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Aromatic, medicinal plants of Jammu and Kashmir

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Zubair Qureshi

Srinagar, Sept 03: Lush forests are the guarantee of life on the planet. The importance and usefulness of which no one can deny is the most precious blessing among the countless blessings of nature. Their innumerable benefits give them superiority over all other blessings. Their important role in human circulation life is of extraordinary importance.

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They not only fulfil the needs related to food, but also play a role in creating a delicate balance between the soul and the world. They occupy the highest position in both the carbon cycle and the food chain pyramid.

Considering their usefulness, they are divided into several structures. Medicinal plants are of immense importance in keeping our body healthy, which is why there are many references to its use in authentic texts like the Indian Puranas, Upanishads, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Not only did Hanuman save Lakshman’s life through these herbs, but even in today’s history they are practiced by physicians for human mental treatment. It has started to be revered by people like Tulsi, Pipal, Oak, Banyan and Neem, etc. The famous scholar, Charaka has created many invaluable books for the treatment of diseases by analyzing all types of medicinal plants. Which is being used to bene?t the human being today.

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The paradise-like land of Jammu and Kashmir is also rich in these medicinal plants. According to a research, the number of aromatic medicinal plants in Jammu and Kashmir is around 5,000, of which 4,000 species are found in the Kashmir Valley.

Research has found that there are 700 types of these aromatic medicinal plants found in Jammu and Kashmir which contain high quality ingredients, Kashmiri Huzam or lavender is called the queen of these medicinal plants found in the union territory.

It is a matter of pride that the best and highest quality aroma in the world is produced in Gulmarg. Rose Domascena found in Tangmarg is considered the best among all the roses in the world. It is used in medicines made for the treatment of every disease. Soungul makes a special type of alkaloid that is used in medicines for malignant diseases like cancer. Similarly, another plant Vanwangan, also known as Podophyllum emodi, is found at an altitude of 10,000 metres above sea level. It is mostly found in the forests of Gulmarg and Gurez.

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Considering the importance of these medicinal and aromatic plants and their abundant presence in Jammu and Kashmir, the Central government has launched several schemes, including the “Kashmir Arogya Gram Yojana” which aims to increase the production of these special plants. To achieve this goal, the government encourages farmers to cultivate them by highlighting their importance and utility. The government is providing the farmers with all the facilities that can increase the production of these plants.

Aroma Mission was to provide knowledge and plants about these plants. It also involves extracting oil from these plants and buying them. According to an estimate, more than two hundred landowners in Jammu and Kashmir have benefited from these schemes. It is worth noting that last year Bharat Bhushan, who cultivated these plants, was awarded an award for lavender cultivation at the national level.

The Department of Floriculture also provides subsidy to the cultivators for the cultivation of these plants under which the farmers are benefiting.

Mudasssar Shafi Dar, who works as an Extension Officer in the Department of Agriculture, also cultivates these plants personally. He has benefited a lot from the cultivation of lavender.

Not only this, Mudassar also attracted many farmers in this direction, as a result of which lavender is being cultivated on 30 kanals of land. He says that there is a need to inform the youth about the cultivation of aromatic and medicinal plants in Jammu and Kashmir so that they can stand on their own feet.

The land of Jammu and Kashmir has all the capabilities that can increase the production of these aromatic medicinal plants and herbs and give them recognition not only at the national level but also at the global level and can also increase the economy of the country. (IANS)

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Doctors’ body urges people to get influenza vaccine ahead of possible severe flu season

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DAK President

Srinagar, Sept 19: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Monday urged people to get vaccinated against influenza (flu) ahead of possible severe flu season.

“We are expecting a bad flu season, making this year’s flu shot all the more critical,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement issued here.

Dr Hassan said the past two flu seasons have been milder than usual, with low numbers of cases and very few hospitalizations.

The decline was because of Covid precautions such as face masking and social distancing. People were also traveling less during the height of the pandemic.

“Now that people are out without masks, travelling extensively, business has resumed and children are back to schools, there are more opportunities for the virus to circulate and flu could make a comeback,” he said.

The DAK President said in typical years, a good percentage of the population gets infected with influenza and builds immunity against the infection.

“What we are seeing are a couple of years where we didn’t see infection. So more people may be susceptible to influenza in this season that could lead to higher rates of infection and also more severe cases,” he said.

“Moreover, the southern hemisphere witnessed the worst flu season in five years which is an indication that this could be a bad flu season in the northern hemisphere as well,” he added.

“That makes this season’s flu vaccine vitally important,” said Dr Nisar.

He said everyone 6 months and older should get an annual flu vaccine before the start of flu season which begins in October and can last late into May. Since it takes 2 weeks for the flu vaccine to become fully effective, it is best to get the vaccine now. However vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season.

This season’s flu vaccine has been updated to better match currently circulating viruses.

“While the vaccine is recommended for all, it is especially needed in young children, elderly, pregnant women and people with medical conditions,” he said.

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Blood donation camps being organised to ensure nobody dies due to unavailability of blood: Advisor Bhatnagar

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Says health, medical infrastructure being enhanced in J&K as per requirement

Srinagar, Sept 17: Advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor, RR Bhatnagar on Saturday said that blood donation camps under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav are being organised across the Union Territory so as to ensure no body dies due to unavailability of blood.

While talking to reporters after inaugurating a blood donation camp at SMHS Srinagar, Bhatnagar, as per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said the under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, blood donation camps are being organised till October 02 across the country.

He said that the aim behind organising these camps is also to overcome shortage of blood in all blood banks so that no one can face problem in getting blood whenever required.

On being asked why DRDO hospital is being dismantled, he said that health and medical infrastructure is being enhanced in Jammu and Kashmir as per the requirement.

He added that seven new medical colleges, two AIIMS, two cancer institutions are coming up in J&K and paediatric hospital is being made functional.

“Whatever is required in the UT as far as health services and medical education are concerned, decisions are being taken accordingly keeping in view requirement of the people,” he said.

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Frequency of depression on rise in J&K like rest parts of world: Dr Sushil Razdan

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Stresses of modern life, education, loneliness, nuclear family, drugs, violence around main reasons behind depression

Srinagar, Sep 12: Like rest parts of the world, the frequency of depression in Jammu and Kashmir are on the rise and there are many reasons behind it, Dr Sushil Razdan said on Monday.

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Dr Razdan, a renowned neurologist while talking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), said that frequency of depression is on the rise like rest parts of the country and many people are suffering because of depression. “The main reason behind it include stresses of modern life, stresses in education,  stresses at home, nuclear families, loneliness, presence of drugs in society and violence around,” he said.

He said that depression is in all age groups and behaviour disorders are more besides that due to Covid-19, the number suffering from depression has increased and there are many reasons behind it. “There is a need to catch up depression cases at initial stage which starts from irritability, very less sleeping and there is need to pick up it at initial stage and don’t allow it to grow in symptoms,” Dr Razdan said.

He said that pick up is must besides that appropriate mental health care at primary, tertiary level and family support is must.

“There are many reasons behind neurological issues in babies and it can happen while when baby is in womb of mother, at birth and after day as well and they may be because of genetic, congenital defects, birth trauma, hypoxia, infections, small injuries etc,” the noted doctor said. “If you will visit any hospital, around 25 percent admissions are of neurology and in children it may be above 25 percent as well.”

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