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CMPR | Arya Vaidya Sala Kottakkal

Centre for Medicinal Plants Research

An important milestone in our march for the attainment of higher objectives in the field of Medicinal Plants Research is the establishment of the Centre for Medicinal Plants Research at Kottakkal which was inaugurated by the then President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on September 25, 2003. The establishment of this Centre for advanced studies was made possible by the generous funding from Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Mumbai.

The work on CMPR was initiated by Arya Vaidya Sala in June, 2002 with a view to satisfying a long felt need for an Institution for conservation and study of medicinal plants used in Ayurveda. The medicinal plant resources are being used up in an unsustainable manner and as a stake holder, AVS felt the urgency for such an initiative.

In the background of the expanding global reach of herbal medicines, it has become necessary to study the medicinal plants in a multidisciplinary way - botanically, chemically, molecularly and pharmacologically. Such studies will be useful in establishing quality equivalence of substitutes. Phyto-Prospecting is another area of supreme importance, for isolation of new bioactive molecules and their commercialisation. New products and new formulations are all areas of great significance to healthcare industry. CMPR aims at research programmes in these areas for saving the medicinal plant resources, for saving the medicinal plants from bio-piracy and for healthcare.

The mandate of CMPR is to function as a pioneer institute in the area of research, conservation and popularisation of Ayurvedic medicinal plants.

CMPR - Thrust areas

  • Survey, collection, conservation and documentation of medicinal plants of Kerala and neighboring regions.
  • Resource mapping of rare, endangered and threatened medicinal plants.
  • Detailed investigations of crude drugs and their plant sources to establish the genuiness of the source and to evolve standards.
  • Botanical, Pharmacognostic, Phyto-chemical and pharmacological profiling of medicinal plants.
  • Molecular profiling of important medicinal plants.
  • Rapid tissue culture propagation of important and recalcitrant medicinal plants with a view to widen the resource base of Ayurvedic industry and also to repopulate the forest niches.
  • Analysis, extraction, identification, study and utilisation of the bioactive principles from medicinal plants.
  • Screening of germplasm of important medicinal plant species for locating superior chemotypes and genotypes.
  • Processing and value addition of medicinal plants for export.
  • Popularisation of medicinal plant cultivation on a large scale and the supply of genuine planting material for commercial cultivation to the people of the rural areas.
  • Establishing a data bank on the medicinal plants of Kerala.

The centre has established laboratories/facilities for the study of the following:

  • Plant Systematics & Genetic resources
  • Anatomy
  • Phytochemistry
  • Tissue culture
  • Extension activities

Plant Systematics and genetic resources

  • Survey and collection of Ayurvedic and other important medicinal, rare and endemic plants during the botanical explorations in the southern states of India.
  • Maintenance of a field germplasm repository of medicinal plants at two farm sites of AVS.
  • Enlargement of existing herbarium and raw drug museum.
  • Construction of an image library of medicinal plants as well as rare, red-listed and endemic plants.
  • Building up a database of medicinal plants using taxonomical, anatomical, phyto-chemical and other relevant data.

Drug Standardisation

  • Anatomical characterisation of controversial raw drugs used in Ayurvedic medicines to evolve standards for genuine source plant from the spurious ones.


  • Comparative chemical studies of raw drugs and their different source plants.
  • Chemical profiling of selected medicinal plants.

Crop Improvement & Biotechnology

  • Standardisation of micropropagation protocols for important and endangered medicinal plants.
  • Conservation of genetic resource of important and endangered medicinal plants in in-vitro gene bank.
  • Large scale multiplication of selected medicinal plants for the production of planting material.

Tissue culture work is initiated in important medicinal plants species, viz., Aegle marmelos, Celastrus paniculatus, Hemidesmus indicus, Kaempferia rotunda, K. Galanga, Trichosanthes cucumerina, Mucuna pruriens, Sarcostemma brevistigma, Acorus calamus, Saraca asoca, Costus speciosus, Cinnamomum camphora, Tinospora cordifolia, Alpinia galanga, A. Calcarata, Asparagus racemosus, Centella asiatica, Operaculina turpethum, Plumbago indica and Chlorophytum borivilianum.

Micropropagation protocols were achieved in A. marmelos, C. paniculatus, B. monnieri, H. indicus, K. rotunda, T. cucumerina, M. pruriens and A. calamus.

Trials have been initiated for medium term in vitro conservation.


Extension activities have commenced in a big way for the creation of general awareness among the public in various aspects of medicinal plants such as conservation, cultivation, evaluation, processing and product development.


CMPR has initiated work to bring out a series of short monographs on major medicinal plants for compiling, collating and preserving for posterity the information available so far on all important medicinal plants used in the Ayurvedic system. A popular newsletter on medicinal plants is also in its agenda.

For more details please visit the website

Vaidyaratnam P. S. Varier's
Arya Vaidya Sala, Head office
Kottakkal (P.O.),
Malappuram (Dist.),
Kerala – 676 503,

Tel: +91 0483 280 8000
Fax : 91 483 2742572
E-mail :

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