Ethno-Veterinary and Fodder Plants of Awah-Devi Region of Hamirpur District, Himachal Pradesh

Gulshan Kumar1 and Hem Chander2*

1,2 Department of Bio-Sciences, Career Point University, Hamirpur (H.P.), INDIA

* Correspondence: E-mail: hemchander78@gmail.com

(Received 12 Feb, 2018; Accepted 23 Feb, 2018; Published 26 Feb, 2018 )

ABSTRACT: The present study was conducted in Awah-Devi region of district Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh) to accumulate traditional knowledge regarding diversity and availability of fodder and ethno-veterinarian plant resources for livestock. Survey questionnaire, participatory observations and field visits were conducted to illicit information. Information on locality, mode of use and seasonal availability was recorded by interviewing the people of studied villages. Fifty four species of fodder plants including trees, shrubs and herbs have been recorded during the present investigation. Out of these, eleven fodder plant species (Acacia fistula, Brassica nigra, Brasssica compestris, Butea monosperma, Carissa opaca, Cissamplos pareira, Cynodon dactylon, Eclipta prostrata, Ficus palmate, Grewia optiva and Ziziphus mauritiana) are also used traditionally for treatment of various livestock ailments.

Keywords: Fodder plants; Awah-Devi; Himalayas; seasonal availability and Lean period.

INTRODUCTION: This indigenous knowledge has evolved independently in a variety of ecosystems in different parts of the world.1 However, due to changing perception of the user communities, commercialization and socio-economic transformation all over the world, there has been a general observation that the indigenous knowledge on sustainable use of resources has degraded severely, and needs to be documented before it is lost forever to posterity.2 Livestock is considered as one of the main sources of livelihood, which depend mostly on fodder. Fodder is extracted from forests, grasslands, agricultural land and agro-forestry practices. Fodder collected from the forest forms the largest component of biomass energy, which plays a significant role in improving the nutritional requirement of livestock. Unavailability of green forage during summer and winter has always remained a serious issue resulting into nutritional deficiency in milch animals. During the rainy season, the availability of fodder is in plenty, but there is fodder crisis in other seasons of the year as people are not aware of scientific conservation of grasses for lean periods. The shortage of green fodder has been estimated to be 30-35% in lean period in rain fed districts Bilaspur, Hamirpur and Una of Himachal Pradesh.3 Rain-fed agriculture is one of the serious constraints in district Hamirpur for sustainable agricultural production and climatic resilient agriculture.4

It was observed that more fodder species are needed to be planted to increase the fodder availability in the area during lean period (April to June and November to February). A few studies have been conducted on fodder resources in the North West Himalayas.5-14 About 279 species of fodder are known from the west Himalaya.15 The livestock owners of North West Himalayas have devised traditional methods of treating various ailments of animals.16-17 Whereas, there are studies on ethno-botany from other parts of Hamirpur district however there is no study on ethno-botany and ethno-veterinary of Awah-Devi region.18 Therefore, efforts have been made to enlist plant species which are commonly used for cattle growing and ethno-vetenarian practices in the area.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Awah-Devi is one of the hilly areas of Hamirpur district in Himachal Pradesh. The study was carried out in Chamobh, Bagwarra, Samirpur, Drobadi, Jaoh, Dhoh and Badhani villages of Awah-Devi region. The climate in the study area can be divided into three distinct seasons, cool and relatively dry winter (November to March), warm and dry summer (mid-April to June) and rainy (July to mid-September). The area is hilly covered by Shivalik range and the altitude varies from 450 meters -1,100 meters. Temperature ranges between 20C to 43C. The hilly slopes are mostly covered with Pinus roxburghii forest.19 Socio-economics of the study area is very diverse. It is inhabited by the people, who have their distinct way of life, language, tradition and cultural heritage. It offers a tremendous scope to study indigenous traditional knowledge. 20 Survey questionnaire, participatory observations and field visits were conducted throughout the year in 2017. The specimens were identified using regional floras and monographic works. 21-28

RESULT AND DISCUSSION: A total of fifty four plant species of fodder plants belonging to 26 families has been identified (Table 1). Among the families, maximum species were represented by Poaceae (10 spp.) followed by Leguminosae (5 spp.), Chenopodiaceae (4 spp.), Bignoniaceae (3 spp.), Brassicaceae (3spp.), Mimosaeae (3 spp.) and Moraceae (3spp. each) (Figure 1). Whereas, Amaranthaceae, Menispermaceae and Ranunculaceae families contribute two plant species each.

Table 1: Seasonal availability of fodder plants .

Sr. No.

Season

Family

Taxa

L. Name

Life Form

Part used

Nature

Status

Other uses

1.

Rainy

Aceraceae

Acer acuminatum Wallich ex D.Don

Tilkunj

T

Leaves

F

R

M

2.

Rainy

Amaranthaceae

Alternathera sessilis L.

Jaljambua

H

Stem, Leaves

F, D

R

M

3.

Winter

Amaranthaceae

Amaranthus viridis L.

Chalaai

H

Leaves, Fruits

F

Co

M

4.

Winter

Anacardiaceae

Pistacia integerrima Stewart.

Kakar singhi

T

Leaves

F

R

Hb, M, Tr, Fl

5.

Rainy

Apocyanaceae

Carissa opaca Stapf ex Haines

Garna

S

Leaves

F

Co

M, E, Fl

6.

Rainy

Asteraceae

Eclipta prostrata L.

Bhring raj

H

Whole plant

F, D

R

M

7.

Rainy

Berberidaceae

Berberis lycium Hort.ex K. Koch

Rasaunt

H

Leaves

F

Oc

M

8.

Winter

Bignoniaceae

Stereospermum chelonoides L.

Padal

S

Leaves, Stems

F, D

R

Misc, M

9.

Winter

Bignoniaceae

Oroxylum indicum (L.) Benth. Ex Kurz

Tat-palanga

H

Leaves

F

R

M, Fl

10.

Summer

Bignoniaceae

Oroxylum indicum Vent.

Arlu

H

Leaves

F, D

Co

M

11.

Winter

Boraginaceae

Cordia dichotoma G. Forst.

Lasura

T

Leaves, Buds

F, D

R

M, E, Fl

12.

Winter

Brassicaceae

Brasssica compestris L.

Saronh

H

Leanes, Seeds

F, D

Co

M, E

13.

Winter

Brassicaceae

Brassica napus L.

Toria

H

Leaves, Seeds

F, D

Co

M, E

14.

Winter

Brassicaceae

Brassica nigra (L.) Andrz.

Banarsi rai

H

Leaves, seeds

F, D

Oc

M, E

15.

Winter

Caesalpinaceae

Bauhinia variegata Linn

Karal

T

Leaves

F

Co

M, Hb, Tr, E

16.

Winter

Chenopodiaceae

Chenopodium album L.

Ghanaun

H

Green stem, leaves

F

Co

M

17.

Winter

Chenopodiaceae

Chenopodium ambrosioides Hance

Kah jawyan

H

Leaves

F, D

Co

M

18.

Winter

Chenopodiaceae

Chenopodium album L.

Bathu

H

Leaves, Stem

F

Co

M, E

19.

Winter

Chenopodiaceae

Chenopodium botrys L.

Kah sag

H

Leaves, Stem

F

Co

M

20.

Rainy

Commelinaceae

Commelina benghalensis L.

Rannipata

H

Leaves, Stem

F

Oc

M

21.

Rainy

Cyperaceae

Cyperus rotundus Hook. F.

moth

H

Whole plant

F

Oc

M

22.

Winter

Leguminosae

Pisum sativum L.

Mattar

S

Green stem, leaves

F

Oc

M, E

23.

Winter

Leguminosae

Butea monosperma Taub.

Dhak/Palah

T

Leaves

F

Oc

M, Misc, Fl

24.

Winter

Leguminosae

Cajanus cajan (L.) Huth

Arhar

S

Green stem, leaves

F

Oc

M, E

25.

Winter

Leguminosae

Cicer arietinum L.

Chhole

H

Green stem, leaves

F

Oc

M, E, R

26.

Winter

Leguminosae

Macrotyloma uniflorum (Lam.) Verdc.

Kolth

S

Green stem, leaves

F

Oc

M, E

27.

Rainy

Menispermaceae

Cissamplos pareira L.

Patindoo

H

Leaves, Fruits

F

Co

M, E

28.

Rainy

Menispermaceae

Cocculus hirsutus (L.) Diels

Tardya/Jal-Jamni

S

Green stem, leaves

F

R

M

29.

Winter

Mimosaeae

Acacia catechu (L. f.) Willd.

Khair

T

Leaves

F

Co

M, R, E

30.

winter

Mimosaeae

Acacia fistula Herbb. Ex Oliv.

Amaltash

T

Leaves

F

Oc

M, R, Fl

31.

Winter

Mimosaeae

Acacia nilotica H. Karst.

Kikar

T

Leaves

F

R

M, Hb, Fl

32.

Winter

Mimosaeae

Albizia lebbeck (L.) Benth.

Sarinh

T

Leaves

F

R

M, Hb, Fl

33.

Rainy

Moraceae

Ficus palmata Forssk.

Khasara

T

Leaves, Unripe Fruits

F

Co

Hb, M, E, R, Fl

34.

Rainy

Moraceae

Ficus racemosa Willd.

Tarayamblu

T

Leaves, Unripe Fruits

F

Co

M, E

35.

Rainy

Moraceae

Morus alba Bureau

Toot

T

Leaves, Unripe Fruits

F

Co

Hb, M, Tr, E, Fl

36.

Summer

Myrtaceae

Syzygium cumini (L.) Skeels

Jamun

T

Leaves, Unripe Fruits

F

Co

Hb, Misc, M, E

37.

Winter

Papilionaceae

Dalbergia sissoo Graham ex Wight & Arn.

Tahli

T

Leaves

F

Oc

M, Fl

38.

Winter

Poaceae

Dendrocalamus strictus Nees

Bainz

S

Leaves

F

Co

Hb, Misc, M

39.

Winter

Poaceae

Bambusa arundinacea Bonpl.

Magar

S

Leaves

F

R

M, Hb, Misc

40.

Winter

Poaceae

Bothriochloa pertusa (L.) A. Camus

Khatiambi

S

Leaves

F

R

M, Misc

41.

Winter

Poaceae

Brachiaria ramosa (L.) Stapf

Butrri

S

Leaves

F

R

M

42.

Summer

Poaceae

Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.

Dhrub

H

Whole plant

F, D

Co

M, R

43.

Winter

Poaceae

Neyraudia arundinacea (L.) Henrad

Sarkanda

H

Rhizome, Leaves

F, D

Co

M, E

44.

Rainy

Poaceae

Chrysopogon fulvus L.

Puthpatr

H

Leaves, Stem

D

Oc

M

45.

Rainy

Poaceae

Chrysopogon gryllus L.

Gajannkah

H

Leaves, Stem

F

Oc

M

46.

Winter

Poeaceae

Hordeum vulgare L.

Jau

H

F, D

Oc

M, E

47.

Winter

Pooaceae

Arundinaria falcata Nees

Bainzhi

S

Leaves

F

Co

M, Hb

48.

Rainy

Primulaceae

Anagallis arvensis L.

Jonkmri

H

Stem, Leaves

F, D

R

M

49.

Rainy

Ranunculaceae

Anemone vitifolia Buch-Ham. Ex DC.

Makorri

H

Leaves, Stem

F

Co

M

50.

Rainy

Ranunculaceae

Adonis aestivalis M. Bieb.

Ban-saunf

H

Leaves, stem

F

Oc

M

51.

Rainy

Rhamnaceae

Ziziphus mauritiana Adans.

Ber / Malah

S

Leaves

F

Co

M, E, Fl

52.

Rainy

Rosaceae

Prunus cerasoides D.Don.

Pajja

S

Leaves

F

Oc

M

53.

Winter

Tiliaceae

Grewia optiva J. R. Drumm. Ex Burret

Buel

T

Leaves

F

Co

Hb, Misc, M, Fl

54.

Winter

Ulmaceae

Celtis australis L.

Khirk

T

Leaves

F

Co

M, Hb, Fl

Abbreviations used: T=Tree, H=Herb, S=Shrub, F=Fresh, D=Dry, Hb=House based articles, Tr=Timber, E=Edible, R=Religious, Misc=Miscellaneous, M=Medicinal, Fl=Fuel, R=Rare, Oc=Occasional, Co=Common

img2

Figure 1: Number of fodder species contributed by different families.

CONCLUSION: Seasonal availability of fodder species varied from season to season. This variation in utilization pattern is due to the availability of species in respective seasons. Rainy season helps to produce plenty of green grasses and other herbaceous plants which are used as fodder. Out of 54 species, 3 species were used in summer, 32 in winter and 19 in rainy season. Acacia fistula, Arundinaria falcate,Grewia optiva,Bauhinia variegata, Butea monosperma, Albizia lebbeck and Morus alba are the major fodders, which are lopped during winter season. Dry fodders (crop residues and hay) are often fed to livestock in the winter season. Shrubs are chiefly browsed by goats and sheep, and leaves of Acacia catechu and Zizyphus mauritiana are fed to goats and sheeps. Among the recorded species, 41 species are used as fresh and 13 species are used both as fresh and dry. Eleven plant species are used for ethno-veterinarian practices by livestock owners of the study area (Table 2).

Table 2: List of fodder species used in Ethno-vetenarian practices.

S. No.

Taxa

Local Name

Material used

Ailment

Method of use

1.

Acacia fistula Herbb. Ex Oliv.

Amaltash

Beeds of Amaltash

Constipation

20-25 seeds of Amaltash are boiled in water and then lukewarm solution is given to the ailing animal.

2.

Brassica nigra (L.) Andrz.

Banarsi-rai

seeds

Abdominal pain

A decoction of Foenicfulum vilagara and crushed seeds of Brassica nigra are boiled together and fed to the ailing animal.

3.

Brasssica compestris L.

Sarson

Seed oil

Constipation

For curing constipation in large animal, 1/3-1/2 L mustard oil is given whereas it is reduced to 25-75 ml in young ones. Mustard oil is also given in case of Lantana poising.

4.

Butea monosperma Taub.

Dhak/Palah

Seed of Palah

Worm-infection and indigestion

Seeds of Palah with cumin seeds are used for treating worm infection and indigestion in cows and buffaloes.

5.

Carissa opaca Stapf ex Haines

Garna

Fruits

Constipation

For curing constipation in goats, fruits are crushed with desi ghee.

6.

Cissamplos pareira L

Patindoo

Fruits

Foot and Mouth Diseases (FMD)

Fruits are crushed, mixed concentrate and fed to the ailing animal.

7.

Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.

Dhrub

Herb

Worm infection, Pica and Constipation

The herb along with seeds of Mallotus philippinensis mixed with fermented milk. This causes cleaning of stomach and animal is cured.

8.

Eclipta prostrata L.

Bhring raj

Herb

Dysentary and Diarrhoea

Herb is ground well by adding water; solution is filtered through cloth and given orally to the diseased animal.

9.

Ficus palmata Forssk.

Khasra

Fig stick

Tongue swelling

Fig stick is heated and placed on affected portion of tongue.

10.

Grewia optiva J. R. Drumm. Ex Burret

Buel

Crushed bark of Buel

Worm-infection

Bark of Buel is crushed and given to the animals suffering from worm-infection.

11.

Ziziphus mauritiana Adans.

Ber/Braddi

Sarson oil

Foot and Mouth Diseases (FMD)

Roots of Zizyphus mauritiana, bark ofFlacourtia indica, Curcuma longa and Brassica campestris are boiled in water. The affected hoofs are washed with this solution. Mouth infection is cured with the application of sarson oil.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Authors thankful to the local populace of the study area for providing valuable indigenous informations.

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