Next Article in Journal
Virulence Determinants of Colistin-Resistant K. pneumoniae High-Risk Clones
Next Article in Special Issue
Overcoming Tribal Boundaries: The Biocultural Heritage of Foraging and Cooking Wild Vegetables among Four Pathan Groups in the Gadoon Valley, NW Pakistan
Previous Article in Journal
In Pursuit of the Perfect Dancer’s Ballet Foot. The Footprint, Stabilometric, Pedobarographic Parameters of Professional Ballet Dancers
Previous Article in Special Issue
On the Trail of an Ancient Middle Eastern Ethnobotany: Traditional Wild Food Plants Gathered by Ormuri Speakers in Kaniguram, NW Pakistan
Article

Comparative Assessment of Medicinal Plant Utilization among Balti and Shina Communities in the Periphery of Deosai National Park, Pakistan

1
Department of Botany, University of Education Lahore, Lahore 54770, Pakistan
2
Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan
3
University of Gastronomic Sciences, 12042 Pollenzo, Italy
4
Department of Medical Analysis, Tishk International University, Erbil 44001, Iraq
5
Geography Department, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
6
Department of Ethnobotany, Institute of Botany, Ilia State University, 0105 Tbilisi, Georgia
7
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Baltistan, Skardu 15100, Pakistan
8
Department of Environmental Sciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Abbottabad 22060, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Panayiotis Dimitrakopoulos
Biology 2021, 10(5), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050434
Received: 23 March 2021 / Revised: 24 April 2021 / Accepted: 8 May 2021 / Published: 14 May 2021
Traditional ecological knowledge is a key contributor to environmental sustainability; therefore, it is essential to identify and preserve this biocultural heritage. We documented traditional uses of plant species among the two marginalized communities, namely Baltis and Shinas, living in Deosai National Park, western Himalayas, Pakistan, using random and purposive sampling techniques targeting middle- and old-aged informants. In total, 47 medicinal plant species were recorded, which were cited by both Baltis and Shinas (42 and 38 plant species, respectively) to treat various diseases. Considerable homo- and heterogeneities were noted in vernacular names, plant part(s) used, drug formulation, and administration. Ribes alpestre, Aconitum violaceum, Delphinium brunonianum, Thymus linearis, and Swertia petiolata were the highly utilized species. In addition, medicinal uses of Allardia tomentosa, A. tridactylites, Jurinea dolomiaea, and Gallium boreale were reported for the first time from this region. Both Balti and Shina communities retain substantial biocultural and ethnological diversity, which has been reflected in the present survey.
Traditional ecological knowledge, linguistic, and sociocultural perspectives are key contributors to environmental sustainability. Therefore, it is essential to identify and preserve this biocultural heritage, especially that of indigenous communities and minorities. We conducted an ethnobotanical survey to document the plant species used by the Balti and Shina communities living in the buffer zone of Deosai National Park (DNP), western Himalayas, Pakistan. A combination of random and purposive sampling techniques was adapted, targeting middle- and old-aged informants. A total of 46 semi-structured interviews were conducted and the gathered data were evaluated using relative frequency of citation (RFC) and through comparison with the ethnomedicinal literature. In total, 47 medicinal plant species belonging to 42 genera and 23 families were recorded. Baltis and Shinas cited 42 and 38 plant species, respectively, that were used to treat various diseases. About 60% of species were common among both communities, but 27.7% and 12.8% were exclusive to Baltis and Shinas, respectively. Considerable heterogeneity was noted in vernacular names, plant part(s) used, preparation, and administration. Ribes alpestre, Aconitum violaceum, Delphinium brunonianum, Thymus linearis, and Swertia petiolata were highly utilized species having RFCs > 50. In addition, 46% of medicinal uses, specifically that of Allardia tomentosa, A. tridactylites, Jurinea dolomiaea, and Gallium boreale, were reported for the first time from the region. Cross-cultural analysis revealed sociocultural gaps between both groups. Relatively, Baltis retained more ethnomedicinal knowledge and their traditional medicinal system is more closely associated with traditional Tibetan medicine. Generally, Balti and Shina communities retain substantial biocultural and ethnological diversity, which has been reflected in the present study. Our findings underline the importance and need for sustainable utilization of natural resources, specifically the plant species of this region. However, an in-depth ethnobotanical investigation may underpin the holistic comparative medical ethnobotany of the entire region. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethnobotany; cross-culture; medicinal plants; Deosai; Pakistan; Himalaya ethnobotany; cross-culture; medicinal plants; Deosai; Pakistan; Himalaya
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Abbas, Z.; Kousar, S.; Aziz, M.A.; Pieroni, A.; Aldosari, A.A.; Bussmann, R.W.; Raza, G.; Abbasi, A.M. Comparative Assessment of Medicinal Plant Utilization among Balti and Shina Communities in the Periphery of Deosai National Park, Pakistan. Biology 2021, 10, 434. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050434

AMA Style

Abbas Z, Kousar S, Aziz MA, Pieroni A, Aldosari AA, Bussmann RW, Raza G, Abbasi AM. Comparative Assessment of Medicinal Plant Utilization among Balti and Shina Communities in the Periphery of Deosai National Park, Pakistan. Biology. 2021; 10(5):434. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050434

Chicago/Turabian Style

Abbas, Zaheer, Shazia Kousar, Muhammad A. Aziz, Andrea Pieroni, Ali A. Aldosari, Rainer W. Bussmann, Ghulam Raza, and Arshad M. Abbasi. 2021. "Comparative Assessment of Medicinal Plant Utilization among Balti and Shina Communities in the Periphery of Deosai National Park, Pakistan" Biology 10, no. 5: 434. https://doi.org/10.3390/biology10050434

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop