2019, Vol. 3 Issue 3, Part APages: 40-44
Ancient Indian rishi’s (Sages) knowledge of botany and medicinal plants since Vedic period was much older than the period of Theophrastus, A case study-who was the actual father of botany?
Acharya Balkrishna, Rajesh Kumar Mishra, Anupam Srivastava, Bhasker Joshi, Ramakant Marde and Uday Bhan Prajapati
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In India, the study of Taxonomical rank classification and naming of plants in Sanskrit language is much older than that of Latin and Greek languages and the study dates back to Vedic period from 2500 BC to 600 BC. In Rigveda, three groups of plants have been recognised, viz
. trees (Briksha), herbs (Osadhi) and creepers (Virudh). These are further classified into flowering, non-flowering, fruit bearing and fruitless plants. Atharva Veda also contains descriptions of many medicinal plants. In the ancient Indian texts, the nomenclature of the plants was generally based on the plant & # 39;s botanical characters and their therapeutic properties. In Rajanighantu, much importance has been given for nomenclature of plants for which seven factors have been described. In Europe botanical nomenclature has a long history from Theophrastus (c. 370-287 BC), Dioscorides (c. 40-90 AD) to Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD).
From Mediaeval times, Latin became the universal scientific language (lingua franca) in Europe. With the advancement of time more and more number of plants were explored which were somewhat similar morphologically but varying from each other in one or the other way.
Thus, a need of keen morphological description of plants aroused and modern science provided a number of tactics to identify and classify the available flora. So, the methods of nomenclature witnessed a sea change from the ancient times till today’s 21st century. So, the present work aims to discuss about the classification of plants is older than the period of the Theophrastus.