Ethnobotany in India

  • N. C. Shah
Reference work entry

Ethnobotany is the use of plants in material or abstract form among ethnic communities or tribal people. Sometimes, it is regarded as ethnographical or anthropological or tribal botany. India is a vast country with a variety of topographies, climates, vegetation, and people. When discussing ethnobotany in India, we can consider two groups of people, those living in small cities or rural villages and tribal peoples who live in remote villages. India has a population of 102 million, out of which about 50 million people belong to 550 tribal communities. There are 325 total languages with a large number of dialects spoken within the country, of which 18 are official including English, Sanskrit, and Urdu.

Ethnobotany is a combination of ethnography and botany. Ethnographers describe the people of a region including their race, language, and their uses of plants:
  • Food and its methods of preparations

  • Medicine

  • Extraction of fatty oils

  • Edibles and non‐edibles

  • Condiments and spices

  • Seasoning...

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  • N. C. Shah

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