Indian tribe’s and villager’s health and habits: Popularity of apocynaceae plants as medicine

Nirmala Devi


The aim of this review is to highlight the folkloric uses of Apocynaceae plants among the ethnic and tribal communities of India. India is rich in its cultural heritage. All climatic zones in Indian subcontinent make it a hub of varied Flora. Around 54 plant species of the Apocynaceae family works as medicine among the tribes (scheduled caste - 16.6%, scheduled castes - 8.6%) and villagers as home remedy or as a therapy provided by the local vaids. The presence of cardiac glycosides and alkaloids, iridoids, and terpenoids make Apocynaceae family as the fifth valuable medicinal plant family in Angiosperms. Folk medicinal uses of the taxonomically identified Apocynaceae plants can be potential source of lead compounds or novel drugs for the treatment of wide range of diseases/problems such as antidote to poisonous bite, malaria, cancer, diabetes, liver diseases, skin problems, gynaecological problems, and reproductive tract infections. This trend is an emerging discipline called reverse pharmacology approach, i.e., from “laboratory to clinic” to “clinics to laboratories”.

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