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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2023  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26-37

Medico-ethnobotanical exploration of Almora forest division, Uttarakhand, India—Need for the conservation of medicinal plants


1 Department of Ayurveda, Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, Ministry of Ayush, Government of India, Janak Puri, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Botany, Regional Ayurveda Research Institute, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand, India
3 Department of Ayurveda, Central Ayurveda Research Institute, Patiala, Punjab, India
4 Department of Botany, Central Ayurveda Research Institute, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Amit Kumar Rai
Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, Ministry of Ayush, Government of India, 61-65, Institutional Area, Opposite D-Block, Janak Puri, New Delhi 110058
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jdras.jdras_105_22

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BACKGROUND: Medico-ethnobotanical exploration is an important part of drug research, which provides information on the distribution, availability, and natural habitat of medicinal plants. The collection of specimens and photographs during the survey tours acts as the reference materials for the description and characterization of raw drugs and their botanical source to avoid adulteration and substitution. The present study aimed to explore the potential of the medicinal plants of the Almora forest division and their present status in the natural habitat. METHODS: Medico-ethnobotanical exploration was carried out in the Almora forest division of Kumaun Himalayan region in Uttarakhand, India, from July 2018 to February 2019. Almora, Someshwar, Mohan, and Jaurasi ranges of the Almora forest division were explored in different seasons during these surveys. During exploration, herbarium specimens and photographs of medicinal plants, preferably flowering or fruiting twigs, were collected with locality and GPS data. Plants were identified and also referred to the herbarium of the Regional Ayurveda Research Institute, Ranikhet, Uttarakhand, and the published literature. RESULTS: During these surveys, 204 medicinal plant species were documented with their local name and locality(s) with GPS location showing their distribution. Among the 204 identified medicinal plant species of this region, six species are found under the endangered and threatened category. CONCLUSIONS: There is an urgent need for the conservation of medicinal plants and their natural habitat for their perpetual existence. Further, medicinal plants having commercial potential should be cultivated by local inhabitants for their socioeconomic development.


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