The Ethno Medicinal Forest
is an important component of the Pitchandikulam Medicinal Plant
Conservation Park which is an area of 50 acres within the green
belt of the Auroville International Community.
Prior to the first planting
in 1973 the area was a dry eroded plateau the main vegetation being
scattered palmyra trees. Erosion control, watershed management and
extensive reforestation work has continued during the last 26 years.
The area has evolved into
a self generating forest ecosystem with more than 600 species of
plants, a sanctuary for a wide range of fauna. In 1992 Pitchandikulam
began its collaboration with the Foundation for Revitalisation of
Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) and has since developed training,
documentation and demonstration programs to help with the reestablishment
of the TDEF and Local Health Traditions of the region
Some features of the
Stone signages show
the different elements of the ecosystem and explain the medicinal
uses of individual species and also groups of plants that cure
poisonous bites, bone fractures, headaches and stomach problems.
Seed collection in
Auroville sanctuaries, remnant forests and sacred groves with
local people particularly traditional healers.
Many of the TDEF species
have not been propagated in nurseries before. Various treatments
are tried in order to develop standard methods of germination
for more than 180 species grown in Pitchandikulam..
Live hedges of more
than 50 species are grown around the EMF forming a protective,
productive edge and providing a fauna habitat and corridor.
Rare, Endangered or
Threatened (RET) species from the Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest
and other floristic zones of south India are represented
in the EMF
Live Hedge - 57
Demo garden –
RET Species –