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Ethnic Practices in Treating Skin Diseases: The Traditional Dermatologist's Role

      Abstract

      The study documents the role of traditional medicinal and therapeutic plants in treating various skin ailments by indigenous communities of the tribal district of North Waziristan, Pakistan. A total of 130 informants and traditional dermatologists were interviewed. They employed 77 plant species belonging to 49 families to treat various skin ailments. The leading life form reported was herbs (41 species), while the dominant family was Lamiaceae (5 species). Leaves were the most commonly used plant part (37 species). The most preferred mode of preparation was paste (30.38%), and the dominant mode of administration was topical (69.23%). Important medicinal plants reported in this study are recommended for further phytochemical screening for bioactive constituents, which may lead to novel drug discoveries.

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