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Works on Ethnobotany in Bangladesh

Field work in this discipline in Bangladesh is not rich. But now different institution and NGOs are interested to work on the tribal communities and they are working on them on various mode. Surveys were made first in Indian subcontinent as well as in Bangladesh by Hutchinson in 1909. T.H. Lewin (1912) in his book 'Chittagong Hill Tracts and the Dwellers Therein' described the uses of many plants. Here he mentioned local name of many commonly used plants for food and other use but not the scientific name.

Rajput (1965) worked on the tribes of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs). Surveys were also made in 1978 to collect data on plants known to be employed in human fertility control by the scientists of Bangladesh National Herbarium followed by chemical investigation. There after Sirajuddin (1971), Saigal (1978), Tanchangya (1982) and Shelly (1992) works on this subject that are largely depend on Hutchinson's work. Khan and Huq (1975), Hasan and Khan (1986), Mia and Huq (1988), Mia and Rahman (1990) worked on ethnopharmacology.

The CHTs area is situated in the interior of Bangladesh and has not been accessed for many years due to rivalry between the tribes and the Bengalis. However, the available scattered information on the plant uses by tribes of the area is reviewed here. These recent papers, while pointing to new interest in the subject area as access become possible, provide only brief comments on the ethnobotanical uses of a relatively small number. No comprehensive review yet exists.

In the CHTs some projects on Ethnobotany are done and some are going on. The maximum works in this area were done after 1990s. Medicinal Ethnobotany of Marma tribe was recorded by Alam (1992). Khisa (1996a) noted some commonly utilized plants with their local tribal names and also published a book on the tribal treatment methods of Chakma tribes (Khisa 1996b) but without description of their uses or the scientific names of the plants.

He described 87 medicinal plants used by the Marma tribe. Diversity, Ecology and Ethnobotany of Zingiberaceae family of Bangladesh have done by Rahman and Yusuf (1996). Khisa (1998) listed 71 plants with Latin names used by the 'Chakma and other ethnic communities' of CHT Unfortunately he did not mention the name of the specific ethnic communities who use which plants.

A document on edible fruits of Bangladesh Forest has given by Das (1987). Ethnobotany of Non-Timber Forest Products of Chittagong Hill Tracts by Niaz Ahnmed Siddiqi is another work on Ethnobotany. Rahman et al. (1999) described the use of 40 plant species along with the scientific name used by tribes for medicine, food, commercial and religious purposes. Uddin and Rahman (1998) worked on some anti-rheumatic plants used by tribal people of the Hill Tracts districts.

Several works also done by Chakma (1992, 1993); Tripura (1994); Yusuf (1994); Hasan and Khan (1996) on Ethnobotany. The most recent works done by Uddin and Rahman (1998, 1999), Rahman and Uddin (2000, 2003); Begum et al.(2000); Gain (2000); Millat-E-Mustafa(2001), Baker and Momen (2001), Khan et al. (2002); Rahman et al (2003); Anisuzzaman et al.(2007), Uddin et al (2008, 2009). Now some research have done and going on for the partial fulfillment of the MS Degree.


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