1,738 medicinal herbs endemic to Iran

December 28, 2019 - 19:24

TEHRAN – Some 2,300 species of medicinal plants bare cultivated across Iran, of which 1,738 species are endemic species, Tarahom Behzad, deputy director of the Forests, Ranges, and Watershed Management Organization, has said.

Of the 8,425 species of herbs identified in the country, 2,300 have medicinal, aromatic and cosmetic properties, IRNA quoted Behzad as saying on Friday.
The Food and Agriculture Organization estimated in 2002 that over 50,000 medicinal plants are used across the world.

9.6m ha of natural resources on the road to recovery

According to the Sixth Five-Year Development Plan (2016-2021), up to 9.6 million hectares of natural lands of the country should undergo restoration, development and improvement activities to increase the growth and utilization of medicinal plants, Behzad noted.

So far, 5 million hectares of these areas have undergone restoration measures, he said, adding, the budget bill for the next calendar year (to start March 21, 2020) has proposed a budget of €150 million from the National Development Fund for the development of medicinal plants.

16 provinces export medicinal plants

This year, 16 provinces played an important role in exporting medicinal plants to the Persian Gulf’s surrounding countries, India and the European Union, he highlighted.

He went on to add that Fars, Kordestan, Isfahan, Tehran, East Azarbaijan, Ardebil, Kermanshah, South Khorasan, Kerman, Khuzestan, Golestan, Hamadan, Khorasan Razavi, Hormozgan, Yazd and Lorestan provinces had the highest production and export of medicinal plants respectively.

€100m export revenue of medicinal plants

In the first nine months of this year (March 21-December 21), 1,600 tons of medicinal plants were exported, which was 1,434 tons last year and 870 tons a year before, he said, adding that export of medicinal plants has increased over the past two years.

He also stated that this year 26 products have been exported, with 4 new products compared to the last year’s products.

According to the World Health Organization, the global market for herbal products is $60 billion annually. About 25 percent of medicines worldwide are made of herbs. Among 252 important medicines of WHO, 11 percent are exclusively produced from medicinal plants.


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