This paper is based on the results of an ethnobotanical project carried out in the area comprising Utror-Gabral Valleys of upper Swat. The residents of the area use indigenous medicinal plants for curing diseases and also sell some of them in the local market for earning their livelihood. About 44 medicinal plants are collected in the area during the months of May, June, July and August. Out of these 44 species collected and marketed, 8 species of medicinal plants are endangered, 8 species are vulnerable and 8 species are rare. Bulk of these medicinal plants are used locally and only Berberis lycium, Bergenia ciliata, Podophyllum hexandrum, Colchicum luteum, Dioscoria deltoides, Viola spp., Pistacia integrimma, Morchella esculenta, Paeonia emodi, Rheum australe, Aconitum hetrophyllum, Valeriana jatamansi, Acorus calamus, Juglans regia, Diospyrus lotus and Bistorta amplexicaulis make their way to national and international markets. A survey conducted shows that medicinal plants collectors include womenfolk (48.26%), menfolk (27.0%) and children (24.74%). Almost 90% of these medicinal plants are sold in the local market in fresh form as the collectors are poor and needy. Some species are cleaned, dried in the sun and stored in plastic bags. The percentage of losses is much higher in the storage because the collectors are unaware about the proper storage methods of these plants. The availability of medicinal plants decreased during the past 20 years. According to aged villagers, medicinal plants were abundant in the vicinities of human settlements some 20 years back. However, the population of medicinal plants drastically decreased due to increased marketing pressure on medicinal plants, lack of job opportunities in the area, non sustainable harvesting methods like digging of whole plant and increased population of the area. The medicinal plants are now collected in large volumes from remote areas of Desan, Ghos, Ladhu, Pala-Shair, Sind, Molat, Gozba, Deej, Tosi and Kagishdin.
Hamayun, Muhammad; Khan, Mir Ajab; and Begum, Shaheen
"Marketing of Medicinal Plants of Utror-Gabral Valleys, Swat, Pakistan,"
1, Article 44.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/ebl/vol2005/iss1/44