Nandita Vijay, Bangalore
In a bid to encourage the Indian System of Medicine, the Institute of Ayurveda Integrative Medicine (I-AIM) the multidisciplinary research, education and outreach arm of the Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT), has received a funding assistance to the tune of Rs. 7 crore from Union government.
Out of this amount, Rs 5 crore is from the Department of Science & Technology (DST). The fund is to set up a Rasayana research facility at I-AIM, Bangalore.
The Institute which already has a full-fledged Rasayana therapy centre offered by its Amruth Ayurveda Research Hospital has ample expertise and knowhow in the field for geriatric care, mental health, neuro disorders respiratory, cardiac, skin diseases among other conditions, Dr GG Gangadharan, joint director, FRLHT told Pharmabiz.
Rasayana therapy promotes resistance against infections and helps rejuvenation which will help healing process faster. The facility will now have the references of the herbs which can be used for the Rasayana , he added.
The Ministry of Science & Technology has acknowledged FRLHT as a scientific and industrial research organization and the Ministry of Health have designated it as a National Center of Excellence for medicinal plants and Ayurveda .
In order to conserve and preserve medicinal plants, the Ministry of Environment sanctioned around Rs 2 crore to I-AIM. Under this project for conservation, I-IAM will now help nine states for the preservation and conservation of endangered medicinal plants. Currently, there are totally 200 species of herbal plants which are critically endangered in the country. The Institute will coordinate the activities with the state governments of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
I-AIM is now gearing up to chalk out an action plan to carry out the conservation efforts. It is looking at in-situ conservation, identify rare species on an area spanning around 500 acres demarcated under vigilance to ensure the protection of the endangered species, stated Dr Gangadharan.
“Once the plants are grown, we will look at multiplying the same and send it to local communities on similar lines of I-AIM’s Herbal Garden project. This will give the growers an opportunities to generate a lucrative income for the herbs”, he said.
Since I-AIM has already been engaged in the process of classifying and categorizing the rare species which are threatened both in terms of survival and availability, it will share the know-how to the nine states’ forest departments which will put in the efforts to support the conservation project.
“We are confident that the conservation project will ensure that these engendered species are no longer get extinct. Going by our research studies, we are aware that if the species are grown in their natural habitat under mono culture process their survival and regeneration is assured. The funds will also be used for technical coordination and training,” informed Dr Gangadharan.