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Reviews on Indian Medicinal Plants (Set of 27 Volumes)

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Item Code: IDF729
Author: Neeraj Tandon & A. K. Gupta
Language: English
Edition: 2004
ISBN: 9770972795006
Pages: 25934 (Colour Illusrations)
Other Details 10.00 X 7.00 inch
Weight 54.90 kg
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Book Description

Medicinal plants belong to the earliest known health care products that have been used by the mankind. Over three-quarters of the world population rely on the use of traditional medicines for their primary health care needs. The medicinal plants are not only major components of the many formulations used in Indigenous Systems of Medicine but also of a large number of drugs in Allopathy. In India, with one of the oldest ethnobotanical tradition in the world, medicinal plants are the backbone of all major systems of medicine.

Indian Council of Medical Research has been supporting various research programmes in the area of medicinal plants and Indigenous Systems of Medicine since 1929. In the recent past, under the leadership of Dr. G. V. Satyavati, the then Sr. Deputy Director General and later Director General, the ICMR published a compilation of data on scientific work conducted in India on medicinal plants in two volumes of Monograph in 1976 and 1987, respectively, covering a total of about 900 plant species (Alphabet A to P as per their botanical names). There have been several other publications in the last few decades. The coverage of plants in these and other publications was selective or focussed primarily on aspects like agronomy, botany, cultivation and chemistry. There was however, less focus on pharmacological, clinical, toxicological and drug development aspects.


Emerging and reemerging infections and spread of deadly drug-resistant strains of organisms are posing a challenge to the Global Public Health in terms of their treatment. The solution perhaps lies in the Indigenous Systems of Medicine, and the plant based drugs which could provide both concepts of therapy, as well as therapeutic agents to complement modern medicine especially in management of life-style diseases and communicable diseases. Medicinal plants products could also prove useful in reducing/ minimizing the adverse effects of various chemotherapeutic agents as well as in prolonging longevity and attaining positive health.

The consequent global interest in medicinal potential of plants during the last few decades is quite logical. Scientific research activities have been focussed not only on known but also on numerous lesser known medicinal plants mentioned in the ancient texts. Enormous amount of scientific data on various aspects has been generated during the period.

In this backdrop, the Council initiated the development of databases of multidisciplinary scientific information on medicinal plants in form of Monograph series. The focus has been on pharmacognostic, phytochemical, pharmacological, clinical, toxicological studies and Ayurvedic description. Additional information on regional names, habit and habitat, uses ascribed, ethnobotanical studies, etc. has also been included. The first volume in this series deals with over 200 plant species. The next three volumes covering over 600 plant species are also being published simultaneously. The Monographs may be of great relevance and importance in developing new herbal drugs for health care, establishing correlationship between the uses/claims made in Indigenous Systems of Medicine. particularly Ayurveda, and understanding the scientific basis of their action. The compiled information may also be of great help in defending issues related to Intellectual Property Rights and patents on Indian medicinal plants at global level. The compilation is also intended to serve as an inventory of the Indian medicinal plants, which have been investigated. The leads could be further followed up for in-depth research.


Efforts have been made to compile published research efforts on the taxa found in India whether indigenous or introduced. The present volume is the first of the series of Reviews on Indian Medicinal Plants comprising 60 plant genera comprising 223 species from Abelmoschus - Allemanda.

The Monographs cover largely the studies on Indian medicinal plants conducted by scientists in Indian institutions and published in national and international journals. At places work done by Indian scientists in collaboration with foreign laboratories or carried out exclusively in foreign laboratories has also been covered. Citations of foreign scientists and the work carried out abroad have been made wherever it was found relevant to the text. Plants imported in India have not been included. The plants Achras zapota and Agati species have not been included due to change of nomenclature status of the plant species to Manilkara zapota and Sesbania species, respectively.

The sources of information included survey of published literature including primary, secondary and tertiary sources, besides the literature made available by various scientists, academicians, medical colleges, research institutions and universities involved in activities related to medicinal plants/Indigenous System of Medicine.

The Monographs contain a wide spectrum of information under major heads viz. General Information. Pharmacognostic. Chemical, Pharmacological/ Biological, Clinical and Toxicological Studies with complete references of the work cited. Some additional references, which could be of relevance have also been included. Colour photographs of important plants, which could be procured from different sources, have also been incorporated. At the end are given various Appendices and Indices.


This section deals with the information mainly related to nomenclature, habit and habitat, regional names and the claims about the medicinal value of the plant species. To have an idea of the possible medicinal potential of the plants, an attempt has been made not only to include information from the Ayurvedic literature and Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India but also from the beliefs and practices prevalent in India on the basis of folk lore or empirical/ traditional uses of certain plants, as reported in various well reputed compendia and ethnobotanical surveys conducted. The details provided under the following sub-heads are mentioned as under:

Botanical Nomenclature

The plant genera and species are arranged by their botanical names in alphabetical order. The nomenclature of many plants has undergone revision during the last few decades. The names of the plants given in the cited references have been updated as far as possible to provide currently accepted names. In case of change of name, the obsolete names have been given as synonyms in the following order: the currently accepted name is followed by the corresponding names given in Hooker's Flora of British India or other subsequent relevant literature in addition to Indian flora and finally by the title name of the plant given in the reference cited, if it is different from the earlier mentioned names. Further to this, in cases where the currently accepted binomial nomenclature starts with alphabet other than "A" such names have been provided in the footnote for the convenience of the readers. Similarly, the names of the families have been given according to the currently accepted pattern.

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