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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-26

Treatment with aquatic plants by a Bagdi tribal healer of Rajbari District, Bangladesh

1 Department of Pharmacy, North South University, Bashundhara, Dhaka 1229, Bangladesh
2 Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Development Alternative, Dhanmondi, Dhaka 1209, Bangladesh

Correspondence Address:
Mohammed Rahmatullah
Department of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Development Alternative, House 78, Road 11A, Dhanmondi, Dhaka 1209
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Source of Support: Internal funding from University of Development Alternative., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0257-7941.134562

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Context: Tribal healers mainly use land plants in their medicinal formulations; use of aquatic plants has been scarcely reported. Aims: The aim of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal survey working with a Bagdi tribal healer of Rajbari District, Bangladesh. Settings and Design: The survey was carried out working with a Bagdi healer, who lived alone in the wetlands of Rajbari District and used primarily aquatic plants for treatment. Materials and Methods: Interview of the healer was carried out with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. Results: The Bagdi healer was observed to use seven different aquatic plant species coming from five plant families for treatment of ailments such as hemorrhoids, tonsillitis, heart disorders, burning sensations and pain in hands or legs, blurred vision, debility, sexual weakness in males, chronic dysentery, infertility in women, constipation, chronic leucorrhea, blackness and foul odor of menstrual blood, hair loss, graying of hair and to keep the head cool. One plant was used to treat what the healer mentioned as "evil eye", this refers to their belief in black-magic. Conclusions: This is the first reported instance of a Bagdi healer who primarily uses aquatic plants for treatment. Ethnomedicinal uses of a number of the plants used by the Bagdi healer have been reported for other places in India and Pakistan. Taken together, the various uses of the different plant species opens up scientific possibilities of new drug discoveries from the plants.

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