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Author(s): Mitashree Mitra

Email(s): mitashree.mitra@gmail.com

Address: School of Studies in Anthropology. Pt. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur-492010, Chhattisgarh, India
Co Coordinator, NCNR. PL. Ravishankar Shukla University,. Raipur-492010, Chhattisgarh, India.

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


Chhattisgarh being pioneer herbal state of India has showcased multiple models of tribal empowerment and balancing mechanism of economic development and environment conservation. The majority of poor forest dwelling tribal people are principally dependent on agriculture and forest resources. The state has preserved unique biodiversity resources and gene pool of wide varieties of indigenous rice and medicinal plants for health care management since time immoral. The traditional healers administer the root, rhizome, bark, leaves, flower, fruit, latex, and seed of medicinal plants in various forms to cure various types of diseases that grow in the forest regions of their territories. The ethno-healing systems of tribes are based on the traditional wisdom accumulated over generations and validated through a trial-and-error process, and then incorporated into their health care system. The knowledge and use of these herbs are transferred by peers from one generation to another. They maintain utmost secrecy and follow ethics, which are inter-woven in their socio cultural matrix, about the medicinal plants and knowledge about their use. They believe that if they do not maintain secrecy about it and take money from the patient, the medicinal value of the herbs will fade away. There is pressing need to renewal; revival and feinstating respect for traditional knowledge that pose a series of challenges for all of us. Thus scientific validation of the medicinal plants and contribution of traditional healers are essential for validation and value addition. NCNR of PL. Ravishankar Shukla University, Raipur has taken appropriate step in this direction. NCNR is a pioneering research center of the country for grounding rescarch foundation in the field of autoimmune diseases and exploring pathways for advance Eperimentation in streamlining indigenous medicine into the centre of primary health care of the country. The scientists of s center are working on building new innovative models through field based research combined with clinical trials. The Vision and missions of the institute will not only create international track records but also attract potential scientists from universities of other countries for collaboration and adopting the tested models. The herbalists of the state have been administering herbal mineral and animal ingredients for generations together in curing incurable respiratory, skin, reproductive, digestive and autoimmune disorders of the patients rejected by renowned hospitals of the state. They have sustained the rich local health traditions of the state since ages. The rich experience and IK on use of herbs has encapsuled unique potential and clues for developing new drugs through laboratory screening and clinical trials. A very little attempt has been made by policy makers and scientists to explore this hidden area by linking IK with drug development, protection of IPR in prevention of biopiracy and exploring the provision of patenting through action research. This paper critically examines different dimensions of meaningfully linking the IK of traditional healers with drug development and generating insights for advance scientific research in the field of IPR, patenting and documentation of rich indigenous ecological knowledge of traditional healers of Chhattisgarh.

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