Medicinal Plants

Herbs and Health Our Work Team Workshops

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Herbs and Health in South India

Herbs in South India play a key role in people’s lives, and to understand herbs is to have a profound insight into the beauty of local culture.

There are many traditional health systems in use in India – among them Ayurveda, Sowa-Rigpa, Unani, Homeopathy, Yoga and others – and in Tamil Nadu, traditional primary health care is embodied in a local people’s health culture known as Siddha that uses hundreds of indigenous plant species.

We will soon be supplementing these pages with seasonal guides to keeping healthy, and other tips for staying healthy taken from our workshops.

In the meantime, please browse our resources below.

Our Work

As a National Centre of Excellence for Medicinal Plant Conservation, we at Pitchandikulam are dedicated to preserving and disseminating the wealth of traditional knowledge that exists in the our region.

For over twenty years, Pitchandikulam Forest has been actively involved in both the protection of the indigenous herbal knowledge and also in the provision of a living library in the form of indigenous herbal gardens and medicinal plant sanctuaries.

Our work takes place in five main areas:

Frequently passed down through women, encouraging traditional herbal practices in human and ethnoveterinary medicine forms a core part of our sustainable development work for women’s self-help groups.

This work has been supplemented by the setting up of herbal databases, publication of educational materials, establishment of herbal dispensaries and kitchen herbal gardens and through the conducting of herbal health camps.


  • Parvathi Nagarajan is an expert in the identification and application of medicinal herbs according to the Siddha system of traditional medicine, and her family has been in involved in traditional herbal healing for at least five generations, and possibly many more. She has an MA in Sociology and an MA in Human Rights.
  • Dr. Bérengère Bérieau is our specialist in Ayurveda and seasonal health and well-being.

For more information about Parvathi’s story and background, please see her interview on our blog.


We also conduct regular workshops and education programmes that cover identification, preparation and application of herbal medicines, cosmetics and food.

Parvathi and Dr. Bee are also available for private consultations, please contact us to arrange.