Aromatic and medicinal plants of Jammu and Kashmir
by Zubair Qureshi
Lush forests are the guarantee of life on the planet. The importance and usefulness which no one can deny is the most precious blessing among the innumerable blessings of nature. Their innumerable benefits give them superiority over all other blessings. Their important role in the life of human circulation is of extraordinary importance.
They not only meet food-related needs, but also play a role in creating a delicate balance between the soul and the world. They occupy the highest position both in the carbon cycle and in the pyramid of the food chain.
Considering their usefulness, they are divided into several structures. Herbal medicines are of immense importance in keeping our body healthy, which is why there are many references to its use in authentic texts like Indian Puranas, Upanishads, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Not only did Hanuman save Lakshman’s life with these herbs, but even in today’s history they are practiced by doctors for human mental treatment. He started to be worshiped by people like Tulsi, Pipal, Oak, Banyan and Neem etc. The famous scholar Charaka has created many invaluable books for the treatment of diseases by analyzing all types of herbal medicines. Which is used for the benefit of human beings today.
The paradise land of Jammu and Kashmir is also rich in these medicinal plants. According to a research, the number of aromatic medicinal plants in Jammu and Kashmir is around 5,000, of which 4,000 species are found in the Kashmir valley.
Research has revealed that there are 700 types of these aromatic herbal medicines found in Jammu and Kashmir which contain high quality ingredients, Kashmiri Huzam or Lavender is called the queen of these herbal medicines found in the union territory .
It is a matter of pride that the best and highest quality flavoring in the world is produced in Gulmarg. The Domascena rose found in Tangmarg is considered the best among all roses in the world. It is used in medicines for the treatment of all diseases. Soungul manufactures a special type of alkaloid which is used in medicines for malignant diseases like cancer. Similarly, another Vanwangan plant, also known as Podophyllum emodi, is found at an altitude of 10,000 meters above sea level. It is mainly found in the forests of Gulmarg and Gurez.
Considering the importance of these medicinal and aromatic plants and their abundant occurrence in Jammu and Kashmir, the central government has launched several programs including the “Kashmir Arogya Gram Yojana” which aims to increase the production of these special plants. To achieve this objective, the government encourages farmers to cultivate them by highlighting their importance and usefulness. The government provides farmers with all the facilities that can increase the production of these plants.
Aroma Mission was to provide knowledge and plants about these plants. It also involves extracting the oil from these plants and buying them. According to one estimate, more than two hundred landowners in Jammu and Kashmir have benefited from these schemes. It should be noted that last year, Bharat Bhushan, who cultivated these plants, received an award for the cultivation of lavender at the national level.
The Department of Floriculture also provides subsidies to growers for the cultivation of these plants from which the farmers benefit.
Mudasssar Shafi Dar, who works as an extension officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, also cultivates these plants personally. He benefited a lot from the cultivation of lavender.
Not only that, Mudassar has also attracted many farmers in this direction as a result of which lavender is grown on 30 land canals. He says there is a need to educate young people about the cultivation of aromatic and medicinal plants in Jammu and Kashmir so that they can fend for themselves.
The land of Jammu and Kashmir has all the capabilities which can increase the production of these aromatic medicinal plants and herbs and give them recognition not only nationally but also globally and can also increase the economy of the country.