An integrated medicine of Bhutan: Sowa Rigpa concepts, botanical identification, and the recorded phytochemical and pharmacological properties of the eastern Himalayan medicinal plants

Yeshi, Karma, Gyal, Yangbum, Sabernig, Katharina, Phuntsho, Jigme, Tidwell, Tawni, Jamtsho, Tenzin, Dhondup, Rinchen, Tokar, Eliot, and Wangchuk, Phurpa (2019) An integrated medicine of Bhutan: Sowa Rigpa concepts, botanical identification, and the recorded phytochemical and pharmacological properties of the eastern Himalayan medicinal plants. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 29. 100927.

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Abstract

Introduction:

Bhutanese Sowa Rigpa medicine (BSM) has established unique pharmacopoeias that describe ethnotaxonomical concepts, classification systems and descriptions of medicinal plants. BSM was integrated with modern health care system in 1967. BSM uses medicinal plants, minerals and animal products as the main ingredients of the formulations used for treating various disorders. This study was aimed to highlight interesting ethnotaxonomical concepts of BSM and identify and document medicinal plants from the two remotest regions of eastern Himalayas of Bhutan – Merak and Sakteng.

Methods:

Ethnopharmacological data was gathered from the pharmacopoeias, published monographs and research papers on Bhutanese medicinal plants. Medicinal plants diversity was surveyed using the convenience sampling methods. A literature review on the phytochemical content of the medicinal plants and their pharmacological activities was carried out using plant databases, PubMed, SciFinder and Google Scholar.

Results:

A very interesting ethnotaxonomical concept of BSM has been translated into English terminologies from the traditional pharmacopoeia. A total of 50 alpine medicinal plants belonging to 25 families and 39 genera in 13 study sites between Merak and Sakteng were documented. Only 12 medicinal species were identified as priority species or are currently used at Menjong Sorig Pharmaceuticals for formulating 48 different medicines.

Conclusions:

This study described the ethnotaxonomical concepts, classification and description of medicinal plants in Bhutan and botanically identified 50 alpine medicinal plants from 13 different study sites under Merak and Sakteng regions. About 12 of them were currently used as ingredients in BSM formulations and 35 species were studied for their phytochemical and pharmacological properties.

Item ID: 58752
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1876-3839
Keywords: integrative medicine, phytochemical, pharmacological, ethnobotanical and Bhutan
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Copyright Information: © 2019 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2019 00:20
FoR Codes: 03 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 0304 Medicinal and Biomolecular Chemistry > 030401 Biologically Active Molecules @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine > 110499 Complementary and Alternative Medicine not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970103 Expanding Knowledge in the Chemical Sciences @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences @ 50%
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