Ayurveda is an Indian traditional system of medicine. In present era, world is looking towards herbal medicine because of acceptability and safety. Medicinal plants constitute an effective source of Ayurvedic and other traditional system of medicines as well as modern medicine. In India, about 80% of the rural population depends on herbal medicines in primary health care level. A large percentage of plants used in herbal industries are subject of controversy. Non-availability of plants, poor understanding and parallel evolved knowledge systems are some of the reasons attributed to it. The existing practices of polynomial nomenclature system of Sanskrit, different perceptions in various communities, vernacular equivalents, all are cumulative factors for controversy, adulteration and substitution. “ Sandigdha Dravaya “ is a term used for that type of medicinal plants which are mentioned in Ayurvedic classics but their exact botanical source is not known. Adulterants and substitutes are the common practices in herbal raw material trade. Adulteration is a debasement of an article. The motives for intentional adulteration are normally commercial that which involves deterioration, admixture, sophistication, inferiority, spoilage and other unknown reasons. Substitution is a replacement of equivalent drugs in place of original drugs. The principles to select substitute drugs are based on similar Rasa, Guna, Virya, Vipaka and mainly the Karma. At present the adulteration and Substitution of the herbal drugs is the burning problem in herbal industry and in Ayurvedic practices. So it is necessary to develop reliable methodologies for correct identification, standardization and quality assurance of Ayurvedic drugs.
Part of the book: Natural Medicinal Plants