452 pages, 404 colour photos, 4 colour illustrations, 1 colour map
From the preface:
"North East India belongs to the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity "hotspot" and comprises 7.7% of India’s total geographical area supporting 50% of its flora. The region houses more than 2,000 medicinal plant species, which account for nearly 20% of the total plant diversity in the region. In rural India, even now 80% of the population seems to opt for traditional methods of medicinal treatment for one reason or the other. According to a report of the Ministry of Forests and Environment, Govt. of India, 7,550 different types of herbal plants are used by 4,635 different ethnic groups for medicinal purposes. Such knowledge of medical cure has been passed on from generation to generation in the form of tradition. Every year herbs and aromatic plants with an estimated value of Rs. 165 crores are exported from the North East to other parts of the country. Constant exploration and investigation supported by extensive research are of vital importance for preservation and proper utilization of this precious resource.
Located at the centre of North East India, Assam occupies a geographical area of 78,438 km2 (latitude 24°44 - 27°45‘ N and longitude 89°41 - 96°02‘ E). Known for its rich flora and fauna, varied vegetation and forest types, Assam is the homeland of people belonging to different ethnic groups with their distinctive cultures, languages, social and religious customs, taboos and myths, and food habits.
Though there is a growing interest in and concern for overall improvement and utilization of medicinal plants of the region, so far only a limited number of plants have been studied and commercially exploited. Neither the Government nor the private sector has so far come up with concrete steps for conducting serious and systernal:ic research on this wealth. This might be due to a lack of detailed information about these plants and their commercial prospect in the national / international markets.
This book is the result of the author's his continuous and systematic research for the last eight years. During this period, three Ph. D. scholars and six M. Sc. students carried out research on medicinal plants of the state under his guidance and supervision. This book is the compilation of the findings of this research."
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