Original Articles: 2015 Vol: 7 Issue: 6
Medicinal plants used by a Tonchongya tribal community at Taknatala village in Rangamati District, Bangladesh
The Tonchongyas are a small tribal community who reside in scattered areas of Rangamati, Bandarban, Cox’s Bazar and Khagrachaari Districts in the southeastern part of Bangladesh. The scattered communities have their own tribal healers whose uses of medicinal plants for treatment of various diseases vary considerably. The objective of the present study was to document the ethnomedicinal practices of Tonchongya healers of the tribe living in Taktanala village in Rangamati District. Ethnomedicinal information was obtained from the healers with the help of a semi-structured questionnaire and the guided field-walk method. The three healers of the tribal community were observed to use a total of 34 medicinal plants distributed into 23 families in their treatment of various diseases, which included gastrointestinal disorders, helminthiasis, pain, vomiting, cuts and wounds, malaria, urinary problems, rheumatism, respiratory tract disorders, oral lesions, skin diseases, hair loss, physical weakness, anemia, bone fracture, pox, jaundice, burning sensations in the chest and vaginal infections. The tribal medicinal knowledge of the Tonchongyas can prove useful in the discovery of novel drugs from the plants since most of these plants have been studied only scarcely by scientists.