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Aromatic Plants Cultivation and Utilization

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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Plants that produce and exude Aromatic substances, which are used in making perfumes, in cooking, and in the food, pharmaceutical, and liquor industries. Many aromatic plants are species of the Lauraceae, Umbelliferae, Myrtaceae, and Labiatae families. Many of them are also used for medicinal purposes. Aromatic plants are from a numerically large group of economically important plants.

Cultivation of aromatic species gives scope to improve the quality of the drugs. Specialty materials such as essential oils, pharmaceuticals, colorants, dyes, cosmetics and biocides are obtained from plants. Many species of aromatic plants are cultivated for such industrial uses, but most are still wild collected. The need for renewable sources of industrial products as well as the need to protect plant biodiversity creates an opportunity for farmers to produce such crops.

Aromatic plants possess odorous volatile substances which occur as essential oil, gum exudate, balsam and oleoresin in one or more parts, namely, root, wood, bark, stem, foliage, flower seed and fruit. The characteristic aroma is due to a variety of complex chemical compounds. The term essential oil is similar to fragrance or perfumes because these fragrances are oily in nature and they represent the essence or the active constituents of the plants. Essential oils and aroma chemicals constitute a major group of industrial products.

These plant materials continue to play positive roles in human life, as sources of modern pharmaceuticals to treat medical problems, as herbs and spices to tempt the palate, and in a multitude of other applications. Demand and trade for these plant materials initiated globalization that spread new ideas and new settlements along with native resentment.

India is rich in biodiversity and host of many medicinal and aromatic plants which are now being used for various ailments and as nutraceuticals. In India, two major scientific councils are working on medicinal and aromatic plants. One is Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants under CSIR which is looking at industry point of view and other is Directorate of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants under ICAR which is looking at farmers point of view.

The demand for aromatic plants is currently increasing in both developed and developing countries for various reasons. For some it would be the growing recognition that natural products have fewer or even no side effects; for others it would be their accessibility and affordable costs that would tip the scales. Aromatic plants are used as plants themselves or parts of plants or can be processed by distillation to become essential oils. They are used in pharmacy, cosmetology, perfumes and the food industry among others.

Under the mission by the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, 'Aroma and Phyto-Pharmaceutical Mission' launched to boost cultivation of aromatic crops keeping in view plight of farmers involved in traditional agriculture and their flight from rural areas due to climate change.

Our current volume of foreign trade in the perfumery material, essential oils and aromatic compounds is around Rs 65 million and this amount accounts for 1.6 per cent of the world trade. Some sixty-two types of essential oils come to the international market with a large and consistent demand. In today's world of consumer boom, the role of essential oils has increased many folds. The production and consumption of essential oils, because of their multipurpose application is increasing continuously. Essential oils have been used throughout the world in perfumery, the food industry, household industry, condiment industry, and in making sweets and beverages, as well as pharmaceuticals and these oils are very expensive.

The farmers could take advantage of attractive subsidies being offered by both the central and the state governments for growing aromatic plants. There is a growing demand today for plant-based medicines, health products, pharmaceuticals, food supplements, cosmetics etc. in Indian market. The purpose is to boost cultivation and value-addition of aromatic plants for supply to industries related to aroma business and to the traditional system of Indian medicine.

This book basically deals with cultivation of matricaria chamomilla, present agro production technology status of celery, cultivation of ocimum gratissimum linn. var   clocimum, the production and perfume potential of jasminum collections, chemical modification of turmeric oil to more value added products, biologically active compounds from turpentine oil, folk medicinal uses of indigenous aromatic plants in nepal , traditional uses of selected aromatic plants of bhutan and their cultivation prospects, blending aspects of perfumes with turpentine constituents, the chemistry of mint flavour, essential oils of cinnamomum species, citral containing cymbopogon species etc..

The aim of publishing this book is to provide multidisciplinary information on aromatic plants. The book covers method of cultivation and utilization of various aromatic plants. This is very useful book for farmers, technocrats, agriculture universities, libraries, new entrepreneurs etc.


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