Ethnobotanical evaluation of some plant resources in Northern part of Pakistan
An ethnobotanical study on the medicinal and economic plants of Malam Jabba valley, District Swat was conducted with the aims of documenting the inventory of medicinal plants, examinining the current status of the medicinal plants trade and investigating the linkages in the market chain starting from collectors to consumers. The survey reported 50 species of plants belonging to 33 families as ethnobotanically important. These species are used as drugs for treating diseases in traditional system of medicine. The detailed local uses, recipe preparation along with their local names and diseases treated were recorded for each species. Market survey revealed that the structure of medicinal plant trade is complex and heterogeneous, involving many players. The collectors are often not aware of the high market prices and medicinal values, and most of the collected material is sold to local middlemen at a very low price. There was an increase of 3 to 5 folds in prices from collectors to the national market. Training in sustainable harvesting and post harvesting of wild medicinal plant resource, trade monitoring, equitable sharing of benefits of wild resources, improved control on harvesting and trade for the conservation of resources, enhancement of cultivation efforts, future research into trade in wild harvested plants, community participation in natural resource management and value addition in the herbal products to maximize the benefits are recommended.