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Chemical Vs Organic Cultivation of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants: the choice is clear

Author(s): Afaq Ahmad MALIK | Sanghmitra SURYAPANI | Javed AHMAD

Journal: International Journal of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
ISSN 2249-4340

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 5;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Active Constituents | Aromatic plants | Biofertilizers | Cultivation | Medicinal plants | Organic agriculture

Medicinal plants have been used since long by mankind against various infectious and non-infectious diseases because they contain natural bioactive components of therapeutic value. Medicinal plants are again in great demand in modern civilization to extract various natural products for human welfare. Plant natural products are important medicinal and flavour and fragrance compounds, produced in response to external stimuli such as nutritional changes, infection and competition. Many of the industrially and commercially used pharmaceuticals are products of secondary metabolism in microbial or plant systems. Many of these metabolites have complex structures that cannot be produced economically through total chemical synthesis. The production of natural products for consumer use or as scaffolds for more complex molecules has to rely upon extraction from plant materials, but the concentration of these metabolites in the plants is very low. Thus enhancement of the growth and bioactive agents of these plants is desirable. Methods have to be devised to increase the secondary metabolite production within the living factories i.e., plants. The production of secondary metabolites within the plants is under diverse physiological, biochemical, metabolic and genetic regulation and can be manipulated by the alteration in the growing conditions. Therefore, there is a need to bring these plants under cultivation, which is mainly constrained due to lack of suitable technology, which has led to low yield and poor quality.
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