Medicinal plants are the embodiment of wisdom from our ancestors and play a significant role in treating various human disorders. In contrast to other clades, the Yi community in the Wuliang Mountains of Jingdong, Yunnan, had no particular wordage. For this reason, the study of the traditional medicinal plants in this region is necessary and urgent.
In a recent study published in Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) recorded a total of 302 medicinal species in Wuliang Mountains, showing a high diversity of traditional medicinal plants.
The researchers conducted an ethnobotanical study to assess the utilization of traditional medicinal plants by local people in Jingdong. By using the ethnomedicine approach of the key informant interview, a total of 302 traditional medicinal plant species belonging to 117 families and 252 genera were investigated and documented, most of which were obtained from herbalists.
By assessment of endangered status, the traditional medicinal plants in Wuliang Mountains exhibited excellent conditions, which indicated that folk utilization is not the main reason for the degeneration of wild resources.
The use of a large number of certain herbs as merchandize may contribute to the deteriorating situation of wild medicinal plants. In contrast, some minority communities have traditional methods to protect their precious wild resources.
“Despite the abundance of medicinal plants in the study area, the inheritance of this valuable culture is facing a serious threat. Hence, these regions should take some effective measures to protect these valuable resources and maintain their sustainable utilization in the future”, said Prof. CAI Chuantao, principal investigator of the study.
CAI Chuantao Principal Investigator
Key Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resources and Sustainable Use, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun 666303, Yunnan, China