THREE HIMALAYAN MEDICINAL PLANTS ENTER IUCN RED LIST - IAS ACADEMY IN COIMBATORE
THREE HIMALAYAN MEDICINAL PLANTS ENTER IUCN RED LIST
Why in News?
Three medicinal plant species (Meizotropis pellita, Fritillaria cirrhosa, Dactylorhiza hatagirea) found in the Himalayas have been added to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species following a recent assessment.
- About: It is commonly known as Patwa, is a perennial shrub with a restricted distribution that is endemic to Uttarakhand.
- Enlisting in IUCN: The study stated that the species is listed as ‘critically endangered’ based on its limited area of occupancy (less than 10 sq. km). The species is threatened by deforestation, habitat fragmentation and forest fires.
- Significance: The essential oil extracted from the leaves of the species possesses strong antioxidants and can be a promising natural substitute for synthetic antioxidants in pharmaceutical industries.
- About: It is commonly known as Himalayan fritillary, is a perennial bulbous herb.
- Enlisting in IUCN: Considering the rate of decline, long generation length, poor germination potential, high trade value, extensive harvesting pressure and illegal trade, the species is listed as ‘vulnerable’.
- Significance: In China, the species is used for the treatment of bronchial disorders and pneumonia. The plant is also a strong cough suppressant and a source of expectorant drugs in traditional Chinese medicine.
- About: It is commonly known as Salampanja, is a perennial tuberous species endemic to the Hindu Kush and Himalayan ranges of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.
- Enlisting in IUCN: It is threatened by habitat loss, livestock grazing, deforestation, and climate change, the species is listed as ‘endangered’.
- Significance: It is extensively used in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and other alternative systems of medicine to cure dysentery, gastritis, chronic fever, cough and stomach aches.