Modi Government to document tribal medicinal practices


NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Tribal Affairs will undertake documentation of tribal medicinal practices in keeping with an idea mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

According to sources in the Ministry, PM Modi asked the officials to study the work of Patanjali Yogpeeth of Ramdev to see how they have documented traditional use of herbs and medicinal plants following which a team of officials recently toured the institute in Haridwar.

“Prime Minister wanted us to examine and study the research work carried out at Patanjali Yogpeeth and also see how they have documented traditional use of herbs and medicinal plants following which a team of officials toured the institute,” said sources.

Also, the idea is to use the knowledge for promoting traditional crops with dietary value.

“Documentation of tribal medicine and medicinal practices in our country is lacking. There are many medicinal practices in tribals, which may have been documented in Ayurveda, but there could be many medicines and practices which have not been documented at all, particularly for tribals living in remote areas who have been able to resist many diseases and have remained healthy.

“Some work has been done by some Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs), Indian Council of Medical Research ( ICMR), Botanical Survey of India and Ayurvedic institutions. However, we need to document these practices not only as very useful medical practices, but also for the sake of bio-diversity and also preservation of our rich heritage,” said a senior official from the Ministry.

The Ministry is also planning to constitute a Task Force in each TRI consisting of people who know local tribal language, doctors and botanists from tribal community.

“They would reach out to the traditional medical practitioners and document their practices. The documentation will include the names of the plants or matter or description of medicinal practice, photographs of the part of the plant which is used for medicine, the name of the plant in local language in Devanagari script and botanical name or English name if any,” said the official.

The documentation, once completed, will go through a proper validation process before being certified by the Ayush Ministry, sources added.