Fancy growing medicinal plants in your balcony?

Arogya Expo provides tips on growing them in pots on terraces and balconies

Published - November 09, 2014 10:59 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Visitors at the 6th World Ayurveda Congress and Arogya Expo 2014 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.— Photos: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Visitors at the 6th World Ayurveda Congress and Arogya Expo 2014 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.— Photos: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Medicinal plants flourishing in pots on terraces and balconies of city-dwellers may help address one of Ayurveda’s big challenges — “disappearing medicinal plant species” — as green spaces shrink.

However, if you wish to not just grow Ayurveda plants for home remedies but also help in the conservation efforts, the Arogya Expo, being held alongside the 6th World Ayurveda Congress which will conclude on Sunday at Pragati Maidan here, is the place you should head to.

Stalls set up by partners of the National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB) are displaying and selling medicinal plants, including aonla (gooseberry), aloe vera, curry leaf, lemon grass, tulsi, ajwain, hibiscus, brahmi, ashwagandha, arjuna and rudraksh at prices ranging from Rs.5 to Rs.100.

“Ayurveda plants like brahmi, sadabahar, stevia, tulsi, ajwain, ashwagandha and lemon grass can easily be grown in balconies and terraces,” said NMPB deputy CEO Meenakshi Negi.

There are leaflets with information on how to grow these plants at home and care for them. There is also plenty of information on medicinal uses of various plants, curative properties, their formulations and dosage.

For example Arjun, a plant that can be grown easily in homes is known to be effective in managing conditions like heart disease, hypertension and diabetes; similarly giloe can be used to treat stomach ulcers and building immunity.

“Apart from disease, the focus is on suitability of Delhi’s climate to support growth of certain plants. Sale of Ayurveda plants has been a regular feature in all Arogya Expos, and one of the biggest attractions for visitors.”

The plants will also be supplied by the Delhi Parks and Garden Society of the Delhi Government, the State Forest Department and partners including Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh.

Ms. Negi said a new feature of the Arogya Expo was an exhibition being put up by the NMPB on medicinal plants listed in the Charaka Samhita for cure of various ailments.

“There is also a display of live plants, dry samples, and photographs of rare species, along with their descriptions and therapeutic uses. The plants will be displayed as per the classical categorisation given in the foundational text on Ayurveda,” she noted.

Another new feature of the expo is a seminar on “Integrating Medicinal Plants with Forestry”. Participants at the seminar included members of the State Forest Departments, State Medicinal Plants Boards, faculty and students of different Ayurveda colleges, the Delhi University and other experts.

“A major objective of the Arogya Expo is to showcase the benefits and emerging trends in the AYUSH sector and register Ayurveda in the minds of consumers,” said A. Jayakumar of the World Ayurveda Foundation, which is organising the event in collaboration with Department of AYUSH, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and the Delhi Government.

PTI adds:

With awareness on Ayurveda on the rise in many countries, India’s support has been sought to unify the community of practitioners of the ancient system of medicine across the world, while ensuring uniform quality and standards.

AYUSH Department Secretary Nilanjana Sanyal and World Ayurveda Foundation secretary-general Geetha Krishnan on Saturday opened the International Delegate Assembly at the Ayurveda congress, with a call to streamline policies on the propagation of Ayurveda globally.

“Our mission is to inform people about the benefits of Ayurveda while spreading the age-old system around the world to improve lives,” said Dr. Krishnan.

Participants from abroad who attended the assembly included Ayurveda practitioners from Bulgaria, Latvia, Russia, Chile, Spain, South Africa and Bangladesh.

“We have an Ayurveda Association in Bulgaria to propagate the traditional medicine system, but without support from India it is going to be very difficult for us,” said Paolo Sar, an Ayurveda practitioner from the East European nation.

“The future of medicine in the 21st Century lies in the integration of traditional and modern practices,” said Valdis Pirags, an endocrinologist who is engaged in publishing a book on the merits of Ayurveda.

Vijay Carolin, an Indian-born Ayurveda doctor who set up the first Department of Ayurveda at the Avante Medical Center in Barcelona in Spain, said the alternative medicine system was “wrongly represented” in Europe.

“People in Europe think Ayurveda is about massages. We need massage therapy to propagate Ayurveda. But if we are serious about spreading it, we need to go beyond massage treatment,” Dr. Carolin said.

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