Kottakkal's Facility where their Center for Medical Plants Research is located

Center for Medical Plants Research (CMPR)

An important milestone in our march for the attainment of higher objectives in the field of medicinal plants research is the establishment of the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research. This was made possible by the generous funding from Sir Dorabji TATA Trust, Mumbai. The work on CMPR was initiated by Arya Vaidya Sala in June 2002 with a view to satisfying a long felt need for an Institution for conservation and study of medicinal plants used in Ayurveda. The new building comprising an administrative block, botany, phytochemistry and tissue culture laboratories was inaugurated by His Excellency Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, The President of India on September 25 2003, in the presence of Sri. A. K. Antony, honourable Chief Minister of Kerala, Dr. M. S. Swaminathan and other dignitaries.

Thrust Areas

Exploration, Collection, Conservation and Documentation of medicinal plants of Kerala and neighboring regions.
Establishing a medicinal plant gene bank with field, in vitro, and seed bank components.
Resource mapping of Rare, Endangered and Threatened medicinal plants.
Detailed investigations on the Crude drugs and their plant sources to establish the genuineness of the source and to evolve standards.
Botanical, Pharmacognostic, phytochemical and pharmacological profiling of medicinal plants.
Molecular profiling of important medicinal plants.
Rapid tissue Culture propagation of important and recalcitrant medicinal plants with a view to widen the resource base to the Ayurvedic industry and also to repopulate the forest niches.
Analysis, extraction, identification, study and utilization of the bioactive principles from medicinal plants.
Screening of germplasm of the important medicinal plant species for locating superior chemotypes and genotypes.
Processing and value of addition of medicinal plants. Popularization of medicinal plant cultivation on a large scale and also to supply genuine planting material for commercial cultivation and to the people of the rural areas.
Establishing a data bank on the medicinal plants of Kerala.

Major Divisions

The centre has established laboratories /facilities for the study of the following:
  • Taxonomy 
  • Tissue culture 
  • Genetic resources 
  • Phytochemistry 
  • Anatomy 
  • Extension activities 

Main Facilities

Infrared spectrophotometer, Ultraviolet spectrophotometer, HPLC, Research microscope with photographic attachment and Stereo Microscope.
Tissue culture facility for large scale propagation of selected medicinal plants.
Field Gene Bank for Medicinal Plants.
In vitro gene bank for medicinal plants.
Expertise for conducting field survey, identification and chemical screening of medicinal and aromatic plants.
Image library of medicinal plants. Library on medicinal and aromatic plants.


Exploration, identification, collection and documentation of the known and lesser known rare and endangered taxa used in Ayurvedic system of traditional medicine from various localities in the southern states of India i.e. Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, in order to study the extent of rarity and intra-specific variations.

National Gene Bank for Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants (NGBAMP)

Collection of germplasm of the known and lesser known rare and endangered taxa used in Ayurvedic system of traditional medicine from various localities in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to develop a live bank of variants of medicinal plants.

Seed Bank

A seed gene bank of rare, endangered and endemic Ayurvedic medicinal plants possessing orthodox seeds for conserving genetic diversity at different temperatures is being maintained.

Herbarium and Raw Drug Museum (HRDM)

Enrichment of the existing herbarium and raw drug museum of Ayurvedic medicinal plants has been started by adding new ones collected during the survey trips.

Plant Image Library (PIL)

Consists of images of medicinal plants, rare, red-listed and endemic ones with necessary details Digitized Database of Medicinal Plants (DDMP) This database will consist of all the information on medicinal plants such as names in different languages, description, distribution, anatomical, phytochemical, taxonomical characters and medicinal importance together with relevant photographs.


Anatomical characterisation of controversial raw drug used in Ayurvedic medicines to evolve standards for genuine source plant from the spurious ones.
Micromorphological status of plant part using simple microtechnique and photomicrography.
Histological studies of different useful plant parts using microtechnique and photomicrography.
Cellular structure identification using maceration technique.
Comparative anatomical studies of genuine/substitute and adulterant raw drugs.
Standardisation of the genuine source plant using cellular and histological characters.


Comparative chemical profiling of raw drug and their different source plants
Chemical profiling of selected medicinal plants
Chemical prospecting of medicinal plants and characterization of biologically active compounds
Pharmacological evaluation of isolated bioactive component by both in vivo and in vitro methods

Tissue Culture

Standardization of micropropagation protocols for important and endangered medicinal plants
Conservation of genetic resources of important and endangered medicinal plants in in vitro gene bank
Large scale multiplication of selected medicinal plants for the production planting material

Extension Activities

Extension activities are being carried out in a big way for creating general awareness among the public on various aspects of medicinal plants such as conservation, cultivation, evaluation, processing and product development.