XINING, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese researchers have spent six years traversing the Sanjiangyuan nature reserve, the source of China's three major rivers, to conduct a field study of wild herbs.
The Qinghai Provincial Bureau of Science and Technology said in a release Wednesday that researchers have taken more than 1,000 wild herb specimens and captured 100,000 digital photos during the study.
Sitting on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Sanjiangyuan is the source of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers. It is believed to be a natural gene bank of wild herbs that can be used as medicine against human diseases.
However, Sanjiangyuan is ecologically vulnerable. Since 2005, Qinghai province has moved 50,000 Tibetan herders out of the 150,000-square-km region to help rehabilitate the region's natural vitality.
During the wild herb study, researchers from Qinghai Wild Animal and Plant Association and a Tibetan drug company have identified and recorded 575 varieties of medicinal herbs in the area, six of which had never been known.
The bureau said in its evaluation report that the research has led to a clear classification of the herbs' medicinal effects, characters and geological distribution.