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Medicinal plants


Trade in medicinal plants in the past
Scope for international marketing
Scope for cultivating medicinal plants
Nature: The best teacher
Medicinal plants, present collection trends and current problems
General recommendations
Conclusion


by Raling Nawang
Project Manager
Integrated Forest Management Project, Bumthang
The Royal Government of Bhutan

A wide range of plant diversity covers Bhutan's two main mountain ranges, the Lho-Menjong and the Druk-Yul. From these rugged mountains come over 300 plant species traditionally used in preparing indigenous (Ayurvedic) medicine. Table 6 shows some of these plant species.

Medicinal plants collected from Bhutan's temperate and lower zones are known under the traditional broad classification as "THRO-MEN," while plants from the country's alpine zone are known as "NGO-MEN."

In the case of "THRO-MEN" plants, specific parts of the plants (e.g., the roots, bark, wood, leaves, flowers or fruit) are generally collected, while for "NGO-MEN," the whole plant is gathered for its medicinal properties.

Trade in medicinal plants in the past

In Bhutan's past, medicinal plants, such as manjito (Rubia cordifolia), chereta (Swertia cherita), pipla (Piper nigrum and Piper longum), sarpagandah or nakbhel (Rauvolfia serpentina) and putishing/kutki (Picorrhiza kurroa), among others, were sold to India. The sales method used was the leasing of large tracts of land through tenders or auctions. The highest bidder was given full access to and jurisdiction over seasonal collection in the area allotted. Such produce was classified as minor forest produce (MFP) and could be exported to India upon issuance of a "Certificate of Origin" by the Divisional Forest Officers concerned.

The Royal Government of Bhutan realised that in the long run, however, such nonscientific harvesting of plant species would bring more harm than the revenue generated. Hence the ban on exporting MFP - which included medicinal plants - imposed in the early 1980s, remains valid to date.

Scope for international marketing

A number of medicinal plant species growing naturally in Bhutan have international market value. Among these are agar wood (Aquilaria agallocha), Rauvolfia serpentina, tshe (Ephedra gerardina), Himalayan yew (Taxus baccata), chutsa (Rheum nobile), chumtsa (Rheum accuminita), kutki/putishing (Picorrhiza kurroa), pangpoi (Nardostachys jatamansi), tsenduk rig (Aconitum spp.), and yartsa-gunbu (Cordyceps sinensis). All are in high demand for pharmaceuticals.

Owing to the great volume of competitive synthetic products currently marketed, the trade in medicinal plants and their derivatives has declined in many industrialised countries (Study on the Market for Selected Medicinal Plants and Their Derivatives, Geneva, 1982.) Trade in botanicals, however, has risen following their relatively recent increased use by the food and cosmetics industries. A renewed interest in traditional medicine in Asia, and the introduction of health foods in Europe and North America, has between them provided new outlets for many botanical products.

Over 400 botanicals are used commercially in Western Europe, with Hamburg as the centre for the trade. Of the Western nations, the United States is the major importer of medicinal plants. Japan is the major importer among Asian countries.

Scope for cultivating medicinal plants

The National Institute of Traditional Medicine (NITM) has a programme for research on, and propagation of, medicinal plants. During the reign of Bhutan's second king, His Majesty Jijme Wangchuck (1926-52), the people of the Bumthang Valley cultivated two medicinal plant species - manu (Innula helenium) and ruta (Saussurea lappa). Both these plants were used for producing "sowa-rigpa" medicine and incense. Unfortunately, the present generation in Bumthang knows little of these two plants.

The menu plant, however, is in demand from NITM in Thimphu. The plant has survived years of neglect and is now cultivated in Ura by one family for supply to the Indigenous Hospital in Thimphu. The fate of the second plant, ruta, is not known. A survey is needed to determine if it still exists in the valley.

During Bhutan's Fourth Five-Year Plan (1972-77), the planting of agar wood in lower Kheng villages, such as Panbang, Shilingtot, Mamung, and Pantang, was encouraged by the late Dasho Keiji Nishioka on his family's private land. The agar wood plants have now grown to over 10 metres in height and 12 to 15 centimetres in diameter (measured during the author's visit in January, 1993). Some villagers are growing 20 to 3(:) or more trees, and say the trees are not difficult to propagate. Only those plants infected by a particular fungus, through a yet unknown mechanism, however, produce the highly-valued agar wood. No report has been received so far as to whether some of the planted trees have produced this most valuable type of agar wood.

Ipacac (Cephalus ipacacaunha) and Dioscorea deltoides are cultivated on large plantations in India just across the Bhutanese border. Proceeds from these plantations reportedly amount to over 10 million rupees, or some US$ 319,000, per annum. Similar plantations are quite possible within Bhutan.

Nature: The best teacher

Most plants readily propagate naturally. For example, pipla (Piper spp.) is very common in Bhutan's southern belt and Rheum accuminita and Aconitum sp. frequently occur in the sub-alpine and alpine belts of the country's northern region. The abundance of these plants is entirely due to a well-balanced ecosystem within which these plants flourish.

Nature is the best teacher. In the absence of technical know-how for the propagation of many important medicinal plants, studies must be undertaken and data gathered on the how these. plants can be cultivated and made economically beneficial. The environmental conditions - geology, soil, plant association, climate, etc. - must also be studied and used as a guide and reference for their large-scale propagation.

Medicinal plants, present collection trends and current problems

Upon request by NITM to collect medicinal plants, the Forestry Services Division (FSD) issues permits on a case-by-case basis. The location for collection and quantity to be collected are specified in the permits. But often the collection of the permitted quantity is not possible as the required species is not available in adequate volume.

NITM shows samples of the medicinal plants to local labourers, who are then requested to collect and bring in the required quantity of each species. The collectors are paid on a daily basis, or sometimes contracted under lump-sum agreements. The required permits are given to the collectors, who are paid only upon receipt of the produce. Payment is generally made for each kilogramme collected. For quality control, "dungtshoes," or indigenous technicians, supervise the collection whenever possible. It is virtually impossible, however, for Bhutan's scant core of technicians to reach every collection area for screening. In most cases, meeting the collection target for the year is more important to collectors than is scientific harvesting on a sustainable basis. Lacking technical directives and proper guidelines, this is to be expected. This is the probable reason why some species have decreased by almost 50 percent over the past 20-25 years in localities where they once grew abundantly (personal communication with locals and NITM, 1994).

But this should not lead one to conclude that all harvesting is necessarily destructive. Quite the contrary, many plant species benefit when mature plants are removed and space is created for new plants to grow.

Generally, alpine plants flower in August, which coincides with the NITM team's collection schedule for herbal plants. At this time, even the fruits from the earlier-flowering plants are not yet ripe or mature enough for their seeds to be shed. For many herbs, the whole plants are collected, including both flowers and fruit. This method of collection reduces the chances for regeneration and hence threatens the very existence of some species. If such methods continue, some species may become extinct.

General recommendations

· Collect detailed information on the extent and frequency of occurrence of species. Priorities should be set for each species.

· Develop efficient and cost-effective methods for propagating rare and important medicinal plants, as well as for such species as agar wood, important on the international market.

· Legalise and promote cultivation of commercial medicinal plants on private farms under a social forestry scheme. In the initial stages, the Government should establish an export market and "buy-back" system to encourage private entrepreneurs to undertake mass cultivation. Thus the Indigenous Hospital's requirements would be met, while the surplus could be exported. Establishing plantations for medicinal plants would also reduce wasteful harvesting from the natural forest.

· The Forest Research Division should co-operate with NITM's Research and Propagation Programme, including in the exchange of information and technical know-how. At the same time, FSD should develop a mechanism to monitor NITM's methods, the quantities it collects, and the species harvested annually. At present, FSD is completely uninformed on these matters.

Conclusion

If present trends in ad-hoc harvesting/collection continue, the scope for the economical harvesting of all medicinal plants from the wild, on a sustainable basis, will become practically nil. The only option remaining is to introduce large-scale cultivation through artificial propagation. Natural resources are presently being depleted in the natural forests due to annual and non-scientific collection of the various species on an ad hoc basis. New settlements and the expansion of land under cultivation also threatens the survival of natural forests. Unless artificial propagation is adopted, it is only a matter of time before some of these plants become extinct.

Table 6 Medicinal Plants in Bhutan

Botanical name

Family name

Medicinal name

Local name

Form

Distribution

Parts used

Remarks

Meconopsis simplicifolia

Papaveraceae

Upel

-

Herb

Rare; scattered locations in Soi, Barshong and Lingshi; 4,300 m.

Whole plant

-

Aconitum orochryseum

Ranunculaceae

Bongkar

Bong-nga (Sh)

Herb

Rare; scattered locations in Shoduk and Lingshi; 3,500-4,500 m.

Tubes

-

Onosma hookeri

Boraginaceae

Drimok

Muktsi (Sh)

Herb

Rare; scattered locations in Bumthang and Thimphu; 2,600-3,500 m.

Root

Used for religious purposes

Pedicularis oederi

Scrophulariaceae

Lukru-serpo

-

Herb

Rare; scattered locations in Lingshi and Soi; 3,600-4,500 m.

Onosma plant

-

Pedicularis longiflora siphonantha

Scrophulariaceae

Lukru-mukpo

-

Herb

Rare; scattered locations in Bumthang and Lingshi; 3,500-4,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Saxifraga mucronulata

Saxifragaceae

Dritasazin

-

Herb

Rare; scattered locations in Bumthang and Paro; 4,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Salvia sp.

Labiatae

Jeeptsi

-

Herb

In pockets in Thimphu and Bumthang; 2,500-3,600 m.

Flower

-

Polygonatum verticillatum

Polygonaceae

Rangey

-

Herb

In pockets in Paro and Thimphu; 2,400-4,000 m.

Root

Can be cultivated

Nardostachys jatamansi

Velarianaceae

Pangpoi

Pangpay (Dz/Sh)

Herb

Rare; scattered locations in Haa, Paro, Thimphu and Bumthang; 4,000-4,500 m.

Root

Used as incense

Delphenium brunonianum

Ranunculaceae

Jagoidpae

-

Herb

Extremely rare; found in Nelela and Chheewla; 4,500-5,300 m.

Whole plant

Used as incense

Senecio chrysanthemoides

Compositae

Gudee

-

Herb

Rare; found in Bumthang and Thimphu; 2,500-3,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Gentiana urnula

Gentianaceae

Ganga-Chhung

-

Herb

Extremely rare; found in Yaalela and Nelela Chhewla; 4,500-5,000 m.

Whole plant

-

Juniperus recurva

Cupressaceae

Shuk-tsher

Shup (Dz), Shukpashing (Sh)

Tree

In pockets in Pelela, Laya and Chelela; 3,400-4,500 m.

Leaves

Used as incense

Picorrhiza kurroa

Scrophulariaceae

Honglen and Ngo-Honglen

Puti-shing (Dz), Kutki (N)

Herb

Rare; found in Dagala, Memla and Nelela; 4,500 m.

Root

Marketted to India

Aconitum patulam

Ranunculaceae

Menchhen and Bongnak

Manchhen (Sh), Tsenduk (Dz)

Herb

In pockets in Bumthang, Merak, Laya, Soi, Paro and Haa; 2,700-4,000 m.

Root

-

Gyamnadenia crassinervis

Orchidaceae

Wanglak and Wangpoilakpa

Wanglak (B)

Orchis/Herb

Rare; found in Bumthang, Soi and Lingshi; 3,400-4,000 m.

Root

-

Helene elliptica

Gentianaceae

Chaktik

-

Herb

In pockets in Thimphu, Haa and Bumthang; 2,300-3,800 m.

Whole plant

-

Codonopsis foe tens

Campanulaceae

Luded-Dorji

Gaytangru (Sh)

Climber/creeper

Rare; scattered locations in Chebesa and Lingshi; 4,300 m.

Whole plant

-

Pulicaria sp.

Compositae

Mingchen-nakpo

-

Herb

Rare; in pockets in Lingshi; 4,000 m.

Flowers

-

Taraxacum tibeticum

Compositae

Khenkar

Khenpa-karpo (Dz/Sh/B)

Herb

Rare; scattered locations in Bumthang, Paro and Haa; 4,000 m.

Whole plant

Used as incense

Podophyllum emodi

Podophylaceae

Yolmosey

Goegabetapi (Sh)

Herb

Scattered locations in Gunitsawa and Thimphu; 2,500-3,500 m.

Root

-

Fritillaria nanum

Liliaceae

Aambhi and Ambhikha

Lily (C)

Herb

Rare; scattered locations in Selela and Barshong; 3,800-4,300 m.

Bulb

-

Bistortia coriacium

Polygonaceae

Pangram

-

Herb

Abundant in Bumthang, Haa and Barshong; 3,100-4,500 m.

Root

-

Angillica cyclocarpa

Umbelliferace

Tunak-tsawa, Tunak

-

Herb

In pockets in Dolamjencho and Barshong; 3,000-3,600 m.

Root

-

Acer ricephalus

Compositae

Lukmig

-

Herb

Scattered locations in Bumthang and Laya; 4,600 m.

Flower

-

Fritillaria delavaye

Liliaceae

Karpochhikhup

Tsika (Dz)

Herb

Extremely rare; found in Chhewla and Yaalela; 4,500-5,200 m.

Bulb

-

Pedicularis amas

Scrophulariaceae

Langna

-

Herb

Scattered locations in Zambuhang and Soi; 3,800 m,

Whole plant

-

Ranunculus nuichillus

Ranunculaceae

Chesha

-

Herb

In pockets in Soi and Zambuthang; 3,800 m.

Achsuc/fruit

-

Taraxacum officinale

Compositae

Khurmang

-

Herb

Abundant in Thimphu and Phajoding; 2,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Angelica sinensis

Umbelliferace

Tangkuen

-

Herb

In pockets in Laya, Soi and Dhur

Root

-

Astragalus yunnanensis

Linguminosae

Sedkar

-

Herb

Abundant in Thimphu and Barshong; 2,400-3,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Gentiana grandiflora

Gentianaceae

Ngodewa

-

Herb

Scattered locations in Soi, Laya and Dhur; 3,500-4,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Arenaria denissima

Caryophyllaceae

Atong

-

Herb

Rare; found in Laya and Lingshi; 3,600-5,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Anisedus luridus

Solanaceae

Thangthrom

-

Herb

Scattered locations in Selela and Phading; 3,500-4,000 m.

Fruit

-

Androsase hookeriana

Primulaceae

-

Gatik-mukpo

Herb

Scattered locations in Shoduk and Soi; 3,500-4,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Galium aparine

Rubiaceae

Zangtsi-karpo

Zangtsi-rokpu (Sh)

Creeper

Scattered locations in Trashigang, Bumthang, Thimphu and Paro; 800-3,000 m.

Whole plant

-

Rubia cordifolia

Rubiaceae

Tseod

Tsey (Dz), Laniru (Sh), Majito (N)

Creeper

Abundant in Pemagatshel, Wamrong and Trashigang; 1,000-2,000 m.

Root

Used as dye

Herecleum candicans

Umbelliferae

Tukar

-

Herb

Scattered locations in Bumthang and Lingshi; 3,500-4,000 m.

Root

-

Publicaria insignis

Compositae

Mingchen-serpo

-

Herb

Rare; found in Barshong and Gunitsawa; 2,600-3,800 m.

Whole plant/flower

-

Delphinium cashmerianum

Ranunculaceae

Jakang

-

Herb

Scattered locations in Paro, Thimphu and Dhur; 2,300-3,500m.

Whole plant

-

Erysisimum bhutanica

Cruciferae

Gongthokpa

-

Herb

Rare; found in Thimphu, Paro and Lingshi; 3,600-4,100m.

Whole plant

-

Silene setisperma

Caryophylleae

Luksuk

-

Herb

Rare; found in Gunitsawa and Barshong; 3,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Piper longum

Piperaceae

Pipling

Pipli (N)

Climber

Abundant in South Jongkha, Sarpang and Samtse; 150-500m.

Fruit

Marketted to India

Oroxylum indica

Bingnoniaceae

Tsampaka

Tsampaka (Dz), Namkalingshing (Sh)

Tree

In pockets in Trashigang, Samtse and Panbang; 200-1,500m.

Flower/seed

Religious, rare

Pinus roxburghii

Pinaceae

Shelta

Resin from pine (C), Thetong (Dz), Reynangshing (Sh)

Tree

Abundant in Trashigang, Mongar, Wangdue and Punakha; 500-1,500m.

Resin

-

Taxus baccata

Taxaceae

-

Keyrangshing (Sh)

Tree

Rare; scattered locations in Haa, Paro, Thimphu and Bumthang; 2,100-3,300 m.

Bark/leaves

-

Lanceae tibetica

Scrophulariaceae

Paayak

-

Herb

Rare; found in Chebesa and Gangyul; 3,800-4,200 m.

Whole plant

-

Silajit sp.

-

Dakzhun

-

Rock

Extremely rare; found in Haa and Thimphu; 1,800-2,500 m.

Rock exude

-

Zingiber officinale

Zingiberaceae

Menga

Saga (Dz/Sh), Aaduwa (N)

Herb

In pockets in Samtse, Sarpang, Phuntsholing and Khen; 150-1,500 m.

Rhizome

Cultivable

Hedychium spicatum

Zingiberaceae

Gacha

Borangsaga (Sh)

Herb

In pockets in Wangdue, Punakha, South Jongkha and Trashigang; 200-1,500 m.

Rhizome

-

Amomum subutatum

Zingiberaceae

Kakola

Ailanchi (N)

Herb

Abundant in Geylephug, Shemgang and Samtse; 200-1,500 m.

Fruit

Easily cultivated

Xanthoxylum alatum

Rutaceae

Yaarma

Thi-ngey (Dz), Gee (Sh), Timber (N)

Medium-sized tree

In pockets in Thimphu and Trashigang; 1,500-2,100 m.

Fruit

Easily cultivated

Areca catechu

Palmae

Goyu

Doma (Dz), Gugay (Sh)

Palm tree

In pockets in South Jongkha and Samtse; 150-300 m.

Fruit/seed

Easily cultivated

Phyllanthus emblica

Euphorbiaceae

Churu

Chhorgengsoi (Sh)

Tree

In pockets in Wangdue, Punakha and Trashigang; 800-1,500 m.

Fruit

-

Kaempferia galanga

Zingiberaceae

Gacha

Borangsaga (Sh)

Herb

Scattered locations in Punakha, Wangdue and Trashigang; 800-1,500 m.

Rhizome

-

Asparagus racemosus

Liliaceae

Ngeyshing

Ngalakom (Sh), Ngakhacho (Dz)

Herb

In pockets in Punakha, Wangdue and Trashigang; 800-1,500 m.

Root

Easily cultivated

Rhus chinensis

Anacardiaceae

Datik

Chokashing (Dz), Roptangshing (Sh), Bhakimlo (N)

Small tree

Found in large quantities

Fruit

-

Erythrina stricta

Papillionaceae

Khalmashosha

Chhasey (Dz), Faleydo (N), Kharshing (Sh)

Tree

In pockets in Trongsa, Punakha, Trashigang and Chimakothi; 500-1,500 m.

Seed

-

Adhatoda vasica

Acanthaceae

Thro-Bashaka

Bashakha (Dz), Khateermu (Sh), Bashak

Shrub

In large quantities in Punakha, Wangdue, South Jongkha, Panbang and Manas; 200-1,000 m.

Flower

-

Herocleum wallachii

Umbelliforae

Tumakarpo

-

Herb

Scattered locations in Lingshi, Laya, Bumthang; 2,500-4,000 m.

Root

-

Herocleum dissectum

Umbelliforae

Tunak

-

Herb

Scattered locations in Lingshi, Laya, Bumthang and Barshong; 25-1,000 m.

Root

-

Cremanthodium humile

Compositae

Mingchenserpo

-

Herb

Rare; found in Barshong, Dolamkencho and Gunitsawa; 2,500-3,500 m.

Flower/whole plant

-

Pedicularis longiflora

Scrophulariaceae

Motoklangna

-

Herb

Rare; found in Lingshi; 4,000 m.

Flower whole plant

-

Euphorbia sikkimensis

Euphorbiaceae

Tharnu

-

Herb

Abundant in Soi and Lingshi; 3,800-4,500 m.

Tubes

-

Euphorbia griffithii

Euphorbiaceae

Durjeet

-

Herb

Scattered locations in Thimphu, Paro and Bumthang; 2,200-3,800 m.

Root

-

Gentiana veitchiorum

Gentianaceae

Pangen-metok

Gangi-Pangenmotok (Dz)

Herb

Scattered locations in Bumthang, Laya and Soi; 3,800-4,500 m.

Flower/whole plant

-

Rhododendron anthopogon

Ericaceae

Dalimetok, Balu

Balu (Dz/B/Sh)

Shrub

In pockets in Phajoding, Bumthang and Merak; 3,800-4,500 m.

Flower

Used as incense

Rhododendron setosum

Ericaceae

Sulu

Sulo (Dz/Sh/B/T)

Shrub

In pockets in Haa, Paro, Thimphu, Laya, Lingshi and Merak/Sakten; 3,600-4,500 m.

Flower

Used as incense

Juncus grisbachii/hippris

Juncaceae

Dambukara

Juncus (C)

Herb

Scattered locations in Thimphu and Paro; 500-3,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Cotoneaster microphylla

Rosaceae

Japhotsitsi

Cotoneaster (C)

Shrub

Abundant in Thimphu, Paro, Haa and Bumthang; 2,200-4,000 m.

Fruit

-

Cirsium sp.

Compositae

Jarokngungma

-

Herb

Rare; found in Jhomolhari and Lingshi; 4,000 m.

Flower/whole plant

-

Malcolmia sp.

Cruciferae

Jeewolaphu

-

Herb

Found in Thimphu and Bumthang; 2,200-3,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Soroseris hookerianum

Compositae

Solgongpa

-

Herb

Rare; found in Soi and Dungshola; 4,000-4,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Cuscuta sinensis

Convolvulaceae

Serkuet

Bayding/dukpoo-ru (Sh)

Creeper

Scattered locations in Wamrong, Gedu and Chhatshilakha; 500-2,000 m.

Whole plant

-

Artemisia severaiana

Compositae

Tsa-aatong

-

Herb

Abundant

Whole plant

Used as antiseptic

Chrysanthemum tateianense

Compositae

Aajak

-

Herb

-

Flower/whole plant

-

Pedicularis deorissima

Scrophulariaceae

Lukru-marpo

-

Herb

In pockets in Bumthang and Laya; 4,000 m.

Whole plant

-

Datura metel/stramonium

Solanaceae

Thangthrom-karpo

Dungmomnang (Sh), Devil's plant (C)

Herb

In pockets in Wamrong, Trashigang, South Jongkha and Thimphu; 200-2,400 m.

Fruit

Grows on fallow land

Scopolia lucida

Solanaceae

Thangthrom-nakpo

-

-

In pockets

Fruit

-

Hyecoum leptocarpum/exectum

Cruciferae

Parpata


Herb

Rare; found in Trashigang, Khaling, Bumthang and Thimphu; 300-2,800 m.

Whole plant

Grows in fields

Ixeris gracilis

Compositae

Tsathri-chhok

-

Herb

Rare; found in Barshong and Bumthang; 2,500-3,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Hippophae rhamnoides

Rhamanceae

Tarboo

Seabuck-thorn (C)

Small tree

Abundant in Paro, Dechhencholing and Bumthang; 2,500-3,300 m.

Fruit

-

Cassia tora

Caesalpinaceae

Thekadorji


Herb

Found in South Jongkha, Sarpang, Samtse and Punakha; 200-111,500m.


-

Acorus gramineus

Aroideae

Shudak-karpo

Silijam (Dz), Bortsl (Sh)

Herb

In pockets in Trashigang and Thimphu; 500-3,000 m.

Rhizome

-

Cassia fistula

Caesalpineae

Donga

Dongkoshing (Sh)

Tree

Scattered locations in South Jongkha, Sarpang, Punakha and Trashigang; 200-1,500 m.

Fruit/seed

-

Brassica sp.

Cruciferae

Yoongkar

Yoongkar (Dz)

Herb

Rare; found in Samrang; 200-1,500 m.

Pod/seed

Cultivable

Terminalia chebula

Combretaceae

Aaru

Aaru (Dz/Sh)

Tree

In pockets in Samtse, Sarpang, South Jongkha and Shamgang; 200-1,000 m.

Fruit

-

Terminalia belerica

Combretaceae

Baru, Barura

Baru (Dz/Sh/T/B)

Tree

In pockets in Samtse, Sarpang, Wangdue, South Jongkha and Kheng; 200-1,500m.

Fruit

-

Morus laveaegata

Urticaceae

Sengdengshing

Sengdengshing (Sh), Tshendey (Dz), Kimbu (N)

Tree

In pockets in South Jongkha, Sarpang, Samtse, Shemgang and Punakha; 200-1,500m.

Extracts from heartwood

Cultivable

Enteda gigantea

Leguminosae

Twiner

Kolokpu-sae (Sh)

Twiner

Rare; found in Deothang, South Jongkha, Kheng, Shemgang and Manas; 200-1,200m.

Seed

-

Symplocus craraegoides

Styraceae

Zhungkhen

Pangtsi (Dz)

Small tree

In pockets in Punakha and Thimphu; 1,300-2,500 m.

Leaves

-

Aristolochia griffithii

Aristolochiaceae

Baleyka

Pitcher plant (C)

Twiner

Scattered locations in Haa and Chendebjee; 1,800-2,500 m.

Flower

-

Embelia ribes

Myrsinae

Getangka

-

Small tree

Rare; 2,500-2,900 m.

Seed

-

Bombax ceiba

Malvaceae

Pemageyser

Pemageyser (Sh)

Tree

Abundant in South Jongkha, Sarpang, Samtse, Manas and Trashigang; 200-1,500 m.

Flower

-

Erythrina arborescens

Papilioneae

Khelmazhosha

Chhasey (Dz), Phaledo (N), Kharshing (Sh)

Medium-sized tree

Abundant in Chimakothi, Punakha, Trashigang and Wamrong; 500-1,500m.

Seed

-

Cucurbita pepo

Cucurbitaceae

Kabet

-

Climber

Abundant, 100-800 m.

Fruit

-

Aquilaria agallocha

Thymelaeaceae

Aagurushing

Aagurushing (Dz, Sh, T)

Medium-sized tree

Extremely rare; found in Samrang, Manas, Panbang, Samdrup Jongkha and Kheng; 150-1,500 m.

Heartwood

-

Tinospora cordifolia

Minispermaceae

Seydey

-

Shrub

Abundant, 200-1,000m.

Fruit/seed

-

Canarium sikkimensis

Burseraceae

Peykar

Poskar shing (Sh)

Tree

Rare; found in Deothang, Pankhar, Kheng and Zhemgang; 500-1,500 m.

Exude or resin

Used as incense

Punica granatum

Rosaceae

Sadey

Sindu (Dz), Thalim (Sh), Dalim (N)

Small tree

Abundant in Trashigang, Depthang, Wangdue, Punakha and Trongsa; 500-1,500 m.

Fruit/seed

Domesticated

Innula helenium

Domesticated

Manu


Herb

Rare; found in Bumthang (cultivated); 3,000-3,500 m.

Root

-

Saussurea lappa

Compositae

Ruta

-

Herb

Extremely rare; 3,000-4,000 m.

Root

-

Capsella bursa

Cruciferae

Sokapa


Herb

In pockets in Thimphu, Bumthang and Wamrong; 800-3,000 m.

Whole plant

Grows as weed

Berginia celiata

Saxifragaceae

Dakcham

-

Herb

Rare

Root

-

Chrysospleitium coronosum

Saxifragaceae

Yaakima

-

Herb

Rare; found in Soi and Lingshi; 3,600-5,200 m.

Whole plant

-

Dryopteris fragrans

-

Rayral

Baynang-gogalapu (Sh)

Fern

In pockets in Wamrong and Trashigang; 500-2,200 m.

Stem

-

Uncaria rhynchophylla

Rubiaceae

Chhusindermo

-

Fern

Rare; found in Tangu and Barshong; 2,000-3,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Myricana rosea

Myrshinaceae

Wombu

-

Herb

Abundant in Paro and Gunitsawa; 3,000-4,400 m;

Whole plant

-

Aegle marmelos

Rutaceae

Belwa

-

Medium-sized tree

Rare; found in Gaylegphu and Samtse; 150-400 m.

Fruit

Cultivable

Butea monosperma

Leguminosae

Marutsey

Flamingo tree (C)

Medium-sized tree

In pockets in Manas, Gaylegphug and Samtse; 150-500 m.

Fruit

-

Mucuna prurien

Ceasalpinae

Khelzhosha

-

Strong twiner

Rare; 150-400 m.

Seed

-

Iris nepalensis

Iridaceae

Dema

-

Herb

Abundant in Lingshi and Laya; 3,500-4,000 m.

Fruit

-

Calotropis gigantea

Asclipidaceae

Shri-khenda

-

Shrub

Rare; found in Gomtu; 100-500 m.

Latex

-

Jatropa curcas

Euphorbiaceae

Denrok-manpa

Ngera-kharshing (Sh)

Small tree

Abundant in South Jongkha, Sarpang, Samtse, Deothang and Punakha; 200-1,500m.

Seed

Hedge plant

Abies densa

Coniferae

-

Dungshi (Dz)

Tree

Abundant in Haa, Changkaphu and Ura; 3,500 m.

Leaf

-

Rheum mobile

Polygonaceae

Chutsa, Chukardongpo

Chuka (Dz)

Herb

Scattered locations in Dagala, Nelela, Jomolhari and Dhur top; 4,500-5,200 m.

Root

-

Rheum acuminata

Polygonaceae

Chumtsa

-

Herb

Abundant in Dagala, Phajoding and Dhurtshachhu; 3,000-4,000 m.

Root

International market

Clematis montana

Ranunculaceae

Emong

Lanitokaru (Sh)

Climber

Scattered locations in Wamrong and Trashigang; 1,500 m.

Seed/flower

-

Anemone rivularis

Ranunculaceae

Sukpa

-

Herb

Scattered locations in Zambuthang and Lingshi; 3,800 m.

Fruit/achene

-

Rosa sericea

Rosaceae

Sewaimetok

-

Shrub

Abundant in Haa and Thimphu; 2,400 m.

Flower

-

Rosa macrophylla

Rosaceae

Sewaudebu

Wild rose (C)

Twining shrub

In pockets in Bumthang and Ura; 3,300m.

Fruit

-

Sikkimia laurela

Lauraceae

-

-

Shrub

Scattered locations; 3,000 m.

Leaf extracts

-

Astilbe rivularis

Asteroideae

-

Tongsergugay (Sh), Buroakhoti (N)

Herb

Abundant in Gedu and Khaling; 1,500m.

Root

-

Mandragora officinarum

Solanaceae

-

-

Herb

Rare; found in Chelela and Selela; 3,600-4,000 m.

Root

-

Cordyceps sinensis

-

Yaartsa-gunbu

Yaartsa-gunbu (Dz)

Mushroom (C)

Extremely rare; found in Laya and Lingshi; 3,500-4,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Quercus griffithii

Fagaceae

Moenchhara

Sisi (Dz), Benangshing (Sh)

Tree

In pockets in Raling, Trashigang, Trongsa and Thimphu; 800-2,000 m.

Seed/acorn

Cultivable

Corydalis crispa

Fumariaceae

Khamlu-bashaka

-

Herb

Rare; found in Lingshi; 3,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Geranium lambertii

Geraniaceae

Ligadur

Geranium (C)

Herb

In pockets in Barshong and Dhur; 2,500-3,500 m.

Root

-

Cymbopogon flexuosus

Gramineae

-

Solubang (Sh), Lemon grass (C)

Grass

Abundant in Trashigang and Mongar; 1,500m.

Leaf extract

-

Dichroa fibrifuja

Hydrangeaceae

-

Borang-yangshabu (Sh)

Shrub

Abundant in Wamrong and Mechhuna; 1,500-2,000 m.

Root

-

Eriophyton wallachii

Labiateae

Pangtshen puru

-

Herb

Rare; found in Nelela, Yaalayla and Chhewla; 4,000-5,000 m.

Whole plant

-

Phlomis rotata

Labiateae

Taapak

-

Herb

Rare; found in Soi, Lingshi and Laya; 3,300-3,800 m.

Whole plant

-

Salvia campanulata

Labiateae

Jeeptsi-karpo

-

Herb

In pockets in Haa, Thimphu and Bumthang; 2,200-3,000 m.

Flower

-

Cinnamomum tamala

Lauraceae

Shingtsha

Tejpat (N)

Medium-sized tree

Rare; found in South Jongkha and Shemgang; 200-1,800 m.

Bark

Used as spice

Cinnamomum zeylanicum

Lauraceae

Shingtsha

Shingtsha (Sh), Dalchini (N)

Small tree

Rare; found in Deothang, Kheng and Panbang; 200-1,500 m.

-

-

Acacia catechu

Leguminosae

-

Jaseng (Dz), Khair (N)

Small tree

In pockets in Samtse, Sarpang and South Jongkha; 150-500 m.

Heartwood extract

-

Oxitropis japonica

Leguminosae

Sedngo

-

Herb

In pockets in Thimphu and Haa; 2,200-3,50W0 m.

Whole plant

-

Album spp.

Liliaceae

Lagok-rig

Lagok (Dz/Sh)

Herb

Found in Laya and Lingshi; 3.500-4,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Malva verticillata

Malvaceae

Niga and Halemetok

Halemetok (Dz)

Herb

Found in Thimphu (cultivated); 2,300 m.

Flower

-

Ricinus communis

Euphorbianeae

Denrok-chhok

Chamlingshing (Sh)

Small tree

Abundant in Trashigang, Wamrong, Deothang and Sarpang; 150-1,500 m.

Seed

Cultivable

Swertia chirata

Gentianaceae

Balting

-

Herb

In pockets in Wamrong, Deothang and Sarpang; 200-1,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Phytolacca acinoso

Phytolaccaceae

Pawo-serpo

Zalmathangru (Sh)

Climber

In pockets in Wamrong and Deothang; 200-1,500 m.

Bulb/root

-

Curcuma zedoaria

-

Pagoed

Zalmathangru-tsalu (Sh)

Climber

Found in Wamrong; 200-1,500 m.

Bulb/root

-

Dendrobium curcuminatum

Orchidaceae

Pusheltsey-chhog

Orchid (C)

Orchid

Scattered locations in Narphung and Deothang; 200-2,000 m.

Stem

-

Caelogyne oculata

Orchidaceae

Pusheltsey-meonpa

Churchurbu (Sh), Orchid (C)

Orchid

Scattered locations in Wamrong, Deothang and Thinleygang; 700-2,000 m.

Bulb/stem

-

Mucuna entada phaseoloides

Leguminosae

Lagorzhosha

-

-

Rare; 1,000 m.

Seed

-

Semicarpus anacardium

Anacardiaceae

Gojeela

-

-

Rare; 1,000m.

Seed

-

Holarrhena antidysenterica

Apocynaceae

Dukmongung-chhog

-

Small tree

In pockets in Manas and Panbang; 150-400 m.

Fruit

-

Rauvolfia serpentina

Apocynaceae

-

Surpagandah (Sanskrit)

Herb

In pockets in Samtse and Sarpang; 150-400 m.

Root extracts

Cultivable

Vinceloxicum album

Asclepiadaceae

Dukmongung/Ngodukmongung

-

Herb

In pockets in Gunitsawa and Dechhencholing; 2,000-2,500 m.

Fruit

-

Arisaema sp.

Araceae

Dowo

Dowo (Dz), Rungenengsae (Sh)

Herb

Scattered locations in Wamrong, Teybesa and Thimphu; 1,200-2,400 m.

Bulb

-

Panax pseudo-ginseng

Araliaceae

Dingi-raza

Ginseng (C)

Herb

Rare; found in Trashigang, Bumthang, Haa, Paro and Thimphu; 2,000-3,200 m.

Tuber/root

-

Eugenia cumini

Myrtaceae

Maak

Bjee (Sz), Dangbelingsae (Sh)

Shrub/small tree

Abundant in Paro, Thimphu and Bumthang; 2,000-3,300 m.

Fruit

-

Eugenia jambolana

Myrtaceae

Seydey

Ngasi (Dz)

Tree

Scattered locations in Manas and Punakha; 150-1,500m.

Fruit

-

Lapiserus wallachii

-

Dakpay

-

Fern

Rare

Whole plant

-

Lapiserus thunbergianus

-

Tsunmo-rayral

-

Fern

Rare

Whole plant

-

Berberis aristata

Berberidaceae

Kershun

Kerpatsang (Dz)

Shrub

Abundant in Bumthang, Haa, Paro and Thimphu; 2,000-3,500 m.

Bark/root

-

Erigeron multiradiatus

Compositae

Gelwaichen/Gel waimingchen

-

Herb

Rare; found in Soi, Lingshi and Bumthang; 3,100-4,000 m.

Flower

-

Saussurea gossypiphora

Compositae

Sukdra

-

Herb

Rare; found in Chhewla and Nelela; 4,500-5,200 m.

Whole plant

-

Tanacetum atkinsonii

Compositae

Genthabata

-

Herb

Rare; found in Chhewla and Yaalela; 4,000-5,000 m.

Whole plant

-

Dioscorea bulbifera

Dioscoreaceae

-

Yam (N), Tshema-kewa (Dz), Borang-Joktang/Fantang (Sh)

Creeper

Rare; found in South Jongkha, Sarpang, Samtse, Wamrong, Pemagatshel and Kheng; 150-1,500 m.

Tuber

Cultivable

Drocera peltata

Droceraceae

Tang-ngu

Drocera/insect plant (C)

Herb

In pockets in Thimphu; 2,400 m.

Whole plant

-

Pterocephalus hookeri

Dipsacaceae

Luktsidowo


Herb

Scattered locations in Soi, Lava, Ura and Dhur; 2,800-3,400 m.

Flower/whole plant

-

Dipsacus atratus

Dipsacaceae

Pangtsidowo

-

Herb

Scattered locations in Bumthang, Soi and Laya; 2,500-3,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Diospyrys lotus

Ebenaceae

Gundum-Nakpo

Gundum (Dz), Amdebu (Sh)

Small tree

Scattered locations in Punakha Raling; 500-1,700 m.

Fruit

Domesticated

Ephedra herardiana

Ephydraceae

Tshe, Tshedum

Tshe (Dz)

Herb

Rare; found in Dagala, Lingtshi and Soi; 4,500-5,200 m.

Whole plant

-

Mallotus phillipenensis

Euphorbiaceae

-

Sindhuri (Hindu)

Small tree

Scattered locations in Manas and Panbang; 150-1,500 m.

Bark

-

Euphorbia sieboldiana

Euphorbiaceae

Tren-bu

-

Herb

Rare; found in Soi, Naro and Lingshe; 3,500-4,500 m.

Tuber, root

-

Aconitum naviculare

Ranunculaecae

Bong-nga-Karpo

-

Herb

Rare; found in Shoduk and Lingshe; 3,500-4,500 m.

Tuber

-

Leontopodium sp.

Compositae

Tawai-Thok-gu

-

Herb

In pockets in Gangchhen tak and Nelaela; 3,500-4,800 m.

Whole plant

-

Hyoscymus sp.

Solanaceae

Langthang-tse


Herb

Extremely rare; found in Haa-la-chu-la; 3,500-4,000 m.

Fruit/whole plant

-

Elettaria cardamomum

Zingiberaceae

Sukmel

-

Herb

Rare, 200-500 m,

-

Cultivable

Meconopsis horridula

Papaveraceae

Tsher-ngoon

Blue poppy (Eng)

Herb

Rare; found in Soi, Naro and Lingshe; 4,000-4,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Piper nigra

Piperaceae

Phowari

Pipla

Creeping shrub

Scattered; abundant in southern belt; 200-500 m.

Fruit

-

Polygonum sp

Polygonaceae

Nga-la

Kochokmu, Barshong

Shrub

Scattered locations in Shoduk and Barshong; 3,000-4,500 m.

Root

-

Primula sikkimensis

Primulaceae

Shang-shang-drilba

Primula (Eng)

Herb

Scattered locations in Phajoding and Soi/Naro; 3,000-4,000 m.

Whole plant

-

Lycoperdon pyritormis


Phawa-go-go

Puff-ball (Eng)

Fungus

Rare; found in Shingkhar and Bumthang; 2,000-3,500 m.

Whole item

-

Plantago tibetica

Plantaginaceae

Thar-ram

Tsa-shokum-sh

Herb

Abundant throughout Bhutan; 300-3,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Curcuma longa

Zingiberaceae

Yungwa

Juung (Sh), Haldi (N), Yongka (Dz)

Herb

Cultivated in lower zone; 200-2,500 m.

Rhizome

Cultivable

Comarium carvi

Umbelliferae

Go-Ngod

-

Herb

Rare, 200-3,000 m.

Fruit

-

Megacodon scylophoru

Gentianaceae

Key-chay-karpo

Gintian (Eng)

Herb

Rare; found in Gunitsawa, Soi, Naro and Bumthang; 3,000-3,500 m.

Floral part

-

Corydalis dubia

Fumariaceae

Tongzil, Tongri-Zilpa

-

Herb

Rare; found in Soi and Lingshe; 3,500-4,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Thalspi arvense

Cruciferae

Dega

Jay-kha (Dz), Tirmu-Bumthang

Herb

Cultivated in Fromrong, Bumthang and Thimphu; 2,400-3,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Aster neo-elegans

Compositae

Yugushing

-

Herb

Abundant in Haa, Thimphu and Bumthang; 2,500-3,500 m.

Whole plant

-

Thaliotrum foliolosum

Ranunculaceae

Ngang-tse-tray

-

Herb

Scattered locations in Dolamkencho and Thimphu.; 2,200-3,500 m.

Root

-

Tinospora cordifoli

Minispermaceae

Seydey

-

Shrub

Rare, 200-1,000 m.

Fruit/seed

-

Cucurbita pepo

Cucurbitaceae

Kabet

-

Climber

In pockets, 100-800 m.

Fruit

-

Canarium sikkimensis

Burseraceae

Paykar

Poskarshing (Sh)

Tree

Rare; found in Deothang, Pangkhar, Kheng and Shemgang; 500-1,500 m.

Exude/resin

Used as incense

Aquilaria agalloocha

Thymelaeaceae

Aagarushing

Agurshing (Dz/Sh/T)

Medium-sized tree

Extremely rare; found in Samrang, Manas, Panbang, South Jongkha and Kheng; 150-1,500 m.

Heartwood

-

Punica granatum

Rosaceae

Sadey

Sindu (Dz), Thalim (Sh), Dalim (N)

Small tree

Abundant in Trashigang, Deothang, Wangdue, Punakha and Trongsa.; 500-1,500 m.

Fruit/seed

Domesticated

Innula helenium

Compositae

Manu

-

Herb

Rare; found in Bumthang (cultivated); 3,000-3,500 m.

Root

Domesticated

Note:

Dz = Dzongkha
Sh = Sharchop-kha
T = Tongsap (Mangdep)
B = Bumthap
N = Nepali
C = Common
Eng = English

A traditional paper production factory in Thimphu. The bark is soaked in water for cleaning and separating into smaller pieces.


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