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October 2021

Trop Doct. 1997 ; 27 Suppl 1(): 43-7.

Traditional herbal medicines used to treat wounds and injuries in Nepal.

Bhattarai NK.

National Herbariun, Kathmandu, Nepal.

In rural Nepalese societies, due to the lack of modern health services and facilities, folk herbal preparations are still the dominant method of therapy for common ailments. These remedies are fairly well accepted, easily available, bear a minimal cost and are generally the only available resource. Information on the curative properties of 42 plant species from 40 genera and 23 families that are used to treat wounds and injuries, has been documented. These herbal remedies are based on ancestral knowledge and personal experience. Their successful use indicates that they are alive and functioning in the rural localities. Although the techniques of preparation of drugs or dosage forms employed by traditional healers have generally been observed to be poor and in most cases do not comply with the requirements of modern pharmaceutical practices, there are trends towards the development and modernization of practice including the standardization of specific dosage, storage of drugs, use of specific types of containers and their labelling. A critical evaluation of the phytochemistry and pharmacology of the alleged curative plants and the traditional pharmaceutical practices employed has been strongly recommended. In rural Nepalese societies, the number and distribution of traditional herbal practitioners and faith healers greatly exceed all other health workers. Their influence should be applied to the task of motivating the rural populace to adopt authentic herbal remedies and other health-related hygienic behaviour.

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