A Short Review of the Ethno-Medicinal Perspectives of Bryophytes

Kheyali Halder, Souvik Mitra


Bryophytes are one of the largest and ancient non-vascular plant groups that include the liverworts (Marchantiophyta), hornworts (Anthocerotophyta) and mosses (Bryophyta). They are a rich source of sugar alcohols, aliphatic and aromatic compounds, prenylquinones, phenolics and other secondary metabolites, many of which exhibit extraordinary range of bioactivities and medicinal properties. Several evidences have been reported on the use of bryophytes as herbal medicine by the native inhabitants of China, India and native Americans since the ancient time. Ethno-bryology is now receiving much attention as there is hardly little documented information. This brief review summarises the available reports on the uses of Liverworts and mosses as ethno-medicine by Indian tribal communities such as Adivasi Oriya, Adivasi Telegu, Irula, Muduga, Gaddi, Khamti, Kani and other tribal communities from Himalayan and Melghat Forest region, as well as from several other countries. Common ethno-medicinally utilized Liverworts are Riccia, Marchantia, Plagiochasma, Targionia, Riccardia, Dumortiera, Reboulia. Mosses like Polytrichum, Sphagnum, Bryum, Pogonatum, Rhodobryum, Entodon, Fissidens, etc., are also popular sources of ethnomedicines.



Ethnobryology; Tribal Communities; Liverworts; Mosses; Ethnobotany; Ethnomedicine


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