Traditional uses of the wild plants by the tribal communities of Jawhar, Palghar, Maharashtra, India
The tribal communities have been largely dependent on the wild plants for various purposes such as food, medicine, timber and so on. Several studies have documented this traditional knowledge about wild plants, but mostly related to its dietary and medicinal aspect. The other uses of these wild plants are somewhat ignored and have not been documented so far. This made it necessary to document the traditional knowledge of the wild plants used for purposes other than food and medicine. The study was conducted in the tribal areas of Jawhar block, Palghar district, Maharashtra. Around 14 species of plants belonging to 13 families were recognized for its unique practices of usage. It was found that the seeds of some plant species are used as a product for barter, fruits as fish toxins, and tender leaves and stems as an external cure for various ailments. Some plant parts are observed to be used only for external application, without any processing, to cure diseases and infections. Thus, more of such knowledge should be documented and scientifically validated as it could help us provide solutions for the future.