Government to set up National Institute of Medicinal Plants

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medicinalplants

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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Here’s How Gardening Can Improve Your Health

Gardening helps grow positive body image too

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Gardening
Gardening is associated with improved psychological wellbeing and physical health. Pixabay

Finding time for nature through gardening can be helpful as it promotes positive body image, say researchers led by a scientist of Indian-origin.

Previous research has shown that gardening is associated with improved psychological wellbeing and physical health.

Published in the journal Ecopsychology, the study involved 84 gardeners from 12 urban allotment sites in north London and discovered that the longer period of time the participants spent gardening, the larger the improvement in positive body image when they left their allotment.

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An allotment garden is a plot of land made available for individual, non-commercial gardening or growing food plants.

“Positive body image is beneficial because it helps to foster psychological and physical resilience, which contributes to overall wellbeing,” said study author Viren Swami, Professor at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the UK.

Gardening
Finding time for nature through gardening can be helpful as it promotes positive body image. Pixabay

“My previous research has shown the benefits of being in nature more generally, but increasing urbanisation has meant that many people now have less access to nature,” Swami added.

The researchers found that the gardeners had significantly higher levels of body appreciation, significantly higher levels of body pride, and significantly higher levels of appreciation for their body’s functionality, compared to a group of 81 non-gardeners, recruited from the same area of London.

This new study adds to previous work by Professor Swami demonstrating that exposure to natural environments helps to promote positive body image.

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“The findings are important because they specifically show the significant benefits of spending time on allotments, which are typically quite small patches of green space in otherwise mainly urban environments,” Swami said.

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Ensuring that opportunities for gardening are available to all people is, therefore, vital and may help to reduce the long-term cost burden on health services.

“One way to achieve this, beyond policies that ensure access to nature for all citizens, would be through the provision of dedicated and sustained community allotment plots,” the authors wrote. (IANS)

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Consume Protein From Dairy,Plant Sources and Not Red Meat: Researchers

Swapping red meat for plants lead to longer life

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Red meat
Researchers have found that eating more protein from plant sources or dairy while reducing red meat consumption could help people live longer. Pixabay

Want to live longer? Take a note. Health and lifestyle researchers have found that eating more protein from plant sources or dairy while reducing red meat consumption could help people live longer.

Higher percentage of calories from plant protein in the diet is tied to lower risk of death, the study said.

“Our findings suggest that even partial replacement of red meat with healthy, plant-based sources of protein could substantially reduce rates of coronary heart disease in the US,” said the study’s lead author Laila Al-Shaar from Harvard University. The study was presented in a meeting at the ‘American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention, Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2020’ in the US.

According to the researchers, in the study of more than 37,000 Americans with an average age of 50, those who ate the most plant protein were 27 per cent less likely to die of any cause and 29 per cent less likely to die of coronary heart disease, compared to people who ate the least amount of plant protein.

Red meat
Diet substitutions for red meat are linked to lower heart disease risk. Pixabay

Keeping the number of calories the participants ate consistent, the researchers were able to estimate the amount of plant protein compared to animal protein people in the study ate and compare it to the risk of dying.

They found that replacing 5 per cent of daily calories from total animal protein with the equivalent number of calories of plant protein was linked to a nearly 50 per cent decrease in the risk of dying of any cause including coronary heart disease.

The study also revealed that replacing two per cent of daily calories from processed meat protein with an equivalent number of calories from plant protein was associated with a 32 per cent lower risk of death. Diet substitutions for red meat linked to lower heart disease risk, it added.

According to the research, substituting one serving per day of red or processed red meat with foods, such as nuts, legumes, whole grains or dairy, was associated with up to a 47 per cent lower risk of having coronary heart disease in men.

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“It isn’t enough just to avoid red meat – it’s also about what you choose to eat in place of red meat. Healthy plant proteins like nuts, legumes and whole grains contain more than just protein – they include other beneficial nutrients such as healthy fats, antioxidant vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (compounds derived from plants), which have been associated with lower risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers,” said researcher Zhilei Shan. (IANS)

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One in Three Species of Fauna and Flora Could get Extinct by 2070 Because of Climate Change: Study

For the findings, the researchers analysed data from 538 species and 581 sites around the world and focused on plant and animal species that were surveyed at the same sites over time, at least 10 years apart

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Climate
If humans cause larger temperature increases, we could lose more than a third or even half of all animal and plant species. Pixabay

Researchers have revealed that one in three species of plants and animals could face extinction by 2070 because of climate change.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, estimated broad-scale extinction patterns from climate change by incorporating data from recent climate-related extinctions and from rates of species movements.

“By analysing the change in 19 climatic variables at each site, we could determine which variables drive local extinctions and how much change a population can tolerate without going extinct,” said study researcher Cristian Roman-Palacios from University of Arizona.

“We also estimated how quickly populations can move to try and escape rising temperatures. When we put all of these pieces of information together for each species, we can come up with detailed estimates of global extinction rates for hundreds of plant and animal species,” Roman-Palacios added.

For the findings, the researchers analysed data from 538 species and 581 sites around the world and focused on plant and animal species that were surveyed at the same sites over time, at least 10 years apart.

They generated climate data from the time of the earliest survey of each site and the more recent survey. They found that 44 per cent of the 538 species had already gone extinct at one or more sites. The study identified maximum annual temperatures — the hottest daily highs in summer — as the key variable that best explains whether a population will go extinct.

Surprisingly, the researchers found that average yearly temperatures showed smaller changes at sites with local extinction, even though average temperatures are widely used as a proxy for overall climate change. “This means that using changes in mean annual temperatures to predict extinction from climate change might be positively misleading,” said study researcher John J. Wiens. Previous studies have focused on dispersal — or migration to cooler habitats — as a means for species to “escape” from warming climates.

Roe Deer, Capreolus Capreolus, Doe, Animal, Nature
Researchers have revealed that one in three species of plants and animals could face extinction by 2070 because of climate change. Pixabay

However, the authors of the current study found that most species will not be able to disperse quickly enough to avoid extinction, based on their past rates of movement. Instead, they found that many species were able to tolerate some increases in maximum temperatures, but only up to a point.

They found that about 50 per cent of the species had local extinctions if maximum temperatures increased by more than 0.5 degrees Celsius, and 95 per cent if temperatures increase by more than 2.9 degrees Celsius. “If we stick to the Paris Agreement to combat climate change, we may lose fewer than two out of every 10 plant and animal species on Earth by 2070,” Wiens said.

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“But if humans cause larger temperature increases, we could lose more than a third or even half of all animal and plant species, based on our results,” Wiens added. (IANS)