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Efforts Needed To Safeguard Tribals Traditional Herbal Knowledge he traditional storage as unskilled labors in construction Indigenous Healers in Gujarat of ethnobotanical and agriculture. knowledge in memory About 5000 indigenous groups and practices has a long Over 90% of tribal population can be distinguished by linguistic history and must go back to the in Gujarat; depend on traditional and cultural differences and by beginning of human existence. medical practices for day to day geographical separation in the One of the most important sources health care. The herbal healers in world. In India, however, 563 is the Rig Veda (1200-900 BC), Gujarat are known as Bhagats. ethnic groups have been recorded which has been useful in the These healers are expert in curing so far (Maheshwari, 1996). In attempt to identify the source of the terms of tribal population, Gujarat a range of human health disorders traditional medicine system, also with the help of medicinal plants is the 5th largest state in India. known as ‘Ayurveda’. Application growing in their respective The tribal belt runs through the of such herbal regions. Traditional healers remedies has also are generally divided into been mentioned in two categories – those the Atharva Veda that serve the role of (around 3,000 diviner-diagnostician (or to 2,000 BC). It diviner-mediums) and was in the 19th those who are healers (or century when herbalists). The diviner scientists started provides a diagnosis usually focusing on the through spiritual means active components by implying Tantra and found in herbs Mantra, while the herbalist that gave a way chooses herbs for relevant to the research on remedies. The latter have molecular level. the unexplained remedies to The indigenous cure various ailments viz. Indian tribals cancer, bronchial asthma, have accrued diabetes, impotency, skin considerable knowledge in this disorders, jaundice, eye disorders, Eastern part of Gujarat and consists field of potential interest and they arthritis, obesity, gynac problems, of Districts viz. Valsad, Navsari, very well identify the plants which Surat, Vadodara, Narmada, hair falling etc (Acharya and could be utilized at potential source Panchmahal, Sabarkantha and Shrivastava, 2008). of medicine for human, animal and Banaskantha. Major tribes in agri-health. Traditional medicine Gujrat states include: Barda, Needs and Implementations and traditional healers form part of Bavacha, Bharwad, Bhil, Garasia, a broader field of study classified Dholi Bhil, Dungri Bhil, Mewasi Drugs in chemical doses or by medical anthropologists as Bhil, Tadvi Bhil, Bhagalia, synthetic form have swapped Ethnomedicine (Nichter, 1992). Bhilala, Pawra, Vasava, Vasave, herbal healing at a certain level. The tribal people have their own Charan, Chaudhri, Chodhara, But, now people have started cultures, customs, cults, religious Dhanka, Halpati, Gamit, Padvi, realizing various problems rites, taboos, totems, legends and Son Kathodi, Kokna, Kokni, Koli, related with synthetic drugs i.e. myths, folk tales and songs, witch- Kongha, Kunbi, Padhar, Patelia, side effects, chemical pollution, crafts, medical practices etc. They Rathawa, Siddi, Vaghri, Varli, cost and availability of drugs. are the repository of accumulated Padvi etc. These tribesmen mainly Renaissance and awareness on experience and knowledge of rely upon agriculture for their herbal medication is coming back indigenous vegetation that has livelihood. Since the income from now. Anyone can easily afford not been properly utilized for the agriculture is not enough to sustain these herbal medicines. Treatment economic development. their basic needs, they also migrate of various ailments via herbs is the www.communit yseeds.com 47

Eco Community Seeds Winter Issue 2012  

Community Seeds Eco Magazine encourages people to make small changes that they are able to make; changes that would not have been made witho...

Eco Community Seeds Winter Issue 2012  

Community Seeds Eco Magazine encourages people to make small changes that they are able to make; changes that would not have been made witho...

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