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Medicinal Plants around Wetlands in Sunderbans

Gautam Kumar Das

Global warming, directly related with the climate change, caused either by natural processes or man-made i.e. anthropogenic interferences, has a major impact upon the wetlands. Global warming and huge sedimentation decrease the water depth of the water bodies in the Sunderbans. As a result of such sedimentation and decreased depth thereon, sunlight is allowed to reach even at the bottom of the water body, warming the water mass which help growing of the rooted aquatic plants leads to eutrophication. Eutrophication is a state of an increase in the nutrient supply in the form of primary productivity of such wetlands shifting trophic level of food chain of the water body. Eutrophication, an extremely slow process, occurred in a wetland of shallow depth, is filled due to erosion or gradual sedimentation processes. Sedimentation increases more and more nutrient supply into the water body as the sediment particles are primarily carried with the water. The man-made eutriphication is very fast by nature and known as cultural eutrophication. Important factors for such cultural eutrophication in the Sunderbans include agricultural activities, chemical fertilizers etc applied in the agricultural field from which the runoff flows into the water body. As a result, eutrophication is slowly weeding the wetlands of the Sunderbans. These weeds i.e. the wetland plants are generally useless, though a few of them are beneficial to the human society either providing food stuff, materials required for thatching houses or useful as fodder for the bovides. Weeds in and around the wetlands are enlisted in the table-2 for better representation.

Wetland are classified depending on the submergence characteristics, such as – submerged plants, free floating plants, rooted but floating plants, and rooted and emerged plants. Wetland plants particularly with submergence characteristics are also important for rendering help in lowering the pollution level of wetlands water specially the pollution level of wetland water in and around Bidyadhari River catchment area where water affected with the domestic discharges by Bhangarkata khal, Bagjola khal etc from Kolkata metropolis through various natural processes. We can also enjoy the benefit of wetland productivity without destroying an important habitat of medicinal plants grown up naturally. More than ten species of medicinal plants were identified and enlisted in the table-1 around a wetland at Debnagar under Namkhana police station when weed eradication drive is taken by its owner. So therefore, climate change and global warming are certainly the causes for the abundant occurrences of weeds around the wetlands of which a few are medicinal plants and essential for day to day life of the inhabitants of Sunderbans.

Table - 1 Medicinal plants in and around wetlands of Sunderbans


Local Name

Scientific name

Dhutra
Basak
Kalmegh
Tulsi
Bramhi
Kulekhara
Keshardam
Gima
Amrul
Thankuni
Hincha
Aswagandha
Kanchira
Mutha

Datura metal
Adhatoda vasica
Andrographis paniculata
Oscimum sanctum
Bacopa monnieri
Hygrophilia auriculata
Ludwigia adscendens
Polycarpon prostratum
Oxalic corniculata
Centella asiatica
Enhydra fluctuans
Withania pomnifera
Commelina bengalensis
Cyperus rotundus

Table – 2 Wetland plants in and around wetlands of Sunderbans

Local name

Scientific name

Dumur
Sarbajaya
Hogla
Kalmi
Bera kalmi
Padma
Kachu
Kachuri-pana
Lal-pana
Matardal-pana
Suji-pana
Indurkan-pana
Topa-pana
Panifal
Chesco
Hasnahena
Sapla
Pata-sapla
Jhanjhi
Pata-jhanji

Ficus hispoda
Canna sp.
Typha andastata
Ipomoea aquatic
Ipomoea carnea
Nelumbo nucifera
Colocasia esculenta
Eichhornia crassipes
Lamna sp.
Spirodella polyrhyza
Wolphea sp.
Salvinea sp.
Pistia stratiotes
Trapa bispinosa
Scirpus sp.
Cestrum diurnum
Nymphaea nouchali
Oetelia sp.
Hydrilla sp.
Vallisneria sp.

Frontier
Apr 15, 2019


Gautam Kumar Das [email protected]

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