Ayurveda has gained immense importance especially in the wake of global outbreak of COVID-19 because of its benefits towards strengthening the immune system to fight against the virus. To deliberate on the usage of Ayurveda and the significance of medicinal plants, a webinar on “Medicinal Plants –The Ultimate Hope in COVID -19 Times” was organized by Amity Food & Agriculture Foundation (AFAF).The virtual deliberations were organized to further look at the opportunities in the field of medicinal plants and facilitate exchange of ideas.
Dr. JLN Sastry, Chief Executive Officer, National Medicinal Plants Board, Ministry Of Ayush, Govt. of India, New Delhi was the Guest of Honor for the session. Dr. Sastry shared his views about herbal resource mobilization during covid-19, policy interventions and future prospects. He averred that Corona has taught people humanity, making people go back to old times and getting connected & also made people realize the importance of Indian Sciences. Dr. Sastry mentioned how his organization is trying to bring in inter-species diversity into the picture in allow for their cultivation and have a holistic approach towards treatment of diseases.
Dr. S. S. Samant, Director, Himalayan Forestry Research Institute (Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education), Shimla talked about the medicinal plants of the Himalayan region. He stated that about 2500 plant species are used in all the codified systems of medicine practices in India and called for people’s participation in conservation of medicinal plants in the country.
Dr. S P S Khanuja, FNAAS, FNASc, Chairman, Flora Fauna Science Foundation, Lucknow averred that every plant is a medicinal plant and there is a need to understand their language. He shared that natural products (flora & fauna) show the way and preventive healthcare is the long-term strategy in dealing with covid pandemic and beyond for future pandemics.
Dr. Amit Aggarwal, Director, Natural Remedies Pvt Ltd., Bengaluru stated the herbal industry’s perspective and how these products are gaining a lot of importance across the world during these times through foods and medicines. He averred that there is a need to develop simple technologies to address the concerns of how the herbal products are traded in the country. He stressed on the need for implying cost-effective washing and drying technology of these herbs.
General KM Seth, Former Governor of Chattisgarh welcomed all the panelists and shared his experience of how he started rubber plantation in Tripura while he was the governor there. He stated how medicinal plants were grown in between rubber plants and were later exported. He also averred that the first university of Ayurveda was established in Chattisgarh and how people are looking towards Ayurveda for building immunity.
Dr. Ashok K Chauhan, Founder President, Amity Group of Institution shared his firm belief in Ayurveda, homeopathy and medicinal plants and also his future plans for organizing an international conference on natural products & medicinal plants.
Dr. Aseem Chauhan, Chancellor, AUR shared that Ayurveda and medicinal plants can be of tremendous therapeutic value of solving many global diseases. He attributed this belief to Hon’ble Founder President and his faith in Ayurveda and medicinal plants. Dr. Chauhan also mentioned the herbal gardens present across various amity campuses and the patents that have been filed by Amity University in this field. He also shared that the Amity University campus in New York was planning to establish a centre in Herbal Medicine.
Dr. W. Selvamurthy, Director General, Amity Directorate of Science & Innovation (ADSI), President, Amity Science, Technology and Innovation Foundation (ASTIF) and Chancellor Amity University Chhattisgarh talked about the ancient history of Ayurveda in the country that gives the country an advantage in fueling the hope of boosting immunity through medicinal plants in the Covid times. He also shared the various initiatives of Ministry of Ayush for immunity boosting, promoting yoga at home to destress the mind and strengthening the body and creating awareness. He also averred the Covid 19 research initiatives at Amity and 15 technologies that have been transferred to the industry. Also present during the webinar was Dr. Nutan Kaushik, Director General, Food & Agriculture Foundation, Amity University along with students and faculty members.