Herbs are the raw materials of Tibetan medicine and there is a very long-standing tradition in the use, the proper time of collection, the ways to prepare, and the assessment of the herbs in this ancient system of healing.
Tibetan amchis and pharmacists evaluate each individual plant because not all specimens of a certain medicinal herb have the same quality and power. Depending on that assessment, larger or smaller quantities of plants are needed to get the desired result. All medicines are a composition of many specific herbs and substitutions are not easily made. However, finding alternative plants that could be used as substitutes was something that Dr Trogawa was concerned with.
To know which plants are vulnerable, endangered, or close to extinction, detailed studies have to be made. Also, causes of scarcity should be investigated, such as environmental degradation and over-exploitation by non-expert plant gatherers which is an increasing problem in the Himalayas. It’s important to grow not only economically valuable plants but also those which are important and supportive for the total