Traditional ethno-mycomedicinal practices involving macrofungi were documented using questionnaires from Jessore and Purna communities located in the Northern and Southern Gujarat. The quality of traditional knowledge within and in between the communities was compared by informant’s consensus index factor calculated for each ailment. The possibility of any relation between the traditional practices and informant’s consensus index factors was assessed as well. Alternately in order to classify the types of species usages, binary scores were allotted based on the presence or absence of species storage for later use, open sharing and specificity of the practices. Followed by this species scores were subjected to Euclidean distance dissimilarity matrix based hierarchical agglomerative clustering.
In totality 23 species were documented addressing various ailments, of which 9 species were used to treat general aspects like convalescence, whereas others (14 species) were used for specific ailments. In the Jessore community 5 of the 7 ailments (41.2%) were related to skin problems, whereas in Purna community only 7 of 18 ailments (38.9%) had similar usage. The total ailments addressed and species documented from the Purna community had a greater diversity and bore higher informant’s consensus index value in comparison to the Jessore community. Cause and effect of some abnormal informant’s consensus values, rendering it dubious, are also discussed. Hierarchical agglomerative clustering revealed the influence of all the three aspects scored as above. The corner-stone species are more important than other species because they are necessary for the survival of the traditional know-how and well being of the communities engaging them and have applications. Moreover, depletion due to rampant use of such species calls upon there identification and conservation. This could be achieved to an extent by simple binary scores based clustering. Certain corner-stone species with closed (absence of) knowledge sharing were found to withhold specific practices. Those with general medicinal applications can be useful as nutraceuticals, whereas those with specific claims can be screened further in order to identify pharmaceutical potentials. In addition to this the present work mentions the documentation of traditional ethno-myco-medicinal practices of several species for the first time ever.
Lahiri, Suman S.; Shukla, Mrugesh D.; Shah, Mamta B.; and Modi, Hasmukh A.
"Documentation and Analysis of Certain Macrofungal Traditional Practices from Western-India (Gujarat),"
5, Article 9.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/ebl/vol2010/iss5/9