Research article of Journal of Plant and Environmental Research
Herbal home garden and ex-situ conservation of medicinal plants for promotion and conservation of traditional health knowledge: a geographical perspective
University of Delhi, Delhi
Herbal home remedies have a long history which is in the form of oral tradition. Herbs and other locally available medicinal plants have been used for healing purposes and maintaining good health since time immemorial. These practices of healthy living and use of herbs for curing diseases enunciated in Ayurveda and are in vogue in Indian households even today. The current status of herbal home garden along with government and private run herbal gardens have been studied in Haridwar (Uttarakhand),and Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh in the year 2008-2009 and 2012-2013 respectively. From Haridwar, total of 75 households were chosen from three distinct geographical locations by using random sampling method. Herbal gardens of Brahmavarchas located at Shatikunj, and Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar were also taken for the study. From the district Kangra, two governments and one private owned herbal gardens were chosen for the study. For the collection of primary information, well-structured questionnaires were used during the field surveys. Focus Group Discussion and personal interviews were applied to document the uses of medicinal plants as health care measure. Besides a review of relevant literature, the research used a variety of qualitative techniques, such as semi-structured, in-depth interviews and participant observations. The present study facilitates a better understanding of the present status of indigenous knowledge system, local innovations and practice of herbal based home remedies and the traditional knowledge is diffused in the society. The cultural set up and old aged traditional knowledge system is a way of life in Indian households and Indian kitchen and herbal home garden render valuable health care system. Irrespective of geographical localities viz. rural and urban settlements, the role of herbal home garden (kitchen garden) is very significant in providing accessible health facilities. Sixty four per cent respondents including traditional healers (Vaidyas) consider kitchen garden as source of good health. In the studied villages of Haridwar, 65 per cent respondents have herbal home garden (kitchen garden) and it is considered as source of good health.
Keywords: Herbal home garden (kitchen garden), medicinal plants, herbal home remedy, common ailments, geo-garden