Several Nadu). Paliyars when compared to various tribal

Several field trips
were carried out in Sadhuragiri hills from Jan 2014 to March – 2015, Covering
different seasons. In order to know the phenology of the plants an Intensive
and extensive field survey was made in Sadhuragiri hills and villages in Virudhunagar
district. The data were collected through repeated field visits and the careful
interaction with the village people and Paliyar tribes. The collected specimens
were identified taxonomically with the help of available Monographs, taxonomic
revisions and floras and by using field keys.13-16Ethenomedicine
information was gathered from all categories of village people such as the
local healers, village leaders, elderly persons and Paliyar tribes and the
person having a through knowledge of Medical practices. Traditional Medicines
for the Treatment of jaundice were cross checked and confirmed with some Siddha
Doctors. The information gathered from one place was also confirmed with
different communities of village people, Paliyar tribals in different places of
investigation. The collected plant specimens were deposited in the Department
of Botany, National College (Autonomous), Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu for
future reference.

 

2.3. Paliyar Tribals

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The indigenous people of the study area are called
Paliyar/Paliyan. They are found in the hilly regions of Madurai, Dindigul,
Theni, Thirunelveli, and Virudhunagar districts. It is believed that paliyars
are indigenous people of Palani hills (Situated near to Kodaikanal a famous
tourist place). In the Palani hills they are found at an altitude of up to
2200m. Generally Paliyars are illiterate and they speak Tamil (Mother tongue of
Tamil Nadu). Paliyars when compared to various tribal communities in Tamil Nadu
constitute relatively a small group.

Paliyars can be grouped into three categories based
on their life styles, namely, Nomadic, Seminomadic and Settled Nomadic Paliyars
don’t built houses, they live temporarily in rock caves called “Pudai” Semi nomadic
Paliyar build temporary house and confine themselves to small territories most
of their huts are dark with no window or any other opening to admit air.
Settled Paliyars are almost urbanized and live as agricultural laborers.
Importance of traditional and folk medicine in the treatment of various human
ailments is well recognized amongst this people.17

3.  RESULTS
AND DISCUSSION

The findings of the ethnomedicinal survey revealed that 40 species
of Angiospermic plants, belonging to 36 genera under 25 families are used by
Paliyar  tribe of the state for treatment
of jaundice .The botanical name, family, vernacular name, part(s) used, mode of
use, dose and duration are given (Table -1& Fig: 2). The dominant
families with more number of medicinal plants in the present study are Euphorbiaceae
and Nyctaginaceae (4 Sps each) followed by Acanthaceae, Asteraceae, Fabaceae
and Liliaceae (3 Sps each). The family Rutaceae recorded two species and the remaining
families noted in this study recorded one species each (Fig: 3).

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