Ethnobotanical appraisal and medicinal use of plants in Patriata, New Murree, evidence from Pakistan.
Background: This paper reflects the empirical findings of an ethnobotanical survey which was undertaken in Patriata (New Murree) of district Rawalpindi in Pakistan. The aims and objectives of the study were to document indigenous knowledge of plants particularly of medicinal, veterinary, fruit, vegetable, fodder, fuel etc. Methods: For this purpose, the whole area was surveyed for documenting folk knowledge using a semi-structured questionnaire. A total of 93 plants species belonging to 80 genera and 56 families were found in a variety of uses by the local people for the accomplishment of their basic needs. The study further employs binary logit regression model of medicinal uses of these plants so as to identify the probability of occurrence of medicinal use of woody or non-woody plants keeping other plant characteristics in view. Results: Ethnobotanical data shows that most plants are used for medicinal and fodder purposes (27.93% each), followed by fuel (16.90%), fruit (6.55%), vegetable (5.52%) and ethno-veterinary (3.79%). There is also an established association of medicinal use of plants to the fruits use. Non-woody plants have high tendency towards medicinal use of the plants as compared to woody plants. Annual plants are less likely to be directly associated with medicinal use of plants in the surveyed vegetation. Underground plant parts are more likely to be used for medicinal purposes as revealed from the Logit expressions. Conclusions: The study revealed that most of the plants are used for medicinal and fodder purposes. The results of Logit Model showed that the probabilities of plant species for their medicinal use are associated to the woody or non-woody, aerial or underground, perennial or annual characteristics of plants. One should be careful in completely generalizing the results as the survey findings are sensitive to the plant species and the vegetation under consideration. But it can be specified that there exists either some positive or negative association of medicinal use of plants to the various characteristics of plant species.