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European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, ISSN: 2347-5641,Vol.: 3, Issue.: 4 (October-December)

Plants as Food and Medicine: An Ethnobotanical Survey among Kanikaran Community in Southern India


M. Ayyanar1* and S. Ignacimuthu2

1Research Department of Botany, Pachaiyappa’s College, University of Madras, Chennai - 600 030, Tamil Nadu, India.
2Entomology Research Institute, Loyola College, University of Madras, Chennai - 600 034, Tamil Nadu, India.


The study mainly focused on the plants used as food as well as medicine by Kani tribals in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Southern Western Ghats, India. An ethnobotanical survey was carried out among the Kani tribals through questionnaires and consultations with age-old and knowledgeable tribals during June 2007 to September 2009. A total of 59 species of plants were recorded in this study with their vernacular names, parts used as food either raw or cooked and medicinal uses. Among all the edible plants, unripe fruits of Artocarpus heterophyllus and tubers of Manihot esculenta are favorite edibles and these are the main food for the Kani tribal community. Due to indiscriminate exploitation, destruction of forests and changing scenario of rural life, the oral folklore of plants is on the way of extinction. The present investigation underlines the potential of ethnobotanical research and the need for documentation of traditional knowledge pertaining to the utilization of plants for greater benefit of mankind.

Keywords :

Ethnobotany; food plant; medicinal plant; kani tribal; Tamil Nadu.

Full Article - PDF    Page 123-133

DOI : 10.9734/EJNFS/2013/3642

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