Saturday, March 21, 2009

Ipomoea Carnea is vanishing from the Ranchi city in Jharkhand State of India.

Ipomoea Carnea is vanishing from the Ranchi city in Jharkhand State of India.
by
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi


Ipomoea Carnea popularly known in Jharkhand state of India as thethar or behaya (rigid or shameless) plants is gradually vanishing from the Ranchi city. It has both the medicinal values as well as toxic to some animals. Few years ago this plant was abandoned in Ranchi city especially along the road side, railway track,barren lands and by the side of ponds. But now they are concentrated only in few locations like near small ponds etc. Cutting and burning of this plant by the poor people has reduced it drastically in and around Ranchi city.

Ipomoea was introduced in India as green manure crop but later it has became problematic weed.
One of two tree-like perennial morning glory species, it grows to a height of 5m. The stem is thick and develops into a solid trunk over several years with many branches from base. The leaves are light green, heart shaped or somewhat lanceolate and 10-25cm long. It acts as toxic to cattle.
It is reported to have stimulatory allopathic effects. Roots are boiled to use as laxative and to provoke menstruation. Traditional healers for treatment of skin diseases have used it. The milky juice of plant has been used for the treatment of Leucoderma and other related skin diseases. Only external applications have been recommended due to poisonous nature of the plant. It has depressant effect on central nervous system. Also shows muscle relaxant property.

Ipomoea carnea has been held responsible for several poisoning episodes, mainly in goats. It was found that goats ingested the plant were affected with muscle tremors, weakness of the hind limbs and ataxia.
The city of Ranchi provide an example typical of any expanding metropolis of the country. The air pollution problems of the city are expanding due to modernisation, industrial urbanisation and with the expansion of the area of urban agglomeration . The process has caused expansion of the environmental problems typical to urban areas . According to different research reports the twigs are going to be adversely affected by the continuous abrasion of growing tips due to winds carrying air pollutants. Even the trees planted along the road side are being badly affected due to air pollution mixed with dust pollution.
In the recent study it was found that planting Ipomoea Carnea beside the roads will be more effective as according to the study this plant was found to be most tolerant species to all types of pollution.
Ipomoea Carnea showed the best results alone as well as in combination with the wastes, especially distillery waste. The use of these plants can be made to supplement the conventional substrates like dung in rural areas to augment the biogas production.

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