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Schizophrenia Research and Treatment
Volume 2014, Article ID 679810, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/679810
Research Article

Traditional Knowledge and Formulations of Medicinal Plants Used by the Traditional Medical Practitioners of Bangladesh to Treat Schizophrenia Like Psychosis

Ethnobotany & Ethnomedicine Division, TechB Herbal Solution, Bheramara, Kushtia 7040, Bangladesh

Received 19 March 2014; Revised 28 May 2014; Accepted 30 May 2014; Published 30 June 2014

Academic Editor: Jouko Miettunen

Copyright © 2014 Md. Nasir Ahmed and Md. Nur Kabidul Azam. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Schizophrenia is a subtle disorder of brain development and plasticity; it affects the most basic human processes of perception, emotion, and judgment. In Bangladesh the traditional medical practitioners of rural and remote areas characterized the schizophrenia as an insanity or a mental problem due to possession by ghosts or evil spirits and they have used various plant species’ to treat such symptoms. The aim of the present study was to conduct an ethnomedicinal plant survey and documentation of the formulations of different plant parts used by the traditional medical practitioners of Rangamati district of Bangladesh for the treatment of schizophrenia like psychosis. It was observed that the traditional medical practitioners used a total of 15 plant species to make 14 formulations. The plants were divided into 13 families, used for treatment of schizophrenia and accompanying symptoms like hallucination, depression, oversleeping or insomnia, deterioration of personal hygiene, forgetfulness, and fear due to evil spirits like genies or ghost. A search of the relevant scientific literatures showed that a number of plants used by the medicinal practitioners have been scientifically validated in their uses and traditional medicinal knowledge has been a means towards the discovery of many modern medicines. Moreover, the antipsychotic drug reserpine, isolated from the dried root of Rauvolfia serpentina species, revolutionized the treatment of schizophrenia. So it is very much possible that formulations of the practitioner, when examined scientifically in their entireties, can form discovery of lead compounds which can be used as safe and effective antipsychotic drug to treat schizophrenia.