‘Medicinal plants in the Western Ghats have to be explored in a big way’
SHIMOGA: Chairman of the State Herbal Medicines Development Authority Venugopal said on Friday that it was important to retain the confidence and faith reposed by the people in Ayurveda and other native systems of medicine as they had been in use since time immemorial.
“But it is unfortunate that we have failed to appreciate the significance of Ayurveda and other native systems of medicine and promote them,” he said.
He was speaking after inaugurating a conference of native herbal medicine practitioners and a camp of herbal medicines at Jenukallamma Temple at Ammanaghatta in Hosnagar taluk. It was organised by the Parisara Jagruthi Vedike, Gram Bharathi Trust of Karanagiri, Forest Department, Save Ammanaghatta Committee and Vruksha Laksha Andolana to mark World Environment Day.
He said that it was necessary to maintain the quality of herbal medicines in the days of stiff competition so that they could remain in the market.
Mr. Venugopal said that the Western Ghats region was known for medicinal plants which had to be explored in a big way to produce herbal medicines.
He said the fact that hardly one per cent of the herbs in the Western Ghats region were being used for medicines spoke of their under utilisation.
Mr. Venugopal said according to studies, there were 25,000 medicinal plant species in the Western Ghats region, while experts in Ayurveda had identified only 6,200 of them.
He said that there was a need to take up the task of identifying the endangered medicinal plant species and conserving them.
Mr. Venugopal referred to the adverse impact of global warming and said the melting of the glaciers in Antarctica had a direct bearing on the climatic cycle to such an extent that it was difficult to predict the onset of monsoon. “It is a dangerous portent,” he added.
Member of the zilla panchayat Kalagodu Rathnakar presided over the function.
The former MLA B. Swamyrao, member of the Vruksha Laksha Andolana Haniya Ravi, president of the Maruthipur Gram Panchayat Nagarathnamma, expert in medicinal herbs Venkat Giri, Dharmappa Gowda and Deputy Conservator of Forest (Sagar Division) Mahesh Shirur were present.
Veteran herbal medicinal practitioner Gauramma was honoured.
A wide range of herbal medicines were on display.