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Title: Exploration of Floral Diversity of District Bhimber Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Evaluation of Ethnopharmacological Effects of Some Medicinal Plants of the Area
Authors: Maqbool, Mehwish
Keywords: Biological & Medical Sciences
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Mirpur University of Science & Technology (MUST), Mirpur
Abstract: Plants have been part and parcel of human life since his emergence on this planet. Plants have been key source of basic needs for man and other ecosystem components because plant are the only source/mode which can convert solar energy into usable form for life sustenance. The current research studies were focused on floristic description with taxonomic keys, ethnobotany, phytosociology and ethnopharmacological analysis of plants of District Bhimber Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Pakistan. Traditionally plants have been identified and classified by use of morphological features and identification is fundamental prerequisite for safe and secure use of traditional ethnomedicines (TEMs), folklore therapeutics and keystone for pharmaceutical analysis. The floristic study comprises of 421 plant taxa from three major plant groups: pteridophytes (four species), gymnosperms (one species) and angiosperms (416 species) with 66 monocot and 350 dicot species. The study revealed that highest and predominant family was Poaceae (9.40%), followed by Asteraceae and Papilionaceae with 8.92% and 5.78%, respectively. The highest family use-value was obtained for Asteraceae with 3.85, followed by Poaceae (3.48), having significant impact on societal needs. The floristic description based on phenetic characters of the plant was used for construction of taxonomic keys which will assist in authentic identification of medicinal plants. The plants description contains botanical and vernacular names, family, flowering period, phytogeography for affirmative collection for safe use of indigenous plants in TEMs. In the research nine plants were first time reported from Distrcit Bhimber and/ AJK. The floristic analysis depicted that plants of subdivision Samahni were different from other two subdivisions viz: Bhimber and Barnala due to climatic, edaphic and altitudinal variations. Floristic study produced keys of taxa that will assist in proper plant identification supplementing quality control of TEMs and further pharmaceutical research. In second part, ethnobotanical research was conducted using planned field and rural areas trips to collect ethnobotanical and traditional ethnomedicinal data from local people (200 interviewees) by semi-structured and structured interview using visual appraisal approach (VAA) and rapid rural appraisal (RRA) methodology. The formal permission letter and questionnaire proforma was designed and used for the purpose. The people of the area preferably use wild plants as source of food, fruit, fodder, live-fencing, hut-making and medicines according to their needs, cultural and ethnic paradigms. It was found that mostly (82% to 90%) people of the rural area prefer to reside in their native villages and they are dependent on wild plants and livestock for their life sustenance. The local people extensively utilize the wild plants for domestic purposes and commercial perspectives causing over exploitation of the wild flora thrilling it to zones of threatened, rare and/or to extinct level. For authentication and validity of ethnobotanical data, various quantitative ethnobotanical tools were used enlisted here like relative frequency of citation (RFC), use value index (UVI), fidelity level (FL), relative popularity level (RPL), rank of popularity (ROP), informant consensus factor (ICF), data matrix ranking (DMR), priority ranking (PR), family use value (FUV), family index, plant part used (PPU) and relative importance of plant (RIP). Analysis depicted that out of all plants 16.07 % were used as and traditional ethnomedicines (TEMs), 12.11% agroforestry, fodder/forage 8.73%, respectively. In TEMs preparations, mostly leaves were used (16.20%), followed by seed (12.21 %) and whole plant (10.71%) while nine types of methods were used to make TEMs, the powder was prevalently used (14.59 %), followed by decoction (12.66%) and extract (12.18%). Forty three wild plants have been used as vegetables, 62 plants were used as source of edible fruit and seeds, 35 were used as ornamental plants in different life ceremonies, 31 plants were used in agroforestry products, 42 plants were used for fuel wood, 31 species were used for live-fencing and hedging, 42 plants used in ethnoveterinary medicines, 33 plants were known as honey bee taxa and 23 species were being used for domestic and commercial wood producing plants. In order to validate and authenticate the ethnobotanical and ethnomedicinal data various quantitative analysis tools were used. Informant consensus factor (ICF) analysis tool depicted that diabetics, hypertension, tuberculosis, epilepsy and mental disorders; scorpion and snake stings; ulcers and leucorrhea were commonly prevailing diseases in the area and preferably cured by use of local medicinal plants (MPs). The highest ICF value was found for rabies and sting of snake, (0.95), hyperglycemia (0.94) followed by tuberculosis and asthma (0.93) and arthritis and joint pains (0.91) which are common due to dwellings in rural and mountainous areas. The fidelity level (FL) was applied to find prevalence of plants used as TEMs. In Samahni area, Phyllanthus emblica L. depicted the highest (100%) FL against the diseases hypertension; scurvy; hyperlipidemia, followed by Zanthoxylum armatum DC. showed highest (100%) FL and Acacia modesta Wall. with 94.8% FL, which had been reported for use in diseases like hypertension, toothache, infertility and stomachache. To explore the frequency and prevalent of use of TEMs; two other quantitative ethnobotanical indices: relative popularity level (RPL) and rank order of popularity (ROP) were applied. Plants Justicia adhatoda, Phyllanthus emblica, Terminalia belerica, Melia azedarach and Zanthoxylum armatum depicted RPL value of 1.0 and ROP with 100 affirming that these plants were commonly used as ethnomedicines with high acceptance in the area. The relative frequency of citation (RFC) was calculated which provides clues and directives for further research for drug development and discovery. RFC of study area ranged from 0.22 to 0.95; and five highest RFCs were obtained for Berberis lycium (0.95), Morus macruora (0.93), Terminalia belerica and Boerhavia diffusa (0.88), Withania coalgulans (0.83) and Solanum nigrum (0.80) confirming prevalent use in TEMs. Another quantitative parameter of ethnobotany named value index (UVI) was used which described that Solanum nigrum with UVI=1.20, Phyllanthus emblica with UVI=1.18 and Withania coalgulans with UVI=1.16 were the most prevalently used in TEMs to cure antihypertension, dyspepsia, rheumatism, jaundice, diabetics, hypertension bacterial and fungal infections, tumors and boils. The relative importance of plant (RIP) was used to find trend and prospective of MPs to be in TEMs or sold to earn livelihood. Highest RIP values were observed for Azadirachta indica (90.8), Justicia adhatoda (90.4), Juglans regia (88.3), Terminalia belerica (82.9), Viola canascence (82.5), Bauhinia variegata (81.3) and Phyllanthus emblica (80.0). Another tool data matrix ranking (DMR) was used to find impact of anthropological activities on wild flora and it was found that in Barnala area Ziziphus nummularia, Acacia modesta, Terminalia belerica, Acacia nilotica, Pinus roxburghii and Melia azedarach were under severe biotic pressure. Priority ranking (PR) tool described that among threating factors for indigenous plants: cutting for fuel wood, man-made fire, timber usage, land clearing for agriculture, construction of land communication means and over grazing were keystone parameters. The ethnobotanical profile of the wild plants depicts that plants have been used for curing many diseases and some of the plants are sold in raw form or TEMs in local and national markets to earn revenuePhytosociological studies were carried out by using quadrat method by randomly selecting thirteen sties of six mountains and torrents of the study area based on altitude, edaphology and topographic variations. A total of 13 community associations consisting 244 species were found. It was concluded that due to edapho-climatic different vegetation patterns were seen in subdivisions of Samahni, Barnala and Bhimber. It was found that in Samahni area, Pinus roxburghii was dominant tree species with Themeda anathera and Dodonea viscosa as associated taxa. While in Bhimber area hills, Acacia and Ziziphus taxa were dominant species associated with Cymbopgon jwarancusa, Themeda anathera, Ficus palmata, Nerium oleander and Otostegia limbata. In Barnala area torrents, Butea monosperma and Acacia nilotica were dominant tree species along with Carica opaca, Nerium oleander, Lantana camara, Ziziphus jujuba and Cynodon dactyolon. The correlation cluster analysis depicted that vegetation of the study was divided into two major clusters proving that altitude has dominant impact on vegetation patterns along with edaphalogical parameters. Principal component analysis (PCA) proved that soil moisture content, soil texture and altitude were key factors for plant association formation in the area. The vegetation analysis proved that due to anthropological inferences and climatic changes many species were under threat and urge for future conservation work. On the basis of ethnobotanical study, five plants viz: Aerva sanguinolenta (L.) Blume, Persicaria barbata (L.) Hara, Rhynchosia minima (L.) DC., Capparis sepiaria L. and Schoenoplectus lacustris (L). Palla. were selected for ethnopharmacological research consisting of antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant activities. The two plant parts (leaf and stem) were used for extraction using process of maceration in four solvents named: petroleum ether (PE), chloroform (Chl), methanol (MeOH) and aqueous (Aq.). Phytochemical profile of stem and leaf extracts showed different phytoconstituents such as flavonoids, saponins, alkoids, tannins and terpenoids were present which assigned therapeutic potential to the herbal drugs. In the analysis, it was found that leaf was the best plant part for antimicrobial and antioxidant activity. In antibacterial studies, four bacterial strains were used and zone of inhibition and activity index were measured for each plant fraction. The Aerva sanguinolenta (L.) Blume (ASB) is reknown medicinal plant. In antibacterial study it was determined that petroleum ether extracts of ASB produced highest ZI with 42±0.7 mm against E. coli and its AI was 0.93. The leaf Chl. fraction of ASLB depicted good antimycotic potential against Fusarium oxysporum with ZI of 51±0.2 mm and AI: 0.98. For antioxidant activity, %age of scavenging effect (PSE) was determined in DPPH assay, PE leaf fraction of ASB produced highest 92.60±0.4 of scavenging activity as compared with stem extract which produced 88.45±1.5 in same 500μL volume. The leaf extract of Persicaria barbata (L.) Hara (PBH) in PE produced good antibacterial activity showing ZI: 38±0.5 mm and AI 0.90 against E. coli. In antifungal studies, it was found the highest inhibition rate was shown by PE macerate with value of 40±0.7 mm and AI=0.76 against A. niger. In antioxidant analysis, PE fraction of leaf depicted better total antioxidant capacity (TAC) while total phenolic content (TPC) produced 2.56±0.6 mM for leaf and 1.90±2.0 mM for stem part. The plant Rhynchosia minima (L.) DC. (RMD) is recommended medicinal herb. For antibacterial potential, it was found that MeOH extract of leaf depicted the highest ZI (31±0.7 mm) and AI:0.96 against S. aureus. In antimycotic study, it was explored that PE extract of leaf produced ZI of 38±0.4 mm and AI=0.88 against Aspergillus oryzae and the lowest ZI and AI was shown by the stem extract of MeOH against the Aspergillus niger with ZI of 25±0.1mm and AI of 0.48. For antioxidant analysis, it was found that PE extract of leaf with conc. 500μL depicted 88.50±0.2 % scavenging activity, TAC was 2.74±0.35mM and TPC was 2.50±0.4 mg GAE/g. The antibacterial potential of the plant Capparis sepiaria L (CSL) was determined and it was found that leaf extract of MeOH gave highest value of ZI: 28±0.5 mm with AI of 0.90 against S. aureus strain. For antifungal analysis, it was recorded that highest value of ZI with 32±0.4 mm and AI=0.84 was obtained by PE extract of leaf against Aspergillus oryzae. In TPC studies, PE extract of leaf showed more quantity 1.95±0.5 mM of TPC than stem fraction 1.55±1.0 mM, proving that leaf has good antioxidant potential. The plant Schoenoplectus lacustris (L.) Palla (SLP) was ethnobotanically important plant and it depicted good antibacterial activity. In the analysis, PE fraction of leaf gave the highest ZI of 29±0.2 mm with AI value of 0.87 against the E. coli bacterium. In antimycotic analysis, it was depicted that PE fraction of leaf had highest ZI 34±0.5 mm with AI of 0.85 against Aspergillus niger while F. oxysporum was more resistant strain which had shown the least value of ZI with 19±0.5 mm and AI of 0.57. For antioxidant study, PE extracted of leaf produced 85.50±0.5 %age of scavenging effect (PSE) in DPPH assay and stem fraction produced 76.20±0.5 value in same 500 μL volume. In TAC assay, PE extract of leaf produced 2.50±0.50 and the highest TPC in PE extract fraction with 3.05±0.5 mg.GAE/g. Unanimously, it was indicated that all five selected plants have reasonable antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant potential coincidencing with phytotherapeutics cited in TEMs by the indigenous communities. These research investigations have lead towards the final conclusion that the wild flora of the study area is under severe threats due to deforestation, agriculture expansion, fire, overgrazing, construction of communication infrastructure and over exploitation. The ruthless and unplanned collection of medicinal plants for domestic and commercial purpose has created robust threats thrilling into threatened, rare and endangered zones or even to extinction from the area. These studies recommend the devise of proper sustainable mechanism of utilization, propagation and conservation of indigenous plants of the area by public and private participation for future. There is further need to explore all or maximum plants of the study area to verify their use as TEMs and to discover and develop new drugs through pharmacological analysis. This will also assist to cope with infirmities caused by resistant microbes and virues. The study will be boosting step towards mitigation of deleterious impacts of climate change on local wild and agriculture crops succouring in alleviation of the poverty in the area.
Gov't Doc #: 20265
Appears in Collections:PhD Thesis of All Public / Private Sector Universities / DAIs.

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