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Traditional medicinal knowledge about Tortoise beetle Silana farinosa (Boheman) [Cassidinae: Coleoptera] feeding on Murraya koenigii leaves, in Chhattisgarh, India. Updated Version.

Traditional medicinal knowledge about Tortoise beetle Silana farinosa (Boheman) [Cassidinae: Coleoptera] feeding on Murraya koenigii leaves, in Chhattisgarh, India. Updated Version.

Pankaj Oudhia

 

Introduction

Entomophagy and Entomotherapy are well known in Asia since generations. Unfortunately not much work has been done to document valuable Traditional Medicinal Knowledge about Insects. Pankaj Oudhia is documenting this knowledge since year 1990. The present note “Traditional medicinal knowledge about Tortoise beetle Silana farinosa (Boheman) [Cassidinae: Coleoptera] feeding on Murraya koenigii leaves, in Chhattisgarh, India. Updated Version..”  is updated version of his previously published online research document available through pankajoudhia.com.

Keywords: Entomophagy; Entomotherapy; Medicinal Insects; Ayurveda; Chhattisgarh;

Kadhi Patta (Murraya koenigii syn. Bergera koenigii) is a large shrub or small tree and it is under cultivation in many parts of India. Its leaves are popularly used for flavouring curries. In Chhattisgarh, it is planted in home gardens. The natives and traditional healers are aware of its many medicinal properties and uses. In reference literatures related to different systems of medicine in India, Murraya holds a reputed position as medicinal herb. In many parts of Chhattisgarh particularly in Southern region, the Tortoise beetle Silana farinosa feeds on Murraya plant. Its infestation not causes much damage to the plant as in other parts of India. During the Ethno-entomological surveys conducted in different parts of Chhattisgarh, I have noted that the traditional healers specialized in treatment of Mirgi (Epilepsy) use the grub and adult of this beetle in treatment. They collect the grubs and adults and dry it in shade. After drying, the powder is prepared and stored for future use. Only full fed grubs and adults are used. In case of attack, the powder is burnt and patients are suggested to inhale the fumes. It is considered as one of the promising first aid measures. The healers boil the freshly collected grubs and adults in base oil with medicinal herbs and when all watery contents evaporate the boiling is stopped and special oil is used externally. The special oil is massaged on soles. It is considered as promising supplement treatment with main treatment of Mirgi. As base oil, Til (Sesame seed) oil is used. According to the traditional healers, the grubs and beetles play an important role in making the special oil medicinally rich. In general, the grubs and adults are mixed in equal proportion but grubs are more preferred by the healers as compared to the beetles. The traditional healers are not aware of its other medicinal uses. I have observed during the surveys that this specific use is now limited to few traditional healers. The other insect species feeding on Murraya are also used as medicine but the healers consider these species less effective in treatment of Mirgi. 

[New comments added on April, 2014: Through recent surveys I have collected information about over 3000 Traditional Formulations in which Silana is added as important ingredient. These Formulations are used in treatment of different stages of Epilepsy. In Ipomoea based Formulations Silana is added as tertiary ingredient. In Tectona based Formulations Silana grubs are added as secondary ingredient. In these Formulations adults are not used. In Ocimum based Formulations Silana is added as quinary ingredient. These Formulations are popular among the Traditional Healers. In general these Formulations are used for old cases of Epilepsy. In Leucas based Formulations Silana adults are added as nonary ingredient. The Healers claim that its presence in the Formulations enhances the performances of other herbal ingredients. In Madhuca based Formulations Silana grubs are added as quaternary ingredient.

Silana is also used in Formulations for Blood related diseases in Indian Traditional Healing. In Amaranthus based Formulations Silana grubs are added as secondary ingredient. In Pueraria based Formulations of Amarkantak it is added as septenary ingredient. In Entada based Formulations of Odisha it is added as Octonary ingredient. In Sauromatum based Formulations of Bastar it is added as senary ingredient. In Cuscuta based Formulations of Chhattisgarh Plains it is added as tertiary ingredient.

 

In treatment of old wounds Silana is used both internally as well as externally. I have documented information about over 500 Formulations in which Silana is added as key ingredient. In Oxalis based Formulations it is added as secondary ingredient. In Swertia based Formulations it is added as quaternary ingredient. For information on complete Formulations and dosage please visit pankajoudhia.com]

 


In reference literatures, Silana farinosa is not mentioned as medicinal insect. The traditional medicinal uses of Silana farinosa feeding on Murraya leaves have also not been reported. 


Thank you very much for reading the article.

 

Related References

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Citation

Oudhia, Pankaj (2014). Traditional medicinal knowledge about Tortoise beetle Silana farinosa (Boheman) [Cassidinae: Coleoptera] feeding on Murraya koenigii leaves, in Chhattisgarh, India. Updated Version. pankajoudhia.com

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