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Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2007 Feb;13(1):38-45. Epub 2006 Nov 17.

Herbal care for reproductive health: ethno medicobotany from Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka, India.

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Regional Medical Research Centre (ICMR), Nehru Nagar, Belgaum 590 010, Karnataka, India.


Traditional herbal medicine is predominantly practiced by the rural people of India, especially remote areas such as the Uttara Kannada District in Western Ghats of Karnataka. Local traditional healers play an important role in the management of reproductive health problems of the native population due to socio-economical and geographical factors. In the present study, 92 traditional medicine practitioners/healers from various regions of Uttara Kannada district were interviewed to collect information on the use of herbal treatments for a range of female and male reproductive disorders. Information was also collected on the method of preparation, dose and duration along with the botanical names, family and local names of the medicinal plants. The plants were then collected and identified. A total of 18 formulations from 25 plant species belonging to 17 families were identified, which are commonly used to treat 12 different reproductive ailments. This study identifies herbal remedies not previously documented, that are used by indigenous people in the treatment of reproductive disorders. Additionally, the paper highlights the need to retain and explore the rich biodiversity associated with Indian rain forests that may result in the discovery of new medical treatments. Finally, this paper notes the continuing reliance on herbal medicines and healing traditions by local people in remote areas. Understanding and working with local healers and tribes provides a unique opportunity to learn about the use of potentially new herbal and plant medications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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