Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Research in the 21st Century

Thanks to the huge potential in the Medicinal and Aromatic plant industry, MAP Expo offers the opportunity to enhance and integrate links in the supply chain. Through our matchmaking program, companies can find the - for them - most relevant buyers and suppliers. The use of medicinal plants is as old the history of manhood. Archaeological sites show plants for healing purposes as for example the Lascaux caves in France, which are between 15,000 and 27,000 years old . Even more, the history of herbal medicine seems to have its very first roots in the animal kingdom. Fascinating evidence exists for self-medication among non-human primates. Chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas swallow specific leaves and chew bitter piths, if they suffer from parasite infections. It has been speculated that ancient shamans and healers learned from apes by observing them while they were taking medicinal plants. These plants were then taken by local human populations for medical purposes . The ancient knowledge on the beneficial activity of some plants was a privilege of shamans and healers and give reason to establish traditional medicines worldwide. While many forms of traditional medicines were handed down orally from generation to generation for millennia , complex forms with written textbooks and education systems also developed, e.g. in traditional Chinese medicine, Japanese Kampo medicine, or Ayurveda. (more…)

8 popular medicinal plants you must know about

In an era of advanced medical science and pills, not many people have put their faith on Ayurveda. The ancient medical science has looked after mankind for centuries. Hence, it is definitely worth a shot. Many think that medicinal plants are hard to find and can only be found in far-off forests or mountains. The advent of chemically synthesized drugs made the home pharmacy disappear with time. The knowledge of common remedies for minor ailments also nosedived. However, thanks to globalisation and the help of Internet, more and more people are getting inclined towards Ayurveda. Research facilities across the world are trying their best to analyse the characteristics of easily available plants and find remedies for more critical diseases from their extracts. This is now being termed as the renaissance of herbal medicine. Much about this resurfacing is dependent on self-education of every individual. (more…)

Medicinal and aromatic plants trade programme

Human well-being in both rural and urban areas depends on a diverse array of wild plant products from an even more diverse array of wild plant species. This includes species used for their medicinal and aromatic properties. An estimated 50,000–70,000 medicinal and aromatic species are harvested from the wild, with the annual global export value of pharmaceutical plants alone being over USD2.2 billion in 2011. Use and trade of these plant-based pharmaceuticals and “botanicals”, as medicinal and aromatic plants are sometimes called, underpin both traditional and “modern” healthcare systems. These plants also flavour our food and drinks, perfume and give colour to beauty products and provide incense used by many religious traditions. Although accurate data are lacking, available information indicates that trade is increasing.   (more…)

Natural products derived from plants as a source of drugs

Nature, the master of craftsman of molecules created almost an inexhaustible array of molecular entities. It stands as an infinite resource for drug development, novel chemotypes and pharmacophores, and scaffolds for amplification into efficacious drugs for a multitude of disease indications and other valuable bioactive agents. Since time immemorial, natural products have been the backbone of traditional system of healing throughout the globe, and have also been an integral part of history and culture. Although the use of bioactive natural products as herbal drug preparations dates back hundreds, even thousands, of years ago, their application as isolated and characterized compounds to modern drug discovery and development started only in the 19th century. (more…)

Ayurvedic Medicine: In Depth

Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. It originated in India more than 3,000 years ago and remains one of the country’s traditional health care systems. Its concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices. India’s government and other institutes throughout the world support clinical and laboratory research on Ayurvedic medicine, within the context of the Eastern belief system. But Ayurvedic medicine isn’t widely studied as part of conventional (Western) medicine. This fact sheet provides a general overview of Ayurvedic medicine and suggests sources for additional information (more…)