Medicinal Plants

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INTRODUCTION

Those plants that have healing properties are termed as medicinal plants or herbs. The plant kingdom is divided into several groups, but the botanical classification is beyond the scope of this section. However, medicinal plants can be simply classified as trees, shrubs, woody perennials, annuals and biennials, and climbers. (http://eatt1.tripod.com/amp1.html)

Medicinal plants consist of components of therapeutic values and have been used as remedies for human diseases since long. Recently, due to the pathogens resistance against the available antibiotics and the recognition of traditional medicine as an alternative form of health care has reopened the research domain for the biological activities of medicinal plants (Arias et al., 2004). Medicinal plants being as an important natural resource and potentially safe drugs can play an important role in assuaging human health by contributing herbal medicines. In the rural and remote areas of Pakistan, more than 70 percent of population depends on folk and traditional system of medicines obtained from plants. The high cost of allopathic medicine and their potential side effects, encouraged the people to use the traditional medicine (Zaidi, 1998). The increasing demand of plant extracts to be use in the cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical industries suggests that systematic studies of medicinal plants are very important in order to find active compounds and their use as a medicine for curing various diseases. (http://prr.hec.gov.pk/Chapters/302S-1.pdf) Plants have always been a major component of traditional system of healing in developing countries, which have also been an integral part of their history and culture. Medicinal plants offer alternative remedies with tremendous opportunities. Many traditional healing herbs and plant parts have been shown to have medicinal value especially in the rural areas and that these can be used to prevent and cure several human diseases. Even...
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