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The history of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant (MAP) utilization dates back to the beginnings of mankind. Our forefathers used natural substances, they could find in nature, to ease, cure their sufferings, illnesses, to heal their wounds. This type of approach has survived in the Traditional Medicinal (TM) uses, until today, since nearly 80 % of the world population still relies on MAPs in their medications. The renaissance of MAP-use in the high-income countries of the world has brought about a different type of use in the form of Herbal Medicines (CAM). MAPs have become “industrial products” with new concepts like phytotherapy and veterinary medicinal uses, aromatherapy, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, and animal welfare uses widening the scope of the utilization. New, innovative, value added applications include their use in functional foods, animal husbandry, as well as plant protection in agriculture. In this regards the versatile utilization of essential oils is promising. Modern approaches in production and uses have brought about an increased focus on the importance of quality, safety and efficacy of both MAPs and their produce. MAPs will also maintain their importance in the search for new, valuable sources of drugs and lead compounds. In view of the steadily increasing demands on these important natural resources, attention should be paid to the sustainable forms of production and utilization.
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