Central Council of Indian Medicines (CCIM), in the recent past, have taken steps to reform Ayurvedic Education and make it more practical oriented. As a part of this, syllabus of various subjects have been modified and new syllabus has been prescribed for different courses of Ayurvedic Education, taking into consideration of the recent advances in the medical science and challenges face by the physician during their practice. In this process, both the theory and practical syllabus of Dravyaguna, at Under Graduate, PG Diploma and Post Graduate level, have been restructured.
The therapeutic efficacy of the drugs used in Ayurveda greatly depends upon the use of proper and genuine raw materials. Hence, an Ayurveda graduate should know the easy or convenient classical as well as recent methods of drug identification and should be trained in such a way that he/she should be able to identify the genuine drug. All the parts of the plant are used in drug industry. According to a survey on the annual consumption of raw drugs it has been observed that 50% root, 15% fruit/seeds, 12% wood based, 9% whole plant, 7% bark/stem, 4% leaves, and 3% flower are used as raw material by the industry. Study of each part needs to be carried out carefully. Methods of the identification of plants on the basis of examination of their parts become very much important in such circumstances.
The recent practical syllabus of Dravyaguna vijnana, recommended by CCIM, New Delhi, is a step to achieve this aim. Till now no exclusive practical book on Dravyaguna is available which can guide the students to carry out practical work for the identification of both organized as well as unorganized drugs. Therefore it was thought worthy to draft a book, based on practical experience, which can guide the teachers, students and technicians engaged in Dravyaguna practical.
The present book is an attempt to provide baseline information about minimum knowledge about the equipments needed for conducting Dravyaguna practical. Definition of various plant parts with diagrammatic presentation of various plant parts with an example of Ayurvedic medicinal plant for the correct botanical identification of the plant. Minimum preparatory requirements for conducting a systematic field tour, preservation of dry and wet drug sample through standard herbarium technique method.
In this book we have tried to give more emphasis on identification of different plant parts as prescribed in the BAMS syllabus. Each drug was experimented in the laboratory and the drawings included in the book have been solely made by us from the powders in our laboratory from authenticated samples. Different plant parts i.e. root, stem, fruit, rhizome, seed, flowers, bark, leaves including exudates, were dealt with relation to their botanical source, official source, synonyms, availability, identifying macroscopic characters of both fresh and dry conditions, transverse sections, organoleptic characters, powder microscopy, histochemical evaluations, pharmacological actions, adulterants, substitute and important formulations. Syllabus has been covered in a simple format and language. All diagrams are scientifically labelled and self explanatory. Efforts have been made to provide maximum description through self-sketched diagrams. For easy understanding of non Ayurvedic persons, the English equivalents of classical Ayurvedic terms (disease conditions), as mentioned in Ayurvedic Formulary of India, have been provided. At the end of the book, definition of pharmacological terms and index of botanical terms have been provided.
It is our earnest hope that this book will full fill the expectations of the students and teachers of Ayurveda and Pharmacy. It is our first attempt in this direction, there may be short comings. Constructive suggestions for improvement and corrections of inadvertent errors, if any, will be gladly and gratefully received, highly appreciated and carefully considered.