Table 1: Nonconventional (famine) food plants of four villages in Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari districts, Bangladesh.

Serial numberSpeciesFamilyLocal name
(English name)
Part(s) usedMode of consumptionLocal medicinal use(s)

1Abroma  augusta (L.) L.f.MalvaceaeUlot kombol
(Devil’s cotton)
Bark, rootJuice obtained from crushed bark is taken with a little salt. Smashed roots are cooked.Roots used against menstrual problems, leucorrhea, stomach pain, and sexual weakness. Bark used against jaundice.

2Alternanthera sessilis (L.) R. Br. ex DC.AmaranthaceaeShanti shak
(Sessile joyweed)
Leaf, stemFried with little oil and water.Leaves used against scabies and eczema.

3Amaranthus spinosus L.AmaranthaceaeKanta khuria
(Spiny Amaranth)
Leaf, stemFried with little oil and water.Leaves and stems used against boils, stomach pain, and weakness.

4Amaranthus tricolor L.AmaranthaceaeChorie danga shak
(Joseph’s coat Amaranth)
Leaf, stemFried with little oil and water.Leaves and stems used against skin diseases and dysentery.

5Amaranthus viridis L.AmaranthaceaeKhai khuria
(Green Amaranth)
Leaf, stemFried with little oil and water.Leaves and stems used against boils, constipation, and severe malnutrition.

6Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.MoraceaeKanthal
(Jackfruit)
SeedRoasted seeds are eaten directly or in the mashed form.Seeds used against constipation.

7Bombax ceiba L.BombacaceaeShimul
(Silk cotton tree)
RootCut into small pieces and boiled with a little salt.Roots used against sexual weakness.

8Caryota urens L.ArecaceaeCha guwa
(Solitary fishtail palm)
FruitFruits are eaten raw.No local medicinal uses reported.

9Centella asiatica (L.) Urb.ApiaceaeKhudi manimuni
(Indian pennywort)
LeafJuice obtained from crushed leaves is added to lentil soup.Leaves used against indigestion, diarrhea, and dysentery.

10Chenopodium album L.ChenopodiaceaeBothua
(Lamb’s quarters)
Leaf, stemFried with little oil and water.Leaves and stems used against liver diseases, helminthiasis, hemorrhoids, constipation, and bloating.

11Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott.AraceaeKochu
(Elephant’s ear)
Leaf, stem, tuberLeaves and stems are fried with little oil and water. Tubers are boiled in water containing salt and consumed in the mashed form.Leaves and stems used against indigestion. Tubers used against tuberculosis, rheumatism, and paralysis.

12Corchorus capsularis L.TiliaceaePaat shak
(Jute)
Leaf from young plantsCut into small pieces and cooked with little salt and water.Leaves used against stomach pain, liver disorders, and loss of appetite.

13Dioscorea esculenta (Lour.) BurkillDioscoreaceaeBoro alu
(Lesser yam)
Leaf, tuberBoiled in water and then taken in the mashed form after mixing with oil and hot peppers.Tubers used against malnutrition.

14Diplazium esculentum (Retz.) Sw.DryopteridaceaeDhakia shak
(Vegetable fern)
LeafCut into small pieces and cooked.Leaves used against fever.

15Ehretia acuminata R. Br.BoraginaceaeKath guwa
(Kodo weed)
FruitFruits are eaten raw.No local medicinal uses reported.

16Enhydra fluctuans Lour.AsteraceaeHanchi shak
(Water cress)
LeafFried with salt and then cooked.Leaves used against diabetes, low semen density, and weakness.

17Ficus hispida L.MoraceaeKhoksha
(Hairy fig)
FruitFruits are eaten raw.Fruits used against diabetes and hypertension.

18Glinus oppositifolius (L.) Aug. DC.MolluginaceaeTeeta shak
(Bitter leaf)
LeafLeaves are boiled in water followed by discarding the water and cooking the boiled leaves as vegetable.Leaves used against indigestion, fever, and burning sensations in hands or feet.

19Ipomoea aquatica Forssk.ConvolvulaceaeKolmi shak
(Water spinach)
LeafCut into small pieces and cooked with salt and water.Leaves used against chicken pox and rheumatism, and to increase lactation in nursing mothers.

20Ipomoea batatas (L.) Poir.ConvolvulaceaeMisti aloo
(Sweet potato)
LeafCut into small pieces and cooked with salt and water.Leaves used against diarrhea and debility.

21Leucas aspera (Willd.) LinkLamiaceaeKanshika
(White dead nettle)
Leaf from young plantsCut into small pieces and cooked with a little salt.Leaves used against body pain, coughs, and mucus.

22Malva verticillata L.MalvaceaeNapa shak
(Chinese mallow)
LeafCooked with little water and salt.No local medicinal uses reported.

23Marsilea minuta L.MarsileaceaeDhel manimuni
(Dwarf water clover)
LeafLeaves are squeezed to obtain juice, which is consumed with lentil soup.Leaves used against edema, sexual weakness, mucus and fever.

24Moringa oleifera Lam.MoringaceaeSaazna
(Drumstick tree)
Leaf, immature fruitLeaves are cooked with a little soda and consumed. Fruits are cooked as vegetables.Leaves and fruits used against fever, boils, cold, and joint pain.

25Musa x paradisiaca L.MusaceaeAnajee kola
(Plantain)
Flower, fruit, pseudostemImmature flowers are taken in the mashed form with a little salt after boiling. Unripe fruits are boiled and taken in the mashed form or cooked as vegetable. Pseudostems from young plants are cooked as vegetable. Fruits used against anemia, hematemesis, and dysentery. Flowers and pseudostems used against chronic dysentery.

26Musa x sapientum L.MusaceaeAeeta kola
(Banana)
Flower, fruitImmature flowers are boiled and taken in the mashed form with a little salt. Ripe fruits are taken raw or smashed and kept in water for 10–12 hours followed by drinking the mixture.Fruits against stomach pain, diarrhea, and skin eruptions. Flowers used against diabetes.

27Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.NelumbonaceaePadma, Dhepra
(Sacred lotus)
Leaf stalkLeaf stalks are fried with a little salt.Leaves and leaf stalks used against weakness.

28Nymphaea pubescens Willd.NymphaeaceaeShapla, Shaluk
(Hairy water lily)
Leaf stalk, cormLeaf stalks are fried with a little salt. Corms are roasted and taken with a little salt.No local medicinal uses reported.

29Oxalis corniculata L.OxalidaceaeAmrul
(Creeping woodsorrel)
LeafJuice obtained from crushed leaves is taken with lentil soup.Leaves used against dysentery and as antidote to poison.

30Raphanus sativus L.CruciferaeMula
(radish)
LeafCut into small pieces and cooked in water with some salt and a little oil.No local medicinal uses reported.

31Saccharum spontaneum L.PoaceaeKeshur, Kashia danda
(Wild sugar cane)
StemStems are chewed and the ensuing juice is taken orally.Stem juice used against jaundice and sexual weakness.

32Scoparia dulcis L.ScrophulariaceaeMisti pata
(Sweet broomweed)
LeafLeaves are cooked with a little salt.Leaves used against fever, dysentery, blood dysentery, and gastric ulcer.

33Sesbania grandiflora (L.) Pers.FabaceaeBokful
(August flower)
FlowerFried.Flowers used against biliary disorders and diabetes.

34Spilanthes paniculata Wall. ex DC.AsteraceaeOshun shak, Roshun shak
(Para cress)
Leaf, stemCut into small pieces and cooked.Leaves and stems used against rheumatism.