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Sunday, November 30, 2008

CTMR-Training programme on Utilization of Medicinal plants for tribal folk women at Anakkatti
Arsha Vidya Gurukulum

A elaborate training programme for tribal folk women of Anaikkatti, was organized by AIM FOR SEVA , Arsha Vidhya Gurukulam , Coimbatore, on Various aspects of Medicinal Plants with the financial help of National Medicinal Plant Board, from 15.11.08 to 19.11.08.Centre For Traditional Medicine imparted the training using various training modules.23 tribal Women were selected from various tribal villages in and around Anaikkatti like Siruvaani, Gudalur, mekkallur, Vadakkalur,Aravukadu, Annaikatti, Chinnajambukandi.Women, who envisaged keen interest in learning,who have passed 8th Standard and were capable of reading and writting were selected. They were given food and accommodation at students hostel, Arsha Vidya Gurukulam. On the 1st day Poojya Sri Dayananda Saraswathy swamiji inaugurated the training and released the training module and first copy was received by Mrs.Senthil Natarajan, local Panchayat President. Swamiji stressed the need for reviving the local health traditions and also suggested cultivation and sustainable utilisation will bring in financial prosperity as well. Swamiji expalained about the nature's gift towards the mankind, Man's greediness towards nature, over exploitation of natural resources, our work towards conservation, importance of Medicinal plants and its usage in our daily life.Centre for Traditional Medicine and Research (CTMR) secretary Dr. Thirunarayanan explained about the objectives of CTMR and aim of training. The inaugural session was attended by various others including visit foreign nationals. Two NGO leaders, one from Varnasi and other from coimbatore took part in the training as observers.
Following were the topics covered in the training.
1. Importance of medicinal plants. Flora of Anaikatti.
2. Identification of medicinal plants in the field.
3. Preparation of land, Medicinal plants propagation and cultivation with focus on any five select species. – ( Thulasi, Adathodai, Nilavembu, Sirukurinjan, Brahmi, Karpuravalli, Nelli, Asoka).
4. Hands on nursery experience.
5. Drying, processing, grading and storing.
6. Preparation of simple home remedies and their use in common ailments.
7. Medicinal plants in mother & child health.
8. Anjarai Petti marundhugal (Medicinal properties of kitchen spices & condiments).
9. Herbs based food & nutrition.
10. Sustainable collection & trading of medicinal plants.
11. Preventive and therapeutic aspects of Simple yoga.
The traing had lecture demonstrations, field visits, Video presentations, Practical sessions on Nursery methods, Drug preperation and Yoga. The training Manual was well recieved by others who happened to be present in the inagural session.
The day starts for the trainee with the introduction of Yogasanas and Simple Pranayamas like Nadi shuddhi by Swamini. She aptly explained about the stressful life and it's health hazards and preventive methods with food and lifestyle changes like yoga and breathing exercises. Dr. Usman Ali explained about various simple herbs, its identification and it's simple uses.Trainees were taken to the Herbal garden maintained by AIM FOR SEVA. Various methods of nursery developmental practices were explained and hands on training were given for very important medicinal plants like Rose Mary, Alpinia, Adathoda, Arrow root, Sirukurijan-Gymnema sylvestre as these plants were commercially viable plants. An elementary introduction to various simple diseases like cough, cold, headache,ear ache, arthritis and various simple home remedies were discussed by Dr. Thirunarayanan.Around 70 plants which are locally available were introduced to the trainees. plant parts which are used as medicine, names, simple medical preparation, dosage, vehicle to be taken are patiently explained by him.Commercial cultivation techniques were explained to important plants like Adathoda, Tulsi, Gymnema and Brahmi which can be traded easily. Herbs used in various Gynaecological diseases, healthy Anti natal and post natal practices, healthy food practices, kitchen herbal medicine preparations, hygienic practices were elaborated by Dr.R.Sudha, Siddha expert and an active volunteer of CTMR.

Simple herbal preparations like paste, hair oil, herbal powders, decoctions syrups were prepared by the trainees and the same were distributed among themselves for their use.They were given adequate information regarding sustainable collection procedures to avoid the further damages for the natural flora of this region.

Trainees were motivated to cultivate kitchen herbal garden in and around their house. They were encouraged to prepare and try home remedies with simple herbs for their common ailments.If problems continues they were duly advised to seek professional help.They were advised to speak about these herbals and their utilities with their counterparts, in sangam or with women self groups. If needed CTMR assured it's services in future training programmes.

A post-training apprisal was carried out for the trainees and Poojya Swamiji had an exclusive interactive session with the tribal trainees. The trainees felt elated by the way they were treated as equals during their entire stay and training and felt empowered and assured to convince the male members of the family to grow some of the commercially viable medicinal plants in the piece of land owned by them, which are now fallow.

The valedictory address was delivered by Mr.Nathan Jagan, CEO of AIM FOR SEWA and Shri.D.S.Raman, distributed the certificates.

The Entire training was coordinated in an excellent manner by Shri. Ramanji, Principal Investigator of the Project.

Medicinal Plants awareness Programme

Medicinal Plants
awareness Programme & Exhibition

Amirta Vidyashramam,

14th and
15th Nov 2008

Amirta Vidyashramam,
Nesapakkam Chennai had an inter school science exhibition for CBSE
schools at their campus on 14th and 15th Nov
2008 with the theme ‘Our Earth’. Centre for Traditional
Medicine and Research (CTMR) was requested to conduct a medicinal
plants exhibition and an awareness programme. A permanent Medicinal
Plant demo garden with 35 species of Safe Medicinal plants for common
ailments to be used as a Self- help Kit was organized by CTMR. All
the Plants were properly labeled with information to serve as
educative materials for time to come. Prof. S.K. Seshadri of the
Metallurgy Dept of Indian Institute of Technology Chennai was the
chief guest. Prof. Subramanian, Former Principal of Vivekananda
College and Prof. Balasubramanian Dept. of Chemistry offered
felicitation in the Inaugural session. Dr. T.Thirunarayanan,
Secretary of CTMR delivered a lecture on stressing how the earth and
our human body are made of the same five primordial elements and
how plant medicine is important, they being safe,
cost-effective and from renewable resources. The health benefits of
the thirty five plants in the school garden, key to identify them,
methods of propagation, use and how to use were explained to them
with a visual presentation. Dr. I. Saira Banu, Senior Research
Fellow( Siddha) of CTMR clarified the doubts of the individual
students along with Dr.T.Thirunarayanan. Over 400 students took part
in the session.

On 15th Nov
2008 afternoon, Dr. R.Padmapriya, Research associate- Traditional
Nutrition and Dr. Joseph Maria Adikalam, Entomologist took part in
the interactive session with the Senior students of the School. This
lively programme made an real impact on the children to maintain
healthy food habit as recommended by Siddha medicine. Children posed
very challenging questions like ‘Why are the healthy
foods recommended by current day nutritionist are not tasty’
‘If current fast foods are called Junk then what is the
healthy, tasty alternative snack food available for children at
affordable cost in every neighborhood stores ?’. Dr. Padmapriya
gave options of Traditional Snacks food with good nutritional value
and taste that could be prepared at home. The School requested for an
exclusive session for parents and teachers to be organized by CTMR.

CTMR thanks the
excellent coordination by Mrs. Viswanathan, Principal and Mrs.Neelam
Jaiswal – Biology teacher of the Amirta Vidyashramam.