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Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

Medicinal and aromatic plants have been used in the country for a long time for their medicinal properties. About 2,000 native plant species have curative properties and 1,300 species are known for their aroma and flavour. The Indian systems of medicines, popularly known as Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha drugs are of great demand in the country. There is already a spurt in demand for plant-based drugs and lately many such native species of medicinal values are being brought under systematic cultivation.

India has been considered as a treasure house of valuable medicinal and aromatic plant species. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (External website that opens in a new window), Government of India have identified and documented over 9,500 plant species considering their importance in the pharmaceutical industry. Out of these, about 65 plants have large and consistent demand in world trade. India however produces only limited quantities of these materials. In terms of market share in production value, India holds only the 6th place with a mere 7 per cent share. On the contrary, we are still importing about 10 types of essential oils to the tune of 8,000 tonnes per annum.

Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on: 07-01-2011