Traditional uses, conservation status and biotechnological advances for a group of aromatic / medicinal native plants from America
Pitta Álvarez, Sandra
Medicinal and aromatic plants are biologically and economically valuable species because of their intrinsic value as plants, ability to produce secondary metabolites, possible use in the pharmaceutical and food industries, germplasm availability and applications in traditional medicine. In addition, they hold social and economic importance due to the ancestral knowledge they represent and because they are part of the livelihood of many families. Most of them are collected from the wild and are in serious danger of extinction. Through biotechnological tools it is possible to develop their germplasm and obtain new and improved varieties from wild material, while advocating the alternative of production by cultivation instead of extracting it from nature. The objective of this review is to provide an updated perspective on the traditional uses, conservation status and biotechnological advances in a group of 30 plant species native to the American continent.