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Posted by Susan Sharma on February 06, 2008

 

Herbs from Forests

Converting traditional medicinal knowledge into fortunes—this is what a group of women in a remote village in Chhattisgarh are doing. In the sleepy village of Donga-nala in Korba district, about 160 km from the state capital, Raipur, these women run a unit for making medicines from herbs from surrounding forests.

In just a year, they have earned Rs 15 lakh. From being impoverished agricultural labourers, they have become prosperous entrepreneurs.

After sussing out demand, the group started preparing 30 products, of which medicines for cold, diabetes, joint pains and indigestion, and herbal products such as tea, facepacks, toothpaste, honey and chyawanprash are much in demand. “The compositions are certified by a registered ayurvedic practitioner and approved by a government lab,” says Patel. The group’s yagna products are also in demand—selling up to 1,100 kg a month, fetching about Rs 75,000. “We are self-sufficient now,” says Uma Yadav, secretary of the Self Help Group.


Read the full story at
http://www.downtoearth.org.in/cover_nl.asp?mode=6

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