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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 193-194

Select flora of medicinal importance in Sowa-Rigpa and Ayurveda: An introductory note and pictorial exposition: Book review

Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, New Delhi, India

Date of Submission14-Jan-2022
Date of Acceptance20-Jan-2022
Date of Web Publication25-Mar-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vijayan Ashwathy Kutty
Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru Bhartiya Chikitsa Avum Homeopathy Anusandhan Bhavan, No. 61-65, Institutional Area, Opp. “D” Block, Janakpuri, New Delhi 110058.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdras.jdras_6_22

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How to cite this article:
Mahajon B, Ashwathy Kutty V, Narayanan V R. Select flora of medicinal importance in Sowa-Rigpa and Ayurveda: An introductory note and pictorial exposition: Book review. J Drug Res Ayurvedic Sci 2021;6:193-4

How to cite this URL:
Mahajon B, Ashwathy Kutty V, Narayanan V R. Select flora of medicinal importance in Sowa-Rigpa and Ayurveda: An introductory note and pictorial exposition: Book review. J Drug Res Ayurvedic Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Jan 28];6:193-4. Available from: http://www.jdrasccras.com/text.asp?2021/6/3/193/340872

This book presents a glimpse of rich biodiversity of Trans-Himalayan medicinal plants encompassing the botanical description, locality, habitat along with their indications, therapeutic uses mentioned in classical Sowa-Rigpa and Ayurveda literature. The Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences is earnestly working for conservation, cultivation, and sustainable maintenance of flora of medicinal importance described in Sowa-Rigpa and Ayurveda literatures from the Himalayan region. Further efforts are being made to explore their availability through Medico-Ethno-Botanical Survey (MEBS) in this region, documenting the information and preserving the herbarium specimens and original photographs of important medicinal plants for scientific utility. This book entitled “Select Flora of Medicinal Importance in Sowa-Rigpa and Ayurveda” is the outcome of a survey project enriched with information on about 200 medicinal plants mentioned both in Sowa-Rigpa and Ayurveda classical texts.

Sowa-Rigpa is recognized and promoted as a traditional medical system by the Government of India. Along with spread of Buddhism, Sowa-Rigpa also spread to other neighboring countries. It is interesting to note that Sowa-Rigpa shares similarity with the principles or philosophy of Ayurveda since most of the literature in Sowa-Rigpa (approximately more than 75%) is adaptive from the most famous treatise of Ayurveda, i.e., “Ashtanga Hridaya” in one or other form. Many (more than 75%) of the commonly used herbs used in Ayurveda (Indian origin) viz., Triphala, Ashoka, Ashwagandha, Guggulu, Haridra, etc., are also frequently used for treatment in the Sowa- Rigpa System of Medicine.

Sowa-Rigpa and Ayurveda classical texts have offered certain guidelines for optimal utilization and retaining the potency of medicinal plants. It is absolutely essential to understand the name of the plant, its shape, color, and other characteristics of root, stem, branches, leaf, flower, and fruit. The fundamental knowledge of taste, potency, post-digestive taste, and quality of each and every plant helps in its proper therapeutic uses. While collecting and processing the herbs, there are seven essential features to be taken care of to ensure the efficacy of medicines. The Sowa-Rigpa pharmacology is based on the theories of 6 tastes (ro-druk), 8 potencies (nuspa-rgyad), 3 post-digestive tastes (zu-rjes sum), 17 attributes (yonten-bcho-bdun), and its interdependence on 5 elements.

The whole compendium has been presented in two chapters. Chapter 1 contains the brief introduction narrating the background of this publication. Chapter 2 of this compendium focuses on providing basic information along with pictorial exposition of various important plants mentioned both in Sowa-Rigpa and in Ayurveda. A total of 200 plant species belonging to 183 genera from 82 families were incorporated in this book. The family which contributed the highest numbers of medicinally important species was Compositae (20 species), followed by Leguminosae (13 species), Apiaceae, and Renunculaceae (10 species each). Among 200 plant species, about 101 species are mentioned as botanical source of different plants in classical literature and contemporary works on Materia Medica of Ayurveda. Description of each plant contains botanical name, family, Sowa-Rigpa name, Sanskrit name, place of collection, botanical description, part used, and actions/indications/therapeutic uses in Ayurveda and Sowa-Rigpa. For the convenience of the reader and better understanding, National Ayurveda Morbidity Codes (NAMC) have been incorporated against Ayurvedic diagnosis of disease/conditions wherever possible. The color photograph of each medicinal plant along with their useful part has made this book attractive and reader friendly.

This compendium can serve as a basic reference document for academicians, scientists, and clinicians engaged in drug-related research activities. This endeavor assuredly poses remarkable impact in disseminating the merits of Ayurveda and Sowa-Rigpa for their better utilization.

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There are no conflicts of interest.


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