Pharmacological, ethnopharmacological, and botanical evaluation of subtropical medicinal plants of Lower Kheng region in Bhutan

Wangchuk, Phurpa, Yeshi, Karma, and Jamphel, Kinga (2017) Pharmacological, ethnopharmacological, and botanical evaluation of subtropical medicinal plants of Lower Kheng region in Bhutan. Integrative Medicine Research, 6 (4). pp. 372-387.

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Background: The Bhutanese Sowa Rigpa medicine (BSM) uses medicinal plants as the bulk ingredients. Our study was to botanically identify subtropical medicinal plants from the Lower Kheng region in Bhutan, transcribe ethnopharmacological uses, and highlight reported pharmacological activities of each plant.

Methods: We freely listed the medicinal plants used in the BSM literature, current formulations, and the medicinal plants inventory documents. This was followed by a survey and the identification of medicinal plants in the Lower Kheng region. The botanical identification of each medicinal plant was confirmed using The Plant List, eFloras, and TROPICOS. Data mining for reported pharmacological activities was performed using Google Scholar, Scopus, PubMed, and SciFinder Scholar.

Results: We identified 61 subtropical plants as the medicinal plants used in BSM. Of these, 17 plants were cultivated as edible plant species, 30 species grow abundantly, 24 species grow in moderate numbers, and only seven species were scarce to find. All these species grow within the altitude range of 100-1800 m above sea level. A total of 19 species were trees, and 13 of them were shrubs. Seeds ranked first in the parts usage category. Goshing Gewog (Block) hosted maximum number of medicinal plants. About 52 species have been pharmacologically studied and only nine species remain unstudied.

Conclusion: Lower Kheng region is rich in subtropical medicinal plants and 30 species present immediate economic potential that could benefit BSM, Lower Kheng communities and other Sowa Rigpa practicing organizations.

Item ID: 51959
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2213-4239
Keywords: Bhutanese Sowa Rigpa medicine, ethnobotany, Lower Kheng, medicinal plants, pharmacological activities
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(C) 2017 Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine. Published by Elsevier. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

Funders: World Health Organization
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2018 07:53
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3214 Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences > 321499 Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8299 Other Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 829999 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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