Medicinal & Aromatic Plants (MAPs)

Nature has endowed with nearly 7,000 species of plants of which 5 percent are endemic to . Most of these plants are said to have medicinal and aromatic properties. Subedi (2005) based on the analysis of 161 species concludes that many of the species are used for more than one purpose. Over 50% of plants are used primarily for medicinal purpose, which is followed by those for food (17%), essential oil (7%), plant fiber (6%) woods and crafts (5%), spice and flavor (4%), and dye (4%). The rest 7% are used for tonic, gum and resin, edible oil, broom, incense, soap making, etc.

Although the comprehensive assessment of economic value of these products (both timber and non-timber) has not yet been made, it is suggested that there is a potential for a multimillion industry from the forest products. For example, Edwards (1996) estimates that 10 to 15 thousand tons of NTFPs are harvested from the Middle and High Mountain belts of and the value of these NTFPs, which are almost all sold in , is US$ 8.6 million each year. Kanel (1999) estimates this at US $19 million. The Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation (MFSC) estimates a lost opportunity of about NRs 42 billion ($567 million) each year from the forest resources of (MFSC/World Bank draft). According to a survey more than 100 entrepreneurs along the east-west highway traded more than 100 NTFPs generating total sales of 1.5 billion Nepali Rupees (equivalent to US $26 million) in 1995 (Subedi 1997).  However, reliable data from any source are lacking because of the secretive nature of transaction, difficult terrain, and porous borders with the neighboring countries. Most of the NTFPs collected in pass through the Nepal-India border market through a time-tested network of legal as well as illegal routes (Aryal 1993). In addition, about 800 species of NTFPs are used locally to provide medicines, foods, oils, fibers, dyes, incense, building materials, agricultural implements, etc (Edward 1996).

According to an estimate, the value of the most economically important NTFPs in world trade totals about US $11 billion annually (Iqbal 1995). The WHO (2002) estimates that global sales of herbal products in 2000 totaled US $60 billion. Growth in the natural products market is in a range of 3% to 20% (Grunwald 1994), which is on average 3 to 4 times greater than the average national economic growth rate.

ANSAB has targeted for intervention 33 commercially traded MAPs, which accounts for the majority of the medicinal plants collection and trade in Nepal. Price information, resource management guidelines, fact sheets, business linkages and counseling services are available for these species, some online, some on demand:

Species Available Information
Amala (Phyllanthus emblica)* Management Booklet
Amalbed (Rheum auatrale)*
Atis (Delphinium himalayai)* Management Booklet
Barro (Terminalia bellirica)* Management Booklet
Bel (Aegle marmelos) Management Booklet
Bhutkesh (Selinum tenuifolium)*
Bikhjara*
Bojho (Acorus calamus)*
Chiraito (Swertia chirayita)* Information Sheet
Dhatelo Management Booklet
Guchhichyau (Morchella conica)* Information Sheet Management Booklet
Harro (Terminalia chebula)*
Kakarsingi (Pistacia chinensis)*
Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata) Management Booklet
Kurilo (Asparagus racemosus)* Management Booklet
Lokta Information Sheet Management Booklet
Majitho (Bubica cordifolia)* Information Sheet
Mentha (Mentha Arvensis) Management Booklet
Musale (Chlorophytum borivillanum) Management Booklet
Nirmasi (Delphinium himalayai)*
Padamchal (Reum australe)*
Pakhanbed (Bergenia ciliate)*
Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini) Management Booklet
Pipla (Piper longum)* Management Booklet
Ritha (Sapindus mukorossi)*
Sarpagandha (Rauvolfia serpentine) Management Booklet
Satuwa (Paris polyphylla)*
Seabuckthorn Management Booklet
Sikakai (Acacia tugata)* Management Booklet
Silajit (Rock exudates)*
Sugandhawal (Valeriana jatamansii)* Information Sheet Management Booklet
Yarshagumba Information Sheet

* Included in our monthly price list.