Importance of Medicinal Plants
Medicinal and Aromatic plants form a numerically large group of economically important plants which provide basic raw materials for medicines, perfumes, flavors and cosmetics. These plants and their products not only serve as valuable source of income for small holders and entrepreneurs but also help the country to earn valuable foreign exchange by way of export.
Medicinal plants are those plants which are rich in secondary -metabolites and arc potential source of drugs. These secondary metabolites includes alkoloids, glycosides, coumarins, flavonides, steroids etc.
1. India is one of the few countries where almost all the known medicinal plants can be cultivated in some part of the country or the other. Among various plants there is great demand in the country and abroad are as opium poppy, tropane alkaloid bearing plants, sapogenin bearing yams, senna, cinchona and ipecae.
2. The ancient Indian system of medicine is mainly plant based matesia medica making use of most of our native plants. It catres the needs of rural population of our country.
3. ISM (Indian System of Medicine) offers most appropriate or first line theorapy against many diseases like jaundice, asthama, diabetes etc.
4. India has about 2,000 species of medicinal plants and a vast geographical area with high production potential and varied agroclirnatical conditions.
5. India is already a major exporter of medicinal plants. It is estimated that Rs, 86 crores worth of raw materials and drug from medicinal plants are exported from India.