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  - 63 - Assam University Journal of Science & Technology :ISSN 0975-2773Biological and Environmental SciencesVol. 7 Number I63-66, 2011       A       S       S      A     M      U    N    I   V  E  R S I  T   Y       S    I       L     C      H       A   R Plants Used by Meitei Community of Manipur for the Treatment of Diabetes  A. Premila Devi Department of Botany, Standard College, Imphal – 795 001 Corresponding author email : Abstract The paper deals with plant based folk practices used by the Meitei Community of Manipur used for thetreatment of diabetes. Survey of locally available antidiabetic plants of Manipur was done for one year (January to December, 2009). Meiteis have been using herbal remedies as an alternative to modern medical facilities available in the state. Altogether 51 plant species were recorded. Proper documentation and  preservation of these practices are essential. Keywords :  Diabetes, herbal remedies, Meitei Community, Manipur Introduction Diabetes mellitus, which is considered as a lifelong disorder by modern medical science, isbecoming a common disease in all parts of theworld. Today about 200 million people worldwidehave diabetes, and this number is increasing bymore than 20 million each year (Walker andRodgers, 2004). It is characterized byhyperglycaemia (high level of serum glucose) dueto insulin deficiency. There are two type of diabetes – Type I and Type II, the later being themost common.Type I diabetes is “Insulin Dependent DiabetesMellitus (IDDM)” which is previously known as“Juvenile onset diabetes”. It affects fewer than 1in 5 people with diabetes and usually appearsduring childhood, teenage years or early adulthood.It is treated with insulin, given by injection or via apump (Walker and Rodgers, 2004).Type II diabetes is “Non Insulin DependentDiabetes Mellitus (NIDDM)” which is previouslyknown as “Maturity onset diabetes”. It affects 4in 5 people with diabetes and tends to developafter the age of 40. The problem of drugintolerance, hypersensitivity and resistance toinsulin makes it all the most important to searchfor safe, effective and cheaper remedies. In theIndian system of Ayurvedic medicine, many plantsare used as antidiabetics. In practice, it is beingincreasingly recognized to be an alternative formof modern medicine. World Health Organisation(WHO) has also recommended that this practiceshould be encouraged, specially in countries whereaccess to modern treatment of  Diabetes mellitus is not adequate (WHO, 1980).Manipur, being a part of Indo-Myanmar Hot spotsof bio-diversity (Myers et al.  , 2000), possessesrich floral diversity. Among the variouscommunities of Manipur,  Meiteis  have their ownculture and tradition. They have been usingvarious plant species for different purposes. Thepresent paper reports some of the plant speciesused by Meitei community in treatment of diabetes. Materials and Methods Survey of antidiabetic plants was done for a periodof one year (January to December, 2009). Detailinformations regarding the plant, part of the plantused etc. were extracted consulting localinformers or maibas. The data were collected in  - 64 - a comprehensive questionnaire format. It wasagain confirmed by direct interaction with diabeticpatients who use these plants. Small herbs werecollected as a whole whereas twigs were collectedin case of climbers, shrubs and trees. Thecollected plant specimens were identified basedon published literatures viz. Hooker (1872-1897),Kanjilal et al.,   (1934 – 1940), Deb (1981 & 1983),Bor (1940), Sinha (1987) and Joshi (2000) andcorrect nomenclature were given to thespecimens. Results and Discussion Altogether 51 plant species were collected fromdifferent districts of Manipur. These plants werefound to be commonly used by the MeiteiCommunity of Manipur for treatment of diabetesin their own traditional method. Latin name, family,local name (Manipuri), kind of plant and part of the plant used for every plant species were listedin Table 1. These plants were distributed across33 families of which Moraceae tops the listfollowed by Cucurbitaceae, Rutaceae,Euphorbiaceae, Acanthaceae, Cyperaceae etc.Among the plant parts used, leaf ranked thehighest followed by fruit, bark, seed, root, wholeplant, flower, twigs, rhizome, stem, blub, nut, resinand bean. People of Meitei community of Manipurhas been using these plants as an alternative of modern medicines for the treatment of diabetes.Local informers or maibas possess rich traditionalknowledge based on locally available resources/ plants for the management of many diseases ordisorders including diabetes. Documentatin of these indigenous traditional knowledge is neededfor future generations. Table 1 : Plants used in treatment of diabetes Sl.Plant nameFamilyLocal nameKind ofParts usedNo.plant1  Adhatoda vasica  NeesAcanthaceaeNongmangkhaShrubLeaf, flower, rootangouba2  Aegle marmelos RutaceaeHeirikhagokTreeLeaf Correaex. Roxb.3  Allium sativum  Linn.AlocasiaChanamHerbBulb4  Alocasia indica  Roxb.AraceaeHong-ngooHerbRhizome5  Annanas comosus  Linn.BromeliaceaeKeehomStemless herbWhole plant6  Andrographis paniculata AcanthaceaeBhubatiHerbWhole plantWall ex. Nees7 Passiflora edulis  SimsPassifloraceaeSitaphalClimberLeaf 8  Areca Catechu  Linn.ArecaceaeKwaTall palmNut9  Artocarpus heterophylus .MoraceaeTheibongTreeLeaf  Lank 10  Azadiracta indica  A. JussMeiliaceaeNeemTreeLeaf and seeds11.  Benincasa hispida CucurbitaceaeTorbotClimberFruitThomb. Cogn.12  Bombax ceiba  Linn.BombaceaeTerapambeeTreeFlower, fuit, bark 13  Brucia javanica  Linn.SimaroubaceaeHeiningTreeFruit, seed14 Canna indica  Linn.CannaceaeLaphuritRhizomatousLeaf, aerial partsherb15 Cannabis sativa  Linn.CannabinaceaeGunjaShrubLeaf, flower,resins16 Carica papaya  Linn.CaricaceaeAwathabiTreeFruit17 Cassia auriculata  Linn.CaesalpinaceaeChahuiTreeFlower, Stem,Bark, Seed Plants Used by Meitei Community of Manipur...........  - 65 -Sl.Plant nameFamilyLocal nameKind ofParts usedNo.plant18 Cassia fistula  Linn.CaesalpinaceaeChuchu ramieShrubBark, Seed19 Cinnamomum tamala LauraceaeTejpatTreeStem,Nees & EbernBark, Root20 Citrus aurantifolia  LinnRutaceaeChampraTreeFruit21 Cinnamomum zeylanicum LauraceaeUshingsaTreeBark, Root,BreynFlower, Fruit22 Citrullus vulgaris  Schrad.CucurbitaceaeTurbuzClimberFruit23 Citrus reticulata  BlancoRutaceaeKomlaTreeFruit and Root24 Coix lacrymajobi Linn.PoaceaeChaning AngoubaShrubRoot25 Curcuma longa Linn.ZingiberaceaeYaingangHerbLeaf, Rhizome26 Cynodon dactylon Pers.PoaceaeTingthouGrassWhole plant27 Cyperus esculentus  Linn.CyperaceaeKaothumHerbRhizome28 Cyperus rotundus Linn.CyperaceaeSembang KaothumHerbWhole plantwith rhizome29  Dioscorea alata  LinnDioscoreaeceaeHaClimberRhizome30  Equisetum debile Roxb.EquisetaceaeLai UtongHerbWhole plant31 Ficus bengalensis  Linn.MoraceaeKhongnang TaruTreeBark 32 Ficus glomerata Roxb.MoraceaeHeibongTreeFruit33 Ficus hispida Linn.MoraceaeAshiheibongTreeFruit34 Glycine max MerrillPapilionaceaeNunghawaiCreeperBean35  Imperata cylindrical  LinnPoaceaeEe NakuppiGrassRoots36  Ipomoea aquatica  ForskConvolvulaceaeKolamniHerbLeaf, twigs37  Jatropha curcas  LinnEuphorbiaceaeAwa-KegeLarge shrubLeaf, twigsor small tree38  Lemanea australis AlkinsRhodophyceaeNungshamAlgaWhole plant39  Mangifera indica  Linn.AnacardiaceaeHeinouTreeTender leaves40  Momordica charantia  Linn.CucurbitaceaeKarot akhabiClimberLeaf, fruit41  Nyctanthes arbortristis Linn.OleaceaeSingareiHerbLeaf 42  Musa paradisiaca Linn.MusaceaeLaphuHerbFlower, unripefruits43 Oxalis corniculata Linn.BignoniaceaeYensilHerbLeaf 44 Parkia roxburghii G. DonMimosaceaeYongchakTreeBark 45 Phyllanthus niruri  Linn.EuphorbiaceaeChakpa HeikruHerbWhole plantMaan46 Plumbago rosea Linn.PlumbaginaceaeKengoiHerbStem47 Syzygium cumini Linn.MyrtaceaeJamTreeBark, Fruit, Seed48 Tinospora cordifolia Willd.MenispermaceaeNinghoukhongliClimberLeaf, Bark 49 Trichosanthus dioica Roxb.CucurbitaceaeKhongdrumClimberFruit,AshangbaRoot50 Trigonella foenum graecum FabaceaeMetheeHerbLeaf and SeedLinn.51  Zanthoxylum alatum Roxb.RutaceaeMukthrubiTreeRoot Plants Used by Meitei Community of Manipur...........  - 66 - References Bor, N.L. (1940). Flora of Assam.  Vol. 5 (Gramineae).Govt. of Assam (Shillong).Deb, D.B. (1981). Flora of Tripura State.  Vol. 1. Todayand tomorrow Printer and Publisher, New Delhi.Deb, D.B. (1983). Flora of Tripura State  Vol. II. Todayand tomorrow Printers and Publishers, New Delhi.Hooker, J.D. (1872 – 1898). The Flora of British India ,Vol. 1-7, LondonJoshi, S. G. (2000).  Medicinal Plants.  Oxford and IBHPublishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi.Kanjilal, U.N.; Kanjilal, P.C.; Das, A. and Bor, N.L. (1934– 1940). Flora of Assam. Vol. 1 – 4 (Govt. of Assam,Shillong).Myers, N., Mittermeier, R.A., Mittermeier, C.G., daFonseca, G.A. and Kent, J. (2000). Biodiversityhotspots for conservation priorities.  Nature . 403 : 853– 856.Sinha, S.C. (1987). Ethnobotanical Study of Manipur.Ph.D. Thesis, Manipur University.Walker, R. and Rodgers, J. (2004).  Diabetes – A practical guide to managing your health . DorlingKindersley Ltd. London.WHO (1980). The WHO Expert Committee on  Diabetesmellitus . Second Report, Technical Report Series.WHO, Geneva pp. 646. Plants Used by Meitei Community of Manipur...........

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