A tropical forest, with its varied life forms, provides an array of resources and services, making life possible on earth. The major beneficial components include food, medicine, clothing and shelter. Plants used in medicine needs much attention as, on one side, they are not fully explored for their medicinal and curative properties, and on the other side, some of them are threatened by habitat loss and over exploitation. Aromatic plants form another potential group, where the aromatic active principles have various applications in the day-to-day life. There are many undocumented medicinal uses of plants among the various ethnic groups that may be indicative and useful in exploring the medicinal potential. Information on the plant wealth of the Walayar Valley is rather scant.

Inventory of Vegetation with special reference to Medicinal and Aromatic Plants and Documentation of Traditional Knowledge – in the Walayar Valley, Western Ghats

Thus the study is proposed with the following objectives:

  • To make an assessment of the plant resources, with special reference to medicinal and aromatic plants
  • To make a quantitative assessment of the medicinal plants collected and to identify their threats (such as over exploitation) and seek probable remedial measures
  • To document scientifically, the traditional knowledge of ethnic and folk communities of the area


  • Initial literature survey, institutional visits completed
  • Permission to conduct field work obtained from Forest Department
  • Visited tribal hamlets and basic information collected and recorded
  • Perambulatory survey were conducted in the forest of the region, which showed three types of forests, viz, Dry Deciduous, Moist Deciduous and Evergreen
  • Field work has just started and is in progress

Methods of study

  • Exploratory field surveys
  • Vegetation study by sample plots
  • Interactive field trips with tribal people
  • On-field documentation of ethno botanical information
  • Preparation of a database of the medicinal plants
  • Preparation of a checklist of rare endangered and threatened plants, and to evaluate their threat status
Project Details
Dr. V. S. Ramachandran
Start Date: 
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Funding Agency: 
Ministry of Environment and Forests