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Medicinal Plants wealth of Kerala

The Kerala State is a rich repository of plant diversity due to her peculiar phytogeography. The Western Ghats forests, backwater areas, marshes and swamps and the coastal region harbors a wide variety of plant genetic resources of which the medicinal plants constitute an important group. Ethno botanical surveys carried out in different areas of the State brought to light novel information on medicinal plant uses which can be sustainably utilized for the welfare of the people.

Medicinal Plants constitute an important component of the plant resource spectrum of Kerala. Recent analysis shows that out of the estimated 5100 flowering plants in Kerala, more than 1000 species possess medicinal values.Of these, approximately 450 species are widely used in AYUSH industries on a commercial basis.

Kerala is sitting on a gold mine of well recorded and well-practiced knowledge of traditional herbal medicines. The global clamor for more herbal ingredients creates possibilities for the local cultivation of medicinal plants and aromatic crops as well as for the regulated and sustainable harvest of wild plants.Such endeavors could help to raise rural employment in the developing countries, boost commerce and also contribute to the health of the people. The foothills of Western Ghats extending throughout the eastern border of Kerala are enriched with wide variety of rare valuable medicinal plants. Read more..

NATIONAL MEDICINAL PLANTS BOARD (NMPB)

In order to promote medicinal plants sector, Government of India set up National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) on 24th November 2000. Currently the board is working under the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homoeopathy), Government of India. The primary mandate of NMPB is to develop an appropriate mechanism for coordination between various ministries/ departments/ organization and implementation of support policies/programs for overall (conservation, cultivation, trade and export) growth of medicinal plants sector both at the Central /State and International level.

Aims & Objectives of the Board


In recent years cultivation of medicinal plants has started gaining momentum, still a significant part of our requirements continue to be met from wild sources. To meet increasing demand for medicinal plants NMBP focusses on in-situ & ex-situ conservation and augmenting local medicinal plants and aromatic species of medical significance. The NMPB also promote research & development, capacity building through trainings, raising awareness through promotional activities like creation of Home/School herbal gardens. NMPB also seek to support programs for quality assurance and standardization through development of Good Agricultural and Collection Practices (GACPs), development of monographs laying down standards of quality, safety and efficacy; development of agro-techniques and credible institution a mechanism for certification of quality of raw drugs, seeds and planting material. Overall, NMPB’s main objective is the development of medicinal plants sector through developing a strong coordination between various ministries/ departments/ organization for implementation of policies / programs on medicinal plants.

Medical plants

India is best known for the richness of medicinal plants compared to other countries. In this era, medical plants have a critical role in the healthcare field. World Health Organization rated that 80% of people world widely depend on herbal medicines for some aspects of their primary health care needs. According to WHO, around 21000 plant species have the potential for being used as medicinal plants. Treatment with these medicinal plants considered very safe because there are no or minimal side effects.

Conservation of medicinal plants

Medicinal plants are globally valuable herbal products but they are disappearing at a high speed. Because people are moving away from nature because of their modern life. Conservation and sustainable use of medicinal plants have been studied extensively now. Herbs had been priced for their medicinal, flavoring and aromatic for centuries. So we must conserve them for a healthy life.

AYUSH

AYUSH is the acronym of the medical systems that are being practiced in India such as Ayurveda, yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy. The ministry of AYUSH was established on 9th November 2014 to ensure the development and propagation of AYUSH system of health care. Ayush is a Govt body that is formed for promoting education and research in the field of alternative medicine.

National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB)

The National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB), founded by the Government of India on 24th November 2000 to co-ordinate all matters relating to medicinal plants and support policies and programs for growth of trade, export, conservation, and cultivation. The Board is working under the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homeopathy) for promoting the medicinal plants.

RCFC (REGIONAL CUM FACILITATION CENTRE)

For an effective progress, NMPB established five regional centers in the country. RCFC is one stop centre for the growers, cultivators, researchers, traders, and other stockholders of medicinal plants and to function in close co-ordination with the SMPB, the State implementing agency of the medicinal plants component of the AYUSH Mission etc.

State Medicinal Plants Board,Kerala