India is the largest dairy producer in the world (21% of global dairy production) on basis of 98% small scale dairy farmers with 2-5 cows, in majority women. Since 1998 NLF India, comprising of the Trans Disciplinary University (TDU) and GLOHMSIWA, have documented, assessed and promoted herbal formulations and Ethno Veterinary Practices (EVP) for the most important cattle diseases, including mastitis, calf diarrhea, repeat breeding and Foot & Mouth Disease (FMD). Together with National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) over 1100 veterinarians and 10.000 animal health personnel was trained in over 1000 Dairy Cooperative Societies in 9 states.
In 2022 special impact was achieved through the successful herbal treatment during a massive outbreak of Lumpy Skin Disease, a viral infection transmitted by biting insects without effective treatment from conventional veterinary medicine.

Other major achievements of 2022 include:

  • Large scale proof of with National Dairy Development Board (NDDB): over 800.000 cases documented, average clinical recovery over 80% for 24 diseases, 72% cost reduction for farmers, 88% reduction antibiotic residues in milk
  • Ministry of Agriculture strategy for reducing antibiotic use is now mainly on basis of herbs
  • EVP program are to be included into the mainstream veterinary curriculum
  • TDU is offering an EVP / One Health diploma course for veterinarians together with NDDB
  • TDU has started commercialization of three ready-made herbal products within India: (1) mastitis, (2) immunity
    booster and (3) tick-and lice control
  • On December 10, a one day conference on Pashtu Ayurveda / EVP was organized during the World Ayurveda Congress in Goa, with over 300 attendants
  • Increased collaboration with Indian Veterinary Council (IVC) and Karnataka government
  • Seven publications on EVP in 2022

NLF India team

NLF India is part of GLobal One Health Mission thru’ SIddayur International Wellness Approach (GLOHMSIWA) and directly collaborates with Trans Disciplinary University (TDU) in Bangalore as the Centre for Ethnoveterinary Science and Practice.

Prof. Balakrishnan Nair (MSc, Ph.D)

Emeritus professor, botanist at the University of Trans Disciplinary Health Sciences and Technology (TDU) in Bangalore. Head of NLF India – and part of NLF executive board. Dr. Nair has specialized in Ethno Veterinary Practices (EVP) which stood at the basis of the Centre for Ethno-Veterinary Science and Practices within TDU, encompassing the use of medicinal plants and other natural resources for livestock at national and international level

Prof. Punniamurthy (Ph.D)

Is Doctor veterinary medicine, ethno-pharmacologist and clinician specialized in the use of medicinal plants in livestock. Currently emeritus professor at Trans Disciplinary University TDU, Bangalore India. Initiated Together with Dr Nair author of numerous publications on Ethno Veterimary Practices (EVP) This team initiated the Ethno Veterinary Herbal Research Centre at Tamil Nadu Veterinary University (TANUVAS) as well as the unique EVP post-graduate diploma course for veterinarians. Prof. Punniamurthy is part of NLF technical committee.

Dr. Kumar (BAMS, MD)

Ayurveda Pharmacologists, expert in assessing the EVP based on Ayurveda principle. Within TDU team responsible for training farmers and veterinarians in Ayurveda practices and EVP

Prof. S. Sathesh Kumar (MVSc, Ph.D)

Head of department of Veterinary Gynecology and Obstetrics, in the Veterinary College and Research Institute (TANUVAS) in Thanjavur. Expert in In-vitro and In-vivo production of embryos in large ruminants and lab animals, Ethno-veterinary Practice in bovine infertility.

Dr. S.Sivaraman (MVSc, Ph.D)

Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, Veterinary College and Research Institute,Namakkal-637002. Expert in Comprehensive Clinical evaluation and Therapeutic strategies in Recumbent cows (Downer cow Syndrome) and Physical examination of cattle and various clinical Procedures in Farm Animal Practice.

Over the past years this team has trained more than 3.500 veterinarians and 50.000 dairy farmers on the use of medicinal plants instead of antibiotics for reducing mastitis and other common cattle diseases. Since 2018 there is a close collaboration with NDDB, the National Dairy Development Board, which is heading the Dr. Nair and Prof. Punniamurthy have produced many scientific articles on their work.

Dairy farming in India

The majority of the 140 million Indian rural households own two to four dairy cattle, goats, sheep or chicken and keep the cattle under zero-grazing housing systems. India’s dairy sector employs around 90 million people, of which 75% are women. India is the highest milk producing country in the world (15% of global dairy output) based on 98% of the farmers in smallholder farming system with crossbreed cattle and buffalo. This is based on the extensive system of 82.000 village level dairy cooperative societies with local milk collection centres, and 250 dairy plants handling around 20 million litres of milk a day. Almost all 108 tonnes of dairy produced annually by cattle and buffalo is consumed domestically.

Most farmers do not have affordable access to primary veterinary healthcare. Problems in dairy farming include: high incidence of mastitis and other diseases, high use of antibiotics by vets and farmers, free and uncontrolled sales of antibiotics in local shops, loss of local cattle breeds. Resource poor rural farmers often rely on ancestral folk herbal knowledge to deal with the diseases of their livestock. These Ethno-Veterinary Practices (EVP) are cost effective and environmentally sound idea for sustainable livestock production in the villages. The emerging trend in favor of herbal medicine is partly due to the issues related to the antimicrobial drug resistance and drug residues in foods (milk/meat/eggs) of animal origin. Veterinarians show increasing interest in the medicinal plants, employed in traditional systems. Qualified veterinary physicians around the world require orientation on the traditional folk veterinary medicine systems.

NLF activities in India

The focus of NLF in India is mainly on layer 3, the use of medicinal plants or ethno-veterinary practices (EVP). The other levels (animal management, breeding, quality control and marketing) are organized by the dairy cooperatives, organized under the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB)

Dr.Nair and Prof Punniamurty and colleagueshave expanded impressive training activities in the field of herbal medicine (EVP) to both veterinarians and farmers of major dairy cooperatives in the whole of India. Over the past decades the team has trained more than 1750 veterinarians, of which 61 completed the EVP post-graduate diploma course offered by TDU and TANUVAS. Over 30.000 dairy farmers and 516 Village Resource persons were trained on the use of medicinal plants instead of antibiotics for reducing mastitis and other common cattle diseases.

In this work, there is close cooperation with dairy cooperatives in 14 states, including AMUL, KMF, MILMA. Since 2018 there is a close collaboration with NDDB, the National Dairy Development Board, which is the national organizations of dairy cooperatives (Milk Unions) through which millions of poor Indian farmers sell their milk, with which several videos were made. They also work with the State Government Veterinary Department in the States of Sikkim, Haryana and Punjab.
Other organizations involved include BAIF, Goat Trust and Abbott, and universities LUVAS and KVASU. In Feb. 2020 a new project with BAMUL dairy was started for the training of farmers for the delivery of 15.000 kg of antibiotic- and aflatoxin residue free milk per day.


Dr. Nair and Prof. Punniamurthy have produced many scientific articles on their work

  1. Nair M.N.B. and N. Punyamurthy 2010 (Eds.) Proceeding of the International workshop on  Ethno-veterinary Practices at Thanjavur) – I-AIM, Bangalore (2010)
  2. Nair, M.N.B. 2005. Contemporary relevance of ethno-veterinary medical traditions of India. Proceedings on the national seminar Oct 17-18. FRLHT, Bangalore (2005)
  3. Nair, M N B.(Edt.) Contemporary relevance of Ethno-veterinary medical traditions of India. Proceeding of National workshop Oct. 17th& 18th 2005, Kediyur hotel, Udupi, Mangalore, Karnataka (2005)
  4. Nair, M.N.B. & Nathan Ganapathy 1998. Proceedings: Medicinal plants: Cure for the 21st Faculty of Forestry, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, (1998)
  5. Nair, M.N.B.& Mohd HamamiSahri, 1998. .Proceedings: Sustainable management of Non-wood forest products. Universiti Putra Malaysia Press, Serdang. (1998)
  1. Punnyamurthy N, Nair M N B. & Kumar. S.K  User Guide on Ethno-veterinary Practices. TDU, Bangalore. ISBN978-93-84208-03-05 (2016)
  2. Nair, M N B. N. Punnyamurthy. &Kumar.S.K Ethno-veterinary treatment Guide. TDU, Bangalore (Malayalam, 2016)
  3. S.K., M N B Nair & N. Punnyamurthy 2016. Primary health care of animals and medicinal plants. TDU, Bangalore (Kannada, 2016)
  4. Girish Kumar V. &M N B Nair 2016. Medicinal plants & primary health care TDU, Bangalore.ISBN:978-93-84208-02-08 (2016)