CONTENTS:- 1. Conservation and development of medicinal plants. 2. Medicinal plants in alternative medicine. 3. Sustainable use of medicinal plants. 4. Guidelines for planting medicinal plants. 5. Herbal plants. 6. Medicinal plants and organic essential oils.
India has 15 Agroclimatic zones and 17000-18000 species of flowering plants of which 6000-7000 are estimated to have medicinal usage in folk and documented systems of medicine, like Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy. About 960 species of medicinal plants are estimated to be in trade of which 178 species have annual consumption levels in excess of 100 metric tones. Medicinal plants are not only a major resource base for the traditional medicine and herbal industry but also provide livelihood and health security to a large segment of Indian population. The domestic trade of the AYUSH industry is of the order of Rs.80 to 90 billion (1US$=Rs.50). The Indian medicinal plants and their products also account for exports in the range of Rs.10 billion. There is global resurgence is traditional and alternative health care systems resulting in world herbal trade which stands at US$120 billion and is expected to reach US$ 7 billion by 2050. Indian share in the world trade, at present, however, is quite low. During the past seven or eight decades, there has been a rapid extension of the allopathic system of medical treatment in India. It generated a commercial demand for pharmacopoeial drugs and products in the country. Thus efforts were made to introduce many of these drug plants into Indian agriculture, and studies on the cultivation practices were undertaken for those plant which were found suitable and remunerative for commercial cultivation. In general, agronomic practices for growing poppy, isabgol, senna, cinchona, ipecac, belladonna, ergot and a few others have been developed and there is now localized cultivation of these medicinal plants commercially. This book may be able to provide a lucid discourse on the subject to the person seeking a brief information on the topics.