Amit Kumar*, Upma Manral and Sachin Sharma receive International Sustainable Development Research Award- 2015
27 February, 2015, India, USA NEWS CORPBreaking News: In a major move in the field of Medicinal Plants, Amit Kumar*, Upma Manral and Sachin Sharma from India are awarded with International Sustainable Development Research Award- 2015. The worldwide competition involved many countries. World’s scientific communities turn their attention to merit of the scientific concept involved in it. It is catalyzing the funding and research enthusiasm. The research findings appeared on world’s prestigious International Journal of Medicinal Plants. Traditional practices have played an important role in various Indian medicine systems, but have now become confined to remote rural areas. Due to change in the life style and economic status with increased influence of market economy, the transfer of indigenous knowledge about medicinal plants to the younger generations has been declining. There are few studies available from the state of Haryana which document the traditional knowledge of locals, of various medicinal plants and their uses. This might lead to loss of local knowledge in due course of time. The article describes a unique traditional practice of treating muscle strain by farmers using leaves of two widespread wild medicinal plants viz., Ipomoea carnea Jacq. (Convolvulaceae) and Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae). Focused group discussions with experienced rural folk and extensive household survey were conducted in village Muradnagar in the district Kurukshetra of Haryana, India. The mature leaves in former and tender in later were found effective in this ailment. The practice has been reported to provide healing in acute pain within one week of regular use. The documentation will help in the preservation of indigenous knowledge from rural sector of Haryana. Documentation of unique traditional practice for treating muscle strain. The practice has been reported to provide healing in acute pain within one week of regular use. The documentation will help in the preservation of indigenous knowledge of locals of the region. The study was conducted during a short span of time with limited resources and further work on phytochemicals responsible for the action in these species will add to the findings of this work. There is a need of documenting the traditional knowledge of farmer community of the state which has not received due attention in the past. Also, research focused on phytochemicals in widely available plant species would add greatly to the development of pharmaceutical sector. Various policy tools have failed to recognize economic value of widely available medicinal plants for the pharmaceutical industry that has resulted in a dearth of studies that document traditional knowledge. People have recognized the importance of medicinal plants and role they could play in developing the industry. However, still it has not covered all the ecosystems and local communities across the country. Focus has been given to mountainous region of country and local communities in remote valleys of Himalaya or tribal across the country. But, rural communities of states such as Haryana should not be neglected who might have vast knowledge about ethnomedicinal use of plants from their surroundings. Thus, there is a need of policy mix and inter-sectoral integration which focus on coordination at spatial and instrumental scales. Block offices in various districts might be encouraged to get involved in documenting the traditional knowledge of locals across the country. In order to preserve traditional knowledge, the management authorities need to prepare community biodiversity register which should include documentation of local medicinal herbs, their medicinal usage as well as indigenous knowledge lying behind the biological resources. An adaptive and integrated policy approach both at national and local levels should be developed to document and preserve the traditional knowledge before it goes extinct. Amit Kumar contributed to the collection of data through questionnaire surveys, analysis of data and writing the manuscript; Upma Manral and Sachin Sharma contributed to analysis and interpretation of data and writing the manuscript. The authors declare that they have no competing interests. All authors have read and approved the manuscript. The authors are grateful to the local informants for sharing their traditional knowledge, especially Shri Sharwan Kumar for practically demonstrating the usage and Dr. Ishwari D. Rai, Ninad B. Raut and Dr. Deepu Vijayan for critically evaluating the article.
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