The Ayurvedic medicine industry is critically dependent upon a regular supply of raw herbs. It means that medicinal plants of right quality should be available in right quantity for the sustained growth of Ayurvedic medicine industry. It is a fact that the expanding Ayurvedic industry has had an impact on the raw herb supply position. Arya Vaidya Sala has recognised the importance of the natural resource base and has taken comprehensive steps for strengthening the different aspects of this problem. These steps include cultivation of threatened medicinal plants, promotion of cultivation, supply of seedlings to growers, generation of organic manure, finding new sources of water and supporting efforts for cultivation and trade in medicinal plants.
About 220 acres of land has been developed as medicinal plants estates. Several annual, binnial and perennial are cultivated there for in-house consumption. In fact, AVS is now self sufficient in certain items like Atalotakam, Karinkurinji, Nagadandi and Brahmi. There are about a hundred other medicinal plants which are cultivated for supplementing production needs.
An exhibition cum conservation garden of 6 acres containing 1100 species are maintained for doctors, botanists, scholars, students etc. to see and study medicinal plants.
About 5 lakhs of seedlings are produced for distribution amongst potential cultivators. The Green House facilities of the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research are being used for the generation of seedlings and cuttings. The special type of Shashtika rice is cultivated for medicinal applications. Similarly, special COD and MYD varieties of dwarf coconut trees are planted to meet the demand of tender coconut water for medicine preparation. BSRI variety of gooseberry trees are planted for supplementing its supply for medicine manufacture.
The Medicinal Plants Board of Government of India has recognised the efforts of AVS in the field of herb cultivation and has granted financial support for strengthening these activities.
The special know-how and skill generated in the field of medicinal plant cultivation are transferred to individual farmers and NGOs through a verity of extension and education programmes. With the co-operation of the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research, various extension activities are conducted at Panchayat and District levels.
Another allied activity is the production of high grade organic manure from the solid herbal residue generated in the Factory. Apart from using this manure for captive consumption, it is also being made available at subsidised cost to the cultivators and farmers. New methods of compost production using micro organisms are also planned.
Another main area of production of quality medicines is the availability of pure milk and urine of goats. For this AVS is maintaining a pure “Malabari” breed of more than 150 goats.
As a part of horticulture therapy for admitted patatients AVS is maintaining ornamental garden.
Scarcity of water is a major problem while expanding cultivation activities. Apart from attempting to identify new sub-soil water sources, concerted efforts are made to conserve ground water by setting up ponds and by recycling effluent water discharged from Factory.
Vaidyaratnam P. S. Varier's
Arya Vaidya Sala, Head office
Kerala – 676 503,
Tel: +91 0483 280 8000
Fax : 91 483 2742572
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
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