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Aims: To document, highlight and provide baseline data to preserving traditional uses of sand dune based medicinal plant species.
Place and Duration of Study: Different villages of coastal Purba Medinipur district under West Bengal state in India, between March 2016 to April 2018.
Methodology: The ethnobotanical information was collected through semi-structured interviews and key informant discussion. The data was recorded in a data sheet with the names of the plant species, families, vernacular names, voucher number of plant specimens, habits, life span, flowering and fruiting seasons, Raunkiaer's life form and sub type, IUCN status, plant part (s) used, mode of administration, uses(s), fidelity level (FL) and use value (UV). Data were analyzed using informant consensus factors (ICF), UV and FL for each medicinal plant species used to cure various ailments.
Results: We documented 130 plant species showing “thero-chamaephytic” phytoclimate belonging to 49 families and 110 genera used for treating 21 human ailments, most of which were herbs. Most remedies were prepared in the form of decoction and used orally. The leaves were most frequently used plant parts. Dental ailments had the highest ICF 0.97, whereas analgesic uses had the lowest 0.5 ICF. Ochthochloa compressa had the highest FL (96.81%) being used for skin and wound healing and Acanthus volubilis had the lowest (3.33%) for the digestive and respiratory disorder.
Conclusions: ICF values indicated that there was high agreement in the use of plants associated with dental problems. FL or UV values indicated the more preferred plant species used in study areas. This preferred plant species might be prioritized for conservation and subjected to further studies related to the potential for future. Most of the medicinal plants of the region were collected in the wild and were often harvested for trade. Sustainable harvesting methods and domestication of the highly traded species were thus needed in the study areas.