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Herb collection and its impacts on natural forest

Herb collection and its impacts on natural forest. Unsustainable extraction of medicinal plants from natural forest areas. Medicinal value of natural forest areas. In recent years, there has been an increasing awareness that the significance of medical plant studies goes beyond mere anthropological curiosity. 
Natural forests are the refugia for many medicinal, rare, endemic, threatened, timber and fuel wood yielding plants. These species were observed to be rich in the production of wild tubers, fruits and medicines. About 60% plants present in these groves are medicinal, of which 18% serve as folk medicines.
These sacred groves can serve as the conservation pockets of local biodiversity, medicinally and economically important plants in future also. In the recent past, partly because of depletion of sacred grove resources and partly as a consequence of human developmental activities, the usage of wild resources of ethno botanical value has been declining. Ethno botanically………

Introduction

Herb collection from natural forest. Unsustainable extraction of medicinal plants is growing in natural forest due to high demand levels and commercial purpose. The present scale of commercial cultivation & production of medicinal plants is way below the raw material demand of the industry and large-scale illegal harvesting from the natural forest is resorted to in order to meet the demand-supply gap. A variety of wild plants are over harvested because they have unique medicinal value. The trading in plant medicine currently remains the major occupation of the local community.

In recent years, there has been an increasing awareness that the significance of medical plant studies goes beyond mere anthropological curiosity. In Africa 80% of the population depend principally on herbal medicine; this situation is likely to continue. In addition many modern drugs derived from plant products have chemical simulations. The study of indigenous herbal medicine can, therefore, serve to validate and enhance existing local uses, and to provide clues to remedies having worldwide potential. Many traditional societies have accumulated a whole lot of empirical knowledge on the basis of their experience dealing with nature and natural resources. It is also observed that more than 35,000 plant species are being used around the world for medicinal purposes. More than 8,000 plants are used in our country especially for their medicinal values by the rural people. Around 25,000 formulations in modern allopathic system of medicine are derived from those plant species which are being used as folk medicines throughout the world since ages. Only 15% of pharmaceutical drugs are consumed in developing countries, and relatively more affluent people take a large proportion of it. It is due to extinction less availability of some of the rare plant species and partly due to poor recognition of the traditional knowledge. It is need of the hour to collect, update and document this scattered knowledge of folklore medicine.

Natural forests are the refugia for many medicinal, rare, endemic, threatened, timber and fuel wood yielding plants. These species were observed to be rich in the production of wild tubers, fruits and medicines. About 60% plants present in these groves are medicinal, of which 18% serve as folk medicines. These sacred groves can serve as the conservation pockets of local biodiversity, medicinally and economically important plants in future also. In the recent past, partly because of depletion of sacred grove resources and partly as a consequence of human developmental activities, the usage of wild resources of ethno botanical value has been declining. Ethno botanically, the area remains unexplored and no comprehensive account of local tradition is available. The earlier studies on medicinal plants of the area were fragmentary with limited objectives. In view of this fact, the work was carried out to provide a comprehensive account of folklore medicinal plants of sacred groves in many districts.

About Vijay Choudhary

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