Genetic Resources of RET Medicinal Plant Species in India: Distribution, Diversity and Conservation
The majority of Indian population relies on traditional and complementary medicine for their primary medical needs. The country has enormous biodiversity, ranging from hot and arid conditions in the Northwest to cold arid conditions in the Trans-Himalayan region. Tropical wet evergreen forests in Northeast and Western Ghats provides the matchless wealth of high priced and quality medicinal plants. A magnificent diversity of medicinal plant resources exists in the country but gradually this wealth is under threat due to continuing loss of forest, overharvesting and unscientific collection by local herbal vendors and commercial enterprises. The best way to conserve the medicinal plant diversity is to follow a holistic approach to conservation as no single method of conservation is optimal for all situations. Medicinal plant diversity, distribution in India and strategies for conservation of this plant wealth are discussed.
KeywordsConservation Endangered Medicinal plants IUCN India
Author thanks Dr. P.G. Latha, Former Director, Dr. A.G. Pandurangan, Present Director and Dr. Anilkumar C, Head of the Division, for constant encouragement. The author also thanks Dr. Gurucharan Singh, University of Delhi (Aconitum chasmanthum, Gentiana kurroo, Saussurea costus); Dr. Umeshkumar Tiwari, Botanical Survey of India, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh (Chlorophytum borivilianum, Tribulus rajasthanensis); Dr. D.S. Rawat, G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand (Nardostachys jatamansi); and Dr. Baharul Choudhury, Concordia University, Canada (Gymnocladus assamicus), for photographs.
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