India is blessed with a rich bio-diversity and a treasure of medicinal plants. Ninety percent of the herbal raw drugs used in the manufacture of Unani, Ayurveda and Homoeopathy systems of medicine are sourced from the wild. Besides, India is one of the major exporters of crude drugs to six developed countries namely France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, the U.K and the USA. Though the country is very rich in its plant wealth, the information thereon is rather insufficient. The exact data such as the distribution of medicinal plants, their relative abundance flowering and fruiting time, ethnopharmacological uses, etc. are not only necessary but should be based on more thorough and scientific field study, so that plants could be used optimally for human welfare. The present work Unani Medicinal Plants of Tarai Forests in Kumaon Region of Uttarakhand, India is based on this rationale and provides comprehensive account of 137 taxa having therapeutic importance in Unani system of medicine out of the 400 collected and identified from the study area. The foot-hills of the Shiwalik ranges are called the Tarai. It is an area of excessive dampness with dense forests and a variety of wildlife. The Tarai belt is well formed along the base of outer hills of Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, although much of the forests have now been denuded and replaced with agricultural farms.
Indian Systems of Medicine & Homoeopathy use predominantly plant materials for the preparation of their drugs. 6000 plants are stated to have medicinal properties although 600 of them are widely used (Ved & Goraya, 2008). Of these 342 species have wide application in the Unani System of medicine (NFUM, 1981). Most of these plants grow in the wild as natural component of vegetation of a particular region and the supply chain is carried out informally. However, this traditional base of medicinal plants is shrinking at an alarming rate due to over exploitation and population pressure. Although, there are restrictions on extraction and procurement of medicinal plants, yet there are unsustainable practices in the quest for profit by traders, collecting raw material used in ISM&H industries through unauthorized hands. In the absence of a scientific system for collection and fostering regeneration of such plants, several species have either been completely lost or become endangered. ISM&H industry constantly faces the problem of raw material supply and its quality. Therefore, there is an urgent need for periodical systematic explorations of medicinal plants in different regions of the country to ascertain the availability status of medicinal species in reference to their relative abundance in a particular area, and suggest effective measures for their conservation and protection. Keeping this in view, the Council has been undertaking medicinal plants explorations in the forest- rich tribal inhabited areas of different states of the country since 1978 and has brought out several publications. Present work titled "Unani Medicinal Plants of Tarai Forests in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand" is an endeavor in this direction and provides first hand field data and literature research on 137 Unani medicinal species, belonging to 121 genera and 66 families, out of 419 taxa collected and identified from the study area between 1999 and 2003 by Survey of Medicinal Plants Unit of the Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine, Aligarh.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Acupuncture & Acupressure (200)
Gem Therapy (21)
Original Texts (227)
Therapy & Treatment (149)
Tibetan Healing (126)
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