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close this bookMedicinal Plants: Rescuing a Global Heritage (WB, 1997, 80 p.)
close this folder1. The global background
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentEconomic issues
View the documentPolicy issues
View the documentRegulatory issues
View the documentSocial issues
View the documentConservation Issues
View the documentAgricultural issues
View the documentForestry issues
View the documentVeterinary issues
View the documentThe international research base


As was noted in the previous volume, plants are still an indispensable source of medicinal preparations, both preventative and curative. Despite immense progress in synthetic chemistry and biotechnology, hundreds of species are recognized as having therapeutic value. Many of those are commonly used to treat and prevent specific ailments and diseases.

While health providers in industrialized nations have reduced their dependence on the Plant Kingdom, the majority of developing nations still rely on herbal remedies. Medicinal plants constitute one of the important overlooked areas of international development. They represent a form of biodiversity with the potential to do much good, and not just in the field of healthcare. Indeed, the production and processing of medicinal plants offers the possibility of fundamentally upgrading the lives and well-being of peoples in rural regions. It can also help the environment and the protection of habitats and biodiversity of the developing world.