Since time immortal, people have been using herbs in their surroundings for remedies to cure various diseases. The history of medicine in India- the holy land of Ayurveda, can be traced to the remote past. The earliest mention of the medicinal use of plants is found in the Rigveda, perhaps the oldest repository of human knowledge, having been written between 4500 and 1600 BC. The classical texts of Ayurveda are abound with information on medicinal plants, Susruta Samhita which was written not later than 1000 BC, contains a comprehensive chapter on therapeutics and Charak Samhita written about the same period, gives a remarkable description of the 'Materia Medica' as it was known to ancient Hinduas.
Ayurveda (1500 BC) is considered as science of life, this very ancient and typically Indian Classical System of Medicine treats complete health to be a blend of physical, mental, social moral and spiritual well being.
India is one of the richest countries as far as biodiversity of medicinal plants is concerned. About 30,000 species of higher plants are used in Traditional System of Medicine the world over. In India alone an estimated 7500 species of higher plants are used as medicine in folk traditions. As India is a large country having many ecological and climatic zones with their corresponding biodiversity, the plant varies from region to region as does its use.
Plants used in different systems of Medicines.
Medical System Medicinal Plants used
Folk Tradition 4720
Modern Science 105
(Source : FRLHT, Research Division)
|Text||Period||No. of plants referred|
|Charak Samhita||300 BC||600|
The family and genera analysis of 7195 medicinal plants shows that 387 families and 2220 genera are included.
Major family No. of Plants
Break-up by parts used :
The research and survey work pertaining to medicinal plants , their identification and color photography were carried out by the Author. This web site will be useful to Ethno botanists, Ayurvedic Physicians and Research workers in this field.