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Ethnomedicinal Survey of Alagarkoil Hills (Reserved forest), TamilNadu, India

S. G ANESAN *, N. R AMAR P ANDI AND N. B ANUMATHY Centre for Research and P.G. Department of Botany, Thiagarajar College (Autonomous)

Abstract The ethnomedicinal uses of 111 plant species belonging to 100 genera and 49 families, employed by an ethnic group, the Valaiyans of Alagarkoil Hills of Madurai district, TamilNadu, India, in their traditional modes of treatment of diseases, such as skin diseases, colds and coughs, ulcers, stomach related problems, fevers, piles, jaundice, diabetes, etc., are presented in this paper.

Key words Ethnomedicinal, Valaiyans, Alagarkoil Hills, Madurai.

Introduction Tribal peoples throughout the world, India included, have developed their own cultures, customs, religious rites, taboos, legends and myths, folk tales, medicine, food, etc., They are the repository of accumulated experience and of knowledge of the indigenous vegetation; this can be utilized in tribal development. These days greater emphasis is being laid on this traditional —————

Author for correspondence. Address: Centre for Research and P.G. Department of Botany, Thiagarajar College (Autonomous), Madurai - 625 009. TamilNadu, India. E-mail: sganesan76@yahoo.com.
eJournal of Indian Medicine Volume 1 (2007–2008), 1–18

The state has 29 districts and includes 37 tribal communities. Dindigul and Tanjore districts. flowers. GA N ES A N . The largest proportion of tribes is found in Mizoram (95%). evergreen and grasslands. Kala. The floristic divisions of the area of investigation consist of dry deciduous forest. 2005. The country possesses a total of 427 tribal communities. Nagaland (88%). 2005). still in several underdeveloped and less accessible areas of the country food deficiency and lack of medical facilities are prevalent. an attempt has been made to fill this gap. and the Paliyan and Pulayan. 2003) respectively have already been undertaken.2 S . tubers. R A M AR P A ND I A ND N .. . The elevation of the area of investigation ranges from 1000 to 3000 feet above sea level. Ethnobotanical studies of two groups of Valaiyans. They are distributed over various districts.. etc. Variations in the altitude and rainfall have a bearing on the vegetation in general. Since such a study regarding the Valaiyans of the Alagarkoil Hills in TamilNadu was lacking so far. the Eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats are the two hotspots of India. followed by Lakshadweep (93%). 2001). India is one of the twelve megadiversity countries in the world and has 17. Although food and medical facilities are more readily available to most of the people in our times. B AN U MA T HY knowledge and on using it in the “bioprospecting” of natural products as a new source of food and medicine. living in the Western Ghats. Meghalaya (86%) and Arunachal Pradesh (64%) (Dinesh Kumar. 2001. Among the 25 hotspots in the world. are consumed as principal or supplementary food and employed as medicines (Sharma and Singh. TamilNadu is situated on the eastern side of the Indian Peninsula. N . In early times mankind developed. Study area The area of investigation lies approximately between 77o30’ and 78o20’ longitude and 10o05’ – 10o09’ latitude. Plant parts like fruits. leaves. who live in the hill tracks of Madurai. residing in the Vellimalli hills and the Seithur hills (Rajendran et al. A considerable number of studies have been published on the ethnobotany and ethnomedicine of many tribal groups in different regions of India. through observation and experience. knowledge of the properties of plants as a source of food and medicines. deciduous thorn forest. Three major tribal groups of TamilNadu are the Valaya or Valaiyans. Ganesan and Kesavan.000 flowering plants. .

. A paste is made by crushing small parts of a plant with water and making this into a soft mass. The investigation was carried out for 10 months from August 2004 to May 2005. Madurai. 1981. Their areas of residence in the Alagarkoil hills are: 1. Observations Valaiyans are good herbalists. These two hills are situated in the western part of the Alagarkoil hills. Henry et al. The voucher specimens were collected and identified by referring to standard floras (Gamble and Fischer. 1957. pastes. etc. Plants are used in different forms such as juice extracts. Matthew. The methodology of previous workers was adopted (Jains and Goel. A juice extract is prepared by grinding the cleaned plants or plant parts with water. 1987. An infusion is prepared by soaking the cleaned plant or plant parts in water for a few hours or days. afterwards it is filtered and used. Valaiyans can reach Alagarkoil by a short cut route through the hills. The Valaiyans live in isolated pockets or in small hamlets as labourers and small landowners. Vembarali. A decoction is obtained by boiling the plants or plant parts in water. The data was meticulously entered in a field notebook. . useful parts and medicinal uses is provided below. Thiagarajar College (Autonomous). 4. Nair and Henry 1983. Podugampattu. Pattanampatty. family. The information gathered was confirmed by different groups of Valaiyans dwelling in different places of the area of investigation. 1991). 3. All the voucher plants were preserved in the form of herbarium specimens. TamilNadu-625009. Alagapury. decoctions. the extract is used after having been filtered. Methodology Ethnomedicinal information was gathered by contacting the medicine man. 1995). Thethampatty.Ethnomedicinal Survey of Alagarkoil Hills 3 The area lies between two hills: the "Vellai malai" to the southern side of the area of investigation and the “Sennamalai” to the northern side. 1989. Henry et al.. A list of medicinal plants with their binomial. infusions. vernacular name. deposited in the Centre for Research and PG Department of Botany. 6. Matthew. 5. the headman and persons with a thorough knowledge of plants. Barali. 2.

) R. 8. Aloe vera (L. 9. (Lamiaceae) “Peithumbai”. A paste of the seeds is used to cure eczema. N . (Mimosaceae) “Vagai”. A spoonful of this powder. Albizia lebbeck (L. is used to relieve cough and cold and to improve digestion. The boiled leaves are consumed to relieve internal piles and the roots are used as a brush to relieve pain and clean the teeth. 15. mixed with common salt.) Wangerin. (Alangiaceae) “Alingil ”.) Benth.f. Abrus precatorius L. The leaves also reliefve leg pains. Abutilon indicum (L. GA N ES A N . Annona squamosa L. (Lythraceae) “Neermalneruppu”. Albizia amara (Roxb. 3. A leaf paste is applied to cure eczema. is used as a shampoo for cleaning the hair and for the reduction of body heat. mixed with water.f. 6.4 S . The young fruits are dried and made into a powder. Aerva lanata (L. A shade dried powder. The decoction or juice of the whole plant is taken for urinary problems.) Sweet (Malvaceae) “Thuththi”. Alangium salvifolium (L. (Euphorbiaceae) “Kuppaimeni”. . B AN U MA T HY 1. (Liliaceae) “Chotthukatthalai”. Ammannia baccifera L. which.) Burm. (Apocynaceae) “Paalai”. Alstonia venenata R. Acalypha indica L. The milky latex is used to heal wounds and cuts . A leaf paste is taken orally to cure piles. A leaf paste is applied to relieve swelling (edema). 4. one or two drops of the fruit juice are poured into the eyes to cure eye diseases in summer. The stem is used for brushing the teeth. 10. mixed with water. . A powder of the dried rhizome. is taken internally to cure snakebites. Achyranthes aspera L. ex Sims. mixed with water. Br. (Amaranthaceae) “ Kannupeelai”.) Juss. A paste of the leaves is applied to cure eczema. Br.f. A leaf paste. (Fabaceae) “Kundumani”. Chirianangai”.) Boivin (Mimosaceae) “Usilai”. 13. 7. mixed with milk. A leaf paste is applied over the body before taking a bath in order to reduce body heat. (Amaranthaceae) “Nayuruvi”. is used to cure eczema and chest pain. Anisomeles malabarica (L. Andrographis paniculata (Burm. 2. is taken internally to cure dysentery. A handful of leaves is taken and an extract is made. 14. 12. (Annonaceae) “Sita”. 5. Alpinia calcarata Roscoe (Zingiberaceae) “Chitharathi”.) Wallich ex Nees (Acanthaceae) “Nilavaembu. 11. R A M AR P A ND I A ND N .

(Nyctaginaceae) “Mukurattai”. & A. Dried and powdered flowers are used for cleaning the hair and reducing body heat. A seed paste is applied to inflamed teeth to cure toothache. The leaves are tied around wounds made by thorns. The latex is used to cure mouth ulcers.Ethnomedicinal Survey of Alagarkoil Hills 5 16. Cataranthus pusillus (Murr. A leaf powder. Cassia obtusa (Roxb. (Apocynaceae) “Kalakai”. 21. 28. The pectin layer on the leaves is tied around cuts as a styptic. A decoction of the roots is used for gas troubles. Cardiospermum halicacabum L.Br. Boerhavia diffusa L. Centella asiatica (L. A plant extract is internally used to cure an upset stomach. (Apocynaceae) "Mukkuthipoo". Cassia occidentalis L. 30. (Aristolochiaceae) “Aaduthinnaapalai”. A leaf paste is applied to the head before bathing to relieve dandruff and infections. is taken for gas . 25. (Asclepiadaceae) “Erukku”. (Caesalpiniaceae) “Thakarai”. (Capparidaceae) “Purana”. A paste of the leaves is used for skin diseases. 18. Carica papaya L. (Convolvulaceae) “Onankodi”. 32. 29. (Liliaceae) “Thanneervittan”. (Sapindaceae) “Mudakkaththan”. A leaf paste is applied externally for tumours (kalalai). (Papaveraceae) “Narimirati”.) W. W.) S.) R.). Borassus flabellifer L. (Caesalpiniaceae) “Aavaram poo”.) Wight & Arn. is taken for throat pain. Aristolochia bracteolata Lam. 26. (Arecaceae) “Panai”. 24. Cadaba trifoliata (Roxb. 20.) Urban (Apiaceae) “Vallarai”. (Caricaceae) “Pappaali”. (Caesalpiniaceae) “Nilavagai”. Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L. 22. A leaf paste is applied for joint pain or leaves are prepared in the form of a soup and consumed to cure rheumatic pains. The milky latex of the plant is applied to teeth in order to relieve inflammatory pain. 19. A vapour from the boiled leaves is inhaled to relieve coughing and colds. 23. 27. Carissa carandas L. Cassia auriculata L. (Caesalpiniaceae) “Mailkondarai”. 17. The dried plant is powdered and this powder. An extract of the bulbs is used to cure urinary troubles. Argemone mexicana L. mixed with hot water. Calotropis gigantea (L. mixed with hot water. The yellow latex is used to cure ulcers of the lips and pimples and for wound healing. 31. Argyreia kleiniana (Roemer & Schultes) Raiz. Asparagus racemosus Willd.

Cleome viscosa L.) J. The exudation (gum) of the stem. 46. mixed with milk. Clerodendrum inerme (L. 35. The juice of the whole plant is used to reduce body heat and to lower the blood pressure. (Rutaceae) “Elumichi”. 44. the fried plants are used in the diet of children for improving their memory. 38. (Orchidaceae) “Panai pulluruvi”. Coccinia grandis (L. The gum is also used for wound healing. 40. The leaf extract. The leaf extract is used to cure a cold and the leaf juice to improve digestion. 39. A paste of the tubers is applied to a poisonous bite in order to remove the poison. A leaf paste is used to cure eczema. B AN U MA T HY 33. (Lamiaceae) “Omavali”. Clarke (Cucurbitaceae) “Kollan kova killangu”. An extract of the plant is used against rheumatic pains. (Capparidaceae) “Karumpoondu”. The succulent leaves are warmed on a fire and two or three drops of the juice extract are poured into the ear(s) to cure earache. Koeing ex DC. (Verbenaceae) “Peenaari changu”. (Burseraceae) “Kiluvai”. Clarke (Commelinaceae) “Vallukkai”. 42.) Pers. & A. 45. mixed with milk. 34. (Vitaceae) “Pirandai”. is taken twice a day for the cure of dysentery.) Gaertn.) Engl. (Mimosaceae) “Vedathalai”. Corallocarpus epigaeus (Rottler) C. 37. is used in cases of jaundice. (Arecaceae) “Thennai”. 41. Dichrostachys cinerea (L.6 S . is used as a mouthwash to cure mouth ulcers. (Convolvulaceae) “Manjapulluruvi”. GA N ES A N . Cyanotis arachnoidea C. The juice of the leaves is poured into the ear to relieve earache. N .B. Cissus quadrangularis L. . The leaf paste is used in psoriasis and other skin affections. 36. A paste of the whole plant is taken for improving the digestion and inducing appetite. R A M AR P A ND I A ND N . troubles. 43. Cymbidium aloifolium (L. The leafless twining stem is made into a paste and applied to the broken part of a bone in order to promote the joining of the fractured parts. Voigt (Cucurbitaceae) “Kovai”.B. Cuscuta chinensis Lam. (Capparidaceae) “Naikadugu”. The fruit juice.) W. . 47. Citrus medica L. (Poaceae) “Arugampul”. Commiphora caudata (Wright & Arn. Cleome aspera J. A leaf paste is applied to a swelling to reduce itching. Cocos nucifera L. Coleus amboinicus Lour. mixed with water.) Sw. Cynodon dactylon (L. The young fruit is used in dysentery.

A decoction of the plant is used in fevers. 49. are applied to the forehead to relieve viral fevers and colds. Eleusine coracana (L. Br. The vapours of boiled leaves are inhaled for coughs and a cold. The oil from the plant. 60. (Malvaceae) “Semparuththi”. 58. Eucalyptus tereticornis Smith (Myrtaceae) “Thailamaram”. (Sapindaceae) “Virali”. 55. 51. Euphorbia hirta L. Evolvulus alsinoides (L. Eclipta prostrata (L. Raynal (Gentianaceae) “Vellaragu”. A powder of the dried leaves is used to cure diabetes and to reduce the sugar level of the blood. (Liliaceae) “Kanuvalikodi”. Shade dried and powdered flowers are used for cleaning the hair and to prevent hair loss (alopecia). 54. mixed with hot water and thus assuming the form of a gel. is applied to the chest to relieve a dry cough and chest pain. (Convolvulaceae) “Vishnukiranthi”. Gymnema sylvestre (Retz. Hygrophila auriculata (Schumach. A leaf paste is applied to the surface of an extravasation of blood (haematoma). (Violaceae) “Orithalthamarai”. A handful of leaves are ground with rice and made into a roasted dosa. Br.) R. 53.) L. mixed with goat’s milk. A leaf paste is used to reduce fertility in men. The powdered leaves are taken twice a day against a white discharge (leucorrhoea) from the vagina. Dodonaea angustifolia L. An extract of the entire plant is given in fevers. & Schultes (Asclepiadaceae) “Chirukurunjan”. (Acanthaceae) “Neermulli”. this is consumed against cold and cough.) Heine. 56. 52. Enicostema axillare (Lam. (Euphorbiaceae) “Amman patcharisi”. The seeds are soaked in water. The water is taken twice a day to relieve menstrual problems. . Muell.) Gaertn. Gloriosa superba L. (Poaceae) “Kaelvaragu”. 57. The plant extract is used to reduce body heat and also to increase male fertility. A paste made from the entire plant. (Asteraceae) “Karisalankanni”.) F. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. Hemidesmus indicus (L. ex Roem. Hybanthus enneaspermus (L.) L.Ethnomedicinal Survey of Alagarkoil Hills 7 48. Erythrina variegata L.) A. 61. A leaf extract is applied to the head to relieve dandruff and to blacken gray hair. (Fabaceae) “Mullumurungai”.f. is taken internally for all stomach upsets in children. mixed with coconut oil. The powdered seeds. 50. The pasted tubers are used as an abortifacient.) R. 59. (Asclepiadaceae) “Nannaari”.

The leaves. 68. GA N ES A N . The vapours from the boiled leaves are inhaled to relieve coughing and colds. The dried and powdered leaves. Jatropha gossypifolia L. (Lamiaceae) “Theanthumpai”. The boiled leaves and flowers are eaten to increase fertility in men. . 76.) Link (Lamiaceae) “Thumbai”. are taken in cases of diabetes. 66. (Acanthaceae) “Adatodai”. A paste of the leaves is used to cure eczema. (Lythraceae) “Maruthani”.) R. it is also employed as an anthelmintic. Musa paradisiaca L. The juice of the bark is taken internally in the early morning for three days in order to relieve stomach pain. are tied around a painful area. in a warm condition. Leonotis nepetaefolia (L. Moringa oleifera Lam. Lawsonia inermis L.) Poit. . (Euphorbiaceae) “Adalai”. 77.) M. its stem is used for cleaning the teeth and for strengthening the gums. Hyptis suaveolens (L. The latex of the plant is applied to the lips to cure ulcers in the mouth. Mukia maderaspatana (L. 63. Roemer (Cucurbitaceae) “Mosumosukkai”. A handful of bark juice of the plant is used to cure stomach pain. (Fabaceae) “Avuri”. R A M AR P A ND I A ND N . Br. (Rubiaceae) “Manjanathi”. Melia azedarach L. Leucas aspera (Willd. A leaf decoction is used to cure skin diseases. 64. 69. A plant extract is given for snake bite and also for burns. B AN U MA T HY 62. (Musaceae) “Vazhai”. A leaf decoction is used to relieve fever. Mangifera indica L. 67. (Meliaceae) “Malaivembu”. A leaf paste is applied to cracks of the feet ("Piththa vedippu"). it is applied to the hair of the head to blacken gray hair. Mollugo nudicaulis Lam. Justicia adhatoda L. The plant is soaked in rice water and warmed on a fire. Indigofera tinctoria L. 75. (Anacardiaceae) “Maa”. 74. 71. N . a leaf paste is used for skin diseases. The leaf extract is used to cure dysentery. (Lamiaceae) “Karunchsatachi”. mixed with hot water. (Marsileaceae) “Aarakkerai”. it also has a cooling effect on the body. 65. The latex of the plant cures wounds on the legs of livestock. (Aizoaceae) “Parpaadagam”. The entire plant is used to cure a cold. (Moringaceae) “Murungai”. The leaf extract is taken internally to cure piles. (Euphorbiaceae) “Chanimuthu & Kaattamanakku”. 70. A leaf paste is used for eczema. Morinda tinctoria Roxb. Marsilea minuta L.8 S . 73. 72. Jatropha curcas L.

(Pedaliaceae) “Yaanainerunji”. is taken internally to cure colds and wheezing by difficult breathing. 84. Pergularia daemia (Forsskal) Chiov. The powdered whole plant. Ocimum tenuiflorum L. (Euphorbiaceae) “Kizhaanelli” The whole plant paste is mixed with goat’s milk and taken internally for three days to cure jaundice. f. Sphaeranthus indicus L. A leaf paste is used for snakebite. (Asclepiadaceae) “Vaeliparuththi”. 81. 92. Solanum nigrum L. mixed with water. Pedalium murex L. The juice of the succulent leaves is poured into the ears to cure earache. The seed oil is used to cure rheumatic pains and swellings. The plant prepared in the form of a soup is taken for stomach ulcer. Notonia grandiflora DC. Solanum torvum L. (Rubiaceae) “Impural”. (Solanaceae) “Sundai”. & Thonn. Solanum trilobatum L.) Poiret (Fabaceae) “Agaththi”. 90. 79. 80.Ethnomedicinal Survey of Alagarkoil Hills 9 78. (Lamiaceae) “Nallathulasi”. (Solanaceae) “Milaguthakkali”. is taken internally to blacken gray hair. Pongamia pinnata (L. Polygala arvensis Willd.) Pierre (Fabaceae) “Pungam”. 89. 83. 87. a leaf paste is used for eczema. 93. 85. An infusion of the leaves is consumed to relieve a cold and coughing. Oldenlandia umbellata L. Sesbania grandiflora (L. A leaf paste is consumed to relieve gas trouble. (Solanaceae) “Kandankathiri”. A leaf juice is taken in the form of a soup for coughs and colds. A leaf paste is applied to swellings to reduce itching. A spoonful of the powdered plant. (Asteraceae) “Kottaikaranthi”. (Solanaceae) “Thudhuvaelai”. 91. (Polygalaceae) A root paste is used against inflammations. (Asteraceae) “Muyalkathu”. . Phyllanthus amarus Schum. Ocimum canum Sims (Lamiaceae) “Naithulasi”. The vapour of boiled leaves is inhaled to relieve headache and fever. (Rubiaceae) “Therani”. Solanum surattense Burm. 88. A teaspoonful of the dried and powdered plant mixed with water is taken internally for asthma. Pavetta indica L. mixed with water. 82. The leaves prepared in the form of a soup are taken as a vermifuge and also to cure peptic ulcer. The leaf paste is also used to cure rabies. 86. A leaf paste is used to bath a newborn baby in order to protect it from infections.

A. Tragia involucrata L. Tamarindus indica L. (Vitaceae) “Pirandai” . A paste of the seed coat is applied to a scorpion bite to relieve pain or the scratched seed is placed in a warm condition on the area of a scorpion bite to relieve pain. The leaves are boiled and consumed for removing gas trouble.) Burm.) oil . Vitex negundo. Wrightia tinctoria (Roxb. III A. Zaleya decandra (L. N . (Asteraceae) “Mukuttipoondu”. I. (Apocynaceae) “Vetpalai”. The leaves of Murraya koenigii are ground with fruits of Cuminum cyminum. 103. Syzygium cumini (L. Capsicum frutescens L.) Skeels (Myrtaceae) “Navel”. Cuminum cyminum L. C.) Pers. (Capparidaceae) “Thaivelai”.) Br. GA N ES A N .Juss. is taken internally to improve digestion and to relieve giddiness (piththamayakam). a combination of two or more plants may be utilized in medicine. II. . Murraya koenigii (L. (Apiaceae) “ Seeragam”. (Aizoaceae) “Sathasaaranetti”.. . Apart from individual plants.10 S . (Zingiberaceae) “Inji”. 96. (Zygophyllaceae) “Nerunji”. Vernonia cinerea L. The dried and powdered seeds. f.) Sprengel (Rutaceae) “Karuveppilai”. 101. Cleome gynandra L. mixed with water. A paste of the fruits is applied to the forehead to relieve one-sided headache. the extract is taken with buttermilk for dysentery. B. A paste of the root bark is taken for stomach pain. 102. (Liliaceae) “Vellai poodu” . mixed with neem (nimba: Azadirachta indica A. R A M AR P A ND I A ND N . are taken for reducing the blood sugar level. 100. (Euphorbiaceae) “Senthatti”. The plant extract is used to remove kidney stones. A paste of the leaves. (Caesalpiniaceae) “Puli”. The vapour from boiled leaves is inhaled to relieve a running nose and headache. 95. Tephrosia purpurea (L. L. is applied for eczema. 97. 98. a handful of a leaf paste. Tribulus terrestris L. A Allium sativum L. These three plants are made into a green salad and taken for gas trouble. (Fabaceae) “Kozhunji”. Cissus quadrangularis L. is taken internally to relieve stomach pain during the menstruation period. mixed with hot water. B AN U MA T HY 94. 99. (Solanaceae) “Milakai”. The juice of the rhizome. Zingiber roseum Rosc. (Verbinaceae) “Karunochchi”. mixed with honey. The plant paste is used to cure paralysis. B.

Trigonella foenum-graecum L. The present investigation shows that 111 plant species belonging to 100 genera and 49 families are employed for medicinal purposes by a particular .) Pers. (Zingiberaceae) “Inji”. Zingiber roseum Rosc. mixed with an extract of the rhizome of Zingiber roseum. are taken with buttermilk to relieve a white vaginal discharge in women. Leaves of Tephrosia purpurea. IV. B. (Solanaceae) “Kandankaththari”. Zingiber roseum Rosc. f. Ocimum tenuiflorum L. (Fabaceae) “Vendayam”. A. V A. Abutilon indicum (L. B.) Sweet. the extract is taken internally for giddiness. VII A. Leaves of Ocimum tenuiflorum and Solanum surattense are ground with fruits of Piper nigrum. A. A spoonful seeds of Trigonella foenum-graecum is soaked in tender coconut water and exposed to moonlight (on a full moon day) for 12 hours. Solanum surattense Burm. The leaf extract of Piper betle. Cocos nucifera L. C. (Zinigiberaceae) “Inji”. B.Ethnomedicinal Survey of Alagarkoil Hills 11 B. (Piperaceae) “Milagu”. ground with fruits of Piper nigrum. Coriandrum sativum L. Piper nigrum L. An extract of the roots of these plants is used to cure an upset stomach in livestock. the extract is taken internally to relieve colds and coughing. Piperaceae. (Lamiaceae) “Nallathulasi”. (Fabaceae) “Kozhunji”. along with the seeds. Tephrosia purpurea (L. B. Piper nigrum L. this has resulted in an extensive scientific literature. Discussion The tribal and rural population of India is highly dependent on medicinal plants for meeting their healthcare needs. is taken internally to relieve liver infections. A. This has attracted the attention of several botanists and plant scientists who directed vigorous research towards the investigation of several medicinal plants. (Piperaceae) “Vetrilai”. In the early morning the coconut water. is taken internally to relieve a white vaginal discharge in women and to reduce body heat. (Malvaceae) “Thuthi”. B. (Apiaceae) “Koththamalli”. Piper betle L. (Arecaceae) “Thennai" . VI. VIII. The seeds of Coriandrum sativum and the rhizome of Zingiber roseum are ground with water. “Milagu”.

Cassia occidentalis. Carissa carandas. Indigofera tinctoria. Argemone mexicana. Cynodon dactylon. Eleusine coracana. Boerhavia diffusa. Hyptis suaveolens. dysentery (Annona squamosa. Commiphora caudata. Out of these. . Clerodendrum inerme.12 S . Tragia involucrata and Trigonella foenum-graecum. the chest and the throat. R A M AR P A ND I A ND N . Hemidesmus indicus and Ocimum canum are utilized in the treatment of fevers. Allium sativum. Mollugo nudicaulis. N . Albizia lebbeck. Cocos nucifera and Cuminum cyminum) and stomach pain (Melia azedarach. Anisomeles malabarica. 110 plant species represented Angiosperms. Leonotis nepetaefolia. Mollugo nudicaulis. Ocimum tenuiflorum. Cleome aspera. Moringa oleifera and Tephrosia purpurea). Cadaba trifoliata. For male fertility Hybanthus enneaspermus and Moringa oleifora are used. Argemone mexicana. Aloe vera. The following 8 plants are employed for the reduction of body heat: Albizia amara. Aristolochia bracteolata. Eucalyptus tereticornis and Pongamia pinnata are employed in the treatment of various pains related to the legs. Cleome gynandra and Euphorbia hirta). GA N ES A N . Eclipta prostrata. The following plants are administered for stomach related problems such as an upset stomach (Abutilon indicum. Acalypha indica. Solanum surattense and Solanum trilobatum. Sesbania grandiflora and Solanum nigrum are employed in the treatment of various ulcers. Lawsonia inermis. The following 20 plants are employed in skin related disorders: Abrus precatorius. Cassia auriculata. Notonia grandiflora. The following plants are given for gynaecological problems. Cissus quadrangularis. Citrus medica. Pergularia daemia and Zaleya decandra are taken for gas trouble. B AN U MA T HY tribal population. Cyanotis arachnoidea. Centella asiatica. Pedalium murex and Wrightia tinctoria. Capsicum frutescens. Lawsonia inermis and Trigonella foenumgraecum. Hygrophila auriculata. Tephrosia purpurea. the joints. Argyreia kleiniana. Eucalyptus tereticornis. Evolvulus alsinoides. Cassia obtusa. Leucas aspera. Dichrostachys cinerea. The following 10 plants are used for treating colds and coughing: Alpinia calcarata. while one plant (Marsilea minuta) belonged to the Pteridophyta. Erythrina variegata. Cocos nucifera. Abutilon indicum. Justicia adhatoda. Piper nigrum. Hybanthus enneaspermus. Eleusine coracana. Ammannia baccifera. Acalypha indica. Cardiospermum halicacabum. .

fever. 5 species in fevers. poisonous bites. 3 species in cases of headache. Tiruchirapalli district (Venkatesan et al. 4 species for headache. Cataranthus pusillus. Tribulus terrestris. Notonia grandiflora). The present study on the ethnobotany of the Valaiyans in the Alagarkoil hills revealed 111 medicinal plants for curing the above-mentioned diseases. asthma. 2 species for jaundice. Carica papaya and Caesalpinia pulcherima. cold. Nearly 36 plants reported by the Valaiyans of the Vellimalai hills were also noticed in the present study. 3 species in cases of diabetes. The ethnobotanical uses of 161 species of Angiospermic plants distributed over 139 genera representing 60 families were reported from the Thottianiackans of Semmalai hills.. tumours. body heat. Ocim um canum and Vitex negundo. toothache. Cymbidium aloifolium. paralysis. 2 species in cases of jaundice. Out of these. dandruff. The present study documented 111 medicinal plant species belonging to 100 genera distributed over 48 families. Nearly 9 plants recorded in the present study were also employed by the Valaiya of Seithur hills. Achranthes aspera and Mukia maderaspatana). Employing two plants or one plant only cures the following ailments: jaundice. Vernonia cinerea.Ethnomedicinal Survey of Alagarkoil Hills 13 Three plants are used to cure piles (Abutilon indicum. Oldenlandia umbellata and Solanum surattense. Coccinia grandis and Phyllanthus amarus. 2005). the uses of 119 plants for medicinal purposes were recorded. 7 species were used for scabies and other skin diseases. Marsilea minuta. such as wounds. The studies on the ethnomedicinal lore of the Seithur hills (Rajendran et al. cuts. diabetes (Gymnema sylvestre. Syzygium cumini). stomach pain. eczema. The studies conducted on the ethnomedicinal plants used by the Valaiyans of Vellimalai hills (Ganesan and Kesavan. the Thottianaickans . 2003) indexed 84 angiospermic plant species belonging to 28 genera distributed over 40 families for the treatment of various disorders. kidney stones. 20 species were employed in skin diseases. diabetes. and earache (Cleome viscosa. Out of these. 3 species for fever and one species for diabetes. In the present study 111 plants out of a total of 167 were categorized as of medicinal value. Coriandrum sativum and Zingiber roseum. Aerva lanata and Asparagus racemosus. 2001) revealed the use of 36 plant species belonging to 33 genera distributed over 24 families of flowering plants by the Valaya tribals of Virudhunagar. urinary problems. Among the medicinal plants enumerated. headache. giddiness.

. Mimosaceae and Rubiaceae (3 species each). their heritage of traditional knowledge of plants will soon be lost forever. They enumerated 45 species of plants distributed over 42 genera and belonging to 26 families as of ethnomedicinal value among the Paliyans and Pulayans for the treatment of various ailments. The plants were distributed over the Acanthaceae (4 species). For example. Amaryllidaceae. As the tribal population is gradually adapting modern ways life. Abutilon indicum is used for piles and leg pain. but used for different purposes. GA N ES A N . were found to be common and already reported from other places (Karuppusamy. 2005). N . Cucurbitaceae and Liliaceae (4 species each). Cucurbitaceae. The uses of certain species have gained importance due to their manifold properties. A few species described here as well as by various other authors from different regions as used by various tribes are common. . Rajendran et al. Ganesan and Kesavan. Apocynaceae. A fair number of these species. Ganesan et al. listed for medicinal purposes by the Valaiyans. Information on some very useful medicines known to the tribal or ethnic communities through the experiences of ages is usually passed on from generation to generation. (2004) conducted an ethnobotanical survey of the Lower Palani hills of TamilNadu. et al. A number of 12 families counted 2 species each and the remaining 22 families one single species each. 2003. Acanthaceae. Liliaceae. and Euphorbiaceae (2 species each). Apiaceae. 1981). 2001. 2000. Solanaceae (3 species each). B AN U MA T HY also used 55 plants employed by the Valaiyans for treating different kinds of diseases. .14 S . In the present study 111 medicinal plants were recorded. The tribal ways of life are rapidly breaking off under the impact of improved communication facilities and still more under the various tribal welfare schemes of the government (Mattew. Sharma and Singh (2000) and Jain and Patole (2001) have also reported similar activities in certain plant species (Cassia fistula and Gloriosa superba) in their studies on ethnobotanical uses of plants. Asclepiadaceae Asteraceae Capparaceae. The Pteridophytes were represented by one species (Nephrolepis auriculata) and the remaining 16 families also contained one species each. Mollugo nudicaulis for cold and skin diseases. Sapindaceae. R A M AR P A ND I A ND N . Notonia grandis for earache and eczema. Ganesan et al. 2004 and Venkatesan et al. Acalypha indica for eczema and chest pain. The Valaiyans utilize a large number of plants for medicinal and other purposes.... They belonged to the Fabaceae and Lamiaceae (7 species each).

Ethnomedicinal botany of the Apatani in the Eastern Himalaya region of India. Patole. 2005. Bot. 2001. Botanical survey of India. Matthew. Vol. Southern – Circle. R. Gamble. This suggests that the awareness about medicinal plants and their conservation strategy for the sustainability of our ecosystems has to be stimulated. Rapinat herbarium. N. Rajasekaran. Jain. Vol. N. Flora of TamilNadu. India. I. Jodhpur. Asian Medicinal Plants and Health Care Trust. C. III Botanical survey of India. southern – Circle. and Balakrishnan.). India. K. Coimbatore. Botanical survey of India. At the present this valuable diversity is under serious threat due to habitat destruction...P. K. Kala. Ethnomedicinal uses of some edible parts in Dadra. In: Advances in Medicinal Plants. Suresh.C. Ed.Ethnomedicinal Survey of Alagarkoil Hills 15 For the ethnobotanist it is an urgent task to record for posterity whatever is valuable in the traditions of the tribes. and Kesavan. their way of life. A. V. 13: 121–125. and L. II. I–III. Venkatesan. Calcutta. Singh. A. Botanical Survey of India.E. Tamil Nadu. Coimbatore. G.. & Cons. Ethnobotany of Ethnic group Thottianaickan of Tiruchirapalli District. 2003.. Tribal literacy disparity in India. 2004.. A. A.P. and their knowledge of plants before all this has disappeared before the close of this century. N. Nagar Haveli and Daman (U. 6(3): 273–278.T.com/ contant/1/1/11). Series–I. 88(5): 676. Pp. Rep. Env.. Ethnomedicinal Survey of Lower Palni Hills of Tamil Nadu. An Excursion flora of Central TamilNadu. A manual of Ethnobotany.N. shifting cultivation and several anthropogenic and natural pressures. Chithra.C and Hentry. Materials for a flora of the Tamilnadu Carnatic. 1989. 27 (3): 754–760. P. Ganesan. Ganesan. Sharma. Jain (Ed. and Banumathy. TamilNadu.P. Nair. Less-known medicinal uses of plants among some tribal and rural communities of Pachmarchi forest (M. Tamilnadu. 142–153.M. Ecol. India. overexploitation. 1(11): (http://www. 1991. N. India Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. S. 2001. and Kumuthakalavalli. 3(3): 299–304. Ethnobotany.). 2005. and Chitra. and S. 1981. Curr. Taxon. Jodhpur.ethnobiomed. Needs for Diversity Conservation of Traditional medicinal plant Resources of Dindigul District. 1987. Kesavan. Kesavan.R. . K. Flora of Tamil Nadu. 1995. Vol. S. and N.K. S. 13: 96–100.K.M. Sci. L.M. Indian journal of Traditional Knowledge.. and Goel. 2000. New Delhi. S. S. Ethnobotany.N. 1959. C. L. J. Jornal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine.N.N. Jain. Ganesan. Kumari. Series–I.K. Ethnomedicinal plants used by the ethnic group Valaiyans of Vellimalai hills (Reserved Forest). Matthew. Coimbatore. References Dinesh Kumar. 1983.. southern – Circle. Karuppusamy. Hentry.S and Fischer. G.K. I.). 2005. Flora of Tamil Nadu. V. S. 59–75.P. Vol. The flora of the Presidency of Madras. Henry. Series–I. J. A.P.. Econ. Scientific Publishers.

. R. Ganesan. R A M AR P A ND I A ND N . Thiagarajar College (Autonomous). GA N ES A N . Pallapatty (Post). Piranmalai Road. Pp. Bachelor of Science in Botany (B.. R. Ramesh. L. Title of Research in Ph. “Studies on Biocontrol of Soil-Borne Plant Pathogens” Published Research works in Journals and Books Ganesan. J. Madurai (Dist). Bot. Maharashtra. A. Mail: sganesan76@yahoo. and Kesavan. Tamil Nadu. Manimaran. Ethnomedicinal plants used by the ethnic group Valaiyans of Vellimalai hills (Reserved forest). Present Employment Research Scientist.. Econ. India. In: Biotechnology in Agriculture Industry and Environment (Proceedings of International Conference of SAARC Countries Dec. Ecobiol. Madurai Kamaraj University. Madurai-625 009. Karad. India. .Sc. cepae..28–30. 2003. 2000.) (1999–2004). Microbiology Society. J. B AN U MA T HY Autobiographical Statement Dr. GANESAN 4/44a. Education Philosophy Doctorate in Botany (Ph. . N .4544-230769. P.Sc. E.. India. S.. Tamil Nadu. 12(4): 249–273. Master of Science in Botany (M.) (1994–1997). Pub.D.D. PIN: 625103. S. (Quality Assurance & Research of ISM Herbal Drugs) Field of Interest Natural Products from Microbes and Plants. Taxon. 91. K and Sekar. Deshmukh. S and Sekar. sp.. 27 (3): 754–760.com Contact: 91. Biocontrol of Onion Basal Rot disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. 2001) ed. 2003.9860429845.119–124. Occurrence of Phytoplasmal Diseases in Madurai.) (1997–1999). Ganesan.D. Melur (Taluk).16 S . S.TamilNadu.

Impact of Prosopis juliflora on the structure and functional attributes of herbaceous community in the semi arid region of Tamil Nadu. Enumerations of Angiospermic Parasitic Plants and its Hosts in Southern Districts of Tamil Nadu.81-89070-07-X). N. Pp. L.. 1(2): 74–80.. 2005.59–75 (ISBN . Presented in: International Symposium on Recent Advances in Biological Science. India. Venkatesan. eds. S. N. 2004. Pub. 5(2): 245–252. and Arun Nakentran. M. Impact of exotic plant invasions on the structure and composition of herbaceous community in village ponds of Sivagangai District. TeJAS. A. In: Advances in Medicinal Plants. Ethnobotany of Ethnic group Thottianaickan of Tiruchirapalli District. R. and Banumathy. ABD Pub. Vol. N. Pp. 2004.. and Kesavan. C. Econ. S. Suresh. 2006. R. India. Biocontrol mechanism of Trichoderma harzianum (ITCC4572) on Groundnut Web Blight Disease Caused by Rhizoctonia solani. India. . Goel. 312–327 (ISBN – 81-89011-12-X).. Pathade and P. Asian Medicinal Plants and Health Care Trust. Tamil Nadu. N. 2006. Biocontrol of Soil borne plant pathogens. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. Tropical Ecology.) Diseases-Trichoderma system. Jodhpur. S. P. G. Bot. S. Tamil Nadu.R. and Sekar. Kesavan . Ethnoveterinary Health Care Practices in Southern Districts of Tamil Nadu. Asian Medicinal Plants and Health Care Trust. and Sekar. 1: 43–47. I. Ganesan. 3. N... Tiruchirappalli District. India. Ganesan. Presented Research works in National and International Seminars: Ganesan. Vol. 2004. S. R. 2005. and Sekar. Biocontrol mechanism of Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea L. 2006. 2006. (Egg plant). Priyadarshini. (accepted for publication) On Communication Chandrasekaran. N. Siva. S. Venkateshan. In Press Murugavel. Jaipur. Chandhirasekaran. 2004. Taxon.. N. S. S.. India. Sponsored by DBT. S. TamilNadu. 2004. Rajasthan. Enumerations of Roadside Flora of Madurai city. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. and Banumathy. and Selvaraj.Ethnomedicinal Survey of Alagarkoil Hills 17 Ganesan. Ganesan. S. Manikandan. Journal of Theoretical and Experimental Biology. Natural products radiance. J.. S. Annapoorani. Ethnomedicinal survey of Lower Palni Hills of Tamil Nadu. In: Biotechnological Applications in Environment and Agriculture. Kesavan. L...K.. S. and Banumathy. Ganesan. Ganesan. S. 3(3): 299–304. Antifungal effect of leaf extract of some medicinal plants against Fusarium oxysporum causing wilt disease of Solanum melangeana L. Pub. R. and Chandrasekaran. Ganesan. and Banumathy. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge (accepted for publication) Ganesan. Jodhpur. G. Rajasthan. Ganesan. S. Ganesan. L. Medicinal Plants used by Ethnic group Thottianaickans of Semmalai Hills (Reserved forest). S and Sekar. G. Ganesan. In: Advances in Medicinal Plants. 2001..

and Balakrishan. R. Sivakasi. GA N ES A N . 2003.14–16. Ernakulam. N .28–30. St. Johns college. S. P. R. Presented in: UGC State level Seminar. Cochin Unit. (Sponsored by: DST.cepae. . and Kesavan. Dec.sp. S. Priyadarshini. Medicinal plants used by Valaiyans. S. R. Biocontrol of Onion basal rot Disease. Presented in: International Conference of SAARC Countries on “Biotechnology in Agriculture. Ganesan. P. Sponsored by DBT. Govt. India. Ganesan. Educational and Charitable Tiruchengode. Presented in: One day Symposium on “Human Resource Development in Microbiology. S.. Feb. K. R A M AR P A ND I A ND N . Maharashtra. Thirunelveli.S. . Thanjavur. S. Yashvantro Chavan College) Karad.23& 24. Ganesan. L.) Presented in: International Seminar on Recent Advances in Biotechnology. Ganesan. S. Organized by: Association of Microbiologists of India.R. T. Manimaran. A. and Sekar. Ganesan.. Tamil Nadu. R. Tamil Nadu.S. Presented in: State level seminar on conservation of biodiversity present and future scenario. 2001. Tamil Nadu. Oct. 2003. Feb. Palayamkottai. St. S. . (Sponsored by Department of Biotechnology. and Sekar. of India & K. Chennai) Ponnaiya Ramajeyam College. A..L. L. WRO-Pune. Medicinal plants used by Paliyans of Sirumalai hills. UGC. Feb. Ganesan. of India & K. Oct. 2002. Chandrasekaran.R.11&12. Tamil Nadu. Rajkumar.18 S .. Ayyanadar Janakiammal College.2001. S. Presented in: National Conference on Siddha medicine Organized by Friends of Siddha medicine. and Kesavan. Ramesh. B AN U MA T HY Ministry of Science and Technology. Eluvakkal. Industry and Environment”. Biocontrol of Onion Basal rot Disease caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. March.. New Delhi. and Sekar. Mechanism of control of Rhizoctonia solani causing Web blight Disease in Groundnut by Trichoderma harzianum (ITCC – 4572). Govt. Sathuragiri hills and Kumily hills of Tamil Nadu. Ministry of Science and Technology. of India & Tamil Nadu State Council for Science & Technology.. Ramesh. Fluorescent Pseudomonas as plant growth promoting rhizobacteria and biocontrol agents in groundnut crop (Arachis hypogaea L. Govt. Ganesan.. and Sekar. K. Changes in Herbaceous vegetation following the invasion of Prosopis juliflora in the semi arid region of Tamil Nadu. Anne Virgin Jeeva. 2001. CPCB.8. Kolkapur. Shivaji University. Sponsored by UGC.24 & 25. Recent Trends in Eco conservation. R.11&12. Presented in: International Symposium on Recent Advances in Biological Science.. Teresa College. 2001. CSIR. Educational and Charitable Tiruchengode.

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