Cultivation and Processing of Selected Medicinal Plants

Saturday, November 4, 2017

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Medicinal plants are important for human health. These plants have been used from the prehistoric times to present day. These plants based medicines are consumed in all civilizations. It is believed that the herbal medicine can give good effect to body without causing side effects to human life. Medicinal plants are not only a major resource base for the traditional medicine & herbal industry but also provide livelihood and health security to a large segment of Indian population. Medicinal plants constitute a large segment of the flora, which provide raw materials for use by various industries. They have been used in the country for a long time for their medicinal properties. These plants are staging a comeback and herbal renaissance is happening all over the globe. The herbal medicines today symbolize safety in contrast to the synthetics that are regarded as unsafe to human and environment. Although herbs had been priced for their medicinal, flavoring and aromatic qualities for centuries, the synthetic products of the modern age surpassed their importance, for a while. 

However, the blind dependence on synthetics is over and people are returning to the naturals with hope of safety and security. Besides, the usage of medical plants has been increasing as an important role that can support the economic system.

Ayurveda, the well-known indigenous system of medicine, is still regarded as a well-organized traditional health care for large sections of rural as well as urban population of India. The medicinal plants sector at present is not well organized and needs special attention. Although different Ministries and Department in the Government sector and NGOs and individuals in the private sectors are making their efforts in different directions, yet there is a need to coordinate and systematize. The medical plants for health are used as herbal treatments and therapies that can be new habits for culture. The market is very competitive and could easily be oversupplied.  This book basically deals with therapeutic potential of medicinal plants, medicinal plants priorities in Indian medicines diverse studies and implications, recent developments of some natural products, production and management of medical plants on farms, classification, identification and naming of medicinal plants, pests and pest management in medicinal plants, Ajmalicine (Raubasine): a medicinally important alkaloid from catharanthus roseus (vinca rosea), cultivation of rutin bearing eucalyptus species, iridoids and secoiridoids of the genus swertia, studies on medico ethnobotany, tropical periwinkle, tulsi, etc.

The sheer magnitude of the people using plants for health care (about 70% of country’s population) and the diversity of plant species used in these practices make the assessment of demand and supply of medicinal plants in the country a complex affair. The varied agro-climate conditions in the India make it suitable for growing a wide range and variety of valuable medicinal plants. India‘s export of Ayurvedic products is increasing very fast it reached to 96,167.20 in the year 20011-13. The growing demand is putting a heavy strain on the existing resources. WHO estimated that 80% of the population of the developing countries relies on traditional medicines, mostly plant drugs, for their primary health care needs?

The trade in herbal medicine alone is estimated to have exceeded US $ 68.7 during 2013.

The annual demand of botanical raw drugs in the country has been estimated at 3,19,500 MT for the year 20011-2013.There is global resurgence in traditional and alternative health care systems resulting in world herbal trade which stands at US$ 120 billion and is expected to reach US$ 7 trillion by 2050.  

Indian share in the world trade, at present, however, is quite low. In state wise assessment of demand for 10 major states it works out to 33000 tons per State per year totaling to approximately 3.5 lakh tons for the country as a whole. However, individual pharmacy requirement works out to 1292 tons (approx.) annually. Assuming that there are 100 major pharmacies, the country's demand for crude drugs on this basis comes to 1.29 lakh tons per year. Combining the averages of the two sources, the demand estimate is worked out to 2.4 lakh tons of crude drugs per 122 annum.

The present book covers cultivation practices of selected commercially important medicinal plants with their processing details and uses. The book is very resourceful for medicinal plants growers, professionals, researchers, entrepreneurs and agriculture universities.


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