Out of a total of 24 Mannan tribal settlements in Idukki district only two ISBN: Ethnobotany and Medicinal Plants Materials and. ethnobotanical study carried out among the tribal groups of Periyar Tiger Reserve Keywords: Ethnogynecology, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala, Mannan tribes. Fardous Mohammad Safiul Azam, Anup Biswas, Abdul Mannan, Nusrat Anik . G. J. Martin, Ethnobotany: A “People and Plants” Conservation.

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Snakebites are common in tropical countries like Bangladesh where most snakebite victims dwell in rural areas. Our aim of the study is to compile plants used for the treatment of snakebite occurrence in Bangladesh.

The field survey was carried out in a period of almost 3 years.

Ethnobotany of Micronesia: A course companion

Open-ended and semistructured questionnaire was used to interview a total of people including traditional healers and local people. A total of plant species of 48 families were listed. Leaves were the most cited plant part used against snake venom. Most of the reported species were herb in nature and paste mostly used externally is the mode of preparation.

The survey represents the preliminary information of certain medicinal plants having neutralizing effects against snake venoms, though further phytochemical investigation, validation, and clinical trials should be conducted before using these plants as an alternative to popular antivenom. Snakebite, caused by a bite from a snake, is an accidental injury, which results in puncture wounds inflicted by the animal’s fangs and sometimes causes envenomation.

Snakes are carnivorous vertebrates of the class Reptilia, order Squamata, and suborder Serpentes. Snakes usually kill their prey with constriction rather than venom, though venomous snakes can be found on every continent except Antarctica [ 1 ]. However, other venomous snakes may also be found in this area [ 5 — 7 ] and thus represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality to humans [ 8 — 11 ]. Exact numbers on the global prevalence of snakebites and the percentage of severe or fatal cases are largely unknown [ 12 ].

However, at least ,—1, envenoming ethnobotzny 20,—94, deaths occur worldwide each year due to snakebite [ etjnobotany ]. According to Williams et al.

Incidence of snakebites in Bangladesh is very high like other tropical countries of Southeast Asia [ 1 ]. Here most snakebite victims dwelling ethnobotant rural areas are farmers, fishermen, and hunters [ 7 — 9 ] and also there are a high number of snakebite occurrences that happened at their homes as most of the snakes are nocturnal animals and poor people have the practice of sleeping on the floor [ 7 ].

Nonetheless, there are approximately 80 species of snakes found in Bangladesh; among them only few are venomous.

These are cobra, krait, Russell’s viper, saw-scaled viper, green snakes, and sea snakes. Antivenom is the only therapeutic agent against snake venom available throughout the world. These antivenoms have highly effective neutralizing systemic effects but show some limitations in the inhibition of the local disorders [ 1617 ] and also a chief drawback of serum therapy is its excessive cost and likelihood that victims are often at some distance away from availability of modern treatment when bitten as antivenom treatment should be sought as soon as possible for their potential efficacy.

Moreover, there is a crisis in the quality and supply of antivenom serum in the rural areas where most incidences of snakebites occurred [ 18 ]. These problems could be subsided by using traditional plant based treatment since approximately plant species are known to possess potential antivenom [ 19 — 22 ].

To date approximately more than 6, species of indigenous and naturalized plants have been identified out of which more than one thousand contain medicinally useful chemical substances [ 2728 ]. Several ethnobotanical investigations have been carried out at different parts of the world to explore the herbal treatment against snakebite [ 1631 — 35 ]. But there are very few msnnans surveys carried out in Bangladesh to explore the medicinal plants used here in the treatment of snakebite.

The present study was conducted in order to document the traditional knowledge of the medicinal plants used by the traditional healers of Bangladesh for treating against snakebite.

The vegetation type of the study area falls under tropical evergreen and semievergreen forests. More than 3 million people live in this study area and these people mostly depend on the resources coming from the hilly areas [ 36 ]. The survey was conducted in the official language of Bangladesh, Bengali language, from January to December Objectives of the survey were explained to mannxns local communities during social gatherings arranged by local people familiar with well-known traditional health practitioners THPs.


While meeting with indigenous populations who had mother language different from the state language, help ethhobotany local bilingual translator was taken. Special emphasis was given in seeking out people who mannns the empirical knowledge on medicinal plants and experience in the use of traditional medicinal plants.

Personally administered method was followed during the survey. Open-ended and semistructured questionnaire was used [ 3738 ] for this survey seeking for the following information: After completion of survey, consultation with Botanist Mr.

All the species were listed in alphabetical order by their scientific name, family, local name, general name, plants parts used, mode of preparation, habit, habitat, relative abundance, nature, general name, solvent used, and frequency of citation FC. All the data such as frequency distributions were calculated by using SPSS The largest number of species was noted from the family Fabaceae 10 speciesfollowed by Apocynaceae 8 speciesCaesalpiniaceae 7 speciesand Euphorbiaceae 6 species Figure 2.

The major mode of preparation is paste Preparations were made with water, honey, wine, lime water, and milk as solvent. The mode of administration was oral The species Rauvolfia serpentinaAllium cepaAristolochia indicaCostus speciosusEmblica officinalisHemidesmus indicusLeucas asperaand Vitex negundo were the most frequently cited in study area. The doses of the available plants are presented in Table 3.

Fabaceae is the most dominant family in the current investigation. This is perhaps because of worldwide prevalence of the species from this family []. Leaves were the major plant parts used solely or mixed with other parts in the treatment of snakebite.

Ease of collection of leaves is the prime reason compared to roots, flowers, and fruits [ — ]. On the other hand, herbs and trees were the most common habit of the reported plants which might be attributed to the huge number of trees or herbaceous plants naturally abundant in this hilly area [ ]. It was very common that blend of different adjuvant including other plant parts was used for the preparation of medication to counteract snake venom.

Several researchers also reported this kind of polyherbal treatment [ — ]. The frequent use of multiple plant remedies might be illustrated by the phenomenon of synergistic actions where two or more plants produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects [ ]. This is particularly true in case of medicinal plant treatment, since each medicinal plant contains numerous pharmacologically active compounds [ ]. There are also potentially harmful approaches reported few of which are making multiple incisions around the bite site, incorrect application techniques in tourniquets e.

The species with high FC values is a sign of their diverse and numerous medicinal activities and thus it offers further pharmacological, toxicological, and phytochemical analysis for the discovery of potential novel drugs. Snake venom contains a complex mixture of enzymes, nonenzymatic proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and other substances [ — ] most of which are extremely toxic.

Snakebite envenoming has cytotoxic, hypotensive, neurotoxic, or anticoagulant effects [ ].

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Cytotoxic enzymes, phospholipases A 2 and metalloproteinases, activate proinflammatory mechanisms that result in edema, blister formation, and local tissue necrosis and facilitate the release of bradykinin, prostaglandin, cytokines, and sympathomimetic amines that cause the intense pain [ ].

In addition, there are some venom mannams including aminopeptidases having the ability to alter the physiological function of the victims and ultimately causing systemic hypotension [ ]. Many snake venoms have peptides that inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme causing a slump in arterial blood pressure [ ]. Moreover, some toxins such as safarotoxins and endothelins are potent vasoconstrictors of coronary arteries and might be responsible for myocardial ischemia or cardiac arrhythmias [ ].

Neurotoxins cause paralysis by affecting the neuromuscular transmission at either presynaptic or postsynaptic levels [ ]. Presynaptic neurotoxins, also called b-neurotoxins, include taipoxin, paradoxin, trimucrotoxin, viperotoxin, Pseudocerastestextilotoxin, and crotoxin [ ] which are phospholipase A 2 complexes that inhibit the release of acetylcholine from the presynaptic ethnobotxny [].

On the other hand, postsynaptic neurotoxins including irditoxin [ ] called a-neurotoxins cause a reversible blockage of acetylcholine receptors [ — ].

Snake venom toxins may also interfere with blood coagulation and cause hemorrhages or thrombosis [,]. Elucidation of the mode of actions of plants individually is beyond the scope of this study. Research suggests extract of different medicinal plants having antivenom activities such as reducing necrotic and hemorrhagic activity as well as preventing cardiac arrest and reversing the effect of paralysis of skeletal muscle caused by snake venom.


Also they might inhibit phospholipase A 2 that causes degranulation of mast cell [ ] and consequently they prevent release of platelet activating factors and histamine into circulation, preventing hypersensitive anaphylactic reaction [ ].

Several studies have been conveyed in finding of active constituents in the plants used against snake venom. Among the plants in this study, the phytochemical investigations are conducted in most of the plants though the compounds rational for antivenom ethnobptany are still unknown for most of them. Extensive phytochemical investigations on the plants mentioned in this study could be another mammoth task. Several plant constituents like flavonoids, quinonoid, xanthene, polyphenols, terpenoids lupeol, gymnemagenin, and pentacyclic triterpenes like oleanolic acid, ursolic, tannins, taraxasterol, amyrin, and so forth are found to be present in varying proportions in surveyed plants.

These compounds have also been previously tested in vitro for possessing protein binding and enzyme inhibiting properties [ — ].

These literature studies revealed that the alkaloids Eclipta prostrateRauvolfia serpentinaStrychnos nux-vomicaand Mimosa pudicaesters Gloriosa superbaphenolic fraction Hemidesmus indicusterpenoids Aristolochia indicaAndrographis paniculataand flavonoids fraction Tephrosia purpurea neutralized the snake venom activities. Flavonoids have been shown to inhibit phospholipases A 2an important component of snake venoms [ ].

The antivenom effects of wedelolactone, a coumestan isolated from the Eclipta prostrateare well cited for antivenom activities [ ]. This compound seems to act through free radical formation system [ ] and is one of the mechanisms of venom inhibition. Caffeic acid is present in Strychnos nux-vomicaand the monomeric caffeic acid is a proven antidote against snake venoms when given as oral and parenteral administration [ ]. Marmin in Aegle marmelosa monoterpenoid substituted fernolin [ ], has been mentioned as a remedy against snakebite.

Piperine from Piper nigrum inhibits the adhesion of neutrophils to endothelial monolayers. Also it possesses inhibitory activities on prostaglandin and leukotrienes and thus possesses anti-inflammatory activity [ — ].

Quercetin is a potent inhibitor of lipoxygenase, and free quercetin and its glycosides rutin are present in Allium cepa skins [ ]. The aristolochic acid content of Aristolochia indica contains a large number of proteins that cluster under native condition. It shows strong gelatinolytic, collagenase, nuclease, and peroxidase activities. It interacts with the components of snake venom and partially inhibits proteolytic and L-amino acid oxidase activities of the venom [ 12 ].

Active principle of Bauhinia forficata has thrombin-like enzyme that ethnobotanny as potent inhibitor of clotting activity that otherwise causes persistent hemorrhage [ ]. Most of the plants documented in this study are used for the treatment of versatility of disease. This trend is a possible indication of the tradition of THPs to develop local healing system through trials and errors for optimal treatment practices [ ].

There are resemblances in comparative studies of these cited plants to other surveys regarding medicinal plants having antivenin characteristics Table 4. Using the same plants in different areas mannanns different cultures for the same purpose might be considered as a justification of their pharmacological efficacy [ ]. However, among those possibly the most toxic one is Abrus precatorius.

Mannas contains abrin, a serious toxic compound, which after penetrating the cells of the body inhibits cell protein synthesis. Human fatal dose of abrin is approximately 0. But toxins are released only if the seed is chewed and swallowed [ 91 ]. Another dangerous plant is Ageratum conyzoides which in ingestion can cause liver lesions and tumors [ 9495 ].

There was a mass poisoning incident reported in Ethiopia as a result of contamination of grain with A. In addition, epidemic dropsy and ocular toxicity have been reported by seed oil of Argemone mexicana [ 98 — ] and latex of Calotropis procera [ ], respectively; the rest are toxic only due to high doses of ingestion. However, a number of phytochemical investigations would be required to declare these plants as being toxic. This survey represents the contribution of natural flora of Bangladesh to the global approach in the management of snakebite occurrences.