Assessing Ethnic Traditional Knowledge, Biology and Chemistry of Lepidium didymum L., Lesser-Known Wild Plants of Western Himalaya

  • Bikarma SinghEmail author
  • Sumit Singh
  • Bishander Singh
  • Surinder Kitchlu
  • Vikash Babu
Research Article


Tribal communities have a long history of association living in close contact with nature as herdsmen, and their mode of use of natural products as food and medicine dates reverse to ancient time. Usually, the folklore knowledge transfers from one generation to next generation by the way of living and the mode of usage of available resources. There is less known information on taxonomy, ethnic traditional knowledge, nutrient contents and chemistry of Lepidium didymum L., a leafy wild edible Himalayan culinary herb. The authors have documented such folklore knowledge for the first time from two Himalayan nomadic and pastoral communities—Gujjars and Bakarwals, from seven regions (Patnitop, Sanasar, Kud, Batote, Bani, Nathatop and Mantalai) of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Investigations were carried out using snowball technique from 167 people both the male and the female, aged 17–68 years. As per knowledge investigated, L. didymum is commonly used as seasonal cooked vegetable, local medicine, fodder for animals, salad, chapati making and traditional dish Wazwan preparation. The field data analysis shows high use value of this species. The plant prefers to grow in subtropical and temperate climate and has high nutritive values due to the presence of high glucose, unsaturated fatty acids, proteins, vitamins and minerals. This finding will lead to the formulation of new nutraceutical products as value addition from wild edible plants for people residing in the high-altitude regions of Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in the world.


Traditional knowledge Biology Chemistry Lepidium didymum Western Himalaya India 



The authors are thankful to Dr. Ram A. Vishwakarma, Director, CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu, for facilities and encouragement. They are also thankful to Maridul Kundan, and the local Gujjar and Bakarwal tribes of Jammu and Kashmir state for their assistance in the field investigations and for sharing their valuable indigenous knowledge. This piece of work is a part of Ph.D. work of Sumit Singh and Bishander Singh and supported by different grants from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India, New Delhi, under 12th Five Year Plan Project (BSC0106 and MLP1007). This article represents Institutional Publication Number IIIM/2215/2018.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest to publish this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The National Academy of Sciences, India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Sciences Division (Biodiversity and Applied Botany-cum-Value Addition Section)CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative MedicineJammuIndia
  2. 2.Academy of Scientific and Innovative ResearchNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Department of BotanyVeer Kunwar Singh UniversityAraIndia
  4. 4.Fermentation DivisionCSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative MedicineJammuIndia

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