Introduction: Medicinal plants have been used in the mitigation and treatment of various ailments since ancient time. Several medicinal plants described in various traditional medicine systems serve as a potential lead for the development of lead compound in drug discovery process. Identification of the crude drug is the fundamental step in the formulation of plant-based drugs. The preeminent objectives for cultivation of medicinal plants include the adaptability, growth, flowering and fruiting time of medicinal plants, and suitable maturity time. Considering these facts, the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) has initiated the steps for developing of medicinal plant gardens at different geographical zones for demonstrative purposes, which are used in the traditional systems of medicine.

Objective: This contribution highlights conservation of botanical biodiversity of medicinal value of CCRAS in the demonstration of medicinal plants used in traditional and folk medicine in different agro-climatic zones (ranging between altitudes 285 and 1638 m) of India situated in different states of India.

Materials and methods: Cultivation of medicinal plants under Medicinal Plant Research Programme is being carried out mainly in four gardens located at different climatic zones, viz., Regional Ayurveda Research Institute (RARI), Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh), Regional Ayurveda Institute for Fundamental Research (RAIFR), Pune (Maharashtra), RARI Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh), and RARI, Ranikhet (Tarikhet) (Uttarakhand).

Observations: Totally, 533 species of medicinal plants are maintained in these four gardens, out of which, 332 plant species were maintained by RARI, Jhansi; in which 4 species are critically endangered, 20 species are least concerned and rare. In RAIFR, Pune, 159 species of medicinal plants were maintained; out of which 12 species are least concerned and 1 species is vulnerable. In RARI, Itanagar, 126 plant species of medicinal plants were maintained; out of which 4 species under cultivation are critically endangered, 6 species least concerned, 2 vulnerable and threatened. In RARI, Ranikhet, 119 plant species of medicinal plants were maintained; out of which 8 species under cultivation are rare, 4 species critically endangered and vulnerable. Saffron (Crocus sativus Linn.) is successfully cultivated in the Institute (RARI, Ranikhet) gardens situated at Ranikhet and Chamma.

Conclusion: The data is helpful in identifying the phytogeographical zones of specific medicinal plants that will be beneficial for the conservation of the particular plant species at their natural habitat. It is necessary to take steps to conserve the plant resources by large-scale cultivation with the help of different agrotechniques in their natural habitat. Presently, the packages of practice of medicinal plants are not available and these data will be helpful for documentation of the agrotechniques of the medicinal plants. The implementation of significant methods and protocols must be positive, suggesting outstanding contributions in the field of cultivation.

Keywords: Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, Conservation, Medicinal plant species, Medicinal plants.

How to cite this article: Mangal AK, Susmitha B, Tewari D, Tripathi AK, Kiran U, Singh R, Rath C, Srikanth N. Conservation of Botanical Biodiversity of Medicinal Value: An Anthology of CCRAS Contribution. J Drug Res Ayurvedic Sci 2017;2(4): 247-266

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: None