Research Highlight

Medicinal plants in BHU mapped

Subhra Priyadarshini

doi:10.1038/nindia.2007.31 Published online 9 November 2007

Researchers have comprehensively mapped the traditional use of 72 plant species in and around the campus of Banares Hindu University, Varanasi, one of the oldest cities in the world and the most important Hindu pilgrimage centre. The study has also recorded the medicinal use of these species by the local inhabitants1.

Local communities of Banares frequently collect these plants from the city and adjacent areas for treatment of various diseases. Despite dense urbanization, medicinal plants still play a key role in the health care of the local population. Plants commonly used as traditional medicines in rural areas were still found in the city during the study.

"Ethno-medicinal studies have offered immense scope and opportunities for the development of new drugs. The study found that the plants recorded from the site were being used in at least 22 types of ailments," says lead researcher Munesh Kumar.

The researchers recorded medicinal use of plants in diseases such as gonorrhea, leprosy, paralysis, piles, stomach complaints, ulcer, arthritis, cholera, diabetes liver complaints, syphilis, throat infections urine complaints, snake bite, body swelling, tumor, malaria, menstrual complaints, rheumatic, pulmonary tuberculosis, dog bite, hydrophobia and lumbago.

The authors of this work are from: National Academic Counselor, Environment, IGNOU Centre, Mizoram Aizawl, India; Department of Forestry, HNB, Garhwal University, Srinagar Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India; Department of Geography and the Environment, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A3100, Austin, TX, USA.


  1. Verma, A. al. Medicinal plants in an urban environment: the medicinal flora of Banares Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. J. Ethnobiology Ethnomedicine doi:10.1186/1746-4269-3-35 ([copyrigh]2007[/copyright]).