Ethnobotany In Human Life

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Ethnobotany is a multi-disciplinary field including botany, anthropology, economics and linguistics, which studies the way in which a society relates to its environment and specifically to the plant world. These relationships can be social, economic, symbolic, religious, economic and artistic (Aumeeruddy-Thomas & Pei, 2003). Ethnobotany deals with the relationship between plants and human communities of past and present (Jain, 1988). Plant resources provide materials for survival, medicinal, economic values, but also preserve cultural heritages, biological information and indigenous knowledge (Morgan, 1981; Hameed et al., 2011). Ethnobotany has an important role in understanding the dynamic relationships between biological variety and social…show more content…
Human utilizes plants for various purposes such as medicine, fruit, vegetables, fodder, and fuel, etc. The plant based medicines are essential for healthier life as they are inexpensive, effective and with minimum side effects. Plants have greater role in human life than animals because they contain many biochemicals that are effective against different diseases (Buckingham, 1999; Cotton, 1996). Ethnobotanical wisdom of plants and their uses by traditional communities can be utilized for conservation of indigenous cultures and plant diversity and it can also help in the promotion of herbal medicines. This information can act as precursor for new drug formulation under the assumption that a plant which has been utilized by indigenous people over a long period of time may have an allopathic application as well (Fransworth, 1993). Ethnobotanical documentation of indigenous knowledge has identified many important plant sources of modern day drugs. Medicinal plants have been used since ancient period for the cure of various diseases. Since these are in common use by the native people and have great importance that is reason why many people are involved in the trade of important medicinal plants globally (Elisabetsky, 1990). Especially, people living in villages have been using…show more content…
Pakistan has a rich and diverse flora. A total of 1572 genera and 5521 species are identified (Ali, 2008). These include 372 endemic species, mostly found in the northern and western mountainous regions of Pakistan (Nasir & Rafiq 1995). About 12% of them are used medicinally (Shinwari, 2011). Both human and animal diseases are treated through the use of medicinal plants. In most cases, certain plant species are considered specific for a particular ailment, but occasionally plants have more than one usages. Women, followed by children, are the main collectors of medicinal plants. However due to over-collection of medicinal plants, several species have gone extinct in the Hindukush-Himalayan regions (Shinwari, 2010). Medicinal plants are mostly used in health care products in folk medicine. These are also used as the raw material for the pharmaceutical industry to get the fixed oils, essential oils, gums, tannins, resins, and active components like glycosides, flavonoids, alkaloids. They are also use to get culinary spices, natural cosmetics and also used in perfumes. Despite the various climatic zones and floral diversity, Pakistan is ranked 11thin the Food Security Risk Index (Munir and Ejaz, 2010). An alarming situation is presented by the National Nutrition

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