Title : "An Ethnobotanical Study of the Minorities on Doi Mae Salong in Ching Rai Province, Thailand"

Researcher : Chusie Trisonthi and Paritat Trisonthi

Office of Researcher : BIOLOGY


Doi Maesalong is located in Chiangrai Province, the north-western part of northern Thailand. The area consists of high mountainous ridges and is a very important watershed. The altitude ranges between 600-1,300 meters above sea level. The inhabitants are the minorities who migrated from China and Burma. These minorities are Yunnan Chineses, Akha, Lisu, Lahu and Mien. Since the minorities practice the shifting cultivation and expand the highland agriculture into the deep forest. It has caused a tremendous diaster of increasing drought and flood to the lowland areas.

The research on Ethnobotany of these minorities was proposed to investigate their way of life, culture and the uses of the native floras and their indigenous knowledges for their survival. The results obtained will be a very useful information for the appropriate management and wise use of the natural resource, reforestation and conservation.

Over 500 species of the northern thai floras were utilized by the minorities. They are mainly used for food, medicine and religinous ceremonies. The interesting plants for food are : Allium chinense, Amorphophallus spp, Hodgsonia capniocarpa, Houttuynia cordata, Perilla frutescens, Sechium edule etc. The yunnan chineses and lisu utilize several kinds of plants for medicinal purposes which are : Chloranthus sp., Cinnamomum spp., Leea indica, Eleutherine americana, Solanum indicum and several species of Zingiberaceae etc.

Presented at The Flora of Thailand, Leiden University, Netherlands, 8-14 May, 1999.