Creation of a medicinal herb garden in Gudalur

District (Gudalur Division) Forestry Officer Sumesh Soman said there are plans to sell the herbal medicines to visitors to EDC once it opens.

The Forestry Department has started a medicinal herb garden and nursery at Gene Pool in the Gudalur forestry division.

More than 20 varieties of medicinal herbs are cultivated in the gene pool which is managed by the department and an eco-development committee (EDC). Forestry officials have said they hope to start selling the plants to the public once the government allows EDCs to open. State EDCs had been closed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alpinia galanga (Great galangal), Acore calamus (soft flag), Andrographis paniculata (green chiretta), Vitex negundo (Chinese chaste tree), Piper longum (long pepper), Jambos Syzigium (pink apple), Ruta graveolens (Street), Achyranthes aspera (devil’s whip) and Eclipta prostrate (false daisy) are among the herbs sold at the nursery.

“The herbs grown in Gene Pool are all used in traditional medicine across Asia. Many of these plants are said to be used to fight illnesses ranging from colds and coughs to more serious illnesses, ”said a forestry official from the Gudalur forestry division.

Currently, over 2,000 plants are grown in the Gene Pool nursery, with funds sanctioned by the Special Area Development Program. The EDC is also home to a few greenhouses as well as an orchidarium and fern house, where rare species of native plants are grown and maintained.

District (Gudalur Division) Forestry Officer Sumesh Soman said there are plans to sell the herbal medicines to visitors to EDC once it opens. “There are a lot of tourists from Kerala who visit the Nilgiris and travel via Gudalur. Depending on demand, the herbs can also be sold to local communities, ”Soman said. There were plans to set up a sales counter at Gene Pool shortly, he added.


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Terri S. Tomasini