Main Article Content
A Sacred Grove (SG) is any grove of trees, shrubs and even herbs of special religious importance to a particular culture. SGs are considered
as distinct patches of vegetation (ranging in size from a small cluster of a few trees to a large forest stand spanning several hundred
acres) which are venerated in the name of local deities or ancestral spirits, promoting conservation. Conservation of biodiversity in
sacred groves is a consequence of the sacred physical space of the sacred grove which is communally shared as commons and used to
observe crucial social ceremonies in indigenous societies. While documenting the sacred groves in the district of North 24 Parganas of
West Bengal through a detailed field survey, plants of local medicinal importance were identified in these patches in which the local
people traditionally conserved the medicinal plants since time immemorial. An extensive field survey to potential district areas and
documentation of major flora, including their correct identification and their related Traditional Knowledge (TK) in each SG was done.
More than 120 local medicinal plants were found and traditional knowledge associated with these plants was documented which
included Adhatoda vasica, Abroma agustum, Andrographis paniculata, Bacopa monnieri, Centella asiatica, Cocculus hirsutus, Gloriosa
superba, Tinospora cordifolia to name very few. Out of these purified aqueous extract of Cocculus hirsutus has also been reported in
COVID-19 treatment in many research papers. Traditional knowledge associated with these plants found in the sacred groves is a hidden
treasure from where further research, learning and dissemination of potential information can ensue. These SGs are examples of in-situ
conservation traditionally by local people and gene pool for various medicinal plants.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.