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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access March 2, 2022

Study of plant resources with ethnomedicinal relevance from district Bagh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

  • Tasneem Maqsood , Tayyaba Munawar , Yamin Bibi , Ahmad El Askary , Amal F. Gharib , Tariq E. Elmissbah , Basem H. Elesawy and Abdul Qayyum EMAIL logo
From the journal Open Chemistry


An ethnomedicinal expedition was conducted to collect and record indigenous knowledge about the use of medicinal plants by local inhabitants of four villages (Chittra, Topi, Pandi, and Kalri) of district Bagh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Ethnomedicinal data were obtained from 60 randomly selected local inhabitants of the study area through semi-structured questionnaires and interviews. These data were analyzed quantitatively through different ethnobotanical indices including family importance value, relative frequency of citation, use value (UV), fidelity level (FL), informant consensus factor (ICF), and Jaccard index (JI). our study reported 69 medicinal plants belonging to 39 families. Rosaceae (9 species) was a dominant family of the study area. Herb (54.83%) was dominant growth form of plants used for medicinal purpose. Leaves contributed maximum usage (44.29%) for curing diseases. Decoction (23 records) was most used mode of utilization. Relative frequency of citation and UV ranged from 0.03–0.85 and 0.05–1.17, respectively. There were 4 plant species with 100% FL. Highest ICF (0.88%) was found for gastrointestinal diseases. By comparing results with previous study, JI ranged from 0.54 to 24.43%. Our results found that there were 18 plant species not reported with ethnomedicinal aspect in previous studies from district Bagh region. The research of this study concludes that the area is rich with medicinal plants and the local inhabitant of this area still prefer medicinal plants over allopathic medicines for treating different ailments. Comparative analysis has shown some novel uses of plant species which may be due to cultural differences of the study area. However, awareness and pharmacological study are needed to conserve and unveil pharmaceutically important plants.

1 Introduction

Plants are considered indispensable for sustenance of life because rural communities belonging to different countries use local plants for different purposes. Plants not only provide food, shelter, and oxygen to human beings but are also pivotal source of chemicals used in various drugs [1]. Medicinally important plants are considered as a main source of medicine for majority of population inhabited in rural areas. To gather information about medicinal plants, interest was prevailing in all ancient civilizations. Ethnobotany correlates the medicinal use of plants by local inhabitants of an area. Ethnobotanical study of an area reflects the awareness among local inhabitants about medicinal usage and application of plants against diseases. World Health Organization estimated that 80% of population in developing countries depend on herbal medication for fulfilling their health care necessities. Almost all plants have active constituents effective for diseases but some plants are much rich with these chemicals and are preferred for disease treatment [2]. These phytochemicals include b-amyron, stigmasterol, luteolin, arachidic acid, palmitic acid, flavonoids, etc. [3].

It is estimated that out of 4,22,000 flowering plants, 35,000–70,000 plant species are being used for herbal medication throughout the world [4]. It is stated in previous studies that about 25% of allopathic drugs are being produced from plants or byproducts extracted from plants. These drugs are more preferred than synthetic ones because of fewer side effects, low cost, and easy accessibility. This can be explained by comparing the medicinal plant Salix alba with synthetic drug, aspirin. It is confirmed by different studies that bark of Salix alba is effective against side effects caused by aspirin [5]. Pakistan is bestowed with variety of medicinal plants due to its different climatic and soil conditions. Traditional Unani medicine system is practiced by large population of Pakistan. This Unani medicinal practice largely relies on medicinal plants. A total of 6,000 flowering plants are present in Pakistan, from these around 400–600 plants are considered as medicinally important [6]. It is also noteworthy that about 80% of total angiospermic plants of Pakistan are present in western and northern mountainous regions of Pakistan. In 1950s, 84% of Pakistan’s population was dependent on medicinal flora for treating various diseases, but due to rapid change in lifestyle and modernization, now the use of medicinal plants is restricted to remote areas [7]. Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) is a state that lies in the foothills of Himalayas between 33–36° latitude and 73–75° longitude. This area is comprised of 13,297 km2 [8]. This area is rich with plant diversity because of rivers, springs, streams, and grasslands. The number of medicinal plants are restricted in this area. The people of this area have significant knowledge about the use of medicinal plants but this knowledge about usage of medicinal plants is decreasing with death of aged people. So, a proper attention is needed to conserve these natural resources before the information related to important medicinal plants species is lost forever.

Previously, few studies had been conducted about the traditional use of medicinal plants from AJK [9,10,11] and district Bagh. Safeer et al. [12] reported 34 medicinal plant species from moist temperate Himalayas of district Bagh. Amjad et al. [13] documented 150 plants used for medicinal purpose by the people of Harighal, district Bagh, AJK. Qureshi et al. [14] reported 33 medicinal plants from Sudhan Gali and Ganga Chotti hills, district Bagh. However, no previous ethnobotanical research is found of these study areas in district Bagh. Our hypothesis behind this research was that there would be difference in ethnobotanical knowledge of plants among people of these areas due to different cultures. The aims of this study were: (i) To explore the medicinal plants from four villages (Chittra, Topi, Pandi, and Kalri) of district Bagh, AJK. (ii) To analyze the information with quantitative ethnobotanical indices. (iii) To compare the ethnobotanical information with previous studies reported from district Bagh.

2 Materials and methods

2.1 Study area

Present study has been conducted in four villages (Chittra, Topi, Pandi, and Kalri) of district Bagh, AJK. This area is located in western Himalayas region (Figure 1). Bagh district, as indicated by its name (garden) is one of the greenest sites of AJK. Average annual precipitation is 1,500 mm. Temperature ranges from 21 to 40°C in summer and about 2°C during winter. Various ethnic groups including Rajput, Sudhan, Gujar, Jat, and Maldial live in this area. Most common languages are Gojri, Kashmiri, Hindko, and Pahari. Its vegetation falls in subtropical as well as moist temperate regions [15].

Figure 1 
                  Map of study area.
Figure 1

Map of study area.

2.2 Data collection

Current Survey is conducted directly by interacting with the native people through interviews as well as by group discussions following the method as in ref. [16]. For recording information, questionnaires were distributed among local people particularly herbalists (Hakeems) and old age people who are usually more acquainted with medicinal plants uses. The questionnaire was designed following Edward et al. [17] methodology.

2.3 Collection, identification, and preservation of plants

During the entire survey, plants were collected from diverse localities. Collected plants were placed in old newspapers for drying. Collected samples were identified by using flora of Pakistan. Each collected sample was dumped in the herbarium of PMAS – Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi.

2.4 Data analysis

Quantitative data analysis was done by using following ethnobotanical indices.

2.4.1 Family importance value (FIV)

FIV tells us about most frequently used family by the aboriginal people in the study area. It was calculated by the following formula [18].

FIV = FC N × 100 .

Here N is total number of informants and FC is the frequency citation of plant families.

2.4.2 Relative frequency of citation (RFC)

The RFC of medicinally important plants in the study area was calculated by using the following formula:

RFC = FC/ N , ( 0 < RFC < 1 ) ,

where “FC” indicates the number of participants that report the use of specific species and N indicates the total informants who are involved in the study [19].

2.4.3 Use value (UV)

UV of plant species was calculated by using the following formula [20].

UV = Σ U i / N ,

where “ΣUi” is the sum of all uses mentioned by each informant. N indicates the total number of participants.

2.4.4 Fidelity level (FL)

FL was used to find out the species domination over other species for curing specific complaints [21]. It is commonly calculated by the use of following formula.

Fl = N p / N × 100 ,

where N p demonstrates the number of those contributors that specify the use of species for particular illness category and N designates number of those informers that use them for any type of disease category.

2.4.5 Informant consensus factor (ICF)

In order to categorize the most reliable medicinal plants for those diseases that are considered to be most frequent in the area, ICF was used by the following formula [22].

ICF = Nur Nt/Nur 1 ,

where Nur represents the number of use reports of a specific plant for a particular ailment and Nt indicates the total species that are used by all participants for this ailment category.

2.4.6 Jaccard Index (JI)

JI was used for comparing the reported research species with the previous data published from adjoining areas, at regional and global level. This was done by analyzing the quoted plant species as well as their medicinal uses with previous published articles by using the following formula:

JI = c × 100 / a + b c .

Here “c” is the number of plants common to study area and previously published article, while “a” is the number of plant species reported in previously published article, and “b” is the number of plant species reported from study area [23].

3 Results and discussion

3.1 Qualitative ethnobotany

3.1.1 Demographic of informants

Data related to ethnomedicinal plants was recorded from 60 inhabitants through interview as well as by the use of questionnaires and group discussion. With regards to gender, 68.33% female and 31.67% male participants were involved for giving ethnomedicinal information. Much information was collected from the females of study area because it was much easier due to same gender rather than from the males. Our study results were also in agreement with refs. [24,25]. Similarly, 3.33% herbalists (Hakeems) and 96.67% other native people contributed in this survey. Age data showed that majority of informants were in the age range of 55–80 years (56.67%). It was followed by 35–50 years (30%), and above 80 were 13.33% (Figure 2). Mostly old age people prefer use of herbal medicines over allopathic drugs.

Figure 2 
                     Demographic profile of informants interviewed.
Figure 2

Demographic profile of informants interviewed.

3.1.2 Diversity of medicinal plants

Present study showed that a total of 69 plant species belonging to 39 families were being used by local inhabitants of district Bagh, AJK. Four different growth forms having medicinal values were recorded from study area. It was found that 54.83% plant species are herbs. Other plant species were trees (24.53%), shrubs (17.31%), and climbers (4.33%) (Figure 3). Maximum use of herbs for medicinal purposes was due to more abundance and easily accessibility of these plants in study area. Our results also corroborate with the results of refs [26,27].

Figure 3 
                     Growth forms of medicinal plants.
Figure 3

Growth forms of medicinal plants.

3.1.3 Plant parts used and mode of utilization

Plant parts used for medicinal purpose in the study area includes leaves, seeds, roots, branches, fruits, cones, flowers, and plant exudates. Leaves were most frequently used plant part for preparation of medicines with 44.29%. It was followed by whole plant (34.29%), fruits (27.14%), barks (11.43%), roots (11.42%), seeds (10%), branches and plant exudates (8.57%), and cones and flowers (2.86%) (Figure 4). Leaves showed maximum usage percentage (44.29%) for treatment of different ailments. Umair et al. [28] and Ajaib et al. [9] showed similar results regarding usage of plant parts against disease treatment in their studies. Leaves are the main photosynthetic organ containing high level of secondary metabolites, essential oils, and phytochemicals. These metabolites are very useful against various disorders [29,30]. It is also noted that the confiscation of roots and whole plants may have destructive effects on existence and regeneration of plants. So, the use of leaves against diseases is advantageous for sustainability of local flora [31]. Plant parts with maximum usage percentages by traditional healers can be further investigated for phytochemical screening of important medicinal constituents in these parts. This can also help in confirmation of authentic information regarding medicinal uses of plant parts suggested by indigenous people or traditional healers.

Figure 4 
                     Percentages of plant parts used.
Figure 4

Percentages of plant parts used.

Local inhabitants use different mode of utilization including decoction, plant extract, powder, juice, and paste. The most common usage forms were decoction (23 records), plant extract (17 records), powder (14 records), juice (10 records), and paste (7 records) (Figure 5). The most common mode of utilization for medicinal purpose was decoction with 23 records. It was also reported in literature that therapists mostly used medicinal plants in the form of decoction [32,33].

Figure 5 
                     Mode of utilization of medicinal plants.
Figure 5

Mode of utilization of medicinal plants.

Decoction is also most frequently used mode of utilization in Pakistan for herbal medicines [34]. The use of medicinal plants in the form of decoction is preferred because it can be easily made by using water, tea, soup, or milk [35]. Decoction is usually made by mixing two or three different plant parts or plant species. This phenomenon of making decoction with more than one plant part is of great value among traditional healers because it is richer with medicinal constituents as compared to single part [36].

3.2 Quantitative ethnobotany

3.2.1 FIV

Ethnomedicinal flora showed that the most represented family was Rosaceae contributing (22.5%) followed by Asteraceae (20%), Lamiaceae, Polygonaceae, Moraceae, and Mimosaceae (7.5% each), Ebenaceae, Solanaceae, Pinaceae, Amaranthaceae, Convolvulaceae, Fagaceae, and Apiaceae (5% each) followed by other families (2.5%) (Table 1). Highest FIV was reported for family Rosaceae (22.5%). This is due to the abundance of this family in the study area. These results were analogous with the findings of refs [37,38].

Table 1

List of medicinal plants with their uses by the people of district Bagh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Plant family Plant species/Voucher no. Local name Plant part used FIV RFC UV Medicinal uses Previous reports
Amaranthaceae Amarathus viridis L./Tas 01 Ganiyar Whole plant 5 0.43 0.93 Roots are used against menstrual irregularity. Leaves are used for constipation and weight loss 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5©,6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10●,11∆,12∆,13∆,14●,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Achyranthes aspera wall./Tas 02 Puthkanda Whole plant 0.42 0.8 Herb Juice is used against diarrhea and skin diseases. Leaves are used against insect bite 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5●,6∆, 7∆,8∆,9●,10©,11∆,12●,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Apiaceae Coriandrum sativum L./Tas 04 Dhania Leaves and seeds 5 0.20 0.33 Plant has carminative property and is used in chattiness 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5©,6∆, 7∆,8●,9∆,10©,11©,12∆,13∆,14©,15●, 16∆,17∆,18●
Anethum graveolens L./Tas 03 Soya Whole plant 0.12 0.25 Leaves are cooked as vegetable. Fruits are used against fever, cough, ulcer, asthma and for skin allergies 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5●,6∆,7∆,8©,9∆,10∆,11∆,12●,13∆.14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Araceae Arisaema jacquemontii Blume/Tas 06 Hathpees Fruits and rhizome 2.5 0.10 0.1 Dried rhizome is used in numerous mental and nervous ailments 1©,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Araliaceae Hedera nepalensis K.Kosh./Tas 05 Batkail Leaves and fruits 2.5 0.10 0.13 Leaves are used to cure diabetes. Its fruits are helpful for joint pain 1∆,2∆,3©,4∆,5●,6∆,7©,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16●,17∆,18∆
Asteraceae Achillea millefolium L./Tas 07 Kangi Leaves and roots 2.5 0.25 0.5 Leaves provide relief from toothache, stomach problem, and bleeding gums. Roots are used for fever 1∆,2©,3©,4∆,5∆,6∆,7●,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Taraxacum officinale Weber./Tas 12 Hand Leaves and roots 0.58 0.98 Roots are used against kidney, liver diseases, constipation, and stomach problems. Leaves cure jaundice 1©,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆,7©,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15●,16∆,17∆,18∆
Gerbera gossypina (Royle) Beauverd/Tas 08 Paproola Whole plant 0.08 0.08 Plant is considered as tonic 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5∆, 6,7●,8∆,9∆,10∆, 11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15●,16∆,17∆,18∆
Sonchus oleraceus (L.) L./Tas 09 Dudhi Stem, leaves, and latex 0.12 0.17 Stems are sedative and tonic. Sap latex is used for warts treatment 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5∆, 6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆, 11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Cichorium intybus L./Tas 10 Kasni Whole plant 0.38 0.52 Roots decoction is used in curing fever. Leaves are effective against constipation 1∆,2∆, 3∆,4∆,5∆, 6∆,7∆,8●,9∆,10∆, 11●,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Parthenium hysterophorus L./Tas 11 Gandi booti Leaves and flowers 0.05 0.05 Used to treat diabetes 1∆,2∆, 3∆,4∆,5∆, 6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆, 11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Artemisia vulgaris L./Tas 14 Choou Leaves 0.07 0.1 Leaves regulate menstrual cycle, also valuable for sleeplessness and anxiety 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5∆, 6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10●,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15●,16∆,17∆,18∆
Silybum marianum (L.)/Tas 13 Kandyara Whole plant 0.05 0.05 Plant is useful for diabetes 1∆,2●, 3∆,4∆,5∆, 6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆, 10∆, 11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Brassicaceae Brassica compestris L./Tas 15 Sarsoon Leaves and seeds 2.5 0.22 0.42 Leaves are useful for stomach acidity. Seed oil is effective ear painkiller 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5●,6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10●,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Buxaceae Sarcococca saligna Müll.Arg./Tas 16 Nazroon Branches 2.5 0.05 0.05 This plant defends children from wicked eye 1●,2●,3●,4∆,5∆, 6∆,7●,8∆,9∆,10∆, 11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Cannabinaceae Cannabis sativa L./Tas 17 Bhang Whole plant 2.5 0.38 0.73 Useful for jaundice and stomach heat. Flowers are valuable in regulating menstrual cycle 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5∆, 6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10●,11∆,12●,13∆,14●,15●,16∆,17●,18∆
Caprifoliaceae Viburnum cotinifolium D.Don/Tas 19 Gush Fruits and Leaves 2.5 0.35 0.85 Fruits cure constipation and whooping cough. Leaves treat menorrhagia 1∆,2∆,3©,4∆,5∆, 6©,7©,8©,∆, 10∆, 11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Caryophyllaceae Stellaria media L./Tas 18 Ladroo Whole plant 2.5 0.08 0.08 Plant is very effective for menstrual distress 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆, 6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10●,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Convolvulaceae Cuscuta reflexa Roxb./Tas 20 Neela tari Whole plant 5 0.30 0.78 Plant is also considered as anti-lice, anti-anemic, and anti-pyretic 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5∆, 6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆,11●,12●,13∆,14∆,15●,16∆,17∆,18∆
Convolvulus arvensis L./Tas 21 Lilli Whole plant 0.18 0.27 Plant is used against constipation. Leaves are good to bath skin to cure skin rashes 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5∆, 6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10©,11∆,12●,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Dryopteridaceae Dryopteris ramosa (C.Hope) C./Tas 22 Langeri Leaves 2.5 0.10 0.13 Leaves are used to treat constipation and ulcer 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆, 6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Ebenaceae Diospyros lotus L./Tas 23 Amlook Fruits 5 0.50 0.98 Fruits are used for curing fever, high blood pressure, and constipation 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆, 6●,7∆,8©,9∆,10∆, 11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Zanthoxylum armatum DC. Prodr/Tas 24 Timber Fruits and Branches 0.75 1.13 Fruits are helpful for piles and power to eject gas from the body. Young branches are used as miswak 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5●,6©,7©,8∆,9∆,10©,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15●, 16∆,17●,18∆
Euphorbiaceae Euphorbia hirta L./Tas 25 Dodhal Whole plant 2.5 0.23 0.33 Plant is used against diarrhea and constipation 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆, 7∆,8●,9∆,10©,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Fabaceae Medicago polymorpha L./Tas 27 Maina Whole plant 2.5 0.03 0.05 Plant is useful against constipation and other digestive complications 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5∆ 6∆, 7∆, 8∆,9∆,10∆, 11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Fagaceae Indigofera heterantha Wall. ex Brandis/Tas 26 Jhand Leaves 5 0.15 0.2 Leaves are used against skin allergy and are also given to cattle for curing dysentery 1●,2∆,3∆,4©,5∆ 6∆, 7∆,8∆,10©,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Quercus incana Roxb./Tas 28 Rein Bark 0.05 0.05 Bark is very helpful for treating joint pain. It also has a cooling effect 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆,7©,8∆,9∆,10●,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Juglandaceae Juglans regia L./Tas 29 Akhroot Fruits and bark 2.5 0.45 0.88 Fruit reduces high blood pressure. Bark is used for teeth and gums 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6●,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14©,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Lamiaceae Mentha longifolia (L) L./Tas 30 Poodina Whole plant 7.5 0.80 1.17 Helpful for diarrhea, stomach problem, rheumatic pain, dysentery, and vomiting 1∆,2©,3©,4∆,5©,6∆,7∆,8©,9∆,10©,11∆,12∆,13∆,14©,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Otostegia limbata (Benth.) Boiss./Tas 32 Chita jand Leaves 0.07 0.15 Boiled leaves extract is useful for mouth ulcers, fever, and skin infections 1∆,2©,3∆,4●,5∆,6©,7∆,8∆,9∆,10©,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Mentha longifolia (L.) Hudsu/Tas 31 Bareena Whole plant 0.67 1.12 Leaves are used for vomiting, diarrhea, and blood purification 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5©,6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14©,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Lathyraceae Punica granatum L./Tas 33 Daaroo Whole plant 2.5 0.52 0.97 Fruits are edible and are used for blood purification, eradication of cough, and dysentery 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5©,6©,7©,8∆,9●,10∆,11∆,12©,13©,14©,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Malvaceae Malvastrum coromandelianum L./Tas 34 Lafa Leaves 2.5 0.10 0.13 Leaves are used to cure diabetes 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆,7●,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Meliaceae Melia azedarach L./Tas 35 Dherak Leaves, fruits, and seeds 2.5 0.53 0.98 Fresh leaves can be used as a blood purifier and to reduce mouth swelling 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5●,6©,7©,8©,9∆,10●,11∆,12©,13©,14●,15●,16∆, 17●,18∆
Mimosaceae Morus nigra L./Tas 36 Kala toot Fruits 7.5 0.15 0.32 Fruit is used against anemia and also for sore throat 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5●,6●,7∆,8©,9∆,10●,11∆,12●,13∆,14©,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Acacia nilotica Willd./Tas 37 Kiker Leaves and bark 0.12 0.2 Bark is used for painful throat and also against toothache 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5●,6©,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆,11©,12©,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Moraceae Ficus palmata Forssk./Tas 38 Phagwari Milky secretions and fruits 7.5 0.33 0.63 Fruits are used as blood purification and for quick wound healing 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5●,6●,7●,8●,9,10●,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Conyza Canadensis (L.) Cronq./Tas 39 Chti booti Whole plant 0.05 0.05 Plant is used against flatulence and other stomach disorders 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5∆,6,7©,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14●,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Morus alba L./Tas 40 Safed toot Roots 0.28 0.65 Roots are effective for toothache and cough 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5∆,6©,7∆,8∆,9©,10●,11∆,12©,13∆,14∆,15∆,16©,17∆,18∆
Myrsinaceae Myrsine africana L./Tas 41 Gogal Leaves 2.5 0.08 0.12 Leaves help in the treatment of liver diseases like jaundice 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6●,7©,8∆,9∆,10●,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15●,16∆,17∆,18∆
Myrtaceae Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh./Tas 42 Safaida Leaf and bark 2.5 0.12 0.2 Young shoots and leaves give momentary relief in cough 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5∆,6,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12●,13●,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Oleaceae Olea ferruginea Royle/Tas 43 Kao Leaves and bark 2.5 0.25 0.3 Helpful for gonorrhea and toothache 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5∆,6©,7∆,8∆,9●,10©,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Oxalidaceae Oxalis corniculata L./Tas 44 Khattahulla Whole plant 2.5 0.15 0.22 Plant is helpful in curing jaundice and stomach acidity 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆,7∆,8●,9,10©,11∆,12∆,13∆,14●,15∆,16●,17∆,18∆
Papilionaceae’ Melilotus indica (L.)/Tas 45 Singi Leaves and seeds 2.5 0.12 0.15 Leaves are rubbed on skin to cure eczema. Seeds are effective against diarrhea 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Pinaceae Pinus roxburghii Sarg./Tas 46 Chir Cones and resin 5 0.08 0.12 Resin is usually used against tumors and bleeding from wounds. Cones are used to cure diabetes 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5●,6©,7●,8∆,9©,10©,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15●,16∆,17∆,18∆
Pinus wallichiana A. B. Jackson/Tas 47 Bayar Bark, leaves, and resin 0.07 0.13 Resin is used for quick healing and cough. Leaves are useful for dysentery 1●,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6●,7©,8●,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15●,16∆,17∆,18∆
Plantaginaceae Plantago lanceolata L./Tas 48 Butti Whole plant 2.5 0.13 0.25 Acts as a cooling agent for stomach. Leaves are useful for wound sores and swollen surfaces 1∆,2©,3©,4∆,5∆,6∆,7©,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14●,15©,16∆,17∆,18∆
Poaceae Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers./Tas 49 Khabal grass Whole plant 2.5 0.10 0.17 Fresh plant paste is useful for healing of fractured bones and against dysentery 1©,2©,3∆,4∆,5●,6,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12●,13∆,14∆,15●,16∆,17∆,18∆
Polygonaceae Rumex hestatus D.Don./Tas 50 Chukhreey Leaves 7.5 0.13 0.27 Leaves are used for treating jaundice and bleeding wounds 1©,2●,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆,7●,8●,9,10●,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Persicaria amplexicaulis (D Don) Ronse Decr./Tas 51 Masloon Leaves and rhizome 0.47 1.02 Dried rhizome is used to cure backache and joints pain. Herbal tea of leaves is useful for stomach ulcer, flu, and bleeding gums 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆,7∆,8●,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Polygonum aviculare L./Tas 52 Darubra Whole plant 0.08 0.12 Leaves are used for eliminating kidney stones 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆,7∆,8●,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Pteridaceae Adiantum capillus-veneris/Tas 53 Kakwai Leaves 2.5 0.37 0.75 Leaves are used to treat hepatic problem, stomach acidity, and relieve fever 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆,7●,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Rosaceae Prunus armeniaca L./Tas 54 Khobani Fruits 22.5 0.15 0.15 Fruits are used against constipation 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5∆,6©,7∆,8©,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15●,16∆, 17●,18∆
Rumex dentatus L./Tas 55 Hulla Leaves 0.22 0.36 Leaves are used to relieve irritation and bleeding from wound 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆,7©,8∆,9∆,10©,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15●,16∆,17∆,18∆
Prunus domestica L./Tas 56 Alocha Fruits and 0.18 0.12 Fruit is laxative and helpful in curing constipation 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5∆,6©,7∆,8●,9●,10∆,11©,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Prunus persica (L.) Batsch/Tas 57 Aaroon Fruits and gums 0.22 0.47 Gum treats backbone and joint pain. Fruit is eaten by diabetic patients 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5●,6●,7●,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15●,16∆,17∆,18∆
Rubus fruiticosus G.N.Jones/Tas 58 Akhray Leaves 0.18 0.38 Leaves are used to control diarrhea 1∆,2∆,3©,4●,5∆,6∆,7©,8∆,9●,10●,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Pyrus pashia L./Tas 59 Batangi Roots 0.17 0.31 Roots are used against bowls as well as dysentery, and whooping cough 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5●,6●,7●,8©,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Rosa brunonii Lindl./Tas 60 Chall Flowers 0.17 0.27 Fruits are laxative, blood purifier, and are used against diarrhea. Gulkand is very effective for heart and digestive problems 1●,2©,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆,7©,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Fragaria nubicola Lindl. ex Lacaita/Tas 61 Budemewa Whole plant 0.12 0.12 The fruit is laxative and purgative 1●,2©,3©,4∆,5∆,6∆,7©,8●,∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Pyrus communis L./Tas 62 Nashpaati Fruits 0.08 0.13 Fruits are laxative and used for curing diarrhea 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6●,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Rutaceae Berberis lyceum Royle./Tas 63 Sumbal Bark, roots, fruits 2.5 0.85 1.17 Bark powder cures mouth boils. Fruits are laxative. Roots are used for joint pain and toothache 1●,2●,3©,4●,5∆,6∆,7∆,8●,9∆,10©,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Saxifragaceae Bergenia ciliata (Haw.) Sternb./Tas 64 Zakhm-e-Hayat Leaves and roots 2.5 0.72 1.13 Cures diabetes, fever, cough, joint pain, and inflammation in body 1●,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6,7●,8●,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14©,15●,16∆,17∆,18∆
Simaroubaceae Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle/Tas 65 Drawia Leaves 2.5 0.10 0.1 Young leaves act as blood purifier 1∆,2©,3∆,4∆,5∆,6●,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Solanaceae Solanum nigrum L./Tas 66 Kachmach Whole plant 5 0.55 0.97 Plant extract is used for asthma, skin burn, malaria, and fever 1∆,2●,3∆,4∆,5©,6∆,7∆,8●,9●,10●,11∆,12●,13∆,14●,15∆,16●,17∆,18∆
Capsicum frutescens L./Tas 67 Marchi Fruits 0.07 0.07 Fruits are used in order to improve digestion 1∆,2∆,3∆,4∆,5∆,6∆,7∆,8∆,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Urticaceae Urtica dioica L./Tas 68 Kiayari Whole plant 2.5 0.12 0.18 Roots are useful to enhance milk excretion 1●,2●,3●,4∆,5∆,6,7∆,8●,9∆,10∆,11∆,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆
Violaceae Viola odorata L./Tas 69 Banafsha Whole plant, flower, and roots 2.5 0.63 1.03 Whole plant is used to cure fever, cough, lung infection, constipation, and asthma 1©,2©,3©,4∆,5∆,6∆,7∆,8∆,9©,10©,11©,12∆,13∆,14∆,15∆,16∆,17∆,18∆

RFC = relative frequency of citation; UV = use value; FIV = family importance Value; (©) = similar use to previous report; (●) = dissimilar use to previous reports; (∆) = use not reported in previous report; bold text explains preferred use of plant species; 1 = [45] 2 = [34], 3 = [46], 4 = [47], 5 = [48], 6 = [10], 7 = [49], 8 = [50], 9 = [51], 10 = [29], 11 = [39], 12 = [52], 13 = [53], 14 = [54], 15 = [55], 16 = [56], 17 = [57], 18 = [43].

3.2.2 RFC and UV

RFC value of plant species tells us about the importance of plant species among informants citing its use for medicinal purpose. Highest RFC values were calculated for Berberis lyceum (0.85), Mentha longifolia (0.80), Zanthoxylum armatum (0.75), Bergenia ciliata (0.72), Viola odorata (0.63), Taraxacum officinale (0.58), Solanum nigrum (0.55), Melia azedarach (0.53), Punica granatum (0.52), Diospyros lotus (0.50), Persicaria amplexicaulis (0.47), Amarathus viridis (0.43), and Achyranthus aspera (0.42) (Table 1). Our results showed that highest UV containing species in the study area were Berberis lyceum (1.17), Mentha longifolia (1.17), Bergenia ciliata (1.13), Zanthoxylum armatum (1.13), Viola odorata (1.03), Persicaria amplexicaulis (1.02), Diospyros lotus (0.98), Melia azedarach L. (0.98), Taraxacum officinale (0.98), Solanum nigrum (0.97), Punica granatum (0.97), Amarathus viridis (0.93), and Juglans regia (0.88) (Table 1).

Highest RFC for Berberis lyceum Royle (0.85) shows that this plant is very familiar among people of study area and most of the people know about its medicinal values and usage. UV was used to find out the relative importance of plant species among traditional healers according to their usage. This technique helps in authentication of different uses of plant species among number of people [39]. In present investigation UV ranges from 0.05–1.17. Our results of highest RFC and UV values for Berberis lyceum also corroborate with the findings of ref. [40]. Local people use this plant against various diseases like mouth and teeth problems, diabetes, rheumatic pain, dysentery, constipation, blood diseases, respiratory problems, flu, and jaundice. UV is not constant for a plant species among different areas or even within same area. Its value goes on changing over time. For example, highest UV was reported for Mentha longifolia (1.05) and Olea ferouginea (1.02) from the tehsil Harighal [13] of same district Bagh. High UV of Berberis lyceum shows that it is very important among the people of district Bagh for healing various diseases. Lowest UV was 0.08 for Stellaria media L. Low UV does not mean that this plant is of low medicinal components or of less importance but it can be due to the fact that people are less familiar with this plant and its usage in particular area [41].

3.2.3 FL

FL was used to find out the species domination over other species for curing specific complaints. FL value ranged from 28.95 to 100%. Four plant species with 100% FL, were Stellaria media, Rumex hestatus, Fragaria nubicola, and Prunus armeniaca (Table 2). The lowest FL was found for Viola odorata with a value of 28.95%. Plants with 100% FL were used for curing constipation, female reproductive disorders, and healing wounds. Urtica dioica with 85.71% FL was used as a tonic and Hedera nepalensis with 83.33% FL was used for joint pain by local inhabitants of study areas. High FL of a plant species reflects it extensive usage and uniqueness for treating a specific disease in an area [42,43]. The plant species with high FL can also be checked further for pharmacological purposes [44].

Table 2

FL of observed species from study area

Ailment category FL of plant species (%)
Cough Persicaria amplexicaulis (D Don) Ronse Deer. (50), Anethum graveolens L. (71.43)
Kidney problem Polygonum aviculare L. (80)
Constipation Diospyros lotus L. (66.67), Ficus palmata Forssk. (65), Morus alba L. (64.71), Prunus armeniaca L. (100), Viburnum cotinifolium D.Don (66.67), Euphorbia hirta L. (66.67), Fragaria nubicola Lindl. ex Lacaita (100), Pyrus pashia L. (70), Cichorium intybus L. (69.57), Pyrus communis (80), Dryopteris ramose (C.Hope) C. (66.67), Morus nigra (66.67), and Prunus domestica L. (72.73)
Tonic Brassica campestris L. (76.92) and Urtica dioica L. (85.71)
Female reproductive disorder Stellaria media L. (100)
Skin problem Achyranthus aspera wall. (56), Indigofera heterantha Wall. ex Brandis (66.67), and Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. (61.11)
Stomach problem Zanthoxylum armatum DC. Prodr (44.44), Achillea millefolium L. (60), and Mentha longifolia L. (45)
Mouth boils Otostegia limbata (Benth.) Boiss. (75)
Joint pain Hedra nepalensis K.Kosh. (83.33)
Toothache Juglans regia L. (44.44), Olea ferruginea Royle (66.67), Prunus persica (L.) Batsch. (57.14), and Acacia nilotica Willd. (71.43)
Jaundice Cannabis sativa L. (60.87) and Melia azedarach L. (65.63)
Fever Rubus fruiticosus Hook. (63.64), Adiantum capillus-veneris L. (63.64), and Solanum nigrum L. (54.55)
Anemia Punica granatum L.(54.84)
Wound healing Berberis Lyceum Royle. (35.29), Pinus roxburghii Sarg.(60), and Rumex hestatus D.Don.(100)
Thirst and burning sensation of body Viola odorata L. (28.95)

3.2.4 ICF

Our result showed that medicinal plants were used for treating 14 different ailment categories. ICF value ranged from 0.67 to 0.88%. Maximum ICF (0.88%) was obtained for gastrointestinal diseases. It was followed by respiratory disorders (0.87%), sexual disease (0.86%), and antidote (0.85%). Lowest ICF value was calculated for kidney disorders (0.67%) (Figure 6). ICF value tells us about the cultural consistency of plant uses against specific diseases. Our study reported that most of the plant species were used for gastrointestinal diseases. Most common plant species used for gastrointestinal diseases include Diospyros lotus, Ficus palmata, Amarathus viridis, Morus alba, Viburnum cotinifolium, Cichorium intybus, Mentha longifolia, Cannabis sativa, Persicaria amplexicaulis, and Zanthoxylum armatum. Our results for highest ICF value were also in agreement with the results of refs [45,46]. Gastrointestinal disorder was followed by respiratory disorder including Viola odorata, Anethum graveolens, Diospyros lotus, Adiantum capillus-veneris, Viburnum cotinifolium, Cichorium intybus, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, and Persicaria amplexicaulis. High value for ICF shows high level of homogeneity among the informant consent regarding use of medicinal plants against specific disease [47]. Low ICF value shows that less number of people agreed for using specific plant against specific disease. Low ICF value may be due to the fact that people do not want to share their information with others, hence showing less consent regarding use of a plant against a disease [48].

Figure 6 
                     ICF of disease categories.
Figure 6

ICF of disease categories.

3.2.5 JI

The results of our study were compared with 18 previous studies reported from neighboring areas of district Bagh as well as at regional and international level. By comparing results it is found that JI ranged from 0.54 to 24.43% (Table 3). Highest JI (24.43%) was found with the study reported from Harighal AJK [13]. Lowest JI (0.54%) was found for the study reported from district Rangamati, Bangladesh [49]. The range of similar and dissimilar uses with previous studies ranged from 0 to 33.33% and 0.85 to 23.53%. These similar and dissimilar uses are sorted out among the common plant species in the study area and previous reports. High level of similarity is due to same cultural, traditional values, vegetation, and geography among different areas [13,50]. While low similarity reflects that there is lesser exchange of information regarding use of medicinal plants with others. This may be due to large distance among two areas or limitations of cultural and traditional values.

Table 3

JI comparisonof present study with previous reports

Previous study Total documented species in previous study No. of plant species with similar use No. of plant species with dissimilar use No. of plant species common in both area No. of plant species found only in aligned area Species only in study area % Of plants with similar use % Of dissimilar uses JI
From district Bagh
Moist temperate Himalayas of district Bagh 34 5 8 13 21 57 14.71 23.53 14.44
Harighal district Bagh, AJK 150 22 21 43 114 33 14.67 14.00 24.43
Sudhan Gali and Ganga Chotti hills, district Bagh. 33 11 3 14 23 59 33.33 9.09 15.91
From AJK
District Kotli AJK 38 1 3 4 35 66 2.63 7.89 3.88
Tattapani valley, AJK 70 6 13 19 47 48 8.57 18.57 15.83
Himalayan region, AJK 73 11 10 21 52 48 15.07 13.70 17.36
Toli peer 121 15 11 26 12.40 9.09 15.85
Jhelum valley 113 8 15 23 7.08 13.27 14.47
Sudhonti 58 3 6 9 49 60 5.17 10.34 7.63
From other regions of Pakistan
District Buner 80 14 14 28 52 41 17.50 17.50 23.14
Rawalpindi, Punjab 92 4 2 5 87 64 4.35 2.17 3.21
Kadhi areas of Khushab 48 4 9 12 36 57 8.33 18.75 11.43
KPK 10 2 1 3 7 66 20.00 10.00 3.95
Mastung of Balochistan 102 12 9 21 81 48 11.76 8.82 14
Northern Pakistan 106 1 16 17 89 52 0.94 15.09 10.76
China 121 1 3 4 56 65 0.83 2.48 2.15
Northeast India 145 0 4 4 80 65 0.00 2.76 1.90
Rangamati district, Bangladesh 117 0 1 1 49 68 0.00 0.85 0.54

By considering novelty, it was found that about 18 plant species are reported first time from district Bagh with their ethnomedicinal relevance. These species were not reported from district Bagh before. These plant species include Coriandrum sativum, Anethum graveolens, Cichorium intybus, Parthenium hysterophorus, Brassica campestris, Stellaria media, Dryopteris ramosa, Diospyros lotus, Quercus incana, Juglans regia, Myrsine africana, Melilotus indica, Persicaria amplexicaulis, Polygonum aviculare, Adiantum capillus-veneris, Rumex dentatus, Pyrus communis, and Capsicum frutescens. 21 plant species were found having different medicinal uses in the study reported in ref. [13] from Harighal district Bagh. These plant species with different medicinal uses include Amarathus viridis, Gerbera gossypina, Sonchus oleraceus, Artemisia vulgaris, Silybum marianum, Sarcococca saligna, Malvastrum coromandelianum, Melia azedarach, Acacia nilotica, Ficus palmata, Conyza Canadensis, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Olea ferruginea, Oxalis corniculata, Rumex hestatus, Prunus domestica, Prunus persica, Pyrus pashia, Berberis lyceum, Solanum nigrum, and Urtica dioica. Our results showed that 8 plant species were found with different medicinal uses in the study reported in ref. [12] from moist temperate Himalayas of district Bagh. These include Urtica dioica, Bergenia ciliate, Berberis lyceum, Fragaria nubicola, Rosa brunonii, Pinus wallichiana, Indigofera heterantha, and Sarcococca saligna. Similarly, 2 plant species Urtica dioica and Sarcococca saligna have different medicinal uses reported from the study area of Sudhan Gali and Ganga Chotti hills, district Bagh [14]. Plant species with new medicinal uses are shown in (Table 4) along with medicinal uses.

Table 4

New medicinal uses of plant species not reported in previous compared studies

Plant species New medicinal uses not reported in previous compared studies
Amarathus viridis L. Leaves are used for constipation and weight loss
Achyranthus aspera wall. Herb Juice is used against diarrhea
Anethum graveolens L. Fruits are used against fever, cough, ulcer, and for skin allergies
Achillea millefolium L. Leaves are used for relief from toothache and bleeding gums
Taraxacum officinale Weber. Roots are used against liver diseases, constipation, and stomach problems
Gerbera gossypina (Royle) Beauverd Plant is considered as tonic
Sonchus oleraceus (L.) L. Stems are sedative and tonic. Sap latex for warts treatment
Cichorium intybus L. Roots decoction is used in curing fever. Leaves are effective against constipation
Parthenium hysterophorus L. Used to treat diabetes
Artemisia vulgaris L. Leaves regulate menstrual cycle, also valuable for sleeplessness and anxiety
Silybum marianum (L.) Plant is useful for diabetes
Brassica campestris L. Leaves are useful for stomach acidity. Seed oil is effective ear painkiller
Sarcococca saligna (Müll) Arg. This plant defends children from wicked eye
Cannabis sativa L. Flowers are valuable in regulating menstrual cycle
Viburnum cotinifolium D.Don Fruits cure whooping cough
Stellaria media L. Plant is very effective for menstrual distress
Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. Plant is considered as anti-lice and anti-pyretic
Dryopteris ramosa (C.Hope) C. Leaves are used to treat constipation and ulcer
Diospyros lotus L. Fruits are used for curing fever and high blood pressure
Zanthoxylum armatum DC. Prodr Young branches are used as miswak
Euphorbia hirta L. Plant is used against constipation
Medicago polymorpha L. Plant is useful against constipation
Juglans regia L. Fruit reduces high blood pressure
Mentha longifolia (L) L. Whole plant is helpful for diarrhea and rheumatic pain
Otostegia limbata (Benth.) Boiss. Boiled leaves extract is useful for mouth ulcers and fever
Malvastrum coromandelianum L Leaves are used to cure diabetes
Melia azedarach L. Fresh leaves can be used to reduce mouth swelling
Ficus palmata Forssk. Fruits are used as blood purification and for quick wound healing
Conyza Canadensis (L.) Cronq. Plant is used against stomach disorders
Morus alba L. Roots are effective for toothache
Eucalyptus camaldulensis Dehnh. Young shoots and leaves give momentary relief in cough
Olea ferruginea Royle Leaves and bark is helpful for gonorrhea
Oxalis corniculata L. Plant is helpful in curing jaundice
Melilotus indica (L.) Leaves are rubbed on skin to cure eczema. Seeds are effective against diarrhea
Pinus roxburghii Sarg. Resin is usually used against tumors
Pinus wallichiana A. B. Jackson Resin is used for cough. Leaves are useful for dysentery
Plantago lanceolata L. Whole plant acts as a cooling agent for stomach. Leaves are useful for swollen surfaces
Rumex hestatus D.Don. Leaves are used for treating bleeding wounds
Persicaria amplexicaulis (D. Don) Ronse Deer. Dried rhizome is used to cure backache and joints pain. Herbal tea of leaves is useful for stomach ulcer, flu, and bleeding gums
Polygonum aviculare L. Leaves are used for eliminating kidney stones
Adiantum capillus-veneris Leaves are used to treat hepatic problem, stomach acidity, and relieve fever
Prunus domestica L. Fruit is laxative and helpful in curing constipation
Rumex dentatus L. Leaves are used to relieve irritation
Prunus persica (L.) Batsch Gum treats backbone and joint pain. Fruit is eaten by diabetic patients
Pyrus pashia L. Roots are used against bowls and whooping cough
Rosa brunonii Lindl. Fruits are used for blood purification. Gulkand is very effective for digestive problems
Pyrus communis L. Fruits are laxative and are used for curing diarrhea
Berberis lyceum Royle. Fruits are laxative. Roots are used for joint pain
Bergenia ciliata (Haw.) Sternb. Cures diabetes, fever, cough, and inflammation in body
Solanum nigrum L. Plant extract is used for asthma, skin burn, and malaria
Capsicum frutescens L. Fruits are used in order to improve digestion
Urtica dioica L. Roots are useful to enhance milk excretion

4 Conclusion

This study reported some useful medicinal plant species from district Bagh. From the results of study areas, it is concluded that people of study area still prefer native plants because of their low cost and accessibility. These areas are enriched with plant species having a lot of therapeutic uses and are important to cure a variety of human ailments. After comparative analysis, some plant species with novel medicinal uses are also found. These plants can be further investigated by pharmacological studies to confirm validity of medicinal uses. To conserve the plants of medicinal value of this study area, heavy grazing and medicinal plants devastation should be diminished or controlled in the area and the precious knowledge of medicinal plants should be transferred to new generation before it is lost forever.


The authors acknowledge the support of Taif University Researchers Supporting Project number (TURSP-2020/127), Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia.

  1. Funding information: This study was supported by Taif University Researchers Supporting Project number (TURSP-2020/127), Taif University, Taif, Saudi Arabia.

  2. Author contributions: Y.B. and A.Q. conceived the idea. T.M. and T.M. conducted the experiment and collected the literature review. B.H.E. provided technical expertise to strengthen the basic idea. A.F.G. and T.E.E. helped in statistical analysis. A.E.A. and Y.B. proofread and provided intellectual guidance. All authors read the first draft, helped in revision, and approved the article. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

  3. Conflict of interest: The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this article.

  4. Ethical approval: The authors confirm that study was reviewed and approved by an institutional review board of Pir Mehr Ali Shah-Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan (ethics committee) before the study began. The committee further approved that the study has no direct harmful impact on participants and biodiversity of area under investigation.

  5. Data availability statement: Data available with the authors on request.


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Received: 2021-12-10
Revised: 2022-01-17
Accepted: 2022-01-26
Published Online: 2022-03-02

© 2022 Tasneem Maqsood et al., published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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