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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2019, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (4): 238-243.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2019.04.008

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Status of Indian medicinal plants in the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the future of Ayurvedic drugs: Shouldn’t think about Ayurvedic fundamentals?

Deepak Kumar Semwala, Ashutosh Chauhanb, Ankit Kumarc, Sonali Aswalc, Ruchi Badoni Semwald, Abhimanyu Kumare   

  1. a. Department of Phytochemistry, Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Uttarakhand Ayurved University, Harrawala, Dehradun 248001, India
    b. Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Uttarakhand Ayurved University, Harrawala, Dehradun 248001, India
    c. Research and Development Centre, Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Uttarakhand Ayurved University, Harrawala, Dehradun 248001, India
    d. Department of Chemistry, Pt. Lalit Mohan Sharma Government Postgraduate College, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249201, India
    e. Uttarakhand Ayurved University, Harrawala, Dehradun 248001, India
  • Received:2018-11-02 Accepted:2018-12-27 Online:2019-07-06 Published:2019-05-21

The present market for herbal drugs is estimated about Rupee 40 billion, which is expected to increase by 16% in next 3–4?years. The current production of many Ayurvedic herbs is less than their market demand, which incentivizes adulteration in the Ayurvedic drug supply chain. The present work aims to highlight the most used Ayurvedic plants that have been listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s “red list” of endangered or vulnerable plants. The future of Ayurvedic medicines from these listed plants is uncertain, as the collection of herbs from their natural habitat is prohibited and their cultivation does not meet market demands. Many of these plants, such as Taxus baccata and T. wallichiana, are endangered and are only grown in their natural habitats; their cultivation in other areas is impractical. This is the present state, and will worsen as demand continues to grow, with increasing populations and increasing adoption of this system of medicine. It is possible that in coming years most of the Ayurvedic drugs will be adulterated, and will cause only side effects rather than the therapeutic effects. The Ayurvedic fundamentals are under-explored areas where the Ayurvedic practitioners and research scientists can work together. The scientific work on the basic principles will unravel many unknown or little-known facts of this ancient science. Hence, the present review emphasizes the conservation of Ayurvedic herbs, minimization of the use of medicinal plants and the promotion of the research based on Ayurvedic fundamentals.

Key words: Ayurvedic fundamentals, Ayurvedic herbs, Endangered plants, Polyherbal formulations, Prakriti

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