BU to hold 2-day international conference on herbal medicine

Coimbatore: The department of botany of the Bharathiar University and the Defence Research and Development Organization’s (DRDO) laboratory, Tezpur, Assam, will jointly organize an international conference on phytomedicine – medicine derived from plants – on Wednesday and Thursday.
Professors from the university said the conference would focus on the characteristics and the relevance of medicinal plants.

T Parimelazhagan, professor, department of botany, who is the organizing secretary of the conference, said the conference would discuss the therapeutic characteristics of medicinal plants. “It would discuss specific characteristics of medicinal plants such as anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties,” he said. The conference would also scientifically validate the medicinal properties and toxicity of herbal plants, and would discuss how they can be used effectively, he said.

Parimelazhagan said though there have been several research initiatives on medicinal plants in India, awareness on herbal medicine was lacking. “Though there are talks about herbal and traditional plant medicines, people still are apprehensive about using them. The conference would aim to sensitize about traditional medicine and to update about the recent advancements and techniques in the field,” he said.

The conference would not only see researchers and scientists from 12 states across India, but also from Brazil, South Africa and the United States. Parimelazhagan said there was still a gap to be bridged in India about herbal medicine. “Worldwide, in European countries, herbal medicines are popular. The 2015 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was given to Chinese scientist Youyou Tu, for developing Artemisinin, a plant based medicine to treat malaria,” he said.

At the conference, scientists and researchers from abroad would speak on their experiences on working with medicinal herbs, said Parimelazhagan. The conference would also have lectures on ethnopharmacology, or how various ethnic and cultural groups use specific medicinal plants.

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