Local people mostly depend on medicinal plants because these plants are good sources of materials needed in primary health care. Local people use these medicinal plants in different situations:
1. People use medicinal plants for the treatment of various ailments on the basis of indigenous knowledge passed to them generation after generation.
2. They use medicinal plants on the advice of elders, such as wise men, herbalists, and traditional practitioners.
Medicinal plants are used in different ways and situations; for example:
1. People use them singly in their own preparations for the treatment of various ailments on the basis of indigenous knowledge passed to them generation after generation.
2. They are used on the advice of elders, wise men, and religious teachers.
3. They are used with the advice of nonqualified but professional traditional medicine workers (hakims), who have also gained some experience through apprenticeship with some registered practitioners.
4. They are prescribed by qualified registered practitioners (traditional herbalists) of the Unani system of medicine for a wide range of diseases and ailments.
In the study areas, people collect plants based on traditional knowledge rather than scientific knowledge. Most of them have insufficient knowledge about the proper time of collection, which is essential not only for the maximization of active ingredients, but also from the viewpoint of the sustainability of resources. After collection, the plants are dried in sunlight and in shade. Mostly flowers and leaves are dried in shade, while bark, fruits, roots, and seeds are dried in sunlight for 4-8 days. Old men and women do the drying by spreading the plants on a cloth or plastic sheets on the ground. Some plants are also used in fresh condition. Generally, the plant material is not stored. Today's younger generation in the area is forgetting the indigenous knowledge of plants; with increasing labor costs and people's search for better job opportunities, the plant collection is rapidly declining.
Among the plant parts, leaves, aerial parts, fruits, bark, flowers, rhizomes, roots, tubers, rinds, seeds, and bulbs are commonly used. All medications are classified into two types:
In the majority of cases, these medications were prepared by using water as a medium and administrated along with milk, ghee, oil, egg, sulfur, and butter. The method of preparation falls into different categories, including plant parts used in crushed form, in powders, in pastes, fresh, in decoctions, in juices, in extracts, as latex, in infusions, and as resin.
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