practitioners of Ayurveda in India have been hit by the recent ban imposed by the Union government on the use of endangered varieties of medicinal herbs. The order prohibits exports of such plants, plant portions and their derivatives and extracts. The order was issued by the commerce ministry when certain varieties of medicinal herbs were declared as 'endangered' by the environment ministry. Exports of Ayurvedic formulations are now allowed only through six major ports including Mumbai, Calcutta, Cochin, Tuticorin and air cargo from Delhi after strict vigil against use of these species.
The Ayurvedic Drugs Manufacturers' Association has written to the ministry of environment and forest demanding a review of the list as it has threatened the very survival of its members since several herbs, which are easily available and used in most of the Ayurvedic preparations are included in the ban list. Anand Puranik, vice-president of the association, said that despite having several ecological zones for herbal cultivation in the country, the share in the international market of herbal remedies is hardly 0.2 per cent.