ETHNOBOTANICAL STUDIES ON SOME IMPORTANT MEDICINAL PLANTS OF IMPHAL EAST AND WEST DISTRICTS OF MANIPUR, NORTH EAST INDIA
Imphal East and West are two densely populated districts of Manipur, inhabited by diverse communities. In order to document information on medicinal plants their uses, a survey was conducted in 2014-2018 in various locations within the two districts. During this study it was observed that the traditional healers use several medicinal plants from adjoining forests. They also grow and sell several such plants in their kitchen garden for daily use, both as food and herbal remedies, for common ailments such as cough, cold, dysentery fever etc. Due to over-harvesting, modernization, urbanization, and predominantly jhum cultivation, the importance of such traditional uses of medicinal plants is gradually declining. There is an urgent need to focus on scientific validation, conservation, recognition of plant-based traditional healing, to resurrect this neglected knowledge. Also, immediate attention is required to conserve particular medicinal plants along with traditional knowledge associated with them. Needless to say, there is an overarching need to record the rich indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants of Imphal East and Imphal West Districts of Manipur, before it is too late.