Social Science Baha

Traditional Knowledge and Uses of Mistletoes by Indigenous Communities of Nepal Himalayas

Mohan Prasad Devkota

Mistletoes do not only contribute as one of the important components of rich Nepalese biodiversity but have also been closely affiliated with culture of many indigenous communities of Nepal. Since early days, they have been considered as one of the most magical, mysterious and scared plants in Nepalese folklore, as well. Probably due to their parasitic nature, elusive method of dispersal, and strange growth habit, many indigenous communities have revered, feared, or considered them to have magical properties. Despite mistletoes of Nepal Himalayas have been overlooked by the researchers in the past and their ethno-botanical studies have never been carried out but the indigenous communities of the country have developed the traditional knowledge regarding their uses long back and inherited them from their ancestors. The most common traditional uses of mistletoes by the indigenous communities of Nepal include wide range of medicinal uses, fodder and food. A detail inventory on the indigenous uses of mistletoe in Nepal is required so that it can be modified and adopted in modern medicine and also in developing mistletoe conservation policy for the country.

Keywords: mistletoe, indigenous communities, traditional uses, Nepal Himalayas.