Wild Edible Plants Consumed by Rural Communities in District Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh, India

Author(s): Sanjeev Kumar

Plants are gifts of God for mankind and are the basis of life on earth. The tradition of consuming wild plants as a source of food still persists in rural communities, despite their primary reliance on agriculture and ani-mal husbandry. District Bilaspur lies between 31° 12' 30" and 31° 35' 45" N latitude and between 76° 23' 45" and 76° 55' 40" E longitude with an altitude ranging from 300 -1930 meter in Shivalik hills of the Himalayas in the ba-sin of river satluj. A total of 103 species of wild edible plants belonging to 76 genera and 49 families have been re-corded in district Bilaspur. Among the total studied plants, maximum species were used as fruit(40.77%) followed by leaf (17.47%), flower (6.79%), seed (5.82%), shoot (5.82%), root (2.91%), gum (1.94%), bulb (0.97%), leaf and shoot (4.85%), leaf and fruit (3.88%), fruit and flower (1.94%), fruit and stipule, flower and seed, leaf and seed, leaf andbark, leaf and root, wood and gum (0.97% each); flower, fruit and shoot (.97%) were consumed by the inhabi-tants of the area. According to mode of utilization, plants were eaten as raw, cooked pot-herb “saag/bhuju” and vegetable, pickle, beverages “chatni”, “pakoda”, “rayata”, flavour, additive and special dishes like “be-hadi/patrodu/bharuni/panjeeri”. It is evident from the present study that traditional knowledge of wild edible plants is vanishing among modern generations of district Bilaspur, and is at the verge of erosion. So there is an urgent need to recognize, conserve and comprehensively study these wild plants for phytochemical analysis and neutraceuticalpotential.


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