Detailed descriptions of medicinal properties of many plants are available in ancient scripts of traditional systems of medicine. The Indian systems of medicine which include Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani etc. have had their firm faith in the therapeutic potential of formulations derived from medicinal plants from time immemorial. Raw materials of natural origin drugs had been the base of the formulations employed in different forms. During early part of 20 century there had been an evolution of the pharmaceutical industry. And, because of advancements in chemical techniques, crude drugs were replaced by pure chemical compounds. As a result, there has been a decline in popularity of medicinal plants based drugs in developed countries. But during the recent past, there has been resurgence of interest in study and use of medicinal plants. Modern pharmacopoeias contain at least 25% drugs derived from plants and many others, which are synthetic analyses, built on prototype compounds isolated from plants. More than 180 potential plant species have been identified to obtain bioactive molecules of therapeutic value. Plant based medicines are now being increasingly used in Western countries. The United States has established the "Centre of Alternative Medicines" at the National Institute of Health at Bethesda, with a view to assess the possibility of integration of effective treatments with modern medicines.
Medicinal plants represent a primary source for the pharmaceutical industry. Large quantities of these plants are used in the preparation of drugs of traditional systems like Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and allied therapies in India and elsewhere. The current worldwide trend towards the utilization of natural plant remedies has created an enormous need for information about the properties and use of these plants. India is known for its richness is medicinal plant wealth because of diverse climatic and physiographic conditions including sub-tropical, temperate and alpine zones. This has provided to an estimated 45,000 plant taxa of which 2000 figure frequently in literature. Indigenous systems commonly employ about 500 species of plants. Of these about 342 species are widely used in Unani system of medicine (Anonymous, 1981). Since last about 2-3 decades due to excessive extraction of medicinal plants and destruction of their natural habitats on one hand and unscientific collection and fostering regeneration of such plants on the other, several species have either been completely lost or become endangered. Hence, there is an urgent need for periodical systematic exploration of medicinal plants in different parts of the country to observe the status of such species to their relative abundance in a particular area, and sought effective measures for their conservation and protection. The proponents of Unani system of medicinal have been conscious of their share of responsibility in this direction. Since its establishment, the Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine embarked upon a programme of systematic survey of medicinal plants and recording of ethno-pharmacological field data from different parts of the country through Survey of Medicinal Plants Units of its research centers located in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. The objective of the programme has been to scientifically update investigation, identification and documentation of the contemporary folk medicines of the study areas. It was also aimed to record the general vegetation pattern and observations on the availability status of threatened, rare and endangered plant species in the study area. The Council have already brought out 7 titles on Medicinal Plants in Folklores of India (region wis based on the field data collected from different zones of the country. Present work titled "Un i Medicinal Plants of Siddharthnagar Forest Division, Uttar Pradesh" provides information on fd data and literature search on 133 species of plants, used in Unani system of medicine. These spes belong to 121 genera and 66 families, out of 312 taxa collected and identified from the study rea during 1999 by survey team of Institute of Unani Medicinal Plants, Lucknow.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Acupuncture & Acupressure (201)
Gem Therapy (22)
Original Texts (232)
Therapy & Treatment (142)
Tibetan Healing (133)
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