Three Himalayan medicinal plants enter IUCN Red List

Source: The post is based on the article “Three Himalayan medicinal plants enter IUCN Red List” published in The Hindu on 10th December 2022

What is the News?

Three medicinal plant species found in the Himalayas have made it to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Which are these three Himalayan plant species?
Meizotropis pellita

It is commonly known as Patwa. It is a perennial shrub with restricted distribution that is endemic to Uttarakhand. 

– The essential oil extracted from the leaves of the species possesses strong antioxidants and can be a promising natural substitute for synthetic antioxidants in pharmaceutical industries

– IUCN Status: Critically Endangered 

– Threats: The species is threatened by deforestation, habitat fragmentation and forest fires.

Fritillaria cirrhosa (Himalayan fritillary)

It is a perennial bulbous herb. In China, the species is used for the treatment of bronchial disorders and pneumonia. The plant is also a strong cough suppressant and source of expectorant drugs in traditional Chinese medicine.

– IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Dactylorhiza hatagirea (Salampanja)

It is a perennial tuberous species endemic to the Hindu Kush and Himalayan ranges of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal.

– It is extensively used in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and other alternative systems of medicine to cure dysentery, gastritis, chronic fever, cough and stomach aches. 

– IUCN Status: Endangered

– Threats: It is threatened by habitat loss, livestock grazing, deforestation, and climate change.

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