EDIBLE LEAVES OF JALPAIGURI DISTRICT OF WEST BENGAL, INDIA
Many of the traditional leaf vegetables remain underutilized in India. A comprehensive study in a small geographical area, involved survey of rural weekly markets and interview with local people growing/gathering, selling and or/ using these vegetables. We enumerated the market potential, season of availability, common, vernacular and botanical name of 42 species of plants belonging to 28 families. These are either grown or gathered from wild growth from a range of habits and habitats and commonly marketed and used as leaf, tender shoot or flower vegetable in Jalpaiguri District located in Sub Himalayan Terai region of West Bengal. The report covers details of Ethnobotany especially the consumption during festivals and traditional wisdom on medicinal uses etc. Cephalandra leaves for curing diabetes; leaves of water lily for curing piles are few medicinal uses to mention. Use of leaves of Indian Pandan to impart the flavor of aromatic rice to recipes is an interesting finding from the study. Leaves of common weeds such as Gumma (Leucas aspera), water spinach and water lily are marketed and consumed here. Leaves of jute, chickpea, pumpkin and ash gourd are sold in the market where hundred tender shoots varied from US $ 0.2 for sweet potato to US $ 2.2 for brahmi (Water Hyssop). The paper concludes with a framework for institutional mechanisms to promote research, development, documentation, marketing and post harvest technology of these plants in order to enhance dietary diversity and nutritional security.
Arunachalam, V., Arun Kumar Sit, and Malay Bhattacharya, (2007). EDIBLE LEAVES OF JALPAIGURI DISTRICT OF WEST BENGAL, INDIA. Acta Hortic. 752, 563-570
Indigenous vegetables, ethnobotany, Sub-Himalayan, marketing