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Publication Type J
Authors Hameed, M., M. Ashraf, F. Al-Quriany, T. Nawaz, M. S. A. Ahmad, A. Younis and N. Naz
Title Medicinal flora of the Cholistan desert: a review
Source Pakistan Journal of Botany
Author Keywords BOERHAAVIA-DIFFUSA L HALOXYLON-SALICORNICUM PAKISTAN VARIABILITY DITERPENES CONSTITUENTS VEGETATION INHIBITOR ALKALOIDS NORTHERN
Abstract The Cholistan desert can be divided into two distinct regions on the basis of topography, soil type and texture, and vegetation structure: the northern Lesser Cholistan and southern Greater Cholistan. The desert is characterized by large saline compacted areas with alluvial clay, sandy ridges and dunes, and semi-stabilized to frequently shifting dunes. The climate is subtropical, harsh, hot and arid, and influenced by seasonal monsoons. Vegetation cover on the sand dunes is comprised by a few tussock-forming grasses including Cenchrus ciliaris, Panicum turgidum and Lasiurus scindicus, along with perennial shrubs Calligonum polygonoides, Leptadenia pyrotechnica and Aerva javanica. Interdunal flats are dominated by grasses, mainly Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Sporobolus ioclados, Panicum antidotale, and Ochthochloa compressa, and tall shrubs Calligonum polygonoides and Capparis decidua. Vegetation of saline patches is specific, dominated by halophytes mainly belonging to family Chenopodiaceae (Amaranthaceae). Many plants of the Cholistan desert, including Neurada procumbens, Aerva javanica, Capparis decidua, Cleome brachycarpa, Dipterygium glaucum, Gisekia pharnacioides, Suaeda fruticosa, Achyranthes aspera, Aerva javanica, Alhagi maurorum, Calotropis procera, Capparis decidua, Zaleya pentandra, Mollugo cerviana, Ziziphus mauritiana, Boerhavia procumbens, Cressa cretica and Crotalaria burhia, are frequently used by the local inhabitants to cure chronic and acute diseases. A variety of medicinally important chemical compounds have been extracted and identified from the plants of the Cholistan desert, including terpenes and triterpenoids, sterols and steroids, phenolics, flavonoids, gums and resins, quinones, anthocyanidines, saponins, antioxidants and fatty acids. Habitat degradation, intensive agricultural practices and overexploitation of resources pose a serious threat to the diversity of ethnobotanically important plant species. Allopathic medicines are generally highly priced and out of reach for many of the desert inhabitants. Herbal medicines are preferentially used by local people because they are cheaper than allopathic medicines and have relatively few side effects. Therefore, it is imperative to devise strategies to meet the increasing demand for medicinal plants, not only for the local inhabitants but also for international markets. Institutional support, therefore, can play a decisive role in improving the medicinal plant sector while providing financial support, cultivation and conservation of some important medicinal plants and promoting the domestic and international market systems.
Author Address [Hameed, Mansoor; Ashraf, Muhammad; Nawaz, Tahira; Ahmad, Muhammad Sajid Aqeel; Naz, Nargis] Univ Agr Faisalabad, Dept Bot, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan. [Ashraf, Muhammad; Al-Quriany, F.] King Saud Univ, Dept Bot & Microbiol, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. [Younis, Adnan] Univ Agr Faisalabad, Inst Hort Sci, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan. Hameed, M (reprint author), Univ Agr Faisalabad, Dept Bot, Faisalabad 38040, Pakistan. hameedmansoor@yahoo.com
ISSN 0556-3321
ISBN 0556-3321
29-Character Source Abbreviation Pak. J. Bot.
Publication Date Dec
Year Published 2011
Volume 43
Beginning Page 39-50
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000298173000007
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