|Medicinal Plants: An Expanding Role in Development (World Bank, 1996, 32 pages)|
In the past a number of definitions for the term medicinal plant have been offered. and Soejarto (1991) imply that it is only when medicinal properties are proven by Western research should a species be labeled a "'medicinal plant." Fellows (1991), on the other hand, suggests that the term indicates merely a species known to beneficially modulate the physiology of sick mammals, and that has been used by mankind.
For present purposes, we are employing the following definition:
Medicinal plants are those that are commonly used in treating and preventing specific ailments and diseases, and that are generally considered to play a beneficial role in health care.