ETHNOMEDICINAL PLANTS USED BY THE IRULA TRIBALS OF PALAMALAI HILLS, SOUTHERN WESTERN GHATS OF COIMBATORE, TAMIL NADU, INDIA
- Ethnobotany, Irulas, Palamalai hills, Western Ghats.
The present study is aimed to document the ethnomedicinal plants used for various ailments by the Irula tribes of Palamalai hills, Southern Western Ghats of Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. A total number of 53 plants species belonging to 50 genera and 32 families used by them as herbal medicines to treat several
common diseases such as skin diseases, dysentery, cough and cold, cuts and wounds, etc. were documented. Among the plant species Herbs were the primary source of medicine (40%) followed by trees (28%), shrubs (15%) and climbers (17%) and leaves were mostly used (35%) for various illness followed by whole plant
(18%), root (13%), stem (7%), bark and rhizome (6%) and seeds and tubers (4%). Most of the medicine prescription by healers is decoction. Therefore, it is suggested to take-up pharmacological and phytochemical studies to evaluate the species to confirm the traditional knowledge of Irulas on medicinal plants.