Therapeutic Uses of Wild Plants by Rural Inhabitants of Maraog Region in District Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
The main aim of this study is to document important ethnomedicinal plants from the Maraog region, located in the district of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, India. A total of 110 medicinal plant species belonging to 102 genera and 57 families were reported from the study site. All of the species were collected from wild habitats. The rural people of the Maraog region were surveyed through interview methods, group discussions, and participatory observations. In the current study, data were collected from 88 informants through the snowball method. A total of 110 plant species were collected from the study area, including 64 herbs, 24 shrubs, 9 trees, 5 climbers, 3 grasses, and 5 ferns. Most of the plant species, reported from the study area, belong to the Rosaceae and Asteraceae families, each contributing 12 plant species, followed by the Lamiaceae family with 6 plant species. The most used part of the plant in the preparation of herbal medications is the leaves, which have been reported in 62 plants, followed by roots in 14 plants, and flowers and other aerial parts in 9 plants. The ethnomedicinal data were analyzed using “Use Value,” a statistical quantitative method, with Artemisia vestita having the highest use value (1.00), followed by Cannabis sativa (0.79), Rhododendron arboreum (0.79), and Datura stramonium (0.71). Older people were found to have a vast knowledge of wild medicinal plants, while the younger generation’s knowledge was lacking. As a result, traditional knowledge about the use of plants as a source of medicine has decreased day-by-day.Therefore, there is a need to document traditional ethnobotanical knowledge. The data could serve as a basis for research by pharmacological and nutraceutical industries for the development of novel drugs.