This simple fact

The country can reap rich benefits by large-scale cultivation of rare herbs like yarshagumba in the alpine region. At present, there are no laws regarding conservation and mass cultivation of herbs. And in the absence of a proper mechanism to regulate the trade, smuggling and illegal trading of Nepali herbs in the international market is thriving unabated. This not only deprives the country of the much-needed foreign reserves but also leaves the hundreds of people trained in traditional medicine jobless.

Likewise, many people in the alpine region who are familiar with local herbs could earn their living if the government promoted the traditional medicine sector. At a time when people around the world are waking upto the importance of traditional medicine, Nepal is missing a big opportunity by failing to exploit its rich natural endowments. Indeed, some of these herbs are so rare that they are not found anywhere else in the world. If more resources could be pumped into their research and their true medicinal value calculated, the possibilities of coming up with new medicines for many of the heretoforth incurable diseases and the resultant windfall are just huge. This will, in turn, help improve the livelihood of those living below the poverty line in the mountainous and hilly regions, by far the most backward areas in the country. Herbs are one of the rare gifts the nature has bestowed on this much-deprived country. It is indeed sad that those who matter have failed to realise this simple fact.