Guru Angad Dev University for Veterinary and Animal Sciences (GADVASU) here is tapping the medicinal value of herbs in Punjab’s Kandi region. The region comprises sub-tropical areas in the Shivalik foothills, primarily the districts of Hoshiarpur, Pathankot and Rupnagar.
By using herbs from the Hoshiarpur area, the university has successfully developed two important drugs for animals—a herbal dip to prevent bovine mastitis and a herbal ointment for wounds. Clinical and field trials for these have already been carried out by the university.
GADVASU hasn’t named these drugs yet.
Vice-chancellor V K Taneja said mastitis in animals led to a loss of about Rs 500 crore a year to Punjab’s livestock sector, as it reduced milk production. In India, mastitis-linked losses stand at about Rs 7,500 crore a year.
Taneja said the herbal dip, recommended by World Health Organization, was cheaper than other drugs already available in this category. Comparative trial of the herbal ointment with other commercial herbal drugs in the market showed the recovery times for these were almost similar.
“The Kandi area is a very rich genetic resource of medicinal and aromatic crops. A few of these have unique anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities. Other than providing cheaper solutions to livestock owners, the development of these herbal drugs will provide a market to grow the herbs commercially,” Taneja told Business Standard. “The chemical production of these herbs can enhance farmers’ incomes by cultivating plants with medicinal values, plants that need minimal use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.”
The university is also conducting trials on a few other herbal drugs that have anti-parasitic and fly-repellent qualities.
Development of drugs from herbs in the Kandi region, started about seven months ago, Taneja’s brainchild.