Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – The interchange between local, rural knowledge and their global applications
Joint Session with the 29th International Horticultural Congress (IHC2014)
University of London
Charles Sturt University
Many plant species with a long, but locally restricted history of use as a medicinal or aromatic plant are now becoming global commodities. Famously, tea tree oil derived from Melaleucaalternifolia and other species native to Eastern Australia south of Brisbane, is now a globally used essential oil. Many other local resources have become or are becoming global commodities. One of the important tropane alkaloids atropine is also derived from Australian species of Duboisia.
Today, more than ever, there also is a risk that commercial products are developed without an appropriate evidence-base and without a long term development strategy. On the other hand, there has been a concomitant increase in research on diverse aspects of these species, but little attention has been paid to the sustainable development of such products. Central to these developments is a recognition of indigenous and local rights and the development of strategies for an equitable benefit sharing.
This symposium will be dedicated to presenting examples of medicinal and aromatic plants of global value, and to reviewingthe ethnobiology, phytochemistry and pharmacology of such species. It will highlight the development of such botanical drugs into widely used nutraceuticals, registered as traditional medicines or licensed medicines, aromatic substances or other high value products. It will also highlight strategies for equitable benefit sharing with the custodians of traditional medicines knowledge. The symposium will offer both the opportunity to highlight achievements and future research / development needs for such products. Models of equitable benefit sharing and other forms of local benefits will be a key part of the symposium.