Inclusion of Medicinal plant species in IUCN Red List


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    Three medicinal plant species found in the Himalayas have made it to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species following a recent assessment. 


    • Meizotropis pellita, commonly known as Patwa, is a perennial shrub with restricted distribution that is endemic to Uttarakhand. 
    • The species is listed as ‘critically endangered’ based on its limited area of occupancy (less than 10 sq. km). 
      • The species is threatened by deforestation, habitat fragmentation and forest fires.
      • The essential oil extracted from the leaves of the species possesses strong antioxidants and can be a promising natural substitute for synthetic antioxidants in pharmaceutical industries.
    • Fritillaria cirrhosa (Himalayan fritillary) is a perennial bulbous herb. 
      • “It is reasonable to conclude a decline of at least 30% of its population over the assessment period (22 to 26 years). 
      • Considering the rate of decline, long generation length, poor germination potential, high trade value, extensive harvesting pressure and illegal trade, the species is listed as ‘vulnerable.
      • In China, the species is used for the treatment of bronchial disorders and pneumonia. The plant is also a strong cough suppressant and source of expectorant drugs in traditional Chinese medicine
    • Dactylorhiza hatagirea (Salampanja): The third listed species, Dactylorhiza hatagirea (Salampanja), is threatened by habitat loss, livestock grazing, deforestation, and climate change. 
      • It is extensively used in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and other alternative systems of medicine to cure dysentery, gastritis, chronic fever, cough and stomach aches. 
      • It is a perennial tuberous species endemic to the Hindu Kush and Himalayan ranges of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan.
      • It has been assessed as ‘endangered species