Original_Article

Dermatologically relevant biomedicinal plants in Manipur, India

Bishurul Hafi1, Nandakishore Singh2, Bimola Devi3, Khumukcham Nongalleima4, Sanalembi Mutum2, Romita Bachaspatimayum2

1Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, IQRAA International Hospital and Research Institute, Kozhikkod, Kerala, India, 2Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India, 3Department of Chemistry, Imphal college, Manipur, India, 4Department of Biotechnolog, Institute of Bioresource and Sustainable Development, Imphal, India

Corresponding author: Dr. Bishurul Hafi


Submission: 29.11.2019; Acceptance: 10.01.2020

DOI: 10.7241/ourd.2020e.103

Cite this article: Hafi B, Singh N, Devi B, Nongalleima K, Mutum S, Bachaspatimayum R. Dermatologically relevant biomedicinal plants in Manipur, India. Our Dermatol Online. 2020;11(e):e103.1-e103.6.

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ABSTRACT

Background: Manipur is a border state of north-eastern India and is a part of Indo-Myanmar biodiversity hot spot. The current study was done to assess the different flora commonly used by the locals for the dermatological issues.

Methodology: All the available articles published between 2013 December to 2016 June were searched in 2 search engines (Pubmed and Google scholar) as well as 4 scientific journals (Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Journal of ethnopharmacology, Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany and Indian Journal of natural products) with keywords biomedicinal plants, Manipur and skin disorders. A total of 459 articles were analysed and only 19 articles were found relevant to the subject. All the plant and plant products traditionally used for skin infections were tabulated. It was cross checked by research scholars in Institute of Bio resource and Human Development, Imphal. Further, their usage was confirmed with local traditional healers.

Results: 31 plants were seen used as antifungal agents, 21 antibacterial agents, 16 anti scabitic agents, 6 anti pruritic medicines, 4 plants used to treat leukoderma, 7 anti acne agents, 4 products to use in eczema, 5 anti leprotic agents, 17 plant products to enhance wound healing with 6 plants specialised for burn wounds, 5 anti gonorrhoeal plants, 3 plants used in oral ulcers and 12 hair supplements. But none of the plants were studied scientifically.

Conclusion: True clinical trials as well as scientific laboratory based examinations to decipher the contents of the herbs were not carried out effectively yet.

Key words: Medicinal plants; Traditional medicine; Northeast


INTRODUCTION

Manipur is a border state of north-eastern India situated between 23.830N and 25.680N latitude and 93.03oE and 94.78oE longitude. It shares border with Myanmar and is a part of Indo-Myanmar biodiversity hot spot. It comprises 1820 sq.km of flat valley surrounded by 20507sq.km of hill territory and forms a part of the Himalayan mountain system. Meitei (Manipuri) are the majority community who along with Meitei pangal (Manipuri Muslim) inhabit the valley region whereas the hilly areas are inhabited by 30 different tribes. Manipur is known for its ecologically distinctive and rich biodiversity, having forest in 60% of its total land. More importantly most of the traditional knowledge are still preserved and actively used in daily life for healing in natural ways. The current study was done to assess the different flora commonly used by locals for the dermatological problems.

METHODOLOGY

All the available articles published between 2013 December to 2016 June were searched in two search engines (Pubmedand Google scholar) as well as four scientific journals (Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Journal of Economic and Taxonomic Botany and Indian Journal of natural products) with keywords biomedicinal plants, Manipur and skin disorders. A total of 459 articles were analysed and only 19 articles were found relevant to the subject. All the plant and plant products traditionally used for different dermatological conditions were tabulated. It was cross checked by research scholars in the Institute of Bioresources and Human Development, Imphal. Further, their usage was confirmed with local traditional healers (maibas and maibis) by open end interview technique.

RESULTS

We could find out 31 plants used as antifungal agents, 21 antibacterial agents, 16 anti scabitic agents, 5 anti leprotic agents, 5 anti gonorrhoeal plants (Table 1), 6 anti pruritic medicines (Table 2), 4 plants used to treat leukoderma (Table 3), 7 anti acne agents (Table 4), 4 products to use in eczema, 1 antipsoriatic agent (Table 5), 17 plant products to enhance wound healing with 6 plants specialised for burn wounds, 3 plants used in oral ulcers (Table 6), 1 as emollient, 12 hair supplements and 35 plants extracts used to prepare natural herbal shampoo (Table 7).

Table 1: Plants used in infections [110]
Table 2: Plants used for pruritus [1,3,4,6]
Table 3: Plants used for leukoderma [3,7,10]
Table 4: Plants used for acnie [1,2,7,10]
Table 5: Plants used for papulosquamous disorders [1,3,5,7]                  
Table 6: Plants used for wound care [37,10,11]
Table 7: Plants used for skin and hair care [46,9,1219]

DISCUSSION

65-80% of world’s population usecomplementaryand alternative medicines (CAM) as treatment modality. Prevalence is higher among developing countries and rising in developed ones[1]. These medicinal systems are heavily dependent on various plant species and plant based products. Some species are endemic and are becoming increasingly rare and at the verge of extinction. Hundreds of plant products were in use from time immemorial to treat dermatological conditions (Figs. 1 – 2).

Figure 1: Scientific name- Tegeteserecta (Asteraceae), Vernacular name- Sanareiathonba, leaves are used in herbal shampoo preparation.
Figure 2: Scientific name- Allium odorum (Liliaceae), vernacular name- Maroinakupi, whole plant is used as antibacterial agent.

In a detailed study among Lois tribes Andro village, 42 plant species were found to be actively used for skin disorders. The 42 plant species belonged to 39 genera which are distributed over 22 families. Plant parts used and mode of usage has been described in detail [1].

Inaocha et al has tabulated the collective list of wild biomedicinal plants used in tribes of the hills of Manipur. The investigation reported 100 species of 41 families with 63 aromatic and 37 non-aromatic plants. They traced five critically endangered plants, still growing wild and over exploited for medicinal and commercial purposes [4].

Another study by Leishangthem et al described medicinal values of 50 plants commonly seen in Imphal East district. Out of it nine are widely used for dermatological conditions. It was a questionnaire based study conducted in different remote villages [5].

Study by Rita N et al explained an ancient cosmetic and strengthening method of tooth among Maring tribes. They used fruit of Garcinia pedunculata, locally known as Heirou, was cut into thin slices and roasted in fire. Some small reddish black coloured fruit of Melastomamalabathricum, locally known as Yachubi was also roasted. Both the roasted fruit are taken orally and kept inside the mouth avoiding swallowing of the same and at the same time the teeth are exposed to the heat of burning charcoal. This process of exposure to heat is allowed for few minutes until the teeth turns into blackish colour [6].

Ranibaladevi et al listed 32 plant species belonging to 25 families used for dermatological issues among Paite tribe of Manipur. Information was collected by interviewing local traditional healers and the modes of usage with different plants are effectively addressed [7].

Meitei (Manipuri) community inhabiting in the valley regions have the traditional knowledge of using natural herbal shampoo called “Chinghi” from non historical time itself to treat different ailments of hair like anti-ageing of the hair, black and shininess of the hair [12]. It is prepared from the local rice water ‘Chinghi’ along with many herbs. In this rice water, natural herbs and leaves of fruit trees as mentioned in the Table 1 are added and boiled properly. After the ingredients are properly boiled, it is cooled down and sieved using a muslin cloth to remove the impurities and the finally collected clear liquid is used as herbal shampoo. After using the herbal shampoo for washing the hair, the hair is washed properly and no oil is needed to apply on the hair afterwards. It is best to use it within 2-3 days after preparation. The fermented lime is also used as natural herbal shampoo by the Meitei community particularly as anti-ageing for the hair preventing grayness of the hair. It is prepared from the ripe lime locally called “Champra”. First, it is washed properly with the water then the juice is extracted after removing the seeds. Then the fruit along with the peel is cut into small pieces and kept in air tight plastic bottle or glass bottle under the room temperature in dark place. The fermentation process is completed within 2 weeks but the bottle should not be opened until it is completely fermented. After the fermentation is completed, it is diluted in water (1 teaspoon in ½ liter of water) and used as natural herbal shampoo after sieving with muslin cloth locally called “Phadi”. Herbal hair lotion from the crushed amla fruit (Emblicaofficinalis) and fresh lime (Citrus aurantifolia) peel which was soaked for overnight was also used as hair lotion to wash the hair after washing with artificial shampoo. Then it is washed with fresh water again. Such types of hair lotion give a cool effect to the head and softness of hair and also prevent grayness of hair.

CONCLUSION

Unfortunately, absence of proper documentation of the traditional knowledge leads to its less understanding and is likely to be lost when it is not passed on to the next generation.Most of the systematic studies in this topic focus only on epidemiological cross sectional data analysis. True clinical trials as well as scientific laboratory based examinations to decipher the contents of the herbs were not carried out effectively. Hence, along with the basic preservation of the traditional knowledge, it is very important to find out the true scientific facts behind its efficacy, so that proper dosing and route of administration can be formulated. The medicines may then be made available beyond this region, which is very much needed in the current era of emerging resistance to common drugs.

REFERENCES

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Notes

Source of Support: Nil.

Conflict of Interest: None declared.

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