mass cultivation methods and market linkage for economic benefi ts and
as a part of conservation measures of these depleting resources.

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