India is one of the richest floristic regions of the world and is well known for its ancient heritage regarding medicinal plants and plant drugs since time of the Rigveda the oldest book to the world and the fourth of the vedas, the Atharveda that altogether deals with medicinal plants and their formulations in the form of 'mantras' (hymns) and the post Vedic Sanskrit literature of 'Charak', 'Sushrut' and 'Kashyap' and a large number of nighantus.
The volume begins with genesis, drugs, drug action, antimicrobial potential in vitro, prevention of adulteration, origin, evolution and dispersal of medicinal plants, occurrence in the Himalayas and the coastal states of south and adaptation in the arid and semi arid zones of Indian desert.
This research monograph is the outcome of a very long effort including exercising joyous excursions, survey made in different parts of the Himalayas, Eastern India, extremely thick forests of places like Cheerapunjee, Mausmai, Mausindrum and Mawphlong of Khasi and Jaintia Hills, plain of the Ganges, Belle forests of Karnataka, Silent Valley in district Palghat of Kerala and the sweet smelling plantation of Cinchona at Oodgamandlum (Ooty) in Tamil Nadu.
A full treatment has been given to development of Indian materia medica and about 300 plant species have been described that include important medicinal pteridophytes and higher plants.
The origin of generic names, botanical description, vernacular names, occurrence and distribution, parts of the plant used, medicinal uses and folklore of each species are given. The chemical constituents of most of the species that are known are given.
- List of colour plates
Index to plant families and scientific names of plants and microorganisms
Index to vernacular names.
- India, the cradle of materia medica
- Description of genera and species:
- Medicinal pteridophytes
- Medicinal gymnosperms
- Medicinal angiosperms
- Cultivation of drug plants