The Extinction of Medicinal Plants

Some medicinal plants are becoming extinct worldwide. Plants are categorised as Extinct (EX), Extinct in the Wild (EW), Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN), Vulnerable (VU), Near Threatened (NT), Least Concern (LC), Data Deficient (DD) and Not Evaluated (NE). The picture above is of Sandalwood which has the status VU while Red Sandalwood is now EN as a species. Efforts have also been made to preserve the Guggul tree. Plants become threatened for various reasons. International organisations are closely working with professionals and at government level to evaluate and protect plant, animal and marine species worldwide. For more information please visit the website of the IUCN Red List at http://discover.iucnredlist.org

According to India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests, 95 percent of plants used in Ayurvedic medicine are collected from the wild, and about two-thirds of that harvest uses "destructive means" that can damage or kill the plants. To preserve these plants, the Indian government initiated a program in 2008 to relocate species from the wild, study how to domesticate them and to establish sustainable harvesting.

There is also a recognition that Ayurvedic medicines could bring profits to India’s coffers. Similarly Pakistan's leading natural health company Qarshi, has established one of the largest herbariums in the region and produces quality assured medicines through sustainibility. Ayurvedic remedies mentioned in my blog are not on the list of threatened species. Please feel free to make an entry anywhere in the blog section or specifically in the blog section 'extinction of plants' or contact me should you have any further information regarding this subject.