The Abhuj Maria tribes are one of the main tribe of Chhattisgarh. They live in interior forest of Baster division. Their farm produce suffices for hardly 5-6 months requirements; for remaining 6-7 months every year, they have to depend upon wild roots, fruits, flowers and leaves of wild plants. Fruits such as mango, jackfruit, Jamun, guava, casewnuts provide food to tribes for about 2 -3 months. The determinants of the food pattern of the individuals in a given society bound to vary from one society to other, one area to other and so on. The non-vegetarian foods such as pigs, mutton, chickens, fish, crabs, field rats are taken as and when available. They take buffalo, goat and pork meat, though irregularly. They are using trees without cutting them as twigs, fruits, fodder, finewood and for meditional purposes as these trees are not only their kitchen but also their hospital too so they are advocating ecofrindly mode of using forest.
There are evidences that tribes fully depended on forest products, as they take Mahua, Kandmula, fruits kodo, kutaki, Jwar, seeds of tamarinds, rice, sawa, macca. People of rural India are still dependent on traditional medicines for their health care and treatment of diseases (Bhasin and Bhasin 1994; Babu 1998). They take flour mixed with tamarind seed and mango seeds. In rainy season, they make sweets from Mahua with tamarind seed’s flour.They collect chiraunji, Gond, mahua, hara, bahera amala from forest. Tribes have their dwelling on the hill-top, sub-mountainous region or barren land, which is deprived of iodine, resulting in iodine deficiency. This leads to various iodine deficiency disorders. The oil of wild seeds ‘Tora’ is used for cooking and other purposes including applying on injuries. A large number of plants and animal used by tribal of Abujhmarh in Chattisgarh. At the time of crisis they depend upon wild leaves, fruits and seeds of various plants which can be eaten either raw or cooked. It has been observed that they ate the ‘kasha’ either as fruit or as vegetables. Besides our own observation, local doctors told that during difficult days, tribals depend upon it for days together. ‘Sandeshra’ is another common fruit which satisfies both hunger and thirst and other fruits are ‘Tammer’ and ‘Tamra’. Leaves of ‘Goinda’, ‘Rajara’, ‘Keria’ & ‘Sagara’, ‘Phangs’ and so on are also eaten in large quantity. Grains of ‘Jhandra’, Tamarind are used to prepare Chapatti which is like wheat Chapatti in taste. Due to a large dependency upon forest food not even a single case of starvation is seen during all the five year of investigations. The application of herbal medicines has been studied by Sharma et al., (2011)
Leaves of ‘jeera’, ‘sahajan’, and ‘tamarind’ so on are also eaten in large quantity at the time of crisis. Tamarids are used to prepare Chapatti which is like wheat Chapatti in taste. Many tribal families depend on forest produce for one meal and for second one on agricultural produce throughout the year. The capacity of tribals is very limited to purchase of any edible items or otherwise. In order to purchase petty things like oil, sugar and salt, tribals had to sell: (1) a portion of the rice (2) jungle woods (3) chirowjii, mahua and honey gathered from the forest. This indicated the extent of purchasing power and economic conditions. In this connection, not even a single respondent had admitted that they could afford to buy the basic essentials such as cereals or pulses or vegetables even when they had nothing to eat by mony they are fully depends upon the barter system in which they purchase any thing by exchanging their forest materials collected by them. During crisis, they depend upon forest products to survive. The routine dietary intake of tribes is alike and their life style including associated beliefs in near and far villages were not different. The routine diet remains more or less same and slightly affected by the change of season. Though the concept of socially impressive and nourishing food is widespread up till now their consumptions are subject to the availability and linked with their economic condition. Most prevalent method of cooking adopted by tribes is boiling and roasting practices followed by fermentation and at this point they least use fuel and advocates the energy saving techniques as they make their food once in a day and limited only to boil the rice neither chapattis nor pulses are part of their food which consume maximum fuel.
Gonds believe that any disease is caused due to magico religious faith, malnutrition and environmental imbalance. Halba-Gonds usually approach local man who is the traditional healers. These healers also diagnose the disease through magico-religious method. Hlba-Gonds are pluralistic in seeking treatment for various illnesses and diseases. People of rural India are still dependent on traditional medicines for their health care and treatment of diseases (Bhasin and Bhasin 1994; Babu 1998). The ethanobotanical studied were carried out in different parts of India by various workers as tribal have deep belief in their native folklore medicine for remedies and they rely exclusively on their own herbal cure (Sajem &Gosai, 2006).
The indigenous ethno-medical system of Maria is a complex one in the sense that it encompasses a variety of practices that employ magic, plant and animal products and even the allopathic medicines. It represents medical pluralism among this tribe. The horizon of ethno medical knowledge of Maria is appreciably high, as they have recognized a variety of diseases and correspondingly origin through magico-religious causes are attributed to them. They have identified diseases due to infection, malnutrition and functional anomalies of various organ systems.
On the basis of present study, it was suggested that the evaluation of medical efficacy of these traditional medicines and herbs is very important and warrants documenting such oral traditional knowledge that persists among tribal communities. Besides local healers doctors of the Ram Krishna Mission and other Missionary were consulted, Composition of homodrugs also cross cheked to short out the right problems.
Few Medicinal fruits and flowers a tribal lady in local market of Narayanpur interrogated by Researcher
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Department of botany,
Navyug mahavidyalaya, Jaunpur, U.P. India.