Underutilized plant species with medicinal properties to attain health security
India is a treasure of medicinal knowledge due to presence of tremendous wealth of medicinal plants. Plants as medicine have been in use for the treatment of diseases since times immemorial. Due to over exploitation, destructive mode of collection and other biotic and abiotic factors, a number of medicinal plants are under the threat of extinction. India has a rich vegetation of >45,000 plant species of which 15,000-20,000 plants have medicinal values. Only 7000-7500 plants are used for medicinal purpose by traditional communities. It is estimated that 70-80% of the people worldwide rely chiefly on a traditional herbal health care system. The bioactive compounds like alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins and phenolic compounds are the reason for the medicinal value of underutilized plants that produce a definite physiological action on the body. In recent times, many novel chemical constituents have been isolated, characterized and recommended for prevention and treatment of gastric ulcers, kidney disorders, chronic fevers, stomach ulcers, piles, diabetes, increasing lactation, rheumatism, cough, dysentery, gastric troubles and headache. Therefore the present study was undertaken to gather information on medicinal value of different species of underutilized plants in five villages viz., Nedumanur, Moorarpalayam, Madhavacerry, Semapalayam and Seshasamutheram of Sankarapuram Taluk, Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu. Thirty five different plant species were identified with immense medicinal properties that were used by the local community to cure various ailments.
Revathi, D., Hemalatha, G., Kanchana, S., Gowthami, R. and Dhananivetha, M. (2019). Underutilized plant species with medicinal properties to attain health security. Acta Hortic. 1241, 605-608
underutilized plants, traditional medicines