Laboratory for Indian Medicine (PLIM) located in Ghaziabad is
known as the nerve center of alternate medicine system in India. The
institution is a standard setting-cum-drugs testing laboratory at
national level for Indian medicines. It lays down the standards of
single drugs of plant, mineral and animal origin for incorporating in
Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha systems. It also lays down standards for
compound formulations included in all these traditional medicinal
its pioneering work, the institution supports over 2,800 hospitals,
22,000 dispensaries and nearly 8,000 licensed pharmaceutical units in
6 lakh practitioners of alternate medicine are gaining by the
research experience of PLIM.
up in 1970 under the direct control of Ministry of Health &
Family Welfare, the institution so far has standardized 350 single
drugs and 90 compound formulations of Ayurveda. To further
consolidate on this, PLIM now proposes to open seven regional drug
testing laboratories all over the country.
institution draws its sample from about 2000 available plant species
in the country. Its expedition team consisting of scientific staff
sometimes scout the vast Himalayan ranges in search of rich medicinal
flora. "Seeing medicinal herbs amidst nature is itself a
therapeutic cure", says a team member.
known as the "Botanical Garden of the World", has the
widest variety of plant species distributed throughout the country
across different ecosystems. The specimens collected are worked out
for pharmacopoeial standards and preserved as reference standards.
increased popularity of traditional medicine systems world over along
with a World Health Organisation's circulation to this regard have
been a great moral boost for the PLIM in recent times. WHO now
strongly urges Asian and African countries to consider the
feasibility of enlisting traditional herbs and herbalists in all
programmes of health care.
traditional healers would form a part of primary healthcare in their
own communities. A research faculty member of the institute is
particularly impressed with Latin American country, Peru, which is
currently carrying out elaborate research to find out the efficacy of
pre-Columbian folk remedies.
has a close eye on the African countries including disease prone
Ethiopia, which are making full use of traditional medicines. In
Ghana, the Government has initiated efforts to organize all the
traditional herbs into regional groups. The institution director Dr
RU Ahmad says, even developed nation, Germany, has not ignored the
miracle of traditional medicines. The country has taken initiative in
using a number of herbal origin drugs used in traditional medicines.
pioneering work of China is also much talked about in the
institution. Now more than 400,000 hectares of medicinal herbs are
under cultivation in the world's most populated country. Some of the
energetic research scientists in the institute even coax India to
emulate the ancient medicinal practice of Bulgaria. The oldest
inhabitants of the land such as Thracians, Proto-Bulgarians and Slavs
knew the medicinal plants and administered them in the treatment of
different diseases. Ethnographers have established that the people of
Bulgaria have used more than 700 medicinal plants out of the total of
about 3200 plants growing there.
major role of standardization and drug testing guard against mass
adulteration and substitution of alternate medicines in India. The
laboratory is engaged in working out standards of single drugs as
well as compound formulations included in Ayurvedic Formulary of
India, while on the other hand it is co-coordinating with the
respective Pharmacopoeia Committees by preparing the monographs of
single drugs and compound formulations to be incorporated in
respective Pharmacopoeias of ISM.
one of the parameters of standardization of the monographs on single
drugs as well as compound formulations is based on the literary
survey of classical texts and modern literature. A documentation wing
and a well maintained library have been established to this regard.
PLIM organizes orientation lecture programmes for drug inspectors and
drug analysts of Indian System of Medicine twice a year.
a visitor perhaps the institution's museum would be the first stop.
The museum has more than 4,000 exhibits depicting how the raw
materials are used in the formulations of Indian System of Medicine.
Crude drugs specimens of plant, animal and mineral are arranged as
per their origin and use in different Indian Medicinal Systems. The
museum possesses over 3,000 crude drug standard specimens. Among more
authentic specimens there are over 700 herbarium sheets. The
institution also has a medicinal plants garden located at Raispur
village for growing medicinal plants and herbs for standardization
purposes and developing new high yielding plant varieties. Now PLIM
looks forward to more pioneering work in the years to come.