Revitalizing Medicinal Plants Sector in India – Opportunities and Challenges
Hippocratic Journal of Unani Medicine
Hippocratic Journal of Unani Medicine October - December 2013, Vol. 8 No. 4, Pages 47-102
India is bestowed with unique diversity of ethnic culture, natural resources and bioedaphic and topographical features. Owing to the rich plant biodiversity, particularly the medicinal plants and ancient cultural background, India ranks one of the few countries in the world which is utilizing the enormous indigenous medicinal plant wealth in a big way since vedic era. The importance of herbals both as medicine, cosmetics, dye etc. and as food supplements, has been overlooked for quite sometime. However, in the recent past, with the advent of herbal revolution, the medicinal plants are looked upon not only as a source of affordable health care but also as a source of income developing in to an industry itself. The extensive use of medicinal plants from wild has brought about its serious depletion in nature.
Medicinal plants sector in India is vast and complex because of the rich plant biodiversity, multidimensional usage, large number of stakeholders from various fields in GOs. and NGOs. etc. The continuous use of medicinal plants through illicit harvesting and trade from the wild, shortage, volatile prices, lack of regulations, quality control etc. has further complicated the problem. As such the medicinal plants sector though developing day by day is totally unorganized and needs urgent attention of all the major stakeholders including the GOs. and NGOs., before it is too late.
In the present communication, based on information procured from multiple sources, an attempt has been made to putforth a glimpse of the vast Medicinal Plants Sector in the country and discuss some important aspects. While presenting a brief background, data on domestic and global scenario, source, conservation/cultivation, the users, trade (including export/import), herbal heist, constraints and government initiatives, remedial measures etc. have been discussed briefly.