Shillong: Documentation of herbal plants used by traditional health practitioners may have been completed over a decade ago in Meghalaya, but documentation of the traditional healing system has not been done till date. This came to the fore on Wednesday at a programme to raise awareness on the value of medicinal plants and also promote their cultivation and preservation, an exhibition of medicinal plants and their values.
Speaking as the chief guest, State Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Alexander L Hek said that in the year 2005-2006, the North Eastern Council (NEC) had conducted a survey on medicinal plants in East and West Khasi Hills and Ri Bhoi District wherein 57 medicinal plant species commonly used by indigenous health practitioners were documented. However, he rued on the lack of proper documentation of the traditional system of healing and the lack of license to market traditional medicines that has not augured well for traditional healers.
The Minister stressed the need for a certification course for all traditional medicine practitioners to be conducted by the State Health Department, which will go a long way in organising the sector.
Dr. Pradeep Jeathi of Adora Kerala Ayurvedic in his speech stated that 70% of the world depends on traditional medicinal system. In 2016 the global herbal market was valued at 71.19 billion dollars and was projected to grow at 10% in the next ten years, he informed. While China and USA occupy 80% of the market share, India occupies only 1% share.
With the vast potential that the country and the Northeast region has in terms of natural resources, he stressed the need for the State Governments to encourage sustainable large scale plantation of plants with medicinal value. He also reiterated on the need to have special purpose vehicle to aid in transporting and marketing raw materials directly to buyers cutting the middle man to help traditional healers and also to encourage and promote the setting up of factories manufacturing medicines in the State.
Secretary of Health and Family Welfare cum Mission Director and Director of AYUSH, P Bakshi reiterated on the need for accreditation of the traditional healers so that they are given due recognition and are able to practice at par with allopathic doctors.