Remembering our Roots to Protect Herbal Heritage

In Ramayana, when Lakshmana got injured while fighting Ravana’s son Indrajeet, Hanuman gets Sanjeevani Buti that helped Lakshmana regain consiousness. There are many such herbs and plants that possess the qualities that may help the mankind in his survival, but unfortunately in the race to be called ‘Developed’ he is gradually loosing contact with his roots.

My visits to the hospital be it Typhoid or beginning of my motherhood had made me undertsand that most of the nurses are South Indians. I failed to understand the reason until my visit to Kerala during the the second Global Ayurveda Fest (20-24 February, 2014). Kerala enjoys the unbroken tradition of Ayurveda. Long before the world woke up to Ayurveda, it was a way of life in Kerala. Connected to almost every aspect of life ayurvedic traditions find expression in their food too. Ayurveda nurtures the child born there and blesses them with the passion to serve. The tranquility of the place will force you to visit the Kerala again and again.

There I had a chance to meet P G latha, Director, Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI) who while discussion said, ‘an aditional responsibility on Indians is not only to protect, preserve and promote India’s herbal heritage and traditional knowledge of Ayurveda, but also to lead the world in environment conservation through sustainable development.’ The Institute is spearheading the conservation and documentation of Kerala’s herbal heritage. His words forced me to ponder that the efforts made by JNTBGRI was enough for us?

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