Medicinal plants have played an important role in human healthcare as the essential ingredients of traditional medicines for thousands of years. Traditional systems of medicine continue to be widely practiced on many accounts. Population rise, inadequate supply of drugs, prohibitive cost of treatments, side effects of several synthetic drugs and development of resistance to currently used drugs for infectious diseases have led to increased emphasis on the use of plant materials as a source of medicines for a wide variety of human ailments.
Medicinal plant gardens are primarily focused on the conservation, cultivation, research and educational activities related to plant species known for medicinal purposes. However, these gardens also equally provide services related to other plant species whose primary use is not for therapeutic practice.
Generally medicinal plants are considered as rich resources of chemical compounds may be secondary metabolites and including alkaloids, glycosides, essential oils and other miscellaneous active substances. Medicinal plants will be useful for Maternal and Child health care, as essential drugs, in food and nutrition, for common illnesses and injury, for endemic infectious diseases, mental health and oral health. A part from that, these plants play a critical role in the development of human cultures around the whole world.
Objective for establishment of medicinal plant garden
The objective of the medicinal garden is to create awareness of conservation and traditional uses of herbs and medicinal plants as well as learn how to identify and conserve these important plants.
Medicinal plants have played an important role in human healthcare as the essential ingredients of traditional medicines for thousands of years. It plays a significant role in education and research of plant species used for medicinal purposes. Medicinal plant gardens are also actively involved in organizing of educational programs/events to students and the general public.
History and current status of medicinal plant garden
Keeping in the mind the importance of medicinal plant garden we have decided to establish a medicinal plant garden. It was started in the year 2017-18 by the leadership of Dean of School of Comparative Indic Studies and Tribal Science and other school faculty members. Plantlets of medicinal plants were collected from various nurseries of different parts of Odisha. Initially it was started with few plants but gradually this encouraged the faculty members and they cordially donated some plantlets from their personal collections. With little steps it reached into rich medicinal plant garden.
Medicinal plant garden is currently situated within the campus. Manuring, pest and insect control is done on regular basis. Gardening care is taken under the supervision of learned faculties. Advises are also taken from senior Professors of various Universities and Medicinal Plant Board officials whenever required. Professor of practice also participate in various seminar, workshop and conferences related to medicinal plant to enrich knowledge and implementation.
Presently, there are seventy varieties of medicinal plants of various categories such as trees, shrubs and herbs.
Conservation of medicinal plants
School of CIST Medicinal Plant Garden has a plan to collect and cultivate as many medicinal plants as possible. The institution has a plan to cultivate some of the important medicinal plants on a large scale basis and to conserve endangered species.
- Established 2017-18
- Total area: half acre
- PURPOSE: Conservation, Propagation and Research
Other features of Medicinal Plant Garden
- Irrigation and green house
- Total number of medicinal and aromatic plants: 100+ species
- Some plants brought from outside and acclimatized
- Plants grown (experimental) in the department
Medicinal plant gardens are integral to the institution’s teaching about the various aspects of medicinal plants in human healthcare. The general public can also get benefited from the medicinal plant gardens by participating in various educational and training events/ activities. In future, wide sharing of scientific knowledge among multiple stakeholders could generate larger stewardship for conservation of traditional knowledge and medicinal plants. Medicinal plant gardens are appropriate tools for conservation of medicinal plants and preservation of traditional knowledge that help collaborate more local communities, academicians, students and researchers for generating greater conservation benefits and promote science communication.