Study of plants used against the skin diseases with special reference to Cassia fistula L. among the king (Dongaria Kandha) of Niyamgiri: A primitive tribe of Odisha, India

Fungi causing skin infections are treated by the Dongaria Kandha residing at Niyamgiri Hills, Odisha, India, since thousand years back using plant parts of local flora of Niyamgiri as traditional medicine. Keeping this in view it was conceptualized to study the ethnobotany of species used as traditional medicines among them in order to validate their therapeutic claims against eczema and other skin diseases. Through questionnaire it was ascertained that 19 plant species are being used in the treatment of skin diseases, particularly eczema. Among 19 plant species, Cassia fistula L. which tops in the priority list was tested against Aspergillus niger using disc diffusion method. Antimicrobial and qualitative analysis of bioactive compounds from the leaf of Cassia fistula L. showed that the antifungal activity of leaf of Cassia fistula L. was excellent against the test fungus as reflected through fungal inhibition. Bioactive compounds present in plant extracts showed the potent medicinal value of Cassia fistula L. against skin diseases. The study recommends for using these plants, particularly Cassia fistula L. against fungal infections and the study further emphasizes upon detailed analysis of the bioactive compounds in different plant parts and their possible use in preparation of medicines.

Author(s): Sanjeet Kumar, P.K.Jena, S. Sabnam, M.Kumari and P.K.Tripathy

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