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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51-65

Ethnography of the drug Safed - Musali in India : A review

Post-Graduate Department of Botany, S.S.V.P.S's L. Dr. P.R. Ghogrey Science College, Dhule -424 005, India

Correspondence Address:
D A Patil
Post-Graduate Department of Botany, S.S.V.P.S's L. Dr. P.R. Ghogrey Science College, Dhule -424 005
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The drug safed-musali' has always remained the subject of dispute and object of investigations. This paper evaluates comparatively its ethnomedicinal records as also those found in literature on the modern usage in Indian context alongwith the observations of the present author. The safedmusali belongs to the various species of two different well known liliaceous genera viz., Asparagus L. and Chlorophytum Ker-Gowl., and a least known orchidaceous genus Pachystoma Bl. It appears that the wide modern usage of safed-musali might have sprung from its ethnomedicinal leads in our country. The plant sources of its procurement although varied should be regarded only as surrogates for each other. The drug itself is a substitute for 'Salep' or 'Salep-misri'. In the light of present investigation, it is surveyed, reviewed and highlighted pertinently. The attempts to cultivate different species which are implicated as safed-musali need a fillip for the betterment of tribal people and Indian societies at large.

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