Phyto-Pharmacological Aspects of Ethnomedicinal Plants Found in Himalayan Region: A Systematic Approach Towards Drug Natural Resources

Der Pharma Chemica
Journal for Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Computational Chemistry

ISSN: 0975-413X
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Review - Der Pharma Chemica ( 2021) Volume 13, Issue 7

Phyto-Pharmacological Aspects of Ethnomedicinal Plants Found in Himalayan Region: A Systematic Approach Towards Drug Natural Resources

Chandrika sharma1* and Dr. Bapi Ray Sarkar2
1Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Himalayan Pharmacy Institute, Majhitar East Sikkim, India
2Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, University of North Bengal, Darjeeling, India, India
*Corresponding Author:
Chandrika sharma, Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Himalayan Pharmacy Institute, Majhitar East Sikkim, India, Email: [email protected]

Received: 17-Apr-2021 Accepted Date: Jul 22, 2021 ; Published: 28-Jul-2021


The northern part of India has great diversity of medicinal plants due to its geography and ecological marginal conditions. These traditional systems have been curing disease since 3,000 years. With the demand for these medicinal plants, most of the plant populations have been depleted, indicating a lack of ecological knowledge among communities using the plants. Thus, an attempt was made in this study of ethno medicinal plants, to determine their availability in the growing sites, and to inform the communities about the sustainable exploitation of medicinal plants in the wild. The Himalayas have a great wealth of medicinal plants and traditional medicinal knowledge. Medicinal plants have played an important role of primary health care system among the local people of Himalayan region. The present paper is a study of the traditional knowledge of medicinal plants and its use by local people of Himalayan region. Due to its unique geographical location and different climatic condition, it has rich biodiversity and variety of plant species. The present paper focuses about the indigenous knowledge of different medicinal plants used in the Himalayan region ethno medicinal uses of 70 medicinal plant species along with botanical name, family, local name,chemicals,part used and mode of treatment are given in this paper.


Medicinal Plants, Traditional Knowledge, Ethnomedicinal, Phyto-Pharmacological


Natural products, including plants, animals and minerals have been the basis of treatment of human diseases. History of medicine dates back practically to the existence of human civilization. The current accepted modern medicine or allopathy has gradually developed over the years by scientific and observational efforts of scientists. However, the basis of its development remains rooted in traditional medicine and therapies. The history of medicine includes many ludicrous therapies. Nevertheless, ancient wisdom has been the basis of modern medicine and will remain as one important source of future medicine and therapeutics. The future of natural products drug discovery will be more holistic, personalized and involve wise use of ancient and modern therapeutic skills in a complementary manner so that maximum benefits can be accrued to the patients and the community [1].

The traditional medicine is widely used for various human ailments. The usage of herbal medicine could be even traced right from the beginning of mankind. Man tried to know about the plants around him to satisfy his basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing. All plants in this planet are important because of its medicinal qualities. Traditional system of medicines has become significantly more popular all over the globe because of the effective and curative nature for chronic disease with less toxicity. Herbal medicines are not a simple task since many factors influence the biological efficacy and reproducible therapeutic effect [2].

Herbal medicines have been used in traditional medical practices for centuries. The usage of herbs and a medicinal plant to cure various diseases was in practice from the time immemorial. They have been used since ancient days as the plant and plant provide a useful source of medicine and pharmaceuticals that can be used to treat not only human disease but can also be used to enhance the animal production and health, food safety and quality [3].

Herbalism also known as herbal medicine is the study of botany and the use of medicinal plants. Plants have been the basis for medical treatments through much of human history and such traditional medicine is still widely practiced today. Herbal drugs consist of all the officially recognized system of India like Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homepathy, but still 70% of India’s population still use Non-Allopathic system .so in this there is a compilation of some of the herbal medicines from different parts of India having different therapeutic use [4].

India is sitting on a gold mine of well recorded and well-practiced knowledge of traditional herbal medicine. But, unlike china, India has not been able to capitalize on this herbal wealth by promoting its use in the developed world despite their renewed interest in herbal medicines. This can be achieved by judicious product identification based on diseases found in the developed world for which no medicine is available; such herbal medicines will find easy acess into those countries. Traditional medicine tends to be practiced outside of allopathic medicine, which is the dominant system of medicine in the developed world.

Importance of traditional medicine for indigenous peoples and local communities

Traditional medicine also known as alternative, complimentary, and indigenous or folk medicine comprises knowledge systems that developed over generations within various societies before the era of modern medicine.

The world health organization (WHO) defines traditional medicine as “the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different culture, where explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness. The WHO has referred to these system as “holistic”, i.e, that of viewing man in his totality within a wide ecological spectrum, and of emphasizing the view that ill health or disease is brought about by imbalance or disequilibrium of man in his total ecological system and not only by the causative agents and pathogenic evolution”. Traditional medicine is not only a vital source of health care, but also an important source of income for many communities. Traditional medicine include all kinds of folk medicine, unconventional medicine and indeed any kind of therapeutic method that had been handed down by the tradition of a community or ethnic group.The discovery of most of the medicinal plants is done by pre industrial communities today, and many of them are involved in domestication, collection, cultivation and management of medicinal plant source. This activity support many indigenous people and local communities, and also help in the conservation of traditional medicine [5].

Traditional medicines have been used throughout the beginning of human history and played a significant role in the treatment and Prevention of various diseases. Ancient, Indian medicinal systems viz. Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Amchi and local health traditions provides a strong base for the use of a large number of plants in terms of safety and effectiveness leads for the prevention and treatment of different disease conditions. Herbs & herbal formulations are used as rejuvenators, 80% of the people in throughout the world currently uses herbal medicine for primary health care according to World health organization WHO) [6].

Herbal medicine is the important component of Ayurvedic, homeopathic, naturopathic, traditional Chinese medicine and Native American Indian medicine. As per WHO, 74% of 119 modern plant-derived pharmaceutical medicines are used in ways that correlated directly with their traditional uses [7].


We order to summarize the current evidences regarding the medicinal plant a systematic review and of the literature were taken. The data was collected through secondary sources mainly from the website of Government, State Medicine Plant Board. References from research papers, books, articles were taken for interpretation of data. Along with intensive survey of locally available information on the use of traditional herbal medicine some collected through personal interview and literature survey. The purpose of the study was not only collection but also to know the relationship of medicinal plants with the community. (Table 1)

Sl.No Scientific Name & Family Local Name Parts Used Habitat Chemical Mode of administration Therapeutic use
1 Sida acuta Kareta Roots Assam Beta- phenethylamines Decoction& Infusion Dyspepsia
2 Solanum dulcamara Khab-es-salab Fruits Sikkim Solasodine and beta- solamarine Decoction Leprosy
3 Vanda roxburghii Nai-rasna Roots Tripura Tannis, Oil Rheumatic disorders.
(Orchidaceae) Sitosterol
4 Xanthium strumarium Shankhahuli Whole plant Assam Beta- Caryophyllene Decoction Urinary& Renal complain
5 Curculigo orchioides  Kalimurli Roots Assam Curculigo Powder Impotence
6 Anacardium occidentale Kaju Kernel Assam Linoleic acid Fermented Juice Diuretic
7 Cleomeviscosa L Hulhul Leaves Sikkim Palmitic acid, Stearic acid Paste Wounds & Ulcers
8 Terminalia alata Asan Bark Meghalaya Arjunetin, Decoction Diarrhoea 
(Combretaceae) Ellagic acid & Ulcers
9 Lagenaria Siceraria Kadutumbi Leaf Manipur Eucalyptol,Palmitic acid Decoction Jaundice
10 Caesalpinia decapetala Aila Whole plant Assam Quercetin, beta-Sitosterol Decoction Carminative
11 Coix Lachryma Gurgur Roots Assam beta-Sitosterol Juice Menstrual disorders
12 Mukia maderaspatana Aganaki Roots Tripura Dichloroacetic acid,saponins Decoction Flatulence
13 Murraya koenigii Karay pak Roots Sikkim, Coumarin, Infusion&Decoction Vomiting
(Rutaceae) Carbazole
14 Rubia cordifolia Manjit Roots Nilgiris Rubiadin, Decoction Diuretic&
(Rubiaceae) Quinine Astringent
15 Sesamum indicum Til Seeds Assam Sesamolin, Paste (with water&butter) Bleeding piles
( Pedaliaceae) Sesamin
16 Hymenodictyon orixense Bhurkur Barks Meghalaya Glycoside Decoction Diarrhoea& Antiperiodic.
(Rubiaceae) loganin
17 Aconitum deinorrhizum Safed vish Roots  Kumaon Aconitum,Alkaloids Powder Rheumatism&Cholera
18 Ageratum conyzoides Koobhi Roots Manipur Beta- pinene, Juice  Anthelmintic
( Asteraceae) Beta- phellandrene
19 Carissa carandas Karonda Roots Tripura Ursolic acid,Oleanolic acid Decoction Cough& Diarrhoea
20 Casearia graveolens Chilla Roots Assam Alkaloids, Flavonoids Paste Piles
21 Abelmoschus moschatus Latakasturi Seeds Nagaland  Myricetin, Powder Digestive
(Malvaceae) Flavonoids
22 Artocarpus hirsutus Ayani Bark Manipur Stilbenoids, Infusion Heal sores& Pimples
( Moraceae) Flavonoids
23 Azolla pinnata Pana Roots Assam Protein, Calcium Juice Diuretic
24 Abies spectabilis Tallispatra leaves  Assam Abietanes, Juice Haemoptysis,Cough
 (Pinaceae) Flavonoids
25 Cedrus deodara Deodara Woods  Assam Terpineol, Decoction Dysentry,
(Pinaceae) Anethole Fever
26 Leea alata Edgew Bon-ou Roots Assam Flavonoids  Decoction Cold& Cough
(Leeaceae) Alkaloids
27 Toddalia asiatica Dahan Bark  Manipur Zanthocadinanine, Powder  Antipyretic ,
(Rutaceae) Pimpinellin Bitter.
28 Vanda coerulae Bhatou phul Leaf Assam Stilbenoids Juice Bronchitis
29 Renanthera imschootiana Red Vanda Leaf Assam Eucomic acid, Paste Skin disease
(Orchidaceae) Phenolic Compound
30 Aquilaria malaccensis Agarwood Wood Assam Alpha- guaiene, Oil Sirosis, Perfumes
(Thymelaeacea) Caryophellene
31 Hibiscus manihot Usipak Bark Assam Cannabiscitrin, Paste Wounds & Cuts
(Malvaceae) Adenosine
32 Abutilon indicum Pera- petari Whole plant Assam Carbohydrates,Steroids Powder Demulcent,
(Malvaceae) Analgesic
33 Acalypha indica Mukuta –manjari Leaf Assam Alkaloids, Powder Laxative,
(Euphorbiaceae) Anthraquinone Diuretic
34 Acorus calmus Bos Rhizome Assam Saponins, Powder Bronchitis and Sedative
(Araceae) Lectins
35 Alpinia galanga Kanghu Rhizome Manipur Cineole, Camphor Powder+ Piles
(Zingiberaceae) tabacco leaves
36 Punica grantum Ka-phoi Fruit/leaf Manipur  Punicalagins, Decoction Diarrhea
(Onagraceae) Ellagitannin
37 Phyllanthus emblica  Heigru Fruit Manipur Ascorbic acid, Deccoction Asthama
(Labiateae) Kaempferol
38 Oxalis corniculata Ram Ansur Leaf Manipur Potassium Decoction Arthritis
(Oxalidaceae) Calcium
39 Psidium guajava Pongatol Fruit  Manipur Sitosterol, Fruit + salt Dysentry
(Myrtaceae) Ursolic acid
40 Ficus glomerata Heibung-asinba Leaf Manipur Saponin, Fruit+ leaf+heat+ apply  Body Swelling
(Moraceae) Tannin
41 Centella asiatica Peruk Whole plant Manipur Centellose, Decoction Hypertension
(Apiaceae) Asiaticoside
42 Dillenia indica Ahutenga Fruit pulp &leaf Arunachal pradesh Quercetin, Decoction  Wound healing/anti-dandruff.
(Dilliniaceae) betulin,free amino
43 Mussaenda glabrata Dhobini phul Roots Sikkim Hexadecanoic acid,ester Roots+ Cow urine  White leprosy
( Rubiaceae)
44 Moringaoleifera Sajana Pods Arunachal pradesh Catechol,steroids,sugar Juice Liver disorders
(Moringaceae) & leaves
45 Solanum khasianum Thitbya-ke Root Arunachal pradesh Solasodine Decoction Malaria, Anti- fertility
(Solanaceae) ,Glyco-alkaloid
46 Swertia chirayita Chirata Whole plant Arunachal pradesh Sawertiamarine, Decoction  Fever, Anti- hepatitis B
(Gentianaceae) Mangeferin
47 Piper betel Ritik-rhinik Leaf Arunachal pradesh Eugenol,thiamine,cineole Leaf+oil+ Stomach ache
(Piperaceae) rub
48 Laggera pterodonta Dindo eh Whole plant Arunachal pradesh n-tricontane, Powder  Antihelmintic.
(Asteraceae) linoleoyl chloride +oil
49 Betula alnoides Dienglieng Root Meghalaya Geranic acid Extract Indigestion
(Betulaceae) Terragon
50 Cinnamomum tamala La tyrppad Leaves Meghalaya a- pinene, Leaves+ Toothache
(lauraceae) Myrcene fried in oil
51 Costus speciosus Sla pangmat Rhizome Meghalaya Diosgenin, Succinic acid Powder Bronchitis
52 Colocasia esuclcenta La wang Leaves Meghalaya Anthocyanins, Cyanidin Cooked corms Rickets
( Araceae)
53 Citrus latipes Sohkymphor Fruit’ Meghalaya Polysaccharide Juice Appetizer,
(Rutaceae) Ringworm
54 Buddleja macrostachya Jalong krem Leaves Meghalaya Apigenin, Juice Venereal disease
(Buddlejaceae) Glucopyranoside
55 Rubus ellipticus Soh-shiah Fruits Meghalaya Gallic acid, Crushed fruits Dysentry
(Rosaceae) Catechin
56 Zingiber zerumbet Ing-blei Rhizome Meghalaya Zerumbone, Fresh rhizome Relive stress
(Zingiberaceae) Limonene
57 Cucurbita pepo Tangut Seeds, Sikkim Cucurbitacins, Powder Deworming agent
(Cucurbitaceae) Pulp Vitamins
58 Ficus carica Mongozono Fruit Nagaland Aldehydes Raw ripe fruits Intestinal Ulcer
59 Paederia foetida Sizzii Leaves  Nagaland Flavonoids, Decoction Gastric ulcer
( Rubiaceae) Stigmosterol
60 Polyalthia longifolia Mongmong Leaves Nagaland Di-terpenes, Decoction  Carminative
(Annonaceae) Alkaloids
61 Bergenia ciliata Pakhanbed Rhizome Sikkim Gallic acid & Tannic acid Powder Pulmonary affections
62 Clematis buchananiana Pinsasy lahara Root Sikkim Triterpenoid, Saponin Juice Headache,
( Ranunculaceae) Sinusitis
63 Diplazium polypodioides Kaliningro Root Sikkim Oleic acid Juice Dysentery
64 Drymaria Cordata Abijalo Whole plant Sikkim Flavonoids & Phenols Extract Anti-febrile
65 Kaempferia rotunda Bhui champa Rhizome Sikkim Chalcones, Quercetin Paste Bone- fractures& swelling
66 Musa balbisiana Ban kera Pseudo- stem Sikkim Cineole, trepenoids Juice Oral infection
67 Orchis chusua Sayno panchaunlay Fresh root Sikkim Flavonoids Paste Cuts &mild fractures
68 Eleusine coracana Kodo Grain Sikkim Elusinin Decoction Measles,
(Poaceae) Small pox
69 Phytolacca acinosa Jaringo Fresh leaves Sikkim Phytolaccine, Decoction Tonsillitis
(Phytolaccaceae) Phytolaccotoxin
70 Oroxylum indicum Totala Root bark Sikkim Phenols,Tannins Powder Digestive tonic

Table 1: Ethnomedicinal plants found in himalayan region [8-31] [Figures 1-4]


Figure 1: Images of ethnomedicinal plants


Figure 2: Images of ethnomedicinal plants


Figure 3: Images of Ethno-medicinal plants


Figure 4: Images of Ethno-medicinal plants


The Himalayan people have a close relationship with nature. Food, fruits, fodder, medicinal plants and their health care they are fully dependent upon forest. Local people in this region, use these traditionally available medicinal plants for health and believe that these are easily available, less expensive and have no side effects as compare to modern medicine The present situation of traditional knowledge regarding to medicinal plants everywhere is an issue as the traditional knowledge is gradually declining and disappearing from the countryside. In north Indian medicinal plants have strong acceptance in spiritual activities by inhabitant communities, who worshiped the plants in the form of god, goddesses, and minor deities. Due to the unavailability of modern health facilities, poverty, connectivity with urban centre, awareness, etc. people in rural areas are still relying on traditional medicines for their health care. Primary healthacare uses wild plants having medicinal value due to lack of modern medicines. Due to the so many issues like deforestation, impact of tourism on natural vegetation of this region, population explosion & heavily construction and climatic change in Himalayan region .We have to make proper policies and do implement these to conserve the forests and medicinal plants . The barren land Fallow land should be used for the protection and cultivation of medicinal plants.


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