GUWAHATI, March 26 - Indigenous healing systems should be supported and sustained. For, these systems can be translated into good economic activities. Indigenous knowledge systems contribute to drug discovery programmes, which have huge economic benefits, said Dr D Syiem, Professor of the Department of Biochemistry, North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong.
Speaking to this Correspondent on the sidelines of the two-day North Eastern Regional Conference and Exhibition on Promotion and Protection of Traditional Healthcare Remedy (PAPOTHECARY), 2017, organised by the Institutional Biotech Hub, Department of Biotechnology of Gauhati University (GU), Dr Syiem said that the North East region is very rich in biodiversity and culture, and is home to many ethnic groups which have rich indigenous knowledge for using plants or natural resources for healthcare.
This knowledge is important and relevant today, specially for the North East region. Because, indigenous knowledge systems have many positive impacts on livelihood, local economy, public health, conservation, tradition and culture, Dr Syiem, who has been working in this area for the past about 20 years, said.
The 75-year-old Jibeswar Barpatra Gohain, president of Assam Folk Medicine Healers' Association and a resident of Jorhat Holongapar Meleng Gohain Gaon, who has been practising traditional healing practices for the past about 60 years, said that the herb-based traditional healing systems have been found quite effective in healing diseases like pneumonia, jaundice, kidney stone, excessive bleeding at the time of menstruation, melina, asthma, skin cancer, septic, various skin diseases, snake bite, gastro-enteric diseases, pharyngitis, hydrophobia etc diseases.
Prof PK Dutta, a former Professor of Plant Pathology at the Assam Agricultural University and president of the Majuli Traditional Medicine Treatment Project urged for steps to secure geographical indication (GI) rights for the medicinal plants and traditional healing systems of Assam and North East region.
There should a scientific endeavour to identify the medicinal plants, healing systems and record the end products, besides preserving the medicinal plants so that this brilliant heritage could be preserved for posterity and betterment of mankind, said Prof Dutta.
At the conference, which concluded at the PD Dutta Seminar Hall of Gauhati University here on Saturday evening, a host of traditional healers and scholars from various parts of the North East region took part. The conference was organised in association with the IASST, IITG, USTM and NEBA.