Vrikshayurveda - Introduction

Vrikshayurveda - Introduction

Vrikshayurveda - Introduction (1)

Vrikshayurveda is a part of Ayurveda, exclusively meant for maintaining the health, healing and productivity of plants. Scattered information on Vrikshayurveda is available in Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Epic literature, Samhitas (Ttratise), Buddist literature, Kautilya’s Arthasastra, Krishiparasara, Nighandus (Lexicographic works), and other Ayurvedic literature. Later, these information were compiled and translated by many authors like Surapala, Sarnghadara, Bhavamishra, Nalini Sadhale. Y.L. Nene etc. 

Vrikshayurveda is the art of maintaining the health, healing and productivity of plants. It is scientifically unexplored topic, which is a part of the healing art of India exclusively practiced by the ancient scholars of Ayurveda by adopting purely an organic approach in different sectors like Agriculture, Medicinal plant culture and Horticulture. They also emphasized the importance of Chithreekaranam (Ancient biotechnological interventions/Research) with a view to explore the commercial aspects of the plant world. The terms Bheshajavaidyam and Vrikshayurveda are being mentioned in Agnipurana and Brahatsamhita respectively. Arthasastra written by Kautilya has provided clear-cut guidelines to the rulers for preserving and maintaining public parks, gardens, forests earmarked for hunting, collection of forest resources etc. and these regulations has been brought under the subject Gulmavrishayurveda. According to the Dhanvantari Nighandu, Vriskhayurveda is an indepth study directly linked with various aspects of plant life, especially related to trees. Vrikshayurveda is one of the specialized branches of Ayurveda, specifically meant for the conservation, propagation, cultivation, plant care and development of plant-based processes and products including organic manures, organic liquid manures, biopesticides, growth regulations and promotors that are effectively utilized for healthy germination, nourishment, rejuvenation and treatment of plants.

Ayurveda is a Sastra different from modern science. It deals with physical, mental and spiritual aspects of life systems as a whole in the universe, supported by non-living components like air, soil, water etc. The word Ayu denotes Life and Veda means knowledge. In short, it is described as “Ancient Science of Life”. Ayurveda is not merely a system of medicine. In broader sense, it deals with the whole life system of Universe. Hence, it is universally applicable to all the components of biodiversity and a biodiversity (non-living components). Ayurveda teaches the science of life from micro to macro level. Based on Sankhya and Vaiseshika Philosophy, Ayurveda has been conceptualized with concrete fundamental theories/principles, beginning with the theory of evolution of the Universe (Brahmanda) with entire life forms (Pindanda) prevailing in it; manly human beings, plants, animals and microbes. Ayurveda identifies man as an integral part of nature and stresses the necessity of maintaining complete harmony with all living and abiotic components of the surroundings or environment. In the case of knowledge pertaining to plants or animals, the term Vrikshayurveda (Ancient Science of Plant Life and Plant Care / Ayurvedic arboreal medicine) and Mrigayurveda (Ayurvedic veterinary medicine) are used respectively.

As India and many countries are on the anvil of organic revolution in farming sector, the practices mentioned in the Vrikshayurveda can be made useful to the farming community after conducting field level experiments and studies. Food products and other preparations produced using Vrikshayurvedic techniques could fetch a higher price if suitably branded and marketed nationally and internationally.