Andhra Pradesh

Experts moot herbal gardens



In view of the threat to existence of traditional medicinal plants, the people’s organisations and individual researchers have advocated the need for cultivation of herbal gardens in small pockets of land with active help from the government agencies.

The cultivation of medicinal plants such as ‘sarpagandha’ (rauvolfia serpentine) is expected to revive the general interest in following the traditional therapeutic practices in the systems of medicine like ayurveda and unani.

“In our herbal garden, we have grown several varieties of these plants. The ‘sarpagandha’ has begun bearing flowers recently. Its byproducts are useful to treat many ailments like blood pressure locally,” said Mr. Bhasha, a researcher who has several projects sanctioned by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The herbal garden being developed in three acres at the NBKR Science College here has yielded good results. The ‘sarpagandha’ shrub has roots, pink flowers, bark and leaves that have therapeutic values. This is a rare plant which grows in the wild, said Mr. Bhasha. One of the 150 medicinal plants found in the eastern ghats, the ‘sarpagandha’ is also listed as an endangered plant. Most of these medicinal plants including ‘raktha chandanam’ (ptero carpus) and ‘costus igneus’ (insulin plant) are now facing the threat of extinction.

The herbal gardens are being recommended for the conservation of the endangered plants for the future generations apart from reviving the traditional practice of using these herbs to cure illnesses.

The ‘sarpagandha’ shrub is known for its effective cure for snake bites. In some interior places even now, the people including tribals use this shrub powder on the injury spot. Before doing so, they remove a few drops from where the snake has bitten. This plant is considered as a boon for victims of snake bite traditionally.

According to researchers, the National Medicinal Plants Board is actively encouraging cultivation of herbal gardens .

A proposal has been submitted to the government to give its support for cultivating one such herbal garden in the Penchalakona forest area where the wealth of these medicinal plants is on the decline. If this materialises, it will help the farmers and researchers in the region, said Dr. Bhasha.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 11:20:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/experts-moot-herbal-gardens/article6167351.ece

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