ABSTRACT

The ethnomedicinal values of two very unique groups of plants, the parasites and carnivores, have been considered here. These plants have very interesting habits, growing in varied and unusual habitats and in some typical ecological niches. The medicinal values, along with the active principles found in some parasitic plants like Cuscuta reflexa (Convolvulaceae), Monotropa uniflora (Ericaceae), Dendrophthoe falcata (Loranthaceae), and Balanophora polyandra (Balanophoraceae), are discussed here. The carnivores considered here are Drosera burmannii and D. peltata (Droseraceae). The study aims at highlighting the valuable medicinal potential of the two fascinating groups of plants. They have long been used in traditional systems of medicine by ethnic tribes and rural people in various parts of India to effectively cure ailments of the lung, stomach, liver, intestine, kidney, brain, and other sense organs. They have been reported to cure even some forms of cancer. Many of them have antioxidant, anti-fertility, and anthelmintic properties. Narrow geographical range and the requirement of specific ecological niches make their distribution very limited. Habitat loss is the major cause for some of them reaching the rare, threatened, or endangered status. Therefore, they call for more active research and urgent conservation measures. In vitro 176propagation has been successful in Drosera burmannii and could be a future method to conserve and propagate these valuable plants.