About the book
1. This book deals with me the practical knowledge on identification of medicinal plants both macroscopically as well as microscopically. In other wards it is the practical manual for the students of Dravyaguna.
2. Emphasis is laid on the necessity of basic knowledge on anatomy in botany. Basic tissues of plants and their characteristics are described in a brief but effective manner. Several illustrations are provided to avoid lengthy descriptions. This will make this work student friendly.
3. Methods of staining and preparation of slides for microscopic study of various plants in provided with suitable examples as per CCIM syllabus. This will be handy for the teachers of Dravyaguna while imparting practical training to students.
4. This work also deals with the herbarium preparation and arboretum collections. Both dry sample and wet sample collection of the DG museum is elaborated.
5. Do's and don'ts for DG lab along with the necessary tips to the students is special attraction for the students.
6. Pharmacognostic Identification of some important medicinal plants (16 plants) as described in the CCIM syllabus was also included. This will enable the students of Ayurveda to learn about the easier methods of identification of herbs through microscopic studies.
7. It may be concluded that this is first English work on Dravyaguna which is complete and which is in accordance with the CCIM syllabus.
About the Author
Dr. J.L.N. Sastry hails from a traditional Ayurvedic family. He is born at Narasapuram (W.G.Dist., Andhra Pradesh) on 06-07-1965).
He had School studies at Kakinada (E.G. Dist., A.P.) and passed B.A.M.S. in 1989 from Dr. N.R.S. Govt. Ayu, College, Vijayawada (A.P.) in first class. He completed M.D. (Ay.) in Dravya Guna Specialist from Dr. B.R.K.R. Govt. Ayur. College, Hyderabad in 1998 October.
He stood first in A.P.P.S.C selection (January 1990) and worked as Med. Officer (Ayu.) for Govt. of A.P. in the Indian Medicine & Homoeopathy Dept., (1992-99). Between 1998-99 he acted as Research Dept. of Ayurveda, Hyderabad.
He stood first at the UPSC (1998) and joined as Medical Officer (Ay.) in CGHS, Chennai in June 1999.
The author is the recipient of two gold medals from Nagarjuna Univ. (A.P.) for the merit shown during B.A.M.S. (1988).
The author presented several clinical and scientific papers at Regional, National and International seminars.
He had more than 15 publications in standard journals and also published several articles in newspapers.
Author also had given Radio-talks and given guest lectures at various prestigious institutes (both Ayurvedic & Modern Medicine).
He published a book 40 Years of research in Ayurveda in A.P. (on behalf of grda, Hyderabad).
After completion of earlier three volumes of Dravyaguna vijnana covering both fundamental as well as applied aspects (in accordance to the CCIM syllabus/curriculum), author decided to contribute towards practical knowledge about drug identification. Often ayurvedic students find themselves cought in a situation where identity of a herb needs to be established on the spot. If they are trained in simple botanical identified (macroscopic and microscopic), many herbs may be identified without using complex chemical procedures. In the present volume "essential knowledge on practical studies for medicinal plant identification" is emphasized using suitable examples. Therefore this fourth volume is entitled as 'practical training for Dravyaguna students'.
Considering the significance of basic knowledge on botany and plant anatomy, a brief description about different plant cell types and cell structures is provided in this work. The characteristics of each type of tissue and respective identification methods are incorporated. The methods of preparation of transverse and longitudinal sections (T.S. & L.S.) of various plant parts viz., root, stem, leaves etc are elaborated with suitable examples. Various methods of staining and mounting are also provided for the benefit of the students.
The whole process of collection of plant material for the preparation of herbarium sheets is explained lucidly. The total procedure from mounting to preservation of herbarium sheets is elaborated in this work. This work also covers various methods related to wet sample preservation for the dravyaguna department.
This work also deals with the arboratum norms as well. The concept of arboratum (herbal garden) and essential plants for the medicinal plant garden at every institute is emphasized. A list of medicinal plants for the herbal gardens is provided in this work.
The above topics comprehensively cover the practical knowledge/training required for the identification of herbs/medicinal plants. This work will enable the students of dravyaguna to compete with pharmacognosists whenever such situation arises.
The morphological features of various plant parts are provided through illustrations/drawings. Different parts of the plant viz., root, stem, leaf, flowers, fruit, seed, resin & bark are described along with suitable examples (provided by CCIM). This work will be helpful for the students during the collection of plants for herbarium preparation.
Conventionally, it is believed that herbs are identified through organoleptic methods (taste, smell, texture etc.). But organized/systematic macro and microscopic studies will add scientific flavour.
This work will benefit both students as well as teachers of dravyaguna. The efforts of the publishers should be appreciated in bringing out this volume.
Another conveys special thanks and regards to Dr. Tanuja Nesari for writing the foreword.
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