Climate change medicinal plants in danger

The effects of climate change in very different ways, for example through extreme weather conditions, which could damage the health of many people around the world. Climate change also leaves for medicinal plants harmful consequences, a Team of international scientists has now in the journal "Planta Medica" go.

The researchers from the USA, Australia and Europe to warn in their work on the implications of unchecked climate change on medicinal plants. These plants are for the global human health is of great importance. This is particularly true for regions in which a modern Western-oriented medicine is not available. That medicinal plants are often harvested sustainably, is not a new phenomenon. What is new is that the burden of the climate change accelerates this Problem, the researchers say. So it is clear that individual populations will disappear forever, if not immediately controlled.

Qualität and safety of the ingredients will be in danger

Add to that the Stress of climate change triggers in the plants, changes in the pattern of secondary metabolism products is the therapeutic use of medicinal plants is based. This could change the quality of the plants, possibly even the safety of herbal raw materials and finished drugs.

The team of researchers led by first author Dr. Wendy L. Applequist of the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, recommends to take immediate measures to ensure the availability to plants of valuable product and save for the future. To do this, it is urgently necessary to focus more on the local cultivation, to ensure sustainability of harvest and to certify the trade material accordingly. Efforts to preserve the traditional Knowledge, are currently more important than ever. Everything had to be done, especially under the aspect of conservation of medicinal plants to curb climate change.