As demand for herbal medicines from Jammu and Kashmir rises, herbal plants are receiving the attention of the Jammu and Kashmir authorities.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has urged the Central Government to declare the Kashmir Valley 'a medicinal plant growing zone' to boost the growth of herbal plantation.
Due to the wide variations in topography the region, Jammu and Kashmir has a rich flora, which ranges from the thorn bush type of the arid plains to the temperate and alpine flora of the higher altitudes.
Some of the prominent trees include maple, horse chestnuts and silver fir and a large number of herbal plants.
The State Government has said that commercialization of herbal plants would help increase the demand of the herbal plants further.
"We have such a unique treasure of herbal plants that if we commercialize them nicely it has a huge demand," said G.S. Naqash, Director Floriculture of Jammu and Kashmir Government.
Locals have started going in for the herbal medicines as they feel that they are far better than the normal allopathic medicines, which have side effects.
"In last ten years the demand for medicinal aromatic plants has increased manifold as the people have benefited a lot with these treatments. People are aware that the herbal medicines do not have any side effects while the Allopathic medicines have got side effects," said A Qayoom, a local resident.
In 2008, India exported medicinal plants worth eight billion dollars. Sixty percent of was sold in crude form, while thirty percent was in the form of finished products. Rest of them were partially prepared products.