The Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Center (OAPGRC) is set to host the first meeting of Medicinal Plants Focal Points of IORA-RCSTT and exhibition on medicinal plants from
The event is being held in partnership with
"Medicinal plants have been used since ancient times to heal and cure diseases and improve health and wellbeing," commented OAPGRC's executive director, Dr
The oldest written evidence of their usage was found on a 5,000 year-old Sumerian clay slab in
Up until the 18th century, the professions of doctor and botanist were closely linked and the first modern botanic gardens, founded in 16th century
Today, medicinal plants continue to play a critical role in healthcare provision. Worldwide, it is estimated that more than 10,000 plant species are used for medicinal purposes, mainly as traditional medicines. The
"Over the past few years we have seen a dramatic resurgence in interest in medicinal plants for their potential to yield useful drugs. And with the increase in global consumer demand for products labeled as 'natural', this trend is fully expected to continue. This offers countries like
Historically, plants were a vital source of raw material for medicines. Later, techniques were developed to produce synthetic replacements for many of the medicines that had been derived from the forest.
"But recently, problems with drug resistant microorganisms, side effects of modern drugs and emerging diseases where no medicines are available, have reignited interest in plants as a source of new medicines," said the OAPGRC Executive Director who went on to explain that despite the increased demand for medicinal plants, source countries possessing rich biodiversity of medicinal plants can struggle to reap the rewards from these natural resources," Dr
"It is in this light that the conference and exhibition have been designed. We are looking to extend medicinal plant co-operation among the lORA member states."
"The Salalah conference will examine a host of important issues, particularly exciting is how to meet the demand for medicinal species sustainably. We need to ensure that wild medicinal plant populations do not come under threat.
"More effective co-operation among the institutions concerned with the use and trade of medicinal plants, including those from the healthcare, conservation and commercial sectors, is required to ensure the conservation of biodiversity and continued availability of medicinal resources. We need to make sure we protect the natural wealth we have been blessed with and that future generations can also reap its benefits," she added. -
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