Complementary and Alternative Medicines use for Gastro-Intestinal Disorders
In today’s medicine as many as one third to approximately half of all drugs available in the market are derived from plant or natural sources. This article deals with the use of quantitative ethno-botany for assessing potential and conservation priorities of the Indian Thar Desert Medicinal plants that are supposed to regulate the various disorders related with Gastro-Intestinal (GI) system. The study revealed that at least 90 plants of the region are so far documented for 18 different gastro-intestinal disorders and 11 other body systems. Relative Importance Value (RIV) of these 90 plants ranges from 90 to 13.3. Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S test) of frequency distribution revealed that out of these 90 plants some plants are highly useful with a broader RIV value while some plants are highly specific for a particular ailment. Agglomerative Hierarchical Clustering (AHC) of plants for their use in 11 different body systems has grouped them into 3 clusters, while Principal Component Analysis (PCA) highlights Tamarindus indica for their maximum usage for the diseases related with GI system. The higher usage of Abutilon indicum, Sphaernthus indicus, Abrus precatorious, Solanum surattense, Sida codifolia, Clerodendrum phlomoides, Fumaria indica, Majorana hortensis make them more vulnerable to degradation and requiring urgent conservation measures, including standardization of agro-techniques for their incorporation in cropping system to counter indiscriminate wild harvesting. Such multivariate analyses can provides a basic groundwork for preparation of multi-herb combination.