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Author(s): Moumita Sinha, Pragya Gajendra, Mitashree Mitra

Email(s): moumita4n6@ gmail.com

Address: SoS Anthropology. Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur - 492 010, India
SoS Anthropology, Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur - 492 010, India
SoS Anthropology. P Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur - 492 010, India.

Published In:   Volume - 29,      Issue - 1,     Year - 2016


With growing interest in medicinal plants, the need of the hour is a long term strategy to conserve and sustainably harvest these plant products The uses of medicinal plants in India and many other developing countries can be considered a living tradition The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the primary health care needs of approximately 80 per cent of the developing world's population are met by traditional medicine. Traditional medicine systems range from the Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha and Tibetan in India. The traditional systems of medicine largely depend on natural resources for their medicines, out of which plants form the bulk of the mendicine Plant use in traditional Indian health systems goes back a long way. Ancient medical texts bear evidence of the use of plants for veterinary use, for plant health and also for textiles (vegetable dyes), cosmetics and perfume. This kind of use is prevalent even today. The All India Ethnobiology Survey caried out by the Ministry of Environment and Forests estimates that over 7,500 species of plants are estimated to be used by 4,635 ethnic communities for human and veterinary health care across the country. With the onset of urhanisation and the lure of jobs to urban areas, also with the spread of aloputhic primary health care to remote rural areas, traditional knowledge is being lost and traditional systems eroding The koss of ethno botanical knowledge in particular has also accelerated the depletion of plants of medicinal value. Indigenous communities, because of their intimate knowledge of the ecosystem and elements therein, knew how to harvest plants while the species could maintain its population at natural or near natural levels and ensure that the level of harvest will not change the species composition. With this loss of traditional knowledge, we are fast losing the ethical means which ensure a sustainable harvest. Efforts to conserve medicinal plants are becing made throughout the country, but are scattered. There is a requuirement of a long-term strategic and encompassing law which can account existing efforts and suggests other ways to conserve and sustainably harvest medicinal plants.

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