All the plants on this earth are important in one way or the other and have a function and a definite place in the scheme of things of this universe. The plants mentioned in the Vedas are significant not only because of their use in various systems of medicine but also due to their relevance to the situations and context in which they have been mentioned. Studying plants from this point of view is beyond the scope of the present work undertaken by the authors. However it is to their credit that in spite of various problems in correctly identifying the plants, they have done their best to record as many as seventy plants and have highlighted and discussed a few such problems in detail in a separate section. Though several authors have written papers and books on this subject, none have recorded the relevant Vedic verses along with each plant. Not only that, where ever plant identification is doubtful, or there are other problems, a note has been added giving the opinion and views of other authors under the section of mythological profile. With the exception of pharmacological information, almost every aspect of each plant has been recorded. In my opinion this is the most comprehensive work on the subject of Vedic Plants, presented in an excellent manner.
A. Narayana Director Indian Institute of History of Medicine (CCRAS) Dept. of AYUSH Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India. Osmania Medical College, Putli Bowli, Hyderabad — 500 095. A.P
Vedas which are thousands of years old constitute the main religious literature of the Hindus even during the present time. There are several drugs mentioned in the Vedas and especially in Atharvaveda for the treatment of various diseases. Bheshaja means drug and Atharvaveda is also known as Bhaishajyaveda. It provides foundation for Ayurvedic system of medicine. Because of the rapidly growing interest in herbal medicine in the western world and their attempts in the past to patent plants and plant products, it is being felt that there is an urgent need to bring to lime light the effectiveness of those herbs and related preparations which are being used in different Indian systems of medicine for thousands of years. The authors of this book have done their best to identify plants in Vedas and have recorded medicinal properties assigned to them in Ayurvedic, Unani, Chinese, Tibetan and Folk medicine. Further therapeutic evaluation of plants from our ancient repository of knowledge should be carried out and the results should be brought to the notice of both the common folks and the scientific community. This work will definitely extend help to students, scientists and other interested persons in Vedic literature and may also serve as an excellent source for future research work to further evaluate the potential of Vedic plants.
P.V.V. Prasad Asst. Director Indian Institute of History of Medicine (CCRAS) Dept. of AYUSH Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India. Osmania Medical College, Putli Bowli, Hyderabad — 500 095. A.P
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