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J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2013 Jan 2;9:1. doi: 10.1186/1746-4269-9-1.

Ecological status and traditional knowledge of medicinal plants in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary of Garhwal Himalaya, India.

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Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, HNB, Garhwal University, Srinagar-Garhwal, Uttarakhand 249161, India.



Himalayan forests are the most important source of medicinal plants and with useful species for the local people. Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWLS) is situated in the interior part of the Garhwal Himalayan region. The presented study was carried out in Madhmeshwar area of KWLS for the ecological status of medicinal plants and further focused on the ethnomedicinal uses of these plants in the study area.


Ecological information about ethnomedicinal plants were collected using random quadrats in a random sampling technique along an altitudinal gradient in the KWLS. Information on medicinal properties of plants encountered in the present study was generated by questionnaire survey and was also compared with relevant literature.


A total of 152 medicinally important plant species were reported, in which 103 were found herbs, 32 shrubs and 17 were tree species which represented 123 genera of 61 families. A total of 18 plant species fell into the rare, endangered (critically endangered) and vulnerable status categories.


The present study documented the traditional uses of medicinal plants, their ecological status and importance of these plants in the largest protected area of Garhwal Himalaya. This study can serve as baseline information on medicinal plants and could be helpful to further strengthen the conservation of this important resource.

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