Aromatic plants are placed in the medicinal plants category and collectively they are known as Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAP). These plants provide medicines and help in the preservation of health. The development of the scientific knowledge of these plant species opens new paths for their use in many facets of life (e.g., cosmetics, medicinal products, food and feed additives etc.). According to the World Health Organization 30% of the drugs sold worldwide contain compounds derived from plant materials which include more than 21,000 taxa. These plants are widely distributed globally including South and South East Asia. In India more than 7,500 species are used in ethnomedicines, which is half of country’s Indian native plant species. China has around 6,000 species in use that have medicinal properties. In Africa over 5,000 plant species are used for medicinal purpose. In Europe at least 2000 MAP are being used and two-thirds (1200–1300) are native to Europe. Most of these plants are still collected in the wild. These aromatic plants are distributed throughout the whole world and can be classified according to their cultivation into different climatic zones of the world like tropical, equatorial, temperate and cold. The chemical properties/active ingredients of the same species of a plant differ in different climatic zones due to the change in the micro and macro environment of the plant.
Last modified: May 25, 2020