Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 389–406 | Cite as

Mainstreaming local health through herbal gardens in India: a tool to enhance women active agency and primary health care?



In the last few years, an increasing attention has been given to home herbal gardens, especially due to a revived interest in food security and sustainable development. The uses of home herbal gardens and their role in the livelihoods of rural poor uses have been analyzed in the literature. Despite this, few studies focus on the role of home gardens for primary health care and their relevance for the household and women’s health. In addition, any analysis has been carried out on the socioeconomic values of home herbal gardens in respect of the medicinal plants. This article wants to bridge this gap by analyzing the role of herbal gardens in the local livelihoods in rural India (Tamil Nadu state). The article also highlights their impact in terms of health for the local communities, with a special focus on poor rural women. Final conclusions on the relevance of home herbal gardens for primary health care and socioeconomic development of lower castes in India are drawn.


Home herbal gardens India Rural areas Health Socioeconomic outcomes 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of New BrunswickFrederictonCanada

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