Ethnomedicinal Forest

In 1993, Pitchandikulam Forest became part of the national Medicinal Plant Conservation Network, co-ordinated by the Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions, and since then we have been developing a dedicated ethnomedicinal forest and education programme to document, research and spread traditional knowledge about local plant-based medicinal systems.

Some features of the Ethnomedicinal Forest:

  • Seed collection from local sanctuaries, remnant forests and sacred groves collected in collaboration with traditional healers
  • Rare, Endangered or Threatened (RET) species from the Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest and other floristic zones of South India
  • Over fifty species of living hedges that form a protective, productive boundary and provide a fauna habitat and corridor
  • Stone signage show the different elements of the ecosystem and explain the medicinal uses of individual species and groups of plants for poisonous bites, bone fractures, headaches and other ailments
  • Open seated areas that provide space for medicinal herbal preparation workshops and other group activities, meetings and classes

We grow over 180 TDEF species in our nurseries in Pitchandikulam and Nadukuppam, many of which have not been propagated outside their natural forest environment before. As such, we have been able to experiment with a wide variety of germination methods in order to develop a series of standards, so that we can help others cultivate these plants successfully elsewhere.