Traditional Medicine Used By Tribal Communities Of India

Indra Rautela, Dept. of Biotechnology, Uttaranchal University, Dehradun

2018-04-30 08:58:08



According to WHO analysis out of the total world’s population, 80% are still relies on traditional medicine. In developing countries like India, 65% rural communities are still uses traditional form of medicine to full fill their primary health care need. Traditionally this treasure of knowledge has been passed on orally from one generation to other without any written document and is still retained by various indigenous tribe groups around the world.

Each tribe has its own culture specific developed mechanism with which the practitioners conserve the knowledge and performance strategic method to get free from most of the languishing disease of the present society. It can also provide as an effective foundation for the innovation and growth of modern therapeutic drugs. Approach towards documenting the indigenous knowledge through ethno botanical studies is important for the preservation and utilization of biological heritage. Additionally due to the side effects of modern allopathic drugs in the present days, people are paying attention towards herbal medicines and their consumption. The global market for traditional therapies estimated to be at $60 billion a year and is steadily growing however the knowledge of medicinal plant is rapidly dwindling due to the influence of western life styles, reduction in number of traditional healers and the lack of interest of younger generations to carry on the tradition. These medicinal products are complex mixtures, which derive from natural sources, immense efforts are required to assurance an even and sufficient quality of plant extract. By carefully selecting the plant substance and a standardized manufacturing method, the pattern and concentration of constituents should be kept as constant as possible, as this is a prerequisite for reproducible therapeutic results. The cultivation practices offer Standard Operating Procedures for use of fertilizers, irrigation systems and disease management allied with insects and pest prevention and cure. Some medicinal plants and their mode of administration in varies tribal community of India is tabulated in following Table.

                                                     Table: Medicinal plants used by Indian tribes.


State Name/ Tribal communities

Botanical Name/Local trial name


Part Used

Mode of administration

Chhatisgarh/ Gond, Bhunjia, Baiga, Bisonhom, Maria Parghi

Aloe barbadensis Linn.(Gaur patha)



One teaspoonful of leaf juice with sugar


Vitex negundo Linn.(Sambhalu)



Leaves powder with cow milk


Haldinia cordifolia


Body pain

Stem bark

Paste is applied on body for 3 days.


Moringa pterygosperma


Cold and cough


Leaf powder with mustard oil is given orally for 3 days.


Modupara and Dumnigaon

 Aegle marmelos Correa. (Selpri)

Burning sensation

Pulp of  fruit

The pulp of unripe fruit is dipped in ginger oil for a week, and this mixture is applied over body.


Artocarpus lakoocha Roxb (Arimu)



Fresh fruit are use.


Averrhoa carambola L. (Amillenga)


Fruit and Leaves

Juice of fruit and leaf are use for treatment.


Dillenia pentagyna Roxb (Agatchi)

Diabetics and stomachache


Powder of Bark is used.

Uttarakhand/Tharu, Bhotia, Jaunsari, Raji

Allium sativum L.


Diarrhoea, earache

Plant part

Bulbs of garlic are boiled in Till oil; after cooling it is pour into ear.


Aconitum heterophyllum Wall.(Atees)

Abdominal pain and vomiting

Dry Root

½ tablespoon dry root powder is boiling in water during fever. Root is also chewed twice a day.


Bergenia ligulata (Wall) Engl.


Kidney stone


Dry form of rhizome is chewed

Kerala/ Paniya, Kurich, Adiyan, Kattunaika

Acorus calamus L.


Abdominal pain and diarrohea

Whole Plant

Juice of plant and tuber paste is taken orally to control abdominal pain blood circulation respectively.


Baliosperm montanum




Root paste is applied over piles.


Chonemorpha  fragrans


Skin diseases, blood purification


Paste is applied over skin.

Rajasthan/ Bhils, Lohars, Sanshi, Meena, Raibari,Gadarias.

Capparis sepiaria




Bath with leaf decoction.


Cucumis colossus Rotl. (Cogn)

Finger infection


An infected finger is placed into the hole made in fruit, into some time intervals.


Solanum nigrum Linn



Crushed leaves and fruits are used to treat infection.

W.Bengal/ Santhali and Pahari

Dendropthae falcate Linn




Decoction of the plant use


Tectona grandis


Skin infection


Wood oil used for treatment.


Cassia sophera


Skin disease


Leaf juice is applied inn ringworm

Tripura/Auchai, Kabiraj, Ozai

Crotalaria albida Heyne ex Roth


Body swelling


One cup root decoction mixed with 2-3 spoon ginger extract is taken regularly in empty stomach


Cuscuta reflexa



Jaundice, cough and diabetes

Whole plant

Plant juice mixed with coconut water is taken early morning for 2 week.


Euphorbia hirta L.


Skin disease


Leaf paste of plant and Achyranthus  aspera (Apang) along with  sulfur (gandhi), copper sulphate and mustard oil in 6:2:1:1:2 is applied on the skin for one hour before bath.