Indian Plants of Commercial Value


Book: Indian Plants of Commercial Value
Author: Dr. M.I.H. Farooqi,                                                                              
ISBN - 978-81-923414-3-9
Pages, 272
Year: 2013 (First Edition)
Price: Rs. 300
Publishers: Sidrah Publishers, Lucknow -
C - 3 / 2, Shahid Apartments,  Chakarvarti Road,
Golaganj, Lucknow - 226 018, India
Tel.: 0522-2610683, Mobile: +919839901066
Email :;

Dr S.K. Jain

The title of the present book by Dr. M.I.H. Farooqi takes my thoughts back to over a century ago, when in 1908 the monumental work ‘Commercial Products of India’ by Sir George Watt was published. That book was in many ways an abridged version of Watt’s own  earlier (1889-93) six volume work  Dictionary  of  Economic Products of India (DEP).  

Soon after independence, the Government of  India very rightly decided to get Watt’s DEP not only updated to incorporate developments during previous six decades, but also to enlarge the scope of the work from merely plants to all natural resources (such as animals and mineral) under  the wider title ‘Wealth of India’ (1948-76, vols. 1-11). Though this voluminous and useful work has undergone some revision yet its price and bulk limit its market among individuals.

Dr. Farooqi’s present book provides a good solution and contains all that is needed by a grower, trader, exporter, importer and also a scholar/student, particularly from Ayurvedic or Unani colleges.

The book has 12 chapters namely, Spices, Medicinal Plants, Fatty Oils, Aromatic Oils, Vegetables, Fruits, Dyes, Gums and Resins, Timbers, Fibres, Starches, and Cereals. In all, the book covers over 500 plants or plant products. The plants under each category are arranged alphabetically by internationally accepted scientific names of the plants. Popular names in English, Hindustani as well as trade names are given followed by names in major world languages/countries. The chemical constituents, commercial use, trade, brief botanical description and availability in India (natural or planted) are given.

To facilitate access to required plant, a consolidated index to scientific, trade and more common vernacular names is provided. A very useful aspect of the book is that it also offers the latest accepted botanical names of the plants.

The sequence of chapters starting from an apparently less important group of spices, and ending with the most important group in our staple diet, the Cereals, may surprise some. The good justification is the criterion of commercial value and volume in export / import trade.

Considering the mine of information in the book. the price of the book is very tempting.

The Author Dr. M.I.H. Farooqi has very well utilized the resources of  libraries, Internet as also his own long research experience on economic plants. He deserves congratulations.

Undoubtedly, the book will soon find place in many libraries as also in personal collections of hundreds of people.

It is important to note that Dr Farooqi is the author of some internationally acclaimed books like Plants of the Qur’an, Medicinal Plants in the Traditions of Prophet, and Dictionary of Indian Gums & Resins

The reviewer, Dr S.K. Jain, is Director (Retd.), Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata and INSA Hon. Scientist

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 July 2013 on page no. 21

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