From the preface:
"In contemporary times, natural drugs of plant origin still form a major part of native medical systems in developing countries. There is also a resurgence of interest in herbal drugs all over the world. The revitalization of folk herbal remedies that are popular with primitive cultures constitutes a vital area of research interest in the fields of traditional medicine and ethnopharmacology.
Although the input of knowledge in the field of modern medicine has reached bewildering heights, yet a vast majority of tribal groups are underserved without any access to modern health care facilities. Even today many folk groups are solely dependent on traditional system for their primary health care needs. According to WHO statistics it is estimated that nearly 80% of population living in the world depend on plants, animals and other natural resources for their food, shelter and medicine to maintain their primary health care needs.
Tribes constitute an integral part of Indian civilization. They have played a decisive role in the preservation of our rich cultural heritage and civilization in our country. Tribal communities are distributed in almost all States of India. Each tribe is a unique entity in terms of their culture, language, religion and biological characteristics. They are endowed with rich folk knowledge about useful plants and animals that are of considerable therapeutic potential.
In every tribal society, there are men and women who are well versed in the medicinal properties of plants and animals. These traditional healers enjoy good reputation for their folk skills and play an indispensable role in the local health care system. These types of practises are by oral tradition and based on time-honoured experiences.
Therefore, it becomes a vital necessity for the documentation and preservation of this knowledge before such information disappear totally due to rapid acculteration of folk groups. In this context the present book assumes greater significance than ever imagined. We are of the humble view that data generated here will stimulate further research in traditional medicine of two Nilgiri primitive tribes in the days to come."