Study of Medicinal Uses on Fabaceae Family at Rajshahi, Bangladesh

A. H. M. Mahbubur Rahman, M. Ismot Ara Parvin

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Study of Medicinal Uses on Fabaceae Family at Rajshahi, Bangladesh

A. H. M. Mahbubur Rahman1,, M. Ismot Ara Parvin1

1Plant Taxonomy Laboratory, Department of Botany, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi, Bangladesh


The research work was initiated to get information and report the medicinal plants on the family Fabaceae of Rajshahi during January 2011 to December 2011. The present study deals with the study of medicinal plants used by local people of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. A total of 32 medicinal plants species belonging to 23 genera were used by the local health healers for the treatment of different diseases. The conventional medicinal plants were mostly used for different abscess, asthma, cough and cold, dysentery, different skin diseases, ulcers and leprosy. The medicinal plants used by the traditional users of Rajshahi are arranged alphabetically followed by botanical name, local name, voucher number, parts used and medicinal uses.

Cite this article:

  • Rahman, A. H. M. Mahbubur, and M. Ismot Ara Parvin. "Study of Medicinal Uses on Fabaceae Family at Rajshahi, Bangladesh." Research in Plant Sciences 2.1 (2014): 6-8.
  • Rahman, A. H. M. M. , & Parvin, M. I. A. (2014). Study of Medicinal Uses on Fabaceae Family at Rajshahi, Bangladesh. Research in Plant Sciences, 2(1), 6-8.
  • Rahman, A. H. M. Mahbubur, and M. Ismot Ara Parvin. "Study of Medicinal Uses on Fabaceae Family at Rajshahi, Bangladesh." Research in Plant Sciences 2, no. 1 (2014): 6-8.

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1. Introduction

The Fabaceae or Leguminosae commonly known as the legume, pea, or bean family, are a large and economically important family of flowering plants. It includes trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants perennials or annuals, which are easily recognized by their fruits (legume) and their compound, stipulated leaves. The group is widely distributed and is the third-largest land plant family in terms of number of species, behind only the Orchidaceae and Asteraceae, with 730 genera and over 19,400 species [8, 14]. The largest genera are Astragalus (over 2,400 species), Acacia (over 950 species), Indigofera (around 700 species), Crotalaria (around 700 species), and Mimosa (around 500 species), which contain around 9.4% of all flowering plant species [12]. The Fabaceae is the most common family found in tropical rainforests and in dry forests in the Americans and Africa [4].

Recent molecular and morphological evidence supports the fact that the Fabaceae are a single monophyletic family [11]. This point of view has been supported not only by the degree of interrelation shown by different groups within the family compared with that found among the Leguminosae and their closest relations, but also by all the recent phylogenetic studies based on DNA sequences [9, 15]. These studies confirm that the Leguminosae are a monophyletic group that is closely related with the Polygonaceae, Surianaceae and Quillajaceae families and that they belong to the order Fabales [3].

Along with the cereals, some fruits and tropical roots a number of Leguminosae have been a staple human food for millennia and their use is closely related to human evolution [5].

A number are important agricultural and food plants, including Glycine max (soybean), Phaseolus (beans), Pisum sativum (pea), Cicer arietinum (chickpeas), Medicago sativa (alfalfa), Arachis hypogaea (peanut), Ceratonia siliqua (carob), and Glycyrrhiza glabra (liquorice). A number of species are also weedy pests in different parts of the world, including: Cytisus scoparius (broom), Ulex europaeus (gorse), Pueraria lobata (kudzu), and a number of Lupinus species [13, 16].

Traditional knowledge of medicinal plants and their use by indigenous healers and drug development in the present are not only useful for conservation of cultural tradition and biodiversity but also for community health care and drug development in the local people. The indigenous knowledge on medicinal plants appears when humans started and learned how to use the traditional knowledge on medicinal plants [6]. The present study in thus an attempt to document different plant species of Rajshahi used by local health healers to cure different ailments.

2. Materials and Methods

In the present survey, a total of 32 plant species under 23 genera on the family Fabaceae were collected and recorded for their use in various ailments. A total of 130 local people having an age rage 25-65 years were interviewed using semi-structured interviewed method [2]. Professionally they were peasant, day labor, farmer, house wives, medicine men, small shop keepers etc. Among them 55 were female and rest 75 were male. Regular field studies were made in the study area during the period. The information about the plants used for various diseases was gathered through interviews and discussion with the elderly people, medicine men and traditional medical practitioners were also consulted. Triangulation methods have been followed for data validation in the field. Plant specimens with flowers and fruits were collected and processed using standard herbarium techniques. Herbal plants referred by these people were authentically identified with the help of [1, 7, 10]. The voucher specimens are stored at Rajshahi University Herbarium (RUH) for future reference.

Table 1. List of selected plants and their folkloric uses

3. Results and Discussion

The present study deals with the study of medicinal plants used by local people of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. A total of 32 medicinal plants species belonging to 23 genera were used by the local health healers for the treatment of different diseases. Among different plant parts used by this people, the leaves are used most frequently to cure wounds and they applied mostly on the external surface of the body. Generally fresh part of the plant can be used for the preparation of medicine. The result of this investigation showed that these local people of Rajshahi still depend on medicinal uses of plants for the treatment of asthma, abscess, anthelmintic, astringent, cough and cold, fever, paralysis, piles, diarrhea, worm, heart disease, eczema, dad, whooping cough, ulcers, snake-bite, ring worm, diuretic, breast pain, bronchitis, dysentery, gonorrhea, leprosy, burning sensation, kidney disease, blood pressure, malaria, syphilis, cholera, opthalmia, psoriasis, sciatica and many types of diseases. These commonly used medicinal plant species are arranged in alphabetical order followed by their scientific name, local name, voucher number, parts used and its uses.

4. Conclusions

The present findings are probably the first record of medicinal plants on the family Fabceae of Rajshahi using standard research protocols. A total of 32 plant species under 23 genera of Fabaceae family have been documented which are used for the treatment of different diseases. The present study may be a preliminary contribution to the medicinal plants of this area using standard research methods, focusing on medicinal plants and their local uses for the healthcare. This healthcare knowledge transmitted orally from one generation to generation. This detailed information will be helpful for the pharmacognosist, ethno-botanists, botanist and pharmacologist for the collection and identification of the plant for their research work.


The authors are grateful to the local people of Rajshahi for their co-operation and help during the study of medicinal plants.


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