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Aconitum: Need for sustainable exploitation (with special reference to Uttarakhand)

Keywords: Aconitum , biotechnology , conservation , endangered , medicinal plants , sustainable

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Abstract:

Red Data Book has a long list of many endangered medicinal plants in which genus Aconitum, known as monkshood, wolfsbane, Devil′s helmet or blue rocket, belonging to the family Ranunculaceae finds a key position. There are over 250 species of Aconitum. These herbaceous perennial plants are chiefly natives of the mountainous parts of the Northern Hemisphere and are characterised by significant and valuable medicinal properties. Illegal and unscientific extraction from the wild has made the important species of this genus endangered. This review focuses on the importance and medicinal uses of the genus (on the basis of literature cited from different Books and Journals and web, visits to the sites and questionnaires), which have been documented and practiced on the basis of traditional as well as scientific knowledge. The review further presents an insight on the role of conventional and modern biotechnological methods for the conservation of the said genus, with special reference to Uttarakhand. Further, it is suggested that the policies of government agencies in coordination with the local bodies, scientists, NGOs and end-users be implemented for the sustainable conservation of Aconitum.

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