Chitradurga is one of the central districts of Karnataka state and is flanked by Davangere, Tumkur, Chikmagalur and Bellary districts of Karnataka and Anantapur district of Andhrapradesh with much racial and socio-cultural diversity resulting in a cultural mosaic. Bedas, Besthas, Gollas, idigas, Kurubas and tribes such as Lambanis, Hakki-pikki, Jenukurubas, and Fruligas are the communities who are intimately associated with the local forests. The district at its extreme limits is situated between longitudinal parallels of 760 01’ and 770 01’ east of Greeniwich and latitudinal parallels of 130 34’ and 150 02’ north of equator. The geographical area of the district is 8388 square kilometers. The terrain is not uniform throughout the district and is characterised by vast stretches of undulating plains with intermittent parallel chains of hills. The district is characterised in having mixed and dry deciduous forests. An ethno-medicinal survey was undertaken in the district to collect information from traditional health healers/tribals on the use of medicinal plants for snake bites through questionnaire and personal interviews during study visits.

The investigation reveals that the local health healers/tribals used 15 plants belonging to 11 families with 12 formulations (02 multiple applications and 10 single plant applications. The study reveals that roots were most frequently used (09 species), followed by leaf extract (04 species), latex and gum with one (01) species each. The study also reveals that many people of the district still continue to rely on traditional medicine for their primary healthcare. Recent trend shows a decline in the number of traditional health practitioners in the region since the younger generation is not interested to continue this tradition.

There is little documentation of the ethnomedicinal knowledge was carried out in the district. In addition, several wild medicinal plants are declining in number due to the destruction and unscientific collection of plants from forests. Hence there is an urgent need for exploration and documentation of the traditional knowledge in order to ascertain the local ethnomedicinal plants. Therefore present study is an attempt to present ethnomedicinal observations recorded with respect to snake bites.