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UGC-sponsored meet highlights efficacy of herbal medicines

By The Assam Tribune
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GUWAHATI, July 4 - A day-long State-level UGC-sponsored conference titled, �Herbal Medicine � A Rational Approach in Healthcare System with Special Reference to North East India� was organised by the Department of Botany at Dhing College in Nagaon district on June 19, a press release received here stated.

Around 80 delegates, including lecturers, teachers, NGOs, students, common people and local media personnel attended the conference, whose objective was to make the students� community, youths and general public aware about the efficacy of herbal medicine.

Even otherwise, herbal drugs imply knowledge and practice of herbal healing for the prevention, diagnosis and elimination of physical, mental or social imbalance. While the cost of healthcare has been rising at an alarming rate throughout the world, at the same time the world market for phytopharmaceuticals is growing progressively.

It is a common observation that people diagnosed with incurable chronic diseases like diabetes, arthritis and AIDS invariably turn to herbal therapies for remission and mental comfort. Herbal product studies cannot be considered scientifically valid if the product that has been tested has not been authenticated and characterised in order to ensure reproductibility in the manufacturing of the product in question.

Development of authentic analytical methods which can reliably profile the phytochemical composition, including quantitative analyses of marker/bioactive compounds and other major constituents is a major challenge to scientists.

On June 19, Dr Sanjeeb Kumar Nath, coordinator and organising secretary of the conference introduced and felicitated president Dr Sarat Kumar Dutta, Principal of Dhing College and president of the conference and chief guest, Dr PK Das, chief scientist of the Regional Agricultural Research Station, Assam Agricultural University, Shillongani, Nagaon.

While inaugurating the conference, Dr SK Dutta in his welcome address highlighted the importance of herbal medicine in our day-to-day lives. He underlined the need and importance of herbal medicine for healthcare system in the North Eastern region of India. Dr PK Das in his keynote address discussed the various issues and challenges regarding herbal medicine with special reference to North East India.

In the first technical session, Dr PK Das highlighted the �Importance of Plants as a Source of New Drugs in India With Special Reference to North East India�.

In the second technical session, Dr Akhil Barua, Associate Professor in the Department of Botany, Darrang College, discussed elaborately on, �Best Practices Herbal Remedies of India for Stomach Disorders/Diseases�.

The third technical session was presided over by Dr PK Das. Informative lectures were presented by Dr Dinesh Hazarika, Principal Scientist of RARS at AAU, Shillongani, on �Know Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri L) � Its Importance and Health Benefits�. Dr K Dayamay Singha, Principal Scientist of RARS at AAU, Shillongani, Nagaon spoke on, �Health Benefits of Medicinal Herbs in Diets of Manipuri Community�, which attracted a volley of questions.

Apart from these, more than 10 papers were presented in the conference, which recommended to the Government to implement the following: Facilitate and support development of databases, networking amongst researchers, concerned Government departments and NGOs etc., as well as facilitate easy access to available information sources (websites and publications) on all aspects of herbal medicine development such as inventory and resource assessment, harvesting, processing, marketing, trade and policies of medicinal herbs.

Further, it was recommended to rethink and radically alter the models and processes of development in order to ensure that local communities, forests, biodiversity and wildlife can flourish, with special reference to herbal medicinal plants.

The need to legally disallow any further largescale diversion of herbal medicinal plants for the purpose of �development� projects was highlighted. To infuse all Government functioning with mandatory suo moto information disclosure and transparency mechanisms on herbal medicinal plants, besides generating awareness for future prospect of herbal medicinal plants and its use.

The certificate distribution session of the conference was held under the chairmanship of Dr SK Dutta. In his address, he presented an overview of �Herbal Medicine - A Rational Approach in Healthcare System With Special Reference to North-East India�.

He was hopeful that the conference would help in creating a platform for developing awareness and sensitivity among the students, farmers, NGOs and the common masses to identify the importance of herbal medicine for overall health.

Dr Sanjeeb Kumar Nath subsequently offered the vote of thanks.

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UGC-sponsored meet highlights efficacy of herbal medicines

GUWAHATI, July 4 - A day-long State-level UGC-sponsored conference titled, �Herbal Medicine � A Rational Approach in Healthcare System with Special Reference to North East India� was organised by the Department of Botany at Dhing College in Nagaon district on June 19, a press release received here stated.

Around 80 delegates, including lecturers, teachers, NGOs, students, common people and local media personnel attended the conference, whose objective was to make the students� community, youths and general public aware about the efficacy of herbal medicine.

Even otherwise, herbal drugs imply knowledge and practice of herbal healing for the prevention, diagnosis and elimination of physical, mental or social imbalance. While the cost of healthcare has been rising at an alarming rate throughout the world, at the same time the world market for phytopharmaceuticals is growing progressively.

It is a common observation that people diagnosed with incurable chronic diseases like diabetes, arthritis and AIDS invariably turn to herbal therapies for remission and mental comfort. Herbal product studies cannot be considered scientifically valid if the product that has been tested has not been authenticated and characterised in order to ensure reproductibility in the manufacturing of the product in question.

Development of authentic analytical methods which can reliably profile the phytochemical composition, including quantitative analyses of marker/bioactive compounds and other major constituents is a major challenge to scientists.

On June 19, Dr Sanjeeb Kumar Nath, coordinator and organising secretary of the conference introduced and felicitated president Dr Sarat Kumar Dutta, Principal of Dhing College and president of the conference and chief guest, Dr PK Das, chief scientist of the Regional Agricultural Research Station, Assam Agricultural University, Shillongani, Nagaon.

While inaugurating the conference, Dr SK Dutta in his welcome address highlighted the importance of herbal medicine in our day-to-day lives. He underlined the need and importance of herbal medicine for healthcare system in the North Eastern region of India. Dr PK Das in his keynote address discussed the various issues and challenges regarding herbal medicine with special reference to North East India.

In the first technical session, Dr PK Das highlighted the �Importance of Plants as a Source of New Drugs in India With Special Reference to North East India�.

In the second technical session, Dr Akhil Barua, Associate Professor in the Department of Botany, Darrang College, discussed elaborately on, �Best Practices Herbal Remedies of India for Stomach Disorders/Diseases�.

The third technical session was presided over by Dr PK Das. Informative lectures were presented by Dr Dinesh Hazarika, Principal Scientist of RARS at AAU, Shillongani, on �Know Brahmi (Bacopa Monnieri L) � Its Importance and Health Benefits�. Dr K Dayamay Singha, Principal Scientist of RARS at AAU, Shillongani, Nagaon spoke on, �Health Benefits of Medicinal Herbs in Diets of Manipuri Community�, which attracted a volley of questions.

Apart from these, more than 10 papers were presented in the conference, which recommended to the Government to implement the following: Facilitate and support development of databases, networking amongst researchers, concerned Government departments and NGOs etc., as well as facilitate easy access to available information sources (websites and publications) on all aspects of herbal medicine development such as inventory and resource assessment, harvesting, processing, marketing, trade and policies of medicinal herbs.

Further, it was recommended to rethink and radically alter the models and processes of development in order to ensure that local communities, forests, biodiversity and wildlife can flourish, with special reference to herbal medicinal plants.

The need to legally disallow any further largescale diversion of herbal medicinal plants for the purpose of �development� projects was highlighted. To infuse all Government functioning with mandatory suo moto information disclosure and transparency mechanisms on herbal medicinal plants, besides generating awareness for future prospect of herbal medicinal plants and its use.

The certificate distribution session of the conference was held under the chairmanship of Dr SK Dutta. In his address, he presented an overview of �Herbal Medicine - A Rational Approach in Healthcare System With Special Reference to North-East India�.

He was hopeful that the conference would help in creating a platform for developing awareness and sensitivity among the students, farmers, NGOs and the common masses to identify the importance of herbal medicine for overall health.

Dr Sanjeeb Kumar Nath subsequently offered the vote of thanks.