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Traditional legumes in Sikkim Himalayas: Food preparation, uses and Ethno-Medicinal perspectives

Author: 
Dibyendu Talukdar and Tulika Talukdar
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

An inventory was carried out in parts of Sikkim Himalayas (500-4200m, amsl) to document traditional wisdom on legumes regarding mode of food preparation and resource utilization. The study revealed rich biodiversity and conservation of traditional knowledge on use of legumes in food, fodder, medicine, organic farming and socio-religious festivals. As many as 42 ethno-taxa have been identified, of which 24 plants had use in different ailments including diabetes, high blood cholesterol, fever, digestive disorder and other general health problems. As edible food, 24 plants had extensive use either as vegetables or pulse-meal and 10 recipes have been identified. Cooking and boiling was the most preferred recipes among the tribes. Phaseolus and Vigna emerged as dominant taxa with maximum number of useful plants (8 each), followed by Cassia and Lathyrus (4 each) and then other taxa. Nepalese was the predominant tribes, utilizing highest number of plants, and it was closely followed by Lepchas and Bhutias and then other tribes. The informant consensus factor, used for the first time in Sikkim Himalayas, for preparation and usage of plant per category was high enough (> 0.90), indicating high degree of consensus in disclosing the traditional knowledge within the community in the study areas.

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