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Abstract Detail

Economic Botany Section

Shinwari, Zabta K. [1], Schori, Melanie [2].

Role of Indigenous Knowledge in Wealth Generation and Poverty Reduction: A Case Study from Pakistan.

There is a growing trend in using traditional knowledge to reduce poverty by using wild herbs both as vegetables and medicine, saving the meager resources of local communities. For example, Pakistan is rich in wild vegetable resources. The longevity enjoyed by certain communities in Pakistan and Afghanistan tribal areas is correlated with the utilization of a number of wild vegetables with high nutritional values comparable to those of cultivated vegetables. The number of species used as wild vegetables is estimated to be more than 800, some of which may also be used to treat certain diseases. There are several weed species that are considered good vegetables by the tribal communities. This figure is even greater than some African countries. The poorest people will remain the most dependent on wild plant resources, hence the poorest people stand the most to gain if plant resources are managed in sustainable ways.Indigenous communities of Pakistan play a vital role in conservation of medicinal plants. Knowingly or unknowingly, people have evolved strategies for conservation in the form of rituals, beliefs and taboos. Various traditional harvesting methods described in one of the studies suggest that they were efficient to sustainably utilize the natural resources. Our efforts are towards not only providing food security, nutrition and health care to the tribal people, but also to record and disseminate local botanical knowledge and wisdom.Here we present a case study of an herbal product called "Joshanda", which is based on indigenous knowledge of people living in Hindu-kush, Himalayas. Joshanda is the single most popular product of the largest herbal manufacturer (Qarshi) in Pakistan. Scientific testing confirmed that this product is very effective. Now, various forms of this product are available not only in Pakistan but internationally. This herbal product is effective for cough, bronchitis and asthma and has been assayed for its efficacy against pulmonary infections. We also checked the heavy metal content in this product and have suggested ways to improve the product to the manufacturer.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - Quaid-i-Azam University, Department of Biotechnology, Islamabad, Pakistan
2 - Ohio University, Department of Environmental & Plant Biology, Molecular & Cellular Biology Program, 315 Porter Hall, Athens, OH, 45701, USA

Medicinal plants

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 4
Location: Union C/Hyatt
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 10:00 AM
Number: 4006
Abstract ID:115

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