As we know by now, The Americas is home to some of the most biologically diverse areas in the world, in addition to a vast cultural diversity represented by different ethnic groups. In their new book South American Biodiversity and Its Potential in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, authors Alissandra Trajano and Ulysses Paulino remember us how historically, South American peoples have shown a high degree of dependence on natural resources, especially on plants, which are used for a variety of purposes. This relationship has resulted in potential sources for new natural products, possibly including the extraction of plant-derived chemical compounds for medicinal and aromatic purposes.

As we all know, the global herbal market is worth billions of dollars, but they remind us that in South American countries, incentives for research and the development of bioproducts by domestic companies are lacking. Moreover, a lack of scientific knowledge on these resources causes native plants to be undervalued, and the high degree of environmental degradation threatens the biological diversity and associated traditional knowledge.

Learn more:
Nunes A.T., Albuquerque U.P. (2018) South American Biodiversity and Its Potential in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. In: Albuquerque U., Patil U., Máthé Á. (eds) Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of South America. Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of the World, vol 5. Springer, Dordrecht

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