Ayurveda, with its base in medicinal plants and its origins in ancient Indian history, is recognised as one of the major systems of alternative and complementary medicine. Of particular significance has been the fact that the therapeutic values cited in the ancient texts and the oral tradition have been subject to continuous interpretation and consolidation by scholars in the field. The concerns of medical botany, horticulture and the industry associated with these which have focused on the treatment of disease conditions have lent critical importance to the necessity for the accurate documenting and identification of such plants.
Indian Medicinal Plants, based on a treatise prepared by S. Raghunatha Iyer, a scholar of both Sanskrit and ayurveda, aims to make an authoritative contribution to the field. The original work which drew on classical texts, current research as well as the oral medical knowledge of tribal groups has been updated by scholars associated with the Arya Vaidya Sala in Kottakkal, India.
This unique compendium offers profiles of 500 key species with detailed taxonomic information. One of the lead features of this compilation is the special technique used in the illustrations, both colour and line, which aims to achieve authenticity of texture, colour and form. The outline information includes distribution and the popular nomenclature in English, Sanskrit, Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil.
The main texts present properties and uses in a format which cites ancient verse texts and ethnobotanical sources. The rare work in five volumes should be of special interest to practitioners of alternative medicine, students of ayurveda, the research and industry associated with medical botany, pharmacologists, sociologists and medical herbalists. The compendium should also be of relevance to the fields of ethnobotany and Sanskrit studies.
About the Authors:
V.P.K. Nambiar, former systematic botanist at the Kerala Forest Research Institute and a specialist in the flora of the Western Ghats.
P.K. Warrier, Managing Trustee of the Arya Vaidyasala, Kottakkal, Kerala.
C. Ramankutty, a learned physician of the Arya Vaidyasala, Kottakkal, Kerala.