A review on prioritizing conservation of Himalayan medicinal plant species: Case of Trillium govanianum (Wall. ex D. Don) kunth
Vaishali Chandola, AR Nautiyal, Sudeep Chandra and Rajeev Ranjan Kumar
The Himalayan region harbors rich plant diversity owing to its mountainous topography, altitudinal gradient and climatic conditions. Large number of these plant species is used in healthcare. Collection of such species from nature has been in practice for long time but growing interest in herbal medicines has led to increased demand of these medicinal plants at regional as well as global level that has put this treasure under pressure. Overexploitation of such species from their natural habitats to meet the growing demand has resulted in many plant species facing varying degree of threat to their survival. Medicinal plants inhabiting the alpine and subalpine region of the Himalayas are more vulnerable to such pressure owing to their stressful habitat characteristics and unique regeneration behaviour. Trillium govanianum (Wall. ex D. Don) Kunth, locally known as Nagchhatri, is one such highly valuable herb with potent medicinal properties. In recent past the species has come under huge pressure due to its increasing illegal trading. This has been reported for Himachal Pradesh but our exploratory survey in Uttarakhand revealed that collection and trading of the herb is also in practice in the state. The herb is reportedly being traded at current price of Rs. 2500/kg, and almost 30-35 Quintals of the herb has been sold alone from Chamoli district in just three years. Similar information has surfaced from J&K too in some internet blogs. However, no published information of the illegal trading of T. govanianum from any state other than H.P. could be found. The herb has been under study in Pakistan, Japan and India for its medicinal activities, origin and genome sequencing etc. but so far no evident work on the regeneration of the herb has been done. Also, different medicinal plant species have been prioritized for conservation but mention of this species could not be found. Therefore, T. govanianum is in desperate need of conservation as its natural regeneration capacity is far behind its illegal extraction which can lead to the extinction of the species from nature very soon. Keeping this in view, a study is being undertaken by the authors to determine status of the species in its natural distribution region, reasons for recent upsurge in its demand, magnitude of its collection from nature and devising strategy for its conservation.
Vaishali Chandola, AR Nautiyal, Sudeep Chandra, Rajeev Ranjan Kumar. A review on prioritizing conservation of Himalayan medicinal plant species: Case of Trillium govanianum (Wall. ex D. Don) kunth. J Med Plants Stud 2019;7(5):23-27.