Ethno-ecology of the Healing Forests of Sarban Hills, Abbottabad, Pakistan: An Economic and Medicinal Appraisal

  • Farhana Ijaz
  • Inayat Ur Rahman
  • Zafar Iqbal
  • Jane Alam
  • Niaz Ali
  • Shujaul Mulk Khan


The present studies aimed to explore plant diversity and ethnoecologically important plants of the Sarban Hills in District Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. The area is gifted with diverse and unique flora because of the extension and mixing of three type of forests, i.e., subtropical pine forest, subtropical broadleaf forest, and the Himalayan moist temperate forests. A total of 147 plant species belonging to angiosperm, gymnosperms, and pteridophytes were reported. Percent shares of Trees were 19.8%, shrubs 30.8%, herbs 58.8%, and climbers 5.4%. The angiosperm species found here were representing 56 families (6 families of monocots and 50 families of dicots), gymnosperm having 3 species, and pteridophytes having 2 species. Among these families, Asteraceae was the leading family with 19 species, followed by Lamiaceae with 15 species and Papilionaceae with 13 species. The gymnosperm was represented by two families: Pinaceae was represented by Pinus roxburghii and Cedrus deodara and the second family was Cupressaceae with one species, i.e., Cupressus sempervirens. The pteridophytes were represented by two species. The ethnobotanical information shows diverse usages of the 147 plant species; 107 of these are used as medicine, 20 as fuel woods, and 20 as fodders. Further, 85 species are herbs, 45 are shrubs, 29 are trees, and 8 are climber and trailers. The species Aesculus indica, Cedrus deodara, Pinus Roxburghii, Zanthoxylum armatum, and Dalbergia sissoo have multiple uses. Data on use of plant parts, show that mostly leaves and roots have been practiced in the traditional recipes, while other parts of plants like fruits, shoot, bulb fronds, and bark are used in relatively lower percentage. It has been found that some species are no more available in their respective habitats in this area due to excessive collection, overgrazing, deforestation, and unawareness of the indegenous communities.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farhana Ijaz
    • 1
  • Inayat Ur Rahman
    • 1
  • Zafar Iqbal
    • 1
  • Jane Alam
    • 1
  • Niaz Ali
    • 1
  • Shujaul Mulk Khan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyHazara UniversityMansehraPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Plant SciencesQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan

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