From time immemorial, people in India have relied upon Ayurveda, the science of life as the means of therapy.
In Sanskrit language, "Ayur" means life and "Veda" is scientific scripture. Though Ayurvedic medicines are herbal-based, there are many other formulations that are organic in their composition.
However, modern medicines and therapies from the West, Allopathy, in particular, have almost eclipsed the traditional concept of Ayurvedic medicines.
The City Corporation of Pune, considering these facts, with an objective to create mass awareness on the relevance of Ayurveda and related medicinal plants, has earmarked a park exclusively to nurture Ayurvedic herbs.
There are over 300 species of Ayurvedic plants grown exclusively in this garden and the authorities intend to bring in more of medicinal plants.
Visitors to the park are also enlightened about identifying the plants so that if such herbs exist in their backyard garden or the neighbourhood, these will be taken care of as ready means of home remedies.
"This medicinal or Ayurvedic garden is been developed with the aim to make people aware of the various medicinal plants that can be used in our homes from day to day. We've planted many medicinal plants that can help cure ailments at our home like sore throat, upset stomach, gastritis problems and many more. People using these plants need not visit a doctor but cure the diseases at their homes. Here there are over 300 species of Ayurvedic herbs planted here," said Santosh, Assistant Garden Superintendent, Herbal Garden, Pune.
Ayurvedic medicines have the capability to cure many diseases.
One of such plants is "Guggal" which possesses a wide range of medicinal values including the potential to cure diabetes.
The horticulture wing of Pune City Corporation has plans to plant around 500 Ayurvedic herbs in this garden.
The project cost is estimated to be rupees 10 lakhs (a million rupees).
Also, a spacious premise has been set up in this garden and plans are afoot to prepare Ayurvedic formulations from the grown herbs, under proper supervision.
"For future, we've constructed one hall at the garden. So that we can install a manufacturing plant here where we can use and process these plants to make medicines. Apart from this, to provide information among the masses we'll maintain a library with relevant and authentic reference books on medicinal plants and their benefits," said Santosh, Assistant Garden Superintendent.
In cooperation with the Ayurvedic Vaids (doctors), the plants will be documented for ready cross-reference in the books at the library.
The corporation authorities believe that this will be extremely beneficial for the people.
While this Ayurvedic Park may be regarded as a feather in the cap of Pune's local administrative body, it is worthwhile to mention that the Corporation has also developed several other parks dedicated to varieties of flora and fauna. By Shivaji