ICMR’s 4 Volumes On Indian Medicinal Plants Viewed As An Invaluable Evidence For Scientific Research

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Bengaluru : The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has compiled 4 volumes on Indian Medicinal Plants which is evaluated as an invaluable source for evidence for scientists. The compilation is viewed as an immense potential of data used in various traditional systems of medicine.

Reviewing the four volumes, DB Anantha Narayana, CSO, Ayurvidye Trust, Bengaluru noted that the use of Indian medicinal plants is an ancient practice and plays a pivotal role in the prevention of diseases and the promotion of health. Hence these 4 scientific review books which got released this year are categorized for prioritization in research.

“It appears that the medicinal plants division at ICMR worked even during the pandemic period and worked to publish the four volumes. These books comprise of detailed scientific review with relevant literature references, coloured photographs of the plant and exhaustive information on each of these,” he added.

The information is given under the headings of general information, botanical description, habitat, regional & other names. There are also ayurvedic descriptions, therapeutic uses of these plants in Ayurveda. Besides the plant properties & uses are also ascribed. In addition, there are Ethano-botanical reports, Pharmacognosy, Chemical studies, Pharmacological and biological studies, Clinical studies, Toxicological studies. Wherever available number of additional references have also been provided, Dr Narayana pointed out.

Volume 24 covers 63 plant genera and 211 species. Volume 25 covers 37 plant genera and 185 species, Volume 26 covers 34 plant genera and 130 species and Volume 27 covers 35 plant genera and 201 species.

Each monograph reviewed in these books is a treat to any scientist as it provides comprehensive information including structure of chemical compounds isolated and characterised in them, useful citation of human studies and their summary, useful citation of safety information and history of use documented in the traditional books. In fact, any researcher either in industry or otherwise can directly make use of these reviews as a base for project funding, planning research, and even for regulatory filing purposes. Pharmacy and medical colleges should consider and procure the entire series for their libraries, Dr Narayana observed.

Appreciating ICMR, Medicinal Plants Division and the leadership of Technical Review Committee, Dr Narayana said that in the digital era and the pandemic which further accelerated the implementation of technology to propel speed, efficiency and transparency, the Council needed ensure that these four volumes of the books needed to accessed online. This is because of the difficulties to refer printed copies of books had its challenges in the current context of developments where virtual references have become a norm. Therefore, ICMR may consider making contents of their publication available online even on a chargeable basis. Further, ICMR should also consider these publications to be procurable online as e-books on ‘Kindle’ compatible forms, so that the revenue generation for ICMR is sustained.

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