Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2004): Supplement 2:
2nd International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica
The present status of Medicinal Plants in Bangladesh
DEBTEC- Development of Biotechnology & Environmental Conservation Centre, Dhaka, Bangladesh
In an estimate, the international market of medicinal plants related to trade stood at 60 billion US Dollar per year. The demand for medicinal plants based raw materials are growing at an approximate rate of 10-15% per year internationally. Medicinal plant sector has traditionally occupied an important position in the socio-cultural, spiritual and medicinal arena of rural and tribal lives of Bangladesh. In recent years, the growing demand for herbal product has led to a quantum jumping in volume of plants materials trade within and across the country. Bangladesh there is no systematic cultivation process or conservation strategies about medicinal plants. The local people conserve traditional knowledge through their experience and practice, which is handed down orally without any documentation. This knowledge now under threat to extinction. This is a very alarming situation with regard to natural growth of medicinal plants in the wilderness in this country. In this scenario, the survey on “Traditional and industrial use and market Scenario of Medicinal plants in Bangladesh.” has been conducted by the DEBTEC researchers at Chakbazar, Dhaka, Bangladesh. We have found that there is worth of 11 million US dollars medicinal plant market in Bangladesh, which have been imported but not in the name of medicinal plants rather in the name of spices and other products. This research aimed at documenting the ‘Present Status and Market Scenario of Medicinal Plants’ in Bangladesh. Our research finding shows that 84.1% of the respondent use medicinal plants in health care. 18.3% of the villagers use Kabirazi in the disease in medium category.55.0% of our respondent’s source of knowledge of using medicinal plant is family where 34.7% gained knowledge from neighbor. Only 14.3% of the respondents are involved with trading of medicinal plant. About 10.4% of the villagers are involved in cultivation, collection or business of medicinal plant. From the survey report it has been found that 46.6% industries are using above 60% of imported medicinal plants as their raw materials and 53.3% of the industries are using below 40%. The study revealed that 86.7% industries are importing Indian raw materials, 53.3% are importing the Pakistani one and very few of them are importing the raw materials from Nepal, Iran and Korea. According to the response of shop owners, the local raw materials of their products are mostly coming from 5 different areas of the country. Among those 90% are coming from Chittagong and again 76.6% from Tangail, 30% from Gazipur and another 30% from Khulna. In this scenario, appropriate steps must therefore be taken immediately in order to save this situation with regard to growth, conservation and supply of medicinal plants in the country. The best possible way of doing this is to bringing this more and more of these plants under planned cultivation. The cultivation of medicinal plants in Bangladesh will lead to the conservation and also protect the biodiversity. Ecological and biotic factors are suitable in Bangladesh for the cultivation of medicinal plants. We have been successful to sensitize the policy makers. In Bangladesh there is no facilities and skilled manpower for the processing of MPs. Our research is now aiming to develop processing unit and to train the garden owner for skilled manpower to value addition of MP, which will create the income generating women in rural areas.