Several scientific studies are in progress using modern scientific tools based on the lead from the folkloric and herbal uses for formulating new western medicine. The present study involves the identification, enumeration and utilization of medicinal flora in the selected tribal settlements and a record of the endangered medicinal plants in the study area. Plant species were identified in selected study sites from Sigur plateau located in Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats. The natural forest in the study area consisted of numerous trees, lianas, shrubs and herbs - the treasure troves of medicines. Due to the degradation of medicinal flora habitats in the recent past, there is a gradual decline in their distribution and abundance. As a consequence of the increase in access to western medicine, the utilization of medicinal plants has reduced and hence the knowledge of its use stands to be lost. In this study, 74 plant species belonging to 42 families used by the Irula tribe as medicine and their reported uses from selected tribal villages were documented. Key points from the data exemplify the healing practices and community interest in the conservation of biodiversity and culture for the promotion of sustainable health traditions.   Key words: Ethnobotany, tribal communities, community based approaches, participatory rural appraisal (PRA), conservation.

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