Genesis of I-AIM

I-AIM is a multi-disciplinary research, education and outreach arm of a public trust called Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT). FRLHT was founded in 1993 by Mr. Sam Pitroda and Mr.Darshan Shankar. Sam Pitroda continues to be the chairperson of the governing council of FRLHT.

In 2008, the FRLHT governing council resolved to subsume FRLHT initiatives developed during 1993-2008 into an Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine (IAIM) in order to execute a bold strategy for upscaling and diversifing FRLHT's education, research and outreach programs & to demonstrate an innovative institutional model for the promotion of Ayurveda in the new millennium.

Track record of FRLHT – I-AIM (1993 – 2010)

The multi-disciplinary track record of FRLHT – I-AIM over the period 1993- 2010, demonstrates out of the box thinking. Its growth in the last 17 years is evidence of dedication, hard work, perseverance and efficiency.

In 1993, FRLHT embarked on an ambitious program for Insitu Conservation of wild populations of medicinal plants. Today this program has grown into the largest medicinal plants conservation network of 108 forest parks in the entire tropical world. FRLHT is also a pioneer in Threat assessments of wild populations.

Conservation of medicinal plants

It expanded its scope in 1995, bringing in information technology, to start a unit on traditional medicine informatics, that has built up the most comprehensive databases on botany, geographical distribution, graphic images and traditional knowledge about medicinal plants of the country.


In 1996, work on the creation of a bio-cultural herbarium of the medicinal plants of India was initiated. This herbarium has gathered records of 80% of the medicinal plants used by the codified systems of medicine. It has been recognized by the Ministry of Environment and Forest and the National Biodiversity Authority as the National Herbarium for Medicinal Plants of India

Botanical Repository

In 1998 FRLHT launched a green health program of primary healthcare and public health in collaboration with 35 grass-root NGOs and a multi state network of around 260 taluka level folk healers associations, focused on health security needs of rural house holds.

Rural health security

In 2001, FRLHT established laboratories for phyto-chemistry and expanded in subsequent years to micro-biology, molecular biology, product development and recently to a bio-assays lab. These labs are engaged in pioneering work related to a development of quality standards, microbial purification of drinking water and nutraceuticals.

Scientific Research In 2003 it established a community owned medicinal plants rural enterprise called Gram Mooligai Company Ltd (GMCL) that is owned by farmers and rural women.

Rural livelihoods

In 2004 it started clinical services via a 20 bed Ayurveda hospital which today has expanded into a modern Ayurvedic 100 bed hospital with perhaps the best hospital infrastructure for an Ayurvedic facility, in the city of Bangalore.

Clinical services

In 2007 literary research was initiated with focus on cataloguing, and translating medical manuscripts.

Literary Research

In 2008-09 and 2009-10, FRLHT initiated doctoral programs in collaboration with Manipal and SASTRA Universities and developed a joint program on endogenous knowledge in collaboration with University of Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana and Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS), Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Educational Innovation

Throughout the 17 years of its existence (1993 – 2010) FRLHT has generated publications like, books, a popular magazine called Heritage Amruth, scientific articles, and “knowledge CD’s” on various aspects of India’s medical heritage. In 2010 it has launched a peer reviewed Journal on Ayurveda & integrative medicine. In 1998 & 2009, it organized two landmark international conferences and numerous workshops & seminars during 1993 – 2010.

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