Essay On Herbalism

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Gunaram, Dhaniram & The Alternative Future
The customary eating of exho ebidh haak (101 types of herbs) on the day of Goru Bihu depicts long tradition of herbal culture and the medicinal value of food habits of Assam. The herbaceous vegetation in the Bari (garden) of a traditional Assamese home used to have all these 101 varieties. The vast forest coverage of 28,748 sq. km. in Assam, home to around 4000 species, has been the main source of livelihood and crafting a culture of indigenous medicine in Assam. Going by the national statistics, India, unmatched in biodiversity with 16 different agro-climatic zones, has over 45000 different plant species. Of these, out of about 15000-20000 plants having good medicinal value, only 7000-7500 species are used by traditional communities. Indigenous medicine is generally transmitted orally through a community, family and individuals, carrying an age-long practice of remedies. Bheshaj Ratna Gunaram Khanikar, a student of Botany himself, collected these diffused elements of indigenous medicine knowledge as Bondorobor Gun and further enriched by his extensive research. Essentially, herbalism is one of the core disciplines of traditional medicinal practice like Ayurveda.
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In the written record, the study of herbs dates back 5,000 years to the ancient Sumerians, who described well-established medicinal uses for plants. Many herbs and minerals used in Ayurveda were described by ancient Indian herbalists such as Charaka and Sushruta during the 1st Millennium BC. There are 4246 registered herbal medicines in India. As per the essential drug lists for the three systems of traditional medicine in India, the Ayurveda list has 315 herbal medicines, the Unani list has 244 herbal medicines and the Siddha list has 98. Moreover, by now, the annual turnover of Indian herbal industry is more than Rs. 80

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