Ayurveda, the 'Science of Life' is a system of treatment for promoting health, prevention and curing of illnesses. In Sri Lanka, Ayurvedic and traditional physicians treat patients success-fully using herbs and other natural resources. Some of the herbs used to prepare medicines are considered as weeds by agriculturists. They generally advise farmers to destroy these weeds in order to obtain a better cash-crop harvest, with out realizing the medicinal value and uses of these plants. Though many of the farmers have quite a good knowledge on medicinal value of these herbs, in order to get a good harvest from their cultivation, they generaly destroy these plants. Some of the farmers do not have any knowledge on medicinal value of weeds. Aim of this study is to make the society aware of medicinal values of many weeds which grow natu-rally, without any effort or outlay of money from the farmers, and to protect and propagate planned cultivation of such weeds. This would make many highly useful medicinal plants freely available to the public while providing a source of an additional income to the farmers. In the long run, with proper planning and support, the growing and marketing of medicinal herbs which are currently categorized as weeds could become a very good source of income to the country, while providing an additional, easily available source of natural medicines to the populace. More over such herbs could be made use to serve as live ground covers in cultivated fields. Possible hazards of herbicides could also be minimized with exploitation of such weeds.
Keywords: weeds; medicinal uses
Tropical Agricultural Research & Extension Vol.10 2007 11-16