Ethnobotanical application of medicinal plants by the Gurung community of Siddhalek rural municipality, Dhading, Nepal
Shila Gurung, Sanskar Subedi

Ethnobotanical study of various indigenous communities has a significant role in the discovery of new medicine and treatment methods. In Nepal, there are 126 ethnic communities with rich indigenous knowledge and skills in medicinal herbs. We have selected the Gurung community of Siddhalek-2, Dhading because it is the only district of Nepal that stretches from the Himalayan range to the Mahabharat range that supports a high range of floral diversity and medicinal herbs due to ecological variation. The Gurung community migrated here from all over Nepal. Thus, they have valuable archaic knowledge. We conducted our study during June and July of 2020. The plants were carefully identified by showcasing them to the local people, concerning scientific databases and consulting the experts. Open interviews and group discussions with the local people, traditional healers, and the village head were conducted to get sufficient information about plants. Sixty different plant species belonging to 58 genera and 43 different families that could potentially cure more than 37 diseases and disorders are identified and documented in this paper. Among those 60 species, 43%, 25% and 32% were herbs, shrubs and trees respectively. The plant leaf is the most frequently used part. The Gurung community and other ethnic communities of Nepal are still following such traditional practices to solve health problems. Utilization and conservation of their indigenous knowledge and skills will help to identify and use plants along with their biotic conservation.

Keywords: Ethnomedicine, Ethnic group, Gurung Community, Indigenous knowledge