The Governor of Manipur, Dr. Najma Heptulla, has launched a national campaign on medicinal plants by inaugurating a one day state-level buyers and sellers meet at Indian Medical Association (IMA) House in Lamphel.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Heptulla said that the Manipur State Medicinal Plants Board has been functioning as an autonomous body since September 2005.
"The mission of the board is to promote and propagate medicinal plants in Manipur and to attain leadership for the state in this sector and I am confident that it will certainly fulfill the aspiration of the people and give benefits to all in the state," she said.
Medicinal plants have been identified and used throughout human history. The use of plants as medicines pre-dates written human history.
Ethno botany, the study of traditional human uses of plants, is recognised as an effective way to discover future medicines.
In 2001, researchers identified 122 compounds used in modern medicine which were derived from traditional plant sources. Eighty percent of these have had a traditional use identical or related to the current use of active elements of the plant.
Some of the pharmaceuticals currently available to physicians are derived from plants that have a long history of use as herbal remedies, including aspirin, digoxin, quinine and opium.
Governor Heptullah further said she was happy to know that within a short period of its existence, the Manipur State Medicinal Plants Board has organised several workshops and health fairs for the promotion of medicinal and aromatic plants and healing systems.
The objectives of this campaign such as market authorisation of medicinal and aromatic plants and its products, good cultivation and collection practices, institutional linkages for promoting production and marketing of medicinal and aromatic plants, is to bridge the gap between buyers and sellers, agro-technology of selected potential medicinal and aromatic plants to large scale benefit to the people of the state.
Minister of Social Welfare and Cooperation A.K. Mirabai Devi as President, Commissioner for Horticulture and Soil Conservation Thaithuilung Pamei and Chief Conservator of Forests T.H. Mohendra Pratap Singh as guests of honour were also present on the occasion.
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