Forest deptt seizes rare herb in Doda

A rare medicinal herb worth over Rs 3 lakhs was seized while it was being smuggled from Doda district, a forest official said Sunday.

During an operation on Saturday night at Padri meadow on interstate Bhaderwah-Chamba road, connecting Doda with neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, 500 kg of ‘Bergenia Ciliata’ locally known as ‘Zakhm-e-Hayat’ was seized, a senior forest department official said.

He said the alleged smugglers managed to escape.

Divisional Forest Officer in Bhaderwah Chander Shekar said the recovery is worth Rs 3.50 lakh in local market and the endangered herb was being illegally transported to the Chamba town of Himachal Pradesh on mules.

The smugglers hail from Thanhala village and will be booked for violation of Section 6 of Jammu and Kashmir Forest Act 1987, he said.

The rare herb is found in the altitude of 2,500 to 3,800 meter in Himalayan region. Its root is believed to be used to treat kidney stones, crystalluria and renal failure, vertigo and headache, the official said. The plant, reportedly is in high demand in China and Nepal and also acts as astringent, tonic and has anti-inflammatory effect and is applied as poultice for stiff joints, boils, abscesses and skin infections.