An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants of Chungtia village, Nagaland, India

Meyanungsang Kichu, Teresa Malewska, Kaisarun Akter, Imchawati Imchen, David Harrington, James Kohen, Subramanyam R. Vemulpad, Joanne F. Jamie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnopharmacological relevance Traditional medicinal plant knowledge is an integral and very important part of Indigenous cultures worldwide. For many communities there is a great urgency in recording this knowledge in written form. This is the first ethnobotanical report of medicinal plant knowledge of the Nagaland Ao tribe of Chungtia village and is an important step in the preservation of this culturally and medicinally significant knowledge. Aim of the study The aim of the presented work was to perform an ethnobotanical study on plants of medicinal and other significance to the Chungtia villagers of Nagaland, North East India. Materials and methods Ethnobotanical data were collected from traditional practitioners and Elders of Chungtia village by means of open group discussions and semi-structured interviews of groups and individuals using questionnaires. The interviews were also recorded in an audio format in the local Mongsen language. The gathered ethnobotanical knowledge was compared with reported ethnobotanical usages worldwide and reported biological properties and phytochemical studies relevant to the Chungtia villagers' applications. Results A total of 135 plant species of 69 families and 123 genera were recorded for medicinal and household maintenance applications. Those applications were grouped into 13 categories based on Chungtia villagers' classification system. The families most represented were Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae and Solanaceae. The most reported uses were for gastrointestinal problems, followed by dermatological problems. The most commonly used plant parts were leaves, followed by fruits and stems and they were most commonly administered as a paste, decoction, infusion, juice or poultice, or taken orally with no preparation. There was strong agreement among the informants as to the usages of the plants (informant consensus factor 0.80-0.91). The use value of 6 for Cassia floribunda, Dolichos lablab, Hedyotis scandens, Phyllanthus urinaria and Rhus javanica indicated these are the most important species. Forty four of the 135 plants had a fidelity level of 100%. Conclusion This study has helped to document and preserve in written format important traditional plant knowledge of 135 plants of the Chungtia villagers, assisting them in the continued preservation of their cultural values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2015


  • Ao tribe
  • Biodiversity
  • Chemical constituents
  • Ethical engagement
  • Ethnopharmacology
  • Traditional knowledge


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