Utilization of Aromatic Plants and Derived Products

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Utilization of Aromatic Plants And Derived Products

Aromatic plants are plants that possess aromatic compounds, most of which are essential oils which are volatile in room temperature. These compounds are synthesized and stored in a special structure called gland, which is located in different parts of plant such as leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, barks and roots.


Utilization of Aromatic Plants And Derived Products

INTRODUCTION

 

Aromatic plants are plants that possess aromatic compounds, most of which are essential oils which are volatile in room temperature. These compounds are synthesized and stored in a special structure called gland, which is located in different parts of plant such as leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, barks and roots. These essential oils can be extracted by various physical and chemical processes, such as steam distillation, maceration, expression, enfleurage and solvent extraction. They are mainly used as flavours and fragrances. However, from ancient times, these plants have been used as raw materials for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, botanical pesticides, etc.

 

Importance of Aromatic Plants

 

Aromatic Plants can be divided into four groups based on how they are utilized, viz.:

 

·  As raw materials for essential oils extraction: This is the major use of aromatic plants and is the one dealt with in this paromatic plantser.

 

·  As spices: These are plants in which their nonleafy parts are used as a flavouring or seasoning.

 

·  As herbs: These are plants in which their leafy or soft flowering parts are used as a flavouring or seasoning.

 

·  Miscellaneous group: These are aromatic plants used in some ways other than the ones mentioned above, e.g. as medicines, cosmetics, dyes, air fresheners, disinfectants, botanical pesticides, herbal drinks/teas, pot pourri, insect repellents, etc.

 

People have made extensive use of aromatic plants from time immemorial. The Egyptian, the Persian and the Babylonian were known to grow and use aromatic plants in making perfumes and other scented waters from a distillation of rose petals and orange blossoms. Oriental people were also fond of aromatic plants. These aromatic plants were grown in the palace compounds and used as raw materials to make perfumes, scented water and a dozen of other aromatic products.

 

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