Native system of medicine has a wide range of applications in healing various diseases.

Steps should be taken to start research centres and promote the traditional system such as Ayurveda and Homoeopathy, said M.M. Mustaffa, Director, National Research Centre for Banana, Tiruchi.

Speaking at the inaugural of the two-day seminar on ‘Prospects and perspectives of herbal drug technology’ sponsored by Indian Council of Medical Research and organised by Department of Phamacognosy of Periyar College of Pharmaceutical Sciences for Girls in the city on Monday, Dr, Mustaffa said that India accounted for various herbs and medicinal plants.

There was a strong case for promoting the research projects. "Herbal and medicinal research institutes on international standards should be set up in parts of the country," he said. He also explained the efficacy of banana and its by-products as medicinal species.

A.M. Ismail, Vice-Principal of the college, said both the Central and State governments attached priority to popularising the Indian system of medicine, particularly Ayurveda and Siddha. The seminar should throw light on taking up a comprehensive drug research programme in the country in general and in the region in particular.

P. Senthamarai, Principal of the college; G. Sebastian, Correspondent; and S.P. Dhanabal, Professor and Head, Department of Phytopharmacy and Phytomedicine, JSS College of Pharmacy, Udhagamandalam, offered felicitations.