The Indian Himalayan Region is one of the major repositories of biodiversity. It supports about 18,440
plant species. The rich diversity of Indian Himalayan Region has been in use since Vedic period (Rig-Veda 4500-1600 BC). The Charak (1000-800 BC) and Susruta (800-700 BC) described Himalaya as a major habitat of medicinal plants. The Indian Himalayan Region has an area of 5, 31,250 sq. Km spread over 12 states and constitutes about 16.16% of India’s total geographical area. It has about 1,748 species of medicinal plants distributed in Indian Himalayan Region.
The Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS) has carried out commendable work in Medico-Ethno-Botanical Research through its peripheral Institutes located at Himalayan Regions. The present treatise on “Healing Herbs of Himalaya” offers itself as a pictorial and herbaria guide on 50 important medicinal plants available at Indian Himalayan Region. The book provides an overview of various facts of the herbal wealth of Indian Himalayan Region. Further the book is an assimilation of information contained in numerous published as well as unpublished data; herbarium; Crude drugs and field photos. I am confident that the work carried out by Dr. G.V.R. Joseph, R.O.
(Botany) and his team under overall supervision of Dr. M.M. Padhi, D.D. (Tech.) and Dr. G.S. Lavekar, Director would be of immense use for Researchers, Academicians and Pharma-Industry. My congratulations to Shri Shiv Basant, Joint Secretary and Shri Sanjiv Chadha, Director, Department of Ayush, Government of India on this excellent documentation.
Since ages herbs and herbal products are being used as medicines. The World Health Organization
(WHO) estimates that 80% of the World’s population still relies on herbal medicines as its major source of medicinal products. India is one of the richest Biodiversity hot spot in the world and Himalayan region is well known for its herbal wealth.
Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha through its peripheral Institutes located at Tarikhet, Guwahati, Itanagar, Gangtok, Mandi, Leh have done commendable work in Medico-Ethno-Botanical Research that includes market survey of herbal drugs. The book “Selected Healing Herbs of Himalaya” is a state of art report. The book provides an overview of various facts including updated botanical nomenclature, popular names used in different Indian systems of medicines, IUCN status, uses, threats, formulations, etc. Safety/ toxicity and contra-indications were also covered on the studied plants. Dr. G.V.R. Joseph, Assistant Director (Botany) who is instrumental in carrying out the project “Digitization of Hertarium” has done sincere efforts in bringing out this book.
I appreciate the work carried by: Dr. G.C. Joshi, R.O. (R. R. I., Tarikhet) for his deep involvement in the field work of Uttarakhand Himalaya and for his assistance in selecting the plants; Dr. M.M. Sharma who put his sincere efforts in going through draft copy and made necessary corrections in “uses and formulations” part of all plants. Mr. Jagdish Chandra Arya R.A. (Sot.) and Mr. Raju Kumar, D.E.O. who are the part of team with Dr. G.V.R. Joseph traveled extensively in remote parts of Himalayan region in connection with Digitization of Herbarium project. Four plant photos i.e. A. benthamii; D. hatagarica; A. glauca; N. jatamansi are taken from the display material of Society of Himalayan Environmental Research, Dehradun, their contribution is acknowledged.
I appreciate Ms. Archana Gupta, SRF (Botany), Dr. Tanuja Prasad, SRF (Ayu.) and Dr. Shilpi Das, SRF (Pharmacology) for their valuable assistance in compiling the text material of the book.
Support rendered by some of the officers/staff to Dr. Joseph while taking photos/Digitization related work at Himalayan region is sincerely acknowledged, like are Dr. G.C. Nanda, AD. (CRI, Bhubaneshwar); Dr.
D. Baruah, R.O. (RRI, Guwahati); Dr. Brahma, R.O. (RRI, Itanagar) and Dr. A. K. Mangal, R.O.(CCRAS,
HQ). Special appreciation is due to Dr. M.M. Padhi, Deputy Director (Tech.) who overall supervised the work and encouraged the team throughout the work. Thanks to Dr. V. K. Singh, AD. (Botany), CCRUM for his valuable suggestions.
I express my sincere gratitude to Smt. Anita Das, Secretary, Sh. Shiv Basant, Joint Secretary and Sh. S.K. Chaddha, Director, Dept. of Ayush, Ministry of Health and Family welfare, Govt. of India for their encouragement and appreciation. Special thanks to Sh. S.K. Chaddha, Director. Dept. of Ayush for his keen interest and who acted as driving force in this publication.
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