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Biodiversity and strategies for conservation of rare, endangered and threatened medicinal plants


Biodiversity refers to the numbers, variety and variability of living organisms and ecosystem. India is one of the world’s top 12 mega diversity countries with 10 bio geographic regions. India alone includes two among the world’s eight biodiversity hotspots. The climatic and altitudinal variations, coupled with varied ecological habitats of this country, have contributed to the development of immensely rich vegetation with a unique diversity in medicinal plants which provides an important source of medicinal raw materials for traditional medicine systems, as well as for pharmaceutical industries in the country and abroad.World Health Organization has listed over 21000 plant species used around the world for medicinal purpose. In India, about 2500 plant species are being used in indigenous system of medicine. The red data book lists 427 Indian Medicinal plant entries on endangered species, of which 28 are considered extinct, 124 endangered, 81 rare and 34 insufficiently known.The dedicated medicinal plants are used by various tribal’s and local people to cure different ailments ranging from simple injuries, wounds, cuts, fever, diarrhoea, ulcers, swelling, bone fractures, potency, antidote, skin care, night blindness, toothache, asthma, cough & cold. Medicinal plants occupy a vital sector of health care system in India and represent a major national resource. Hence, there is an immense need for conservation of diversity of medicinal plant wealth for the present and fore coming generations, by adapting the suitable strategy with most appropriate method of conservation.

Akshay KR, Sudharani N, Anjali K B and Deepak TM

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