Medicinal Plants of The Himalaya: Production Technology and Utilization

Medicinal Plants of The Himalaya: Production Technology and Utilization
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Medicinal Plants of The Himalaya: Production Technology and Utilization

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Publisher: Agrobios Publications
ISBN: 9788177545586
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Preface The history of human culture and civilization is all about the management and utilization of the resources around him. Since the dawn of human civilization resources particularly the bioresources has been utilized by diverse human communities. Human beings started their life in the forest as an integral part of the forest ecosystem. Living close to nature, he has acquired unique knowledge about the ambient biodiversity by instinct, trial or error and experimentation and used a variety of plants and animals to meet his essential requirements like food, medicine, fuel, fibre etc. Being an intelligent and innovativce organism, he very soon built a material civilization of his own and carved out a separate habitat for himself utilizing the resources around him. Many human communities later established civilizations and began to live in villages, town and cities built by him. However, a good majority of human communities still continue to live in and around the forest ecosystems. The communities who left the forest and began to live in modern towns and cities gradually lost close touch with nature and forest and lost the precious knowledge about most of the wild plants which their forefathers had. By the turn of 20th century, the peaceful life of the traditional communities who used to live in and around the forest was also disturbed and disrupted and that led to the decline and destabilization of these people causing imminent danger of extinction of the precious peculiar life style, culture and knowledge system. As early as 3500 BC, we find a highly advanced and well organized city civilization emerging at Mohan-jo-daro and Harappa in the Indian sub-continent. All these civilization were build by agricultural societies who got more leisure time that stimulated them to build material culture and civilization. But by the turn of 10th century, human communities world over have selected over 10,000 plant species as source of his food. These included many grains, millets, tuber and rhizomes which formed his main energy source and lentils, pulses, nuts, fruits, leaves of many plant species. These plants provided him proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals etc. The nutritional requirements were further supplemented by fish and meat. Many communities
selected the best nourishing food items. In fact, the brain development of humans was closely associated with certain specific proteins amino acids and fatty acids. Communities who settled in particular environment habitat began to select certain plants and perfected them by trial, error, empirical reasoning or experience which was time and again improved. The innovative and enterprising members of the community went on generating new knowledge and these were passed on to successive generations which are now known as traditional diet or ethnic food items. It was with colonization which started in 16th century that led to globalization of food and diet. During 18th and 19th centuries the colonial powers of the West who reached the biodiversity rich South countries began to make intercontinental exchanage of plants, which predominantly included the edible plants. This globalization of food and nutrition has its advantage as well as disadvantages. Most undesirable out of this globalization of food was