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AN ATLAS OF MEDICINAL PLANTS IN GANDHAMARDAN

Gandhamardan Hills

The biodiversity hotspot of Western Odisha, The Gandhamardan, is a natural heritage adorned with galaxy of renewable and non-renewable wealth through ages. The diverse vegetation resources, hilly topography, vast geologic and soil resources and excellent water system make the region wealthy and notable. It exhibits a diverse vegetation resources which offer most congenial environment for the growth of plants of phytogeographic, economic and medicinal importance. The occurrence of large number of species in such a smal1 area and richness of flora has rendered the region a botanical treasure. From botanical point of view, this region is of phytogeographical importance that the hill top possesses the flora of both Himalayan/north Indian and Nilgiri South Indian elements and also shows affinities towards both the regions. Thus, the hill range is considered to serve as a bridge for migration of species from lower Himalayas to southwards or in some cases the vice versa. The database in its present form stores information of 560 species of medicinal plants. These plant species were distributed over 577 genera belonging to 140 families. Among the angiosperms, 672 species are dicotyledons and 216 species are monocotyledons. The species of dicotyledons were distributed in 431 genera and 104 families and monocotyledons were distributed under genera belonging to 19 families.

Location Map of Gandhamardan Hills in Odisha

Ethnopharmacological Importance

The tribals living in these hills have very intimate relationship with the plants of their surroundings. They possess fairly good knowledge about various uses of plants. By the method of trial and error, over a number of generations and centuries-old experience in association with wild plants, they have discovered what plants are suitable to them for food, fibre, dye and especially for medicines. Informations on many aspects of plant usage is still endemic among tribal socities. Different traditions, needs and culture of various tribes provid us new sources of herbal drugs, edible plants, aromatic and poisonous plants and other aspects of plant utilisations. The denotion such as K, G, B, M, S and O are given to represent the local names in different tribal dialects such as Kandha, Gondo, Binjhal, Mirdha, Saura and Oriya respectively. For each taxo, part of the plant used and the mode of administration have been provided.