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Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai December 20 , 2018
The Ayurveda Medicine Manufacturers Organisation of India (AMMOI) has urged the Union Ayush Ministry to chalk out strategies with National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB) for preserving rare and endangered species of medicinal plants in the country.

In a memorandum to the ministry, AMMOI said that about 100 plants with medicinal properties, out of the 180 essential raw drugs used for traditional drugs, are becoming rare and endangered species in the country. Unless proper methodology for their conservation is implemented, these plants and herbs (raw drugs) will disappear gradually from the field.

In such a scenario, there will be an alarming shortage of valuable classical medicines and rise in the prices of the available finished products. So, it is high time for the ministry of Ayush to develop strategies and methodologies for the preservation and sustainable use of these essential medicinal resources. The Union government should direct the NMPB to be proactive in establishing herbal gardens and developing cultivable lands for growing and conserving plants of medicinal properties.

While briefing Pharmabiz about the issue, Dr D Ramanathan, general secretary of AMMOI, said the NMPB has to chalk out some strategies  for preserving and growing these essential medicinal plants with the state medicinal plant boards. The medicine manufacturing industry in India is in need of raw drugs whose shortage will paralyze the industry as medicinal plants are the valuable sources of herbal and traditional products.

“India is a country with rich biodiversity having 15 agro-climatic zones. There are about 7,000 plants are estimated to have medicinal properties. However, 822 plants are documented for preparation of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicines. As per the 20/80 principle, 180 plants are essential raw drugs for common traditional drugs. These medicinal plants need to be preserved for ever by way of conservation and growing in cultivable lands by plant cultivators or herbal plant farmers. But, either the NMPB or any SMPB is learnt to have developed any project or programme for the protection and promotion of the soon-to-be-disappearing essential medicinal plants”, said Dr Ramanathan.

He said in the last week of this Month, he will lead a team of traditional drug manufacturers and plant cultivators to Delhi in order to explain the pathetic situation of the raw material market to the union minister of Ayush and to the Ayush secretary. AMMOI has given a proposal to the ministry and to the NMPB on how to protect the valuable and essential medicinal plants in the country. Dr Ramanathan says that every state government should have strategies for the promotion of medicinal plants. He said the medicinal plant board in Kerala is very inactive with no programme or project for promotion of cultivation.

AMMOI has also given a proposal to the government of Kerala for establishing herbal gardens and cultivation of the commonly available and frequently used medicinal plants. The manufacturers organisation will shortly start programmes of awareness about traditional usage of medicines and herbal products to the public. The secretary of the association has pointed out that cultivation of medicinal plants and herbs is the source of income for a lot of people all over the country.

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