Three Himalayan medicinal plants enter IUCN Red List

Tags: Environment

Three Himalayan medicinal plants enter IUCN Red List

Three medicinal plant species found in the Himalayas have recently been placed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species following an assessment.

Important facts 

  • These species are found in the Himalayan region spread across Nepal, India, China, Sikkim, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

  • IUCN is an international organisation (NGO) working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

These three species are as follows-

About the three species

  1. Meizotropis pellita

  • Commonly known as Patwa, it is a perennial shrub that is endemic to Uttarakhand.

  • "The species is listed as 'critically endangered' on the basis of being found in a limited area (less than 10 sq km)," the study said.

  • This species is threatened by deforestation, habitat fragmentation, and wildfires.

  • The oil extracted from its leaves contains strong antioxidants and can be a natural alternative to synthetic antioxidants in the pharmaceutical industries.

  1. Fritillaria cirrhosa

  • It is a perennial bulbous herb.

  • According to the study, its numbers declined by 30% during the assessment period (22 to 26 years).

  • This species is listed as 'Vulnerable' in view of its rate of decline, length, poor germination capacity, high trade value, extensive harvesting pressure and illegal trade.

  • In China this species is used to treat bronchial disorders and pneumonia.

  • This plant is also a strong cough suppressant.

  1. Dactylorhiza hatagirea

  • This species, also called the salampanza, is threatened by habitat loss, livestock grazing, deforestation, and climate change.

  • It is used extensively in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and other alternative systems of medicine to cure dysentery, gastritis, chronic fever, cough and abdominal pain.

  • This species is listed as ‘endangered’.

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