Dravyaguna vigyan is a branch of Ayurveda which deals with the medicinal properties of medicinal plants. It includes all the macroscopic and microscopic structures of plants. The knowledge of these medicinal properties is useful in clinical practices also. Use of Ayurvedic medicines is increasing day by day, even in the first world countries. To suffice this need increasing the efficacy of the medicines is the need of the hour. This can be only possible if we study the core of that process, i.e. the individual single herbs. Which is made possible by Dravyaguna Vigyan.
Emerging global demand towards herbal medicine has given a lot of thrust to have a centre of excellence of herbal medicine that cater not only to Ayurveda and its practice but also sub-serve the purpose of R&D and standardization needs of Ayurveda Herbal products.
Department of Dravyaguna in SSAM provides facilities to BAMS and PG students – Dravyaguna lab, Dravyaguna Museum, Herbal garden situated on a 2 acre land, well equipped analytical laboratory with advanced instruments which are used in standardization of Herbal Medicines, The department is expected to help boosting R&D in Ayurveda and showcase the strength of Ayurveda to the world.
The departmental museum is where the students get hands on experience of the dry and wet specimens. There are 252 dry and 73 wet specimens in the departmental museum. These specimens are categorized according to the gana mentioned in Ayurveda. This helps the students to correctly identify and categorize the specimens in-accord with the ganas.
Ayurveda uses medicines from all aspects of the nature, be it tree. shrub, herb, climbers, creepers, etc. The main aim of establishing a museum is to enlighten the students regarding the appropriate part of the said herb which is used as medicine. Specimens from the museum are used in practical’s to help the students identify the specimen without the name tag.
The Department boasts of a Herbal garden spread is over a 2 acre area. The garden was enhanced to include maximum herbs of the syllabus of UG as well as the PG students.
Identification of the specimens in their natural form is a must for students in order to gain first hand knowledge of the plants.
The departmental herbal garden is equipped with over 100 specimens maintained by an in-house gardener 24 by 7. Each plant is identified by a plaque attached near the plant. Continuous observation of the morphology and the name plaque helps in memorizing the features of a plant. Thus helping in the identification of the same in its natural habitat.
Hands-on activities support the development of practical skills, and help to shape students’ understanding of scientific concepts and phenomena.The practical hall of the Dravyaguna department provides the students with the very basic requirement, i.e. a very long L-shaped platform with wash basins at regular intervals. This makes it possible to conduct practicals and experiments of a large group with precision.
Availibility of equipments like microscopes, petri dishes, chemicals, reagents, dyes, scalpels, etc has never been an issue with the department. Whatever replenishments are required for the students are dealt with utmost punctuality. Conduction of practicals is done by the experienced teaching staff of the department.
Students from both the UG and PG faculties have a decided time table and a designated teacher to help the students perform the practicals with precision. Which helps them in overcoming their fear of performing the same in their finals.
The departmental store and the herbal garden facilitates the availability of wet and dry specimens for practicals. This cordial environment coupled with the stock reserves of the department elevates the precision of performance of the student.
Living in the digital era, charts and graphs, especially charts, are the most important tools to represent data and developing trend in various aspects. A very important aspect of any department is the display of charts done.
To aid the practicals the Department of Dravyaguna SSAM has undertaken this activity on a very robust module. In the daily running of the department it isn’t feasible always to obtain reference from books for very meager opinions. For the same charts come very handy.
Charts are just a gist of the matter mentioned regarding the topic in reference books from which we can make out the entire text. There are in total 88 charts in the Department of Dravyaguna of SSAM. Charts displaying the TS and LS of a specimen helps the students performing the same practical to decide whether the result they have managed to obtain is in sync with the actual image provided in the reference books.
There are also charts mentioning the various research protocols undertaken by the PG students and also mentioning morphology of various plants. Various topics of Ayurveda pertaining to Dravyaguna are made simpler to understand by making charts of them. Many of these charts are prepared by students from UG as well as the PG faculties.
Making a chart helps us in understanding the topic very clearly, as we read the entire text, understand it and then assimilate it in a very precise ordered display design. These display of charts helps both the students as well as the teachers. Students benefit in memorizing the concepts quickly and teachers use these charts as aids to help the students understand the topic easily.
Department of Dravyaguna of SSAM is blessed to have a very experienced teaching staff at its helm. Accounting Head of Department and Professors, Assistant Professors there are in total 4 staff members of the department.
Having done their MD in Dravyaguna Vigyan plays a very pivotal role in dealing with the subject. Possessing a cumulative teaching experience of above 40 years together helps in proper channeling of the knowledge and handling of the students’ mannerisms.
Teaching experience of the staff plays a very important factor in student management. Understanding the psyche and counseling of a student is all it needs to mould him/her accordingly.
Helpful nature coupled with the baggage of teaching methods makes it even simpler for the students to approach the teachers. Practicals and in-department classes even further enhance this relation.
Learning dravyaguna comes with its study tours, conducted for 2nd year UG students and all PG students. These tours are the rocks on which the passion towards the subject is ignited. Teachers of the Department of Dravyaguna SSAM take this as an opportunity to converse with the students on these tours and make learning an exciting experience.
Dravyaguna learning is well done only by actually studying the herbs in their natural habitat. This helps us to understand the need for the particular morphology of the plant. To develop these skill sets the students of UG are compulsorily taken for a visit to a botanical garden of a different habitat, accompanied by the teachers of the Department of Dravyaguna.
Students of PG possess a different routine for gaining a deeper knowledge of the subject. They are made to visit flora of the habitat the college is situated and even arrange visits to completely different habitats. Along with the visits the PG students are also made aware regarding the conservation of species. For the same they are made to bring specimens from other habitats and try and cultivate them in their premises.
The departmental herbal garden makes it possible for the students to carry out this activity in a very intricate manner. Department also organizes visits to Pharmacies, Animal house, Agriculture college, Tissue culture lab for the PG students every year to make them realize the need of study of Dravyaguna in all aspects of society.
The department possesses its own in-departmental library. All the books regarding the study matter of UG and PG are available in the departmental library.
Books of Ayurvedic text as well as the modern aspects such as pharmacology, pharmaceutics, phytology, etc. are all available here. Also there are innumerable other reference books pertaining to Dravyaguna in the library.