ENUMERATION OF THE ETHNOBOTANIACAL USES OF SOME HERBS IN ASTORE VALLEY, GILGIT-BALTISTAN, PAKISTAN WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO HEALTH CURE PURPOSES
An ethnobotanical survey was carried out to collect information regarding the various indigenous uses, particularly the traditional therapy by the plants in Astore valley. It was observed that 133 herbaceous species belonging to 112 genera and 41 families (33 dicotyledonous, 6 monocotyledonous and two pteridophytic) were used in the folk-medicine system i.e. eye disease, abdominal problems, joint pain, gynecological disease, diarrhea, fever, cough, abscesses, skin disease and aphrodisiac etc., livestock treatment and other purposes by the people of the valley. A number of locals and nomadic people were engaged in harvesting medicinal plants for their own use or to fetch huge amount to in market. The threatened and endangered plant species like Saussurea costus, Picrorhiza kurrooa, Aconitum hetrophyllum and Angelica glauca are also exploited. The plant resources are highly under threat and facing extinction risk. There is a need to conserve the indigenous knowledge and important resources equally.