Ayurveda has gained global popularity and in contemporary times, the entire world is adopting its techniques to meet the changing health care needs of people, for well-being of the body, mind and spirit and management of various diseases, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha noted at a function.
He called upon the Ayurveda stakeholders and policymakers to work together to popularize the traditional medicine system as the “mainline of treatment for lifestyle diseases, preventive care and to boost the immune system”.
In this context, the potential of medicinal plant resources in Jammu and Kashmir needs focus. The large repositories have largely remained untapped despite the fact that J&K is endowed with incredible diversity of medicinal plants. The rich biodiversity, without an iota of doubt, adorns J&K’s captivating landscape. It harbors a diversity of medicinal plants which were used in traditional health care systems for times immemorial. The major area of Jammu has a subtropical climate, while the temperate to alpine climate prevails in the Kashmir valley. There are 572 unique medicinal plants in J&K.
The Chief Secretary of J&K has time and again and also rightly called for formulating a detailed plan for each one of the plants.
The top civil officer had also directed the Commissioner Secretary and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to spearhead the work and prepare a detailed plan for the cultivation, promotion, and marketing of these plants.
Medicinal plants are traded in the form of raw material as well as processed products. These have provided an important source of income for communities living in the region, particularly in Kashmir, for a long time.
As per a survey by NCBI, the medicinal plants in Kashmir Himalayas regulate the livelihood of the people and support cultural ecosystem services. Asteraceae, Rosaceae, Lamiaceae, Malvaceae, Ranunculaceae, Poaceae, Solanaceae, Polygonaceae, Plantaginaceae and Brassicaceae are the top most dominant families. Herbaceous groups of plants were more common than trees and shrubs, and 71.96% of herb taxa were employed as medicine. Liliaceae, Liliaceae, Caprifoliaceae and Portulacaceae have the highest family use value (FUV).
Humans have been using medicinal plants since ancient times and there has been documentation of these uses.
It is important to note that despite access to modern medicines, the developed world increasingly appreciates the direct use of herbs, combined with modern medical treatments, especially those herbs that have a scientific basis for the cure of minor illnesses. It is here that the government needs to act and tap the potential.