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Medicinal plants as a non timber forest product(NTFP) of Sri lanka

Sri Lanka is a tropical country which is enriched with biodiversity. Forest products are a major sector in Sri Lanka's non-timber forest products (NTFP).
All rights reserved: Bhagya karunatillake

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Medicinal plants as a non timber forest product(NTFP) of Sri lanka

  1. 1. Medicinal Plants as a Non Wood Forest Product Pabasara Gunawardane Bhagya Karunathilake
  2. 2. “Each and every plant species on the earth is a medicinal plant” -Jeewaka Katha Wasthuwa Poojavaliya 1266AD
  3. 3. 8 plant species were discovered with a body of Neanderthal who lived about 60000 years ago……
  4. 4. Medicinal plants “A plant which has been used for medical purposes at one time or another, and which, although not necessarily a product or available for marketing, is the original material of herbal medicines.” -World Health Organization Guidelines for the Appropriate use of Herbal Medicines
  5. 5. Use of plants as medicines was a common practice in Sri Lanka for more than 6000 years... -Ravana puwatha -The Mahawamsa -Robert Knox
  6. 6. Nearly 1500 species of Medicinal plants have been identified 189 of them are Endemic to Sri Lanka
  7. 7. Few Medicinal Plants in Sri Lanka Etdemata (Gmelina arborea) Kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna) Madan (Syzygium cumini) Ankenda (Acronychia pedunculata) Bakmi (Nauclea orientials) Kokum (Kokoona zeylanica) Kahata (Careya arborea) Ingini (Strychnos potatorum) to purify water in wells Madan (Syzygium cumini) for treatment of diabetes Pus Wel (Entada phaseoloides) in ayurvedic treatment Attaa (Datra metel) for treatment of nerve diseases Kapukinissa (Hibiscus abelmschus) Domba (Calphyllum inophyllum) Kina (Calophyllum walkeri) Mi (Madhuca longifolia) to extract cholesterol free oil and cattle feed Kohomba (Azadirachta indica) to extract medicinal oil Jayapala (Croton tiglium) as a laxative Godakaduru (Strychos nux vomicca) to extract strychnin Myrabolams including Aralu (Terminalia belerica), Bulu (Terminalia chebula) and Nelli (Phyllanthus emblica) Ranawara (Cassia auriculiformis) Beli (Aegle marmelos) Malitha (Woodfordia fruiticosa) Malia (Bauhima racemosa) And so on……
  8. 8. Some Threatened Species Zeuxine regia (Iru Raja) Munronia pinnata (Bin Kohomba) Diospyros oocarpa (Kalu Kudumberiya) Xylopia nigricans (Heen Kenda) Impatiens repens (Gal Demata) Picrorhiza scrophulariiflora (Katu Karosana)
  9. 9. Bio geographical region Number of species Low country Wet zone 108 Low country Wet & Montane zone 40 Dry zone 148 Dry zone and Wet zone 189 Montane zone 25 Arid zone 2 Arid and Dry zone 7 Present in all regions 31 Total 550 Geographical distribution of indigenous medicinal plants of Sri Lanka *Ekanayake, 1981
  10. 10. Forests with higher medicinal value • Ritigala SNR • Dolukanda • Nellikele • Rumassala • Knuckles • Adams Peak • Rathugala Kele • Galoya NP • Palagala Namal Uyana • Kanneliya • Nilgalthalawa
  11. 11. Medicinal Gardens in Sri Lanka • Haldummulla • Navinna • Pattipola • Giradurukotte • Pallekele • Nikaweratiya • Pinnaduwa Gardens Cultivated Acres Haldummulla 65 Girandurukotte 165 Pattipola 25 Pallekele 05 Navinna 12
  12. 12. The national demand for herbal materials is 3900MT approx. (3,864,759 kg) 1500MT of this amount is imported (1,509,201 kg) Locally Supplied Imported 60.9% 39.1% *Mudalige et al
  13. 13. 72Major herbs are imported cost of import is about Rs. 13million Annual demand for Medicinal plants Monetary values of Medicinal plants
  14. 14. Collection and processing • After receiving royalties, permits are issued by the Forest Department to collect products from forest preserves • the District Office issues permits to collect products from state forests not managed by the Forest Department • Non-wood forest products are almost exclusively gathered by local entrepreneurs • Little processing is done prior to their sale
  15. 15. Extraction of Medicinal Plants 29% Roots 16% Whole Plant 14% Barks 6% Leaves 6% Stems 4% Rhizomes 3% Heartwood Flowers and Seeds
  16. 16. Extraction methods Fell trees/ cut branches ◦ Aralu, Goraka, Nelli Collecting roots ◦ Midi, Thotila, Palol Collecting bark ◦ Madan, Bo Mee, Ashoka, Ehela Uproot Whole plant ◦ Bin Kohomba, Weniwel, Sandalwood, Kothalahimbutu Tapping bark ◦ Gammalu Oil ◦ Dorana, Mee, Endaru, Kohomba Wax ◦ Kekuna Resins (Dummala) ◦ Hal, Yakahalu
  17. 17. Employment, Marketing and Trade The level of employment in the medicinal plant sector is not recorded (In most cases if done for trade) Most families living close to the natural forests collect medicinal plants (mainly for their own consumption) There are also families that have traditionally been involved in the collection of medicinal plants for the market The collectors often belong to the poorest income groups in the village Shops (Beheth Kada) selling indigenous medicinal items are found through out the country- Supply the needs of both practitioners and patients They also serve as the wholesale purchasers of collectors’ stocks. Gabo’s lane in Colombo is the main purchasing and distributing center for the entire country
  18. 18. Employment generation and social benefits Collectors- collect and sell Extractors- collect themselves or buy from collectors, extract (oil, powder) and then sell most of Medicinal plants are obtained from natural forests, and some effort has been made to assess the present stock Although the legal protection of these species is well defined, illegal exploitation is common mainly because of the high demand for these products As a result, some species are almost extinct
  19. 19. Employment generation and social benefits • Medicinal plants as NWFPs generate only part-time employment • Additional part-time workers are often seasonally employed • The most common production unit is home-based • This is mainly caused by the difficulty in obtaining raw materials, the lower prices
  20. 20. Threats The resurgence of traditional medicine in Sri Lanka The concomitant demand for plant material to treat patients in the hospitals and spas that are mushrooming throughout the country The over-exploitation of natural plant populations to meet this demand The waste of material due to erratic harvesting, poor storage and lack of proper marketing and transportation. E.g: Munronia, it is the dried plant that is used in medicine and if the drying has been insufficient, the whole consignment will be attacked by fungus and rejected by the market. Such wastage is a common feature in this trade and seriously endangers the species being exploited
  21. 21. Threats The tendency still is for collection from the wild, often on a scale detrimental to the viability of populations. This is because fresh plants fetch very low prices compelling vendors to sell in bulk e.g: 200 plants of the herb Munronia purmila an almost universal ingredient in many prescriptions, are uprooted to produce 1 kg of material. A collector will need about 200 plants to make his expedition up and down rocky terrain worthwhile. This might mean the denudation of the whole microhabitat of this endemic species Forest fires (Natural/Man made) Land slides Floods Overgrazing
  22. 22. Progress so far… The project 3320 Was launched in June 1986 and reviewed in 1991 Objectives: • To advise the government on the need to protect medicinal plants in their natural habitats and to declare suitable areas as National Reserves for use on a sustainable basis. • To conduct surveys of selected geographical zones to prepare checklist of plants correctly identified, and to assess population densities in order to determine threats to survival. • To identify threatened species in order to propagate them using modern methods (e.g. tissue culture) in island-wide nurseries and reintroduce them into their natural habitats if and when necessary. • To assist the Government in framing appropriate laws to ensure protection and to control commercial exploitation of important species. • To assist the Government in preparing educational and publicity programmes to promote awareness and thus facilitate long-term conservation activities.
  23. 23. Progress so far… “Osu Govi Gammana” (Herbal farmer Village)- a joint project of Forest Department Establishing large scale plantations of medicinal plants to Ensure continuous supply enough to the demand ◦ E.g. Kebithigollewa, Medawachchiya- katuwelbatu ◦ To supply 15% of the demand- 25000 kg ◦ 65000 rupees per 1000 kg Providing lands for plantations Providing suitable planting materials Providing technological knowledge Giving market opportunities The ministry of indigenous medicine has started a program for preserving veddas culture and share knowledge with while cultivation medicinal plants and practicing their own medical practices with the collaboration of Ministry of Cultural Affairs
  24. 24. Advantage of having medicinal gardens • Higher yield can be obtained • Demand is high • Can store and sell at a proper price • Less pest attacks and diseases • Low capital cost • Can intercrop
  25. 25. Conserved areas for Medicinal Plants • Bibila – Intermediate zone savanna • Ritigala- Dry zone forest • Rajawaka- Intermediate forest • Naula- Intermediate forest • Kanneliya- Lowland rain forest
  26. 26. Recommendations •A comprehensive survey is needed to assess the present stock of medicinal gardens and to study •Both quantitative and qualitative data of the employment generation pattern of this industry are needed •Conducting Awareness Programs •Most non-wood forest products do not fetch their proper prices in the market because of poor quality. People engaged in this industry have to be educated to new methods to improve the quality of the produce •Research programs have to be strengthened to propagate the rare and very important non-wood forest products •More assistance is required for continuing research carried out by the universities and the Forest Department •Propagation of the herbs at the village garden level will contribute towards ex-situ conservation of these rare herbs and generate income for the rural poor
  27. 27. Personal Contacts H. M. Mohideen & Sons, Main road, Kekirawa. Ritigala Aushadhalaya, Main road, Kekirawa.
  28. 28. References De Alwis, Lyn(1997) A bio cultural medicinal plants conservation project in Sri Lanka, Medicinal plants for forest conservation and health care, FAO Frank D. S. K., Niranjan F. and Gunasena H. P. M. (2006) Marketing and consumer preference on herbal/medicinal beverages, The Sunday Observer 01st January 2006 Forest Department Sri Lanka (1995), Non wood forest products, Forestry sector master plan National forest product statistics, Sri Lanka- FAO corporate document repository: Forest Department Sri Lanka Bandarathilake, H.M. National forest policy review available at As at 1200 on 29.10.2015
  29. 29. Herbal plant catalogue, Asian cuttings lanka (pvt.) Ltd. Sri Bharathie, K.P (2014) Non- wood forest products in Asia- Sri Lanka; Publication of Forest Department Herbal Plants, Sri Lanka Herbal Plants Suppliers Directory on 1999- 2015 Forest department (2007), “වවමු ඔසු තුරැ,රකිමු වන තුරැ” “Ruk” magazine, forest department, Vol 15 (Aug- Dec)

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    Sep. 21, 2018

Sri Lanka is a tropical country which is enriched with biodiversity. Forest products are a major sector in Sri Lanka's non-timber forest products (NTFP). All rights reserved: Bhagya karunatillake


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