Monday May 28, 2018

Government to set up National Institute of Medicinal Plants

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

To promote  traditional medicines, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government is planning to set up National Institute of Medicinal Plants (NIMP) at a cost of about Rs 100 crore.

“The government is considering setting up of National Institute of Medicinal Plants (NIMP) for which an allocation of Rs. 100.00 crore has been made during the 12th Plan, out of which funds amounting to Rs. 50.00 lakh are earmarked during the current financial year.  In this connection, the government is in the process of identifying suitable land in the country,” Minister of State, AYUSH(I/C), Shripad Yesso  Naik  informed Lok Sabha today.

To identify the medicinal and aromatic plants, the Botanical Survey of India (BSI), an organization under Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has been assigned a task to carryout survey and documentation of all plant resources of the country , Naik said.

The BSI is the nodal repository for reference plant collections and at present houses about 3.2 million specimens in its different herbaria.

The MoS , AYUSH(I/C) also informed  that  to prevent misappropriation of the country’s traditional medicinal knowledge a Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) has been set up which entails transcription of Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha codified texts into English, German, French, Japanese and Spanish.

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Now Vitamin B12 Can be Found in Plants as well

If you are a hardcore vegetarian but deficient in Vitamin B12, then there is a good news for you as scientists have discovered ways to increase the levels of Vitamin B12 in an ayurveda herb used in making soups and sandwiches.

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Plant Species (representational Image), Wikimedia

If you are a hardcore vegetarian but deficient in Vitamin B12, then there is a good news for you as scientists have discovered ways to increase the levels of Vitamin B12 in an ayurveda herb used in making soups and sandwiches.

 

This fluorescent was then fed to the garden cress plants which was being cultivated by the students.
Arjuna plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential dietary component found especially in meat, fish and milk products.

 

However, plants do not make this nutrient, making vegetarians prone to Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Researchers, led by Martin Warren from University of Kent, found that the common garden cress, also known as pepper grass, can absorb cobalamin depending upon the amount present in the growth medium. They also confirmed that the nutrient gets stored in the leaves of the plant.

 

This fluorescent was then fed to the garden cress plants which was being cultivated by the students.
Tulsi plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Pixabay

Garden cress, known as “chandrashoor” in India, is considered as an ayurveda herb. It is genetically related to mustard and is used in making soups, sandwiches and salads because of its tangy flavour.

 

In the study, published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology, the team made a type of Vitamin B12 that emits fluorescent light when activated by a laser.

This fluorescent was then fed to the garden cress plants which was being cultivated by the students.

Team Led by Indian-Origin Scientist Converts Plant Matter Into Chemicals
Ashwagandha plant/Ayurvedic herbs. Wikimedia

 

The researchers found that the Vitamin B12 accumulated in a specialised part of the leaf cell called a vacuole, providing definitive evidence that some plants can absorb and transport cobalamin.

“The observation that certain plants are able to absorb Vitamin B12 is important as they could help overcome dietary limitations in countries like India, with a high proportion of vegetarians. It may also be a way to address the global challenge of providing a nutrient-complete vegetarian diet,” the researchers said.

Also Read: Hydroponics: Growing Plants Without Soil!

According to the researchers, the study also has implications for combating some parasitic infections. (IANS)

 

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