Local wild plants from the Thar Desert for improved health and food security.

Published online
29 Jul 2015
Content type
Bulletin article; Conference paper

Dheeraj Singh & Rakesh Bhardwaj & Chaudhary, M. K. & Meena, M. L. & Wangchu, L.
Contact email(s)

Publication language
India & Rajasthan


The Thar Desert of western India has provided several 'miracle' plants of immense food and medicinal value. Native communities have adopted a unique indigenous knowledge system for environmental conservation and sustainable management of these natural resources for food security. A good example is Panchkutta, a preparation of mixed fruits from four very common native trees namely Ker (Capparis decidua), Kumat (Acacia senegal), Khejri (Prosopis cineraria), Gonda (Cardia Myxa) and an annual creeper Kachri (Cucumis callosus); the combination is known as Panchkutta. The fruits are sundried and then different proportions are mixed for Panchkutta preparation. This paper presents a summary of the properties of Panchkutta, its ingredients and traditional processing methods and use. Panchkutta is a readily available dish and source of nutrients in every village of southern Rajasthan.

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