Herbarium and Raw Drug Repository

A unique, state of the art, Herbarium and Raw Drug Repository on Medicinal Plants

Herbarium and Raw Drug repository on Medicinal plants used in Indian System of Medicine

Need of the Hour

With the growing interest in traditional and complementary systems of medicine across the globe, a facility that helps authenticate the identity of medicinal plants, especially in the form of a repository of the natural resources used by the Indian systems of medicine, would be a great help to conservation fraternity as well as the academicians, botanists/herbalists and research workers. The quality control for herbal drugs assumes great importance and it must start with the procurement of authenticated raw material. The first and foremost requirement is the botanical/ herbal drugs of standard quality. Correct identification of botanical drugs would need reference standards. Therefore, a Repository of such herbal drugs with an excellent herbarium having authentic voucher specimen is the need of the hour.

This state of the art ‘FRLHT-TDU Herbarium and Raw drug Repository’ houses these natural resources used in the Indian System of Medicine, in the form of herbarium and raw drug samples. The botanical drugs comprising, root, stem, leaves , flower, fruit, seed, root & rhizome, stem & leaves, fruit & seed, stem bark, root bark, heart wood, whole plant, whole plant without root, exudates, gum/resin, tuber and bulb, have been classified on the most scientific and modern lines. This enhances its significance multi-folds as a conservation research facility.

FRLHT pioneered the establishment of such a herbarium of medicinal plants of India way back in 1995 under DANIDA funded project “Strengthening the medicinal plant resource base in India in the context of Primary Health care projects”. Since 2002 – 2017, it is been part of “Centre of Excellence in medicinal plants & traditional knowledge”, funded by Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt. of India. Its collection has grown constantly and this herbarium houses 60% of the total medicinal plants used by the codified Indian Systems of Medicine.

The herbarium and raw drug repository has been engaged in research, training and outreach activities related to the identity, geographical distribution, and taxonomy of botanical resources used by Indian System of Medicine. As a National Herbarium and Raw Drug Repository it strives to fulfill its two priority expectations:

  • To capture all the traded medicinal plants of India which are in recent use from different localities in the country.
  • To house the Herbarium and Raw Drug samples of those plant species used in Indian Systems of Medicine.

The herbarium and raw drug repository is supported with:

  • Image Library:
    The herbarium and Raw Drug repository is supported with an Image Library that currently possesses over 21,000 images of live plants and their habitats, scanned herbarium sheets and raw drugs. This image library is oriented to help facilitate the identification of specimens, especially for the user groups such as practitioners, students, researchers, resource managers, etc.
  • Virtual Herbarium:
    Digitization being a prime and important outreach activity helps to take medicinal plant herbarium to wider user groups across the globe. The botanists first confirm and authenticate the voucher specimens and these are later scanned at high resolution. About 957 voucher specimens have been scanned at high resolution. These images have been shared on the ENVIS website. http://envis.frlht.org/digital-herbarium-main.php

© 2018 TDU, Bengaluru.