Review on scope and importance of medicinal and aromatic crops
G Chandrashekhar, K Prabhavathi
Medicinal and aromatic plants play a significant role in the life of people and are present in innumerable forms. In Indian traditions, all the plants in this earth are considered as medicinal. Medicinal plants have played a significant role in various ancient traditional systems of medication such as the Chinese, Ayurvedic, Unani, and their secondaries in many Asian countries. They also generate income to the people of many Asian countries who earn their livelihood from selling collected materials from the forest, or by cultivating on their farms. However, a simplest definition of the medicinal plant would be “Medicinal plants are those plants which are used in official and various traditional systems of medicines throughout the world”. Medicinal plants are plants that provide people with medicines - to prevent disease, maintain health or cure ailments. In one form or another, they benefit virtually everyone on earth. No exact definition of Medicinal Plant is possible. There are related issues, such as for nutrition, toiletry, body care, incense and ritual healing. Aromatic plants are a special class of plants used for their aroma and flavour. Many of them are exclusively used also for medicinal purposes in aromatherapy as well as in various systems of medicine. Similarly a number of medicinal plants also produce essential oils as well as being used for perfumery. Medicinal plants still continue to make important contributions to healthcare and livelihoods. Nearly 80% of the world population use traditional medicine, mainly medicinal plants, to cure illnesses and ailments.