India is home to 8,000 medicinal plants reveals botanical study
India is home to 8000 medicinal plants revealed by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI). The BSI has conducted a survey and documentation of all plant resources in the country, including medicinal and aromatic plants and herbs.
This survey is the nodal repository for reference plant collections and currently houses approximately 3.2 million specimens in its various herbaria, which aid in the taxonomic characterization and monitoring of species, including medicinal plants.
Medicinal plants are distributed mainly in the following areas – about 1500 species in Western Himalayas, 3000 in Eastern Himalayas, 2000 species in Western Ghats and about 1500 species in Eastern Ghats including the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
According to information provided by the Minister of Ayush Shri Sarbananda Sonowal in a written response to Rajya Sabha today, the National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB) of the Ministry of Ayush has supported an area of 20589.45 hectares under 105 areas Conservation and Development of Medicinal Plants (MPCDA).
And according to data available in different sources, there are more than 2800 species of medicinal plants used in different traditional systems of Indian medicine.
NMPB implements the central sector program on “Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants”
In situ conservation / Ex-situ preservation.
Livelihood linkages with Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) / Panchayats / Van Panchayats / Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) / Self Help Groups (SHGs).
IEC activities such as training / workshops / seminars / conferences, etc.
Promotion, marketing and marketing of medicinal plant products.
Financial assistance to promote and encourage farmers to cultivate medicinal plants was previously provided by the Ministry of Ayush under the National Ayush Mission from 2015-16 to 2020-21.
Cultivation activities were implemented through the identified executing agency of the relevant state in accordance with the state’s annual action plan, under which 140 species of medicinal plants were prioritized for support culture across the country.
Under this program, the ministry has supported an area of 56,305 hectares for the cultivation of medicinal plants nationwide between 2015 and 2021.