A good deal of work has been done on Medicinal Plants during the last few decades in various fields. The researchers as wells as other agencies and individuals interested in plant drugs find it difficult to get on the spot information collectively on diverse aspects, as the literature is still scattered. Therefore a need was felt to collect all the informations and compile it in form of a publication and also to make it available in form of a Compact Disc. This publication, being first in the series proposed to be published on about 400 medicinal species being commonly utilised in Ayurveda, includes 40 taxa and gives a brief and concised account of their parts used in medicine, actions and uses, Ayurvedic properties, prescribed doses, Pharmacognostic characters, Chemical constituents, Pharmacological activities, Toxicology, Therapeutic evaluation, Trade & Commerce, Substitutes & Adulterants, Formulations & Preparations and Propagation & Cultivation apart from latest valid botanical names and important synonyms, classical (Ayurvedic) names, vernacular names, important botanical characters and distribution in India alongwith a photograph of the plant and parts used to help in identification. The texual matter is supplemented by an exhaustive Bibliography containing uptodate references.
It is worth mentioning that the texual matter contains only important characters/findings under each subhead, to give a general and broad idea of the whole plant and its properties. The species described here are arranged in a chronological order based on Ayurvedic nomenclature. Care has been taken to give latest valid botanical names of the plants alongwith important synonyms and Natural Orders. Classical names include only those mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic literature. The controversial names, particularly those which are used for more than one botanical entity have been omitted. Vernacular names include only those which are most commonly used and limited to important regional languages and trade. Botanical description includes habit of the plant and important morphological features, which would be helpful in tentative identification of the plant in the field. Distribution of the plant in India is meant to give a broad idea of the availability of the species in different eco-climatic zones.
Parts used, actions & uses and Ayurvedic properties are based on ancient as well as recent Ayurvedic literature. Actions & uses in modern terminology are largely based on a recent publication, "Indian Medicinal Plants", edited by P. K. Warrier et al.
Pharmacognosy mostly includes diagnostic macro and microscopic characters and physical constants. Major chemical constituents, important pharmacological activities, and findings related to toxicology and therapeutic evaluation as and where available have been included under the respective subheads. Under formulations and preparations only classical Ayurvedic preparations are included, patented and proprietory items are not included.
Data related to trade and commerce are scarcely available in the literature. However, available information alongwith retail market price are given. Substitutes and Adulterants known and reported, if any, are incorporated. Known mode of propagation and cultivation have also been mentioned.
Under Bibliography, efforts have been made to provide uptodate references on all the aspects covered in the compilation. The sources of Bibliography include Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Abstracts, Chemical Abstract, Biological Abstracts, Journals of National and International repute, Important Book and Monographs as well as global Internet. More attention was paid to compile references of the last two decades research. Citations of Brhattrayi or other important Ayurvedic text are also provided to help the readers to search for the original Shlokas in the concerned literature for more details. Some reference related to subjects other than covered in this compilation have also been included to benefit the researchers.
Indices of Classical (Sanskrit), Botanical and Vernacular names have been appended to enhance the usefulness of the Data base to all classes of readers.
P.C. SharmaM.B. YelneT.J.Dennis
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