Aim: Medico-Ethno Botanical Survey (MEBS) was initiated by the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) in 1969 with the main aim of survey and documentation of medicinal plants of India used in Ayurveda system of medicine. Through its five peripheral institutes, namely Regional Ayurveda Research Institute for Metabolic Disorders (RARIMD)— Bengaluru, Regional Ayurveda Research Institute for Gastro- Intestinal Disorders (RARIGID)—Guwahati, Regional Ayurveda Research Institute (RARI)—Itanagar, RARI—Jhansi, and RARI—Ranikhet, the Council has surveyed every part of phytogeographic regions across the country, including the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep. During these survey tours, various medicinal plants were collected and preserved as Herbarium and Museum specimens. The survey team collects and supplies authentic raw drug samples for studies under various projects inside and outside the Council, including the projects under Central Scheme of Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia Committee (APC). Herbarium and Museum centers located in various institutes of CCRAS are being used as reference centers for UG/PG/M.Phil./Ph.D. students and researchers for correct identification/authentication of their plant specimens or raw drug materials. Further, the folk-claims collected during the exploration work provide lead for validation and effective development of drugs based on traditional knowledge and not from any codified system of medicine. Ayurvedic ancient texts also explain the importance of medicinal plant survey.

Materials and methods: The gross physical achievements including the beneficiaries of MEBS, details of forest divisions, medicinal plant species collected, and preparation of Herbarium specimens during the reporting period 1969 to 2016 were compiled, summarized, and presented based on the information available in the published monographs, technical reports, and annual reports of CCRAS.

Conclusion: India is rich in its diverse natural resources and treated as one of the biggest natural biodiversity countries of the world. The cultural diversity in the country is represented by many cultural groups, including the tribes and others. The contributions of CCRAS are significant in extending Medico- Ethno Botanical Program across the country and also preserving the valuable ethnomedical knowledge prevailing among tribal communities through systematic survey, identification, preservation, documentation, and validation of medicinal plants.

Keywords: Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, Medicinal plant species, Medico-Ethno Botanical Survey.

How to cite this article: Rath C, Susmitha B, Tripathi AK, Chincholikar MB, Mangal AK, Srikanth N. Medico-Ethno Botanical Survey: An Overview of CCRAS Contributions. J Drug Res Ayurvedic Sci 2017;2(3):188-240.

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: None