Less known medicinal plants were studied in Bhopal and Sehore districts, M.P. India to suggest appropriate strategies for their sustainable management. The study area was rich in medicinal plants but due to their extensive uses and habitat degradation, these were less available. An innovative approach has been developed to assess the status of certain less known medicinal plants among which Gardenia gummifera was one. The approach comprise of six categories and 25 parameters namely: habitat (5 parameters), ecology (3 parameters), biology (6 parameters), use/trade (3 parameters), collection (4 parameters), and legal and institutional (4 parameters). These were arrived after study of relevant literature, discussion with the knowledgeable persons and field situation in the study area. All the parameters have been ranked into three scoring levels namely: low, medium and high with scoring of 1, 2 and 4 marks respectively. The species was studied and ranked as vulnerable based on these parameters. The primary source of data was field observations on the selected species and interviewing the stakeholders’ that is, herbal practitioners, primary collectors, dealers and manufacturers. Attempts were made to know the degradation of natural habitats, biotic disturbances and exploitation. G. gummifera scored minimum marks (46%) which indicate its rareness in the area and over exploitation. Attempts have been made to suggest strategy for the conservation and sustainable utilization including training to build capacity of primary collectors.
Key words: Assessment, categories, parameters, threatened, medicinal plants, value addition.
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