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Ashwani KumarRSS Feed of this column.

Professor Emeritus ,Former Head of the Department of Botany, and Director Life Sciences, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur. 302004, India At present freelance consultant with Bioenergia. Spain and... Read More »


India is reeling under heat wave. Nagpur temperatures cross 47 degree C while half of India is above45 degree or so.

Withania somnifera is one of the most valued medicinal plant in Ayurveda and other traditional systems of medicine (Shivani and Kumar, 2000). In Ayurveda, W. somnifera is regarded as one of the most useful herbs having ‘Vata’ pacifying properties (Singh and Kumar, 1998 and Singh et al., 2001). In recent times, it has attracted tremendous pharmacological research interests. The plant has been reported to have adaptogenic, anticancer, immunomodulatory, antioxidative and neurological effects (Schliebs et al., 1973; Ray and Gupta, 1994 and Dhuley, 2001).
Rajasthan Patrika a Hindi daily (22nd May 2012); has pointed out that 1500 sq. km area of forests in and around Jaipur has been encroached upon. Out of this 700 sq. km has now illegal housing or mining activities. The temperatures of entire India are running above 40 degrees.Sometimes temperatures of Middle East countries are lower. North eastern states are recording average temperature increase which is much more than expected.

I have seen Mansagar Lake drying for several years. I have seen it stinking for several years. It was also used as place for immersion of idols after the festival season.  I have seen encroachments taking place on its banks.

Environmental pollution is “the contamination of the physical and biological components of the earth/atmosphere system to such an extent that normal environmental processes are adversely affected”.

India has been ranked as seventh most environmentally hazardous country in the world by a new ranking released recently. The study is based on evaluation of “absolute” environment impact of 179 countries (Harvard, Princeton, Adelaide University and University of Singapore, 2011).
News papers don’t stop reporting anyone get side effects of herbal drugs or side effects of taking uncontrolled amount of herbal drug. Allopathic drugs also harm or give reactions sometime but I have not seen any adverse report on allopathic drugs. The question is do herbal drugs harm. My simple question is do fruits and vegetables harm human body ? There was report in Hindustan Times about someone developing higher rate of palpitation by taking excessive cups of green tea. There was some report of side effects of taking excess of fenugreek. Put simple logic how much salad do we eat each day or how much fruits we eat each day. Almost all plants form some kind of medicine for good health. The question is what we eat in what manner and with what ailments.