Fondly called “The God’s Own Country”, various pulsating places in Kerala is a desired destination for tourists around the globe. Blessed with age old traditions, veritable natural beauty and friendly people, Kerala becomes a host to millions around the world. With its scenic backwaters and forests, dazzling art-forms and dreamy cuisines, Kerala is a destination that caters to the fascination of travelers from around the globe.
Spices in Kerala
A huge variety of spices are grown I Kerala and the history of this cultivation dates back to thousands of years. Kerala plays a monopoly over the spice cultivation in the international market and it is sometimes said the Western colonization in India, was the attempt of the West to control the spice trade from the state. In the last 10 years, international spice trade has grown to around 500,000 tones of spices and also of herbs of over 1500 million US dollars. It is no exaggeration that a major chunk of this trade is still from Kerala.
Herbs in Kerala
In the 5th century B.C, the Greek doctor Hippocrates listed out some 400 herbs for common usage. Dioscorides, in the first century A.D, wrote an herbal directory by using 600 plants which ultimately became the base for many later works. Herbs have been used for uncounted time for various purposes like healing the sick and infirm. Most of the people still continue to use herbs to benefit their bodies and believed that herbs helped to keep the body in tune with nature. Medicinal plants play a central role in safeguarding and enriching the lives of people.
Ayurveda contains a wide and crystal clear account of the various plant formulations and their correct composition. Ayurvedic medicines contain the food items such as jaggery, spices, oils sugar, milk, ghee, animal products, honey, fresh and dry fruits . But around 80-85 percent of the total raw materials used is plant based or some way 88 or other related to plants. The roots, tubers, bulbs, leaves, fruits, flowers and barks of wild vegetation, depending on their active principle contents, are used for the preparation of medicines for different ailments.
In Kerala before the advent of the colonial power the collection of herbs were bartered by the tribals to the plainsmen. Today these aromatic herbs are cultivated in abundance. Kerala is rich in its cultivation of herbs.
The Ayurvedic heritages prepare essential oils from the botanical liquid extracts of various plant materials that have numerous volatile compounds. Such oils contain the true essence of the plant it was collected from, therefore it is important to apply appropriate.