Medicinal Plants and Phytomedicines



The use of herbs for disease treatment, primary health and prophylaxis; as health promoters; and in other forms is practised by 60 % of the population globally. Some countries use them heavily, whereas the others, mostly advanced countries, use them sparingly to the extent of 40 % or less. While the traditional medicines are derived from medicinal plants, minerals and organic matter, the herbal drugs and phytomedicines are prepared from medicinal plants only. The use of plants as a source of medicine has been inherited and is an important component of the health-care system in India. Public, academic and government interest in traditional medicines is growing exponentially due to the increased incidence of the adverse drug reactions and economic burden of the modern system of medicine earlier considered safe without much of side effects. In rural India, 70 % of the population is dependent on the traditional system of medicine, the Ayurveda. The interest in plant medicines is growing, and they are taking considerable market share in most of the developed countries. Medicinal plants are being used as single plant extract or as synthetic analogue of natural molecules. These are known as phytomedicines or phytopharmaceuticals, and it has been estimated that the world market for these product is more than Rupees 2000 crores. The present chapter reviews the medicinal activity of plants along with the major bioactive compounds in them. The cultivation and conservation of medicinal plants and their potential use as phytomedicines are also discussed.


Curcuma Longa Zingiber Officinale Withania Somnifera Nigella Sativa Piper Longum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.World Noni Research FoundationChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Defence Research and Development OrganisationNew DelhiIndia

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