The popularity of medicinal and aromatic plants as botanical medicines, flavoring agents, chemical reservoirs, and alternative crops has created global challenges for horticulture in the production and application of these plant materials. Such challenges, which frequently face a number of competing demands related to conservation, cultivation, protection, standardization, sustainability, world trade, and a host of other issues, require a careful balance of limited resources with markets and a reconciliation of plant culture with genetics and chemistry to meet consumer demands for safe and efficacious products. Medicinal and aromatic plant collection can support indigenous cultures, but can also endanger plant communities.
Plant cultivation can increase yields, but requires an understanding of plant-environment interactions that could alter metabolic pathways. World trade in these species can make plant material available, but needs a regulatory system to impose uniform standards for quality.
While the study of medicinal and aromatic plants involves a wide range of subject areas, a recognition of the challenges and the potential of horticulture, science, and market analysis hold promise for meeting demand. Field tests, biotechnology, tissue culture, clinical trials, economic principles, and other tools help provide a valuable assessment on expectations and future directions. In this symposium, the medicinal and aromatic plant community, working together and collectively, looked to the future of medicinal and aromatic plants.
In this volume of Acta Horticulturae, the proceedings of the symposium, entitled The Future for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants and held at the 2002 International Society for Horticultural Science Congress in Toronto, Canada, are presented.
The symposium provided a critical update and evaluation on advances in ethnobotany, standardization, cultivation, and chemistry for medicinal and aromatic plant species. Over 138 participants from 23 countries presented 4 invited papers, 20 contributed oral papers and 49 posters. The contributions are organized within the four major themes of the symposium.
The symposium organizers gratefully acknowledge the financial and other support from the following organizations:
- ASHS Herb, Spice, and Medicinal Plant Working Group
- ISHS Section for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
- International Council on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
- The Nordic Gene Bank (Nordic Council of Ministers)
- The Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Massachusetts
- Laboratories for Natural Products, Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, University of Massachusetts
We would also like to thank the members of the Editorial Board, speakers, poster presenters, manuscript referees, and other colleagues that aided in the editorial process. A special thanks to Zoë Gardner at the University of Massachusetts for her dedication, leadership, and help in the organization, editing, and preparing of these Proceedings.
Lyle E. Craker and James E. Simon
The papers contained in this volume of Acta Horticulturae report the proceedings of a symposium on ‘The Future for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants.’ Keynote speakers and authors of selected contributed oral and poster presentations were given the opportunity to submit a manuscript for publication.
These manuscripts were reviewed by the symposium editors and other referees.
Only those papers judged suitable for publication following the authors consideration of reviewer suggestions appear in this volume of Acta Horticulturae.
The ISHS acknowledges and appreciates the contribution of all editors and reviewers.
They have made a significant contribution to assuring the quality of this publication.
The ISHS Board of Directors