Dehradun: High quality herb Arnebia (Rattan Jot) which has remained a trademark of Afghanistan for past many decades is no longer alien to the Indian territory.

The scientists at the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) have discovered two new varieties of the herb in Ladakh and Punjab.

Although the herb grows in the Himalayan region, but its quality is not up to the mark. The hair dye, hair tonic and spices manufacturing companies sell their products in the name of this low quality herb but the recent discovery can bring about a major revolution in these sectors.

About 25 varieties of arnebia are found in specific parts of the world of which 6 varieties are found in India alone. However, only Afghanistan has the distinction of producing the best quality of arnebia in the world.

In a recent survey by the Botanical Survey of India, Dr SK Srivastava and senior scientist Dr Ambrish Kumar have discovered two new varieties: arnebia euchroma grandis in Ladakh and arnebia linearifolia in Hoshiarpur, of which euchroma grandis, the best quality herb is found only in Afghanistan.

However, the variety found in Punjab has its own distinct features.

According to the scientists, if the government initiates some efforts in boosting growth of the new varieties of arnebia, better quality of products like hair tonic, hair dye and spices can be made available in the markets for the people and can attract the international companies too in vesting in the good quality herb.

It is to be noted, arnebia is also found in Afghanistan, North Africa, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan.