Supported by Rajiv Gandhi Science & Technology Commission (RGSTC), Mumbai (MS)

Implemented by BAIF Development Research Foundation Central Research Station Uruli kanchan, Pune - 412202 (MS)

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Livestock continues to be an important source of livelihood for small and marginal farmers across the country. With the growing demand for milk production, dairy husbandry are remains the prime sector for development of small and marginal farmers with major focus on clean milk production through holistic animal health management.

In view of the fact and scope, it is need to strengthen this sector; BAIF is involved in promotion and conservation of Ethno Veterinary Medicine in areas where modern medicine is out of reach in remote villages.

Ethno veterinary Medicine (EVM)

Ethno Veterinary Medicine is an age old traditional medicine practiced for the treatment of ailments/diseases in livestock using plants, animal based products and minerals etc.

This is being practiced by local community from generations to generation and transferred the knowledge in words of mouth.

There are several issues in the area of Ethno Veterinary Medicine and Forest resource. Some of these issues are listed below:

  • 1. The communities dependent livestock as major source of economy for their livelihood development. The accessibility of modern animal health care system in remote places is the major issue to the livestock owners.
  • 2. Due to large scale exploitation of forest resources and developments leads to depletion of forest resources. Some of species are in threat of extinction and urgent need to conserve and promote the effective Ethno veterinary medicine.
  • 3. The knowledge base differs not only from region to region but also among and within communities. This change of knowledge is mainly depends on availability of natural resources like plants and minerals at local level. The issue is standardizing the single drug and applying across different Geo climatic zones is the difficult task. The region or community wise conservation and promotion are the best options for revival of traditional practices.
  • 4. Since long, the knowledge flow is based on “Guru Shishya Parampara”. The knowledge sharing by the healers to everyone is prohibited in their culture, unless it has been guaranteed and used for good cause. Bringing confidence with the healers and documenting their knowledge in informative/qualitative form is the major concern.
  • 5. General question also remains as to how safeguard the traditional knowledge, IPR and sharing of royalty to right kind of individual.
  • 6. There is growing issue of eroding base EVM knowledge as well as an issue of erosion of plants species on how to promote and propagate the EVM practices.
  • 7. Lacking interest in youths for taking ahead of Ethno Veterinary Medicine for the future generation.
  • 8. Lack of standard practices for evolution/ validation of traditional EVM medicine. Several interventions have been identified within BAIF to work upon in view of changing context and in response to the emerging challenges, the development needs as far as conservation concern. The revitalization of Ethno Veterinary Medicine is the one of key responsibilities of the organization.


Documentation of EVM practices

The experience and popularly known healers were identified from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat. In the program more than 108 vaidus were directly involved in promotion of EVM. The traditional knowledge related to animal health care were documented using structured questionnaires and this was being achieved through organizing the healer’s Mela, excursions to the forest and with direct interview. During the process information on 179 medicinal plants belonging to 73 families and 152 genera are documented.

Prioritization of ailments to deal with primary health care in livestock.

More common and frequently occurring ailments were identified based on its effectiveness of medicine, frequency of occurrence, easy to treat, availability of plants to treat. This is being done through participatory approach by involving healers, livestock owners and technical experts.

The prioritized ailments are preserved and identified by botanist. The view of this, the voucher specimens of the plant species were collected during the process of documentation, excursions to healers and healers Mela. The fresh plants samples were pressed and preserved for identification of plants botanically. 182 plants herbariums are preserved at BAIF CRS campuses.

Evaluation of Ethno veterinary Practices through field study.

A focused study is undertaken to understand/evaluate the effect of herbal medicine for control of Endo and Ectoparasites. The animals were identified based on symptoms/physical appearance such as weak body, bulged stomach, hairy and diarrhea. The selected animals were treated with the herbal medicine. The reduction (< 36%) in worm load (EPG count) was observed after the treatment. These surveys and analysis of data is expected to throw light on required directions and possible future leads of action considering every stage of value addition.

Top prioritized plants species for treatment of Endoparasites.
  • Mucuna pruriens leaves (Khajkuhili)
  • Melia dubia bark (Nimbhara)
  • Asparagus racemosus root (Shatavari)
  • Heracleum grande seed (Baphali)
  • Tinospora cordifolia stem (Gulvel))

Similarly the evolution study was also carried for Ecto and Endoparasite. The significant effect of herbal medicine was noticed.

  • Endo & Ectoparasites
  • Diarrhoea
  • Wound
  • Bloat
Social validation through participatory approach

The social validation is a process where the herbal formulations for above ailments were prioritized by involving the experienced healers and livestock owners with the technical supports in the field of veterinary, pharmacology, Ethno botany, Forestry and social science. For each of the above said ailments top five herbal formulations were prioritized considering the effectiveness of the medicine and availability of plants at local level.

Identification and preparation of herbariums of plants species

A plant local name changes from place to place and healers to healers. It is very tough to identify accurately with scientific name unless the specimen is

Addressing linkage gap between healers and livestock owners

Efforts are being made to bring healers, livestock owners and youths altogether in one platform in various levels such as meetings, workshops, excursions, healers mela, exhibition were organized. This has made them to interact each other and help them in exchanging the knowledge.

Moreover, efforts are also undertaken to healers to expose themselves in various workshops forgetting reorganization.

Promotion of herbal gardens as a backyard pharmacy.

The 30000 medicinal plants were grown in the nursery and planted in back yard of households and farm bunds. The accessibility of plants at house hold level will serve the purpose to treat the animals without much in search of plants.

This is focused as a continuous activity involving livestock owners and healers. Efforts are also being made to develop nursery rising as an entrepreneurship development model promoting self-employment

The attempt has been made to propagate and conserve some of rare plant species as a part of ex situ conservation of species like

  • Oroxylum indicus,
  • Acorus calamus
  • Terminalia arjuna