Raw drug repository coming up at National Institute of Siddha

It will serve as a library and museum to store database

A Regional Raw Drug Repository (RRDR) for Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicines for the southern plateau region is being set up at the National Institute of Siddha, Chennai. A five-year project, the repository will serve as a one-stop library for raw drugs available in this part of the country.

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH and Minister of State for Defence Shripad Yesso Naik inaugurated the RRDR through a virtual platform on Tuesday. The establishment of RRDRs was a component of the Union government’s National AYUSH Mission. The Ministry of AYUSH, through the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), has initiated the establishment of the National Raw Drug Repository and Regional Raw Drug Repositories.

As a part of this, the NMPB has identified the National Institute of Siddha (NIS) as the lead institute, with the Regional Research Institute of Unani Medicine (RRIUM), Chennai, and Siddha Central Research Institute (SCRI), Chennai, as the collaborating institutes. This RRDR would be involved in the collection, documentation and authentication of raw drugs gathered largely from the respective agro-climatic region, says a press release.

‘Library-cum-museum’

“This repository will serve as a library-cum-museum and house database of raw drugs of Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha in the southern region. Take ‘tulsi’ for instance. For a complete study of ‘tulsi’, we will travel and collect ‘tulsi’ from various areas, study the biochemical ingredients, structure and other details. This repository will provide A to Z details of a drug, comprising all scientific data, under one roof,” National Institute of Siddha Director R. Meenakumari said.

She added: “In the last three months, we have collected 30 to 40 raw drugs, and are going to collect samples of 500 more raw drugs for this repository. This will then be standardised, while DNA and fingerprinting will be done and monograph readied. The repository includes a virtual library. Researchers will be able to do multi-disciplinary studies with the database available at the repository.”

She will head the project as principal investigator, while Zaheer Ahmed, head of institute, RRIUM, and Satyarajeswaran, director in-charge, SCRI, RRDR (southern plateau), will be the co-investigators.

Though most of the raw drugs are commonly available, there is a lack of scientific documentation that makes research on these medicines difficult.

Easy availability of authentic scientific data of raw drugs will promote research on the medicines belonging to the AYUSH system, the release said. The RRDR will not only act as a collection centre of raw drugs available and used in the southern region but also as an accredited reference library for authentication of raw drugs and establishment of standard protocols and keys for authentication of raw drugs used in herbal industries.

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