Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is an island approximately 65,610 km2 in extent. Despite its relatively small size, Sri Lanka possesses a high level of biodiversity due to its varied climate and topographical conditions. In view of that, it is recognized as a biodiversity hotspot of global and national importance. Sri Lanka has an indigenous system of traditional medicine which is as ancient as the civilization of the island and practiced from generation to generation. Medicinal plants are the world’s oldest health care products which play an important role in traditional medicine. At a time when consumers in the industrially developed nations are becoming increasingly disillusioned with synthetic drugs and modern forms of medical treatment and are seeking natural alternatives, there is much scope for plants to be the source for a new type of Research and Development based on traditional medical lore. In recent years, the use of traditional knowledge in medical research has received considerable attention among the scientific community.
The compilation of the revised edition of “A COLLECTION OF MEDICINAL PLANTS IN SRI LANKA” was undertaken by the Plant Research Centre (PRC) at Nature’s Beauty Creations Ltd. (NBC) in collaboration with experts in the field of medicinal plants. It contains important information about the valuable medicinal plants grown in the island which are found in the herbal garden at NBC. This unique herbal garden at NBC, which is the DNA of our company, contains more than 500 varieties of medicinal plants including one of the largest aquatic plant collections. Though the NBC medicinal plant garden has a number of important plants, the new edition is limited to a selection of 348 medicinal plants. The book will be a good resource for beginners in plant research and naturalists, as well as a reference for advanced studies as it covers different aspects of medicinal plants.
In addition to the common names, plant parts used, traditional knowledge of the plants and medicinal uses given in the first edition, the new edition explores and documents the scientific research (where available) for these plants. For each plant, colour photographs, currently accepted botanical name, synonyms, common names, status, useful plant parts in traditional medicine, uses in traditional medicine, scientifically proven knowledge of the plants’ chemical constituents (structure classes), in vitro and in vivo bioactivity and clinical studies are incorporated. The contents are arranged in alphabetical order according to the family names and the botanical names of the plants respectively. Separate indices of the botanical names, common names in Sinhala, Tamil, English and Sanskrit, including a comprehensive glossary, provide an easy guidance for the reader. Furthermore, an extensive list of references is included to support the contents of the book.
This book is intended to create awareness of the unique heritage of natural recourse that we have in Sri Lanka, to encourage people to further understand the inestimable value of the medicinal plants and the need to conserve them.
Plant Research Centre,
Nature’s Beauty Creations Ltd.