MDPI, Sustainability, 18(12), p. 7526, 2020
Plants and natural products have played a significant role in curing and preventing a variety of ailments occurring in humans and animals, and continue to provide new bioactive leads for researchers in therapeutic discovery. This study was conducted with the aim to identify and document local healers’ practices of treating human diseases and quantitatively document indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants, as well as to highlight the species of public interest for bioprospecting potential. A total of 17 field tours were carried out in 12 regions of Jasrota hill and its adjoining areas of Himalaya. Informants (113) were interviewed using semi-structured interviews and discussions and local guided collections. The results were analyzed using ethnobotanical indices—use-reports (URs) and the informant consensus factor (ICF)—and the data were statistically analyzed. The ethnopharmacological uses of 121 plant species belonging to 105 genera and 53 families were reported for use as medicine for treating 93 types of ailments. A total of 4987 URs were mentioned by 113 informants. Fabaceae (90.09%) and Asteraceae (6.62%) were the most represented families. Herbs (46.28%) were the primary sources of medicine, decoction (33.88%) was the most common use method for utilization, and leaves (43.80%) were the most frequently used plant parts. The ICF values ranged from 0.667 to 0.974, with the highest number of species (1314UR, 55 species) being used for the treatment of gastrointestinal ailments (GIA), followed by dermatological disorders (38 species). This result showed that the exchange of knowledge could be evident among the different communities, and their medicinal uses and practices could be correlated.