1. DBT Project
The Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, has given an extension of the project titled ‘Establishment of a Germplasm Bank for Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants’ for one year To Arya Vaidya Sala with an additional funding of Rs. 12.46 lakhs. Out of the 150 rare, medicinal plants selected for the Field Gene Bank, 136 have been collected so far from South Indian forests with their available variants and planted in the two local estates of Arya Vaidya Sala. Seeds of 35 medicinal plants are stored in the Seed Gene Bank under different temperature and humidity. A Herbarium, Raw Drug Museum, an Image Library, a Digitized Database and an In vitro gene bank have been established under this project. Based on the taxonomic studies done so far, eight scientific papers have been published, 13 communicated to different journals.
2. TATA Project
The Anatomy and Phytochemistry divisions undertake pharmacognostic studies of the raw drugs used in Ayurveda with a view to evolve their standards. Using the computer controlled microscopic system, a digitized database of the anatomical standards is being prepared which are used for the floor level checking of the raw drug samples. This facility is being used for checking the authenticity of the raw drugs used in Arya Vaidya Sala. Research paper titled ‘Anatomical markers as a tool to identify genuine ‘asoka, from its common adulterant’, won the best poster award in the 17th Kerala Science Congress held at KFRI, Peechi, on January 30, 2005. 6 research papers have been sent for publication. 8 M.Sc. students have completed their project work.
Chemical fingerprint profiles of 25 medicinal plants have been generated in the Phytochemistry division. 8 therapeutically active compounds have been isolated and quantified. In vitro antioxidant studies of 11 plants, chemical fidelity testing of tissue cultured plants of 6 species and quality control studies of 14 raw drugs have been done during the last one year. The division imparted training to 15 postgraduate students.
In the Tissue Culture Facility, micropropagation protocols have been standardized for 14 species and protocols have been scaled up in 6 species this year. Based on the work done, four research papers were published and five sent for publication. Training was imparted to 15 post-graduate students from various universities.
For promoting medicinal plant cultivation in association with Estate Department, 15 seminars were organized in different parts of Kerala. About 550 farmers from different localities were given training on cultivation practices, semi-processing, sustainable utilization and market potential of medicinal plants. A tie up with selected farmers under eight Krishi Bhavans in Malappuram district was made to buy back Kattupatavalam and Atapathiyan. Nearly 15,000 plants (tissue cultured plants, seedlings etc) and seed material were distributed to farmers. Classes were taken to schoolchildren to create awareness on conservation of our medicinal plant resources. The selected managers of various Nationalized Banks were trained on the need for supporting the farmers in medicinal plant cultivation.
3. ICMR Project
A project titled ‘Quality standardization of Indian Medicinal Plants’ has been sanctioned by the Indian Council for Medical Research, New Delhi in March 2005 for a period of three years with a total outlay of Rs. 20.54 lakhs. The project aims at developing quality standards of 33 medicinal plants using anatomical and phytochemical parameters. The work has been initiated.}
4. KSCSTE Project
The Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment has sanctioned a project titled ‘Micropropagation and in vitro conservation of Operculina turpethum and genetic fidelity analysis’ in March 2005 for a period of 3 years for Rs. 5.94 lakhs.
5. NMPB Project
National Medicinal Plants Board has sanctioned a project titled ‘Large scale micro-propagation and organic home-stead farming of medicinal plants in rural areas as a means of economic empowerment of rural women in three districts of Northern Kerala’ for three years. A project titled ‘Quality standardization of Indian Medicinal Plants’ has been sanctioned by the Indian Council for Medical Research, New Delhi in March 2005 for a period of three years with a total outlay of Rs. 20.54 lakhs. The project aims at developing quality standards of 33 medicinal plants using anatomical and phytochemical parameters. The work has been initiated.}