With the cost of modern medicine reaching astronomical height, scientists have begun delving into rich and ancient traditional systems based on plants. The ancient dwellers of India had relied on them for centuries to cure themselves and their wisdom is not only enshrined in treatises but has been handed down orally from generation to generation. In the developed Western affluent world too, thinking has veered around to using natural material for drugs and pharmaceuticals and in this context, the abundant inventory of medicinal plants that India has takes on a very important relevance.
This book is a comprehensive volume detailing the characteristics of 560 genera covering 1, 170 species. The documentation is exhaustive including nomenclature, description, distribution, cultivation, processing and physical and chemical properties. With several countries patenting Indian products and methods, a specially written chapter on Intellectual Property Rights and Medicinal Plants has been added to this fourth revised and enlarged edition.
Attempts have been made to include all aspects of medicinal plants. To this end chapters contain complete information on history, isolation and characterization of active principles, transformation of medicinal system, medicinal plants widely known for their curative effects on certain diseases, export of medicinal plants and phytochemicals, suggestions for improvement of medicinal crop industry, etc.
Dr. A.M. Michael, in a specially written foreword, says: "The present book provides comprehensive and condensed information of an extensive and large number of medicinal plants grown and found in different parts of the world covering many important and interesting aspects on the subject. The book will be valuable to students and teachers, scientists, cultivators, entrepreneurs and the farmer."