Role of medicinal and aromatic plants in national economy?
Aromatic (Aroma Producing) plants are those plants which produce a certain type of aroma. Their aroma is due to the presence of some kind of essential oil with chemical constituents that contain at least one benzene ring in the their chemical configuration .1
The essential oil industry was traditionally a cottage industry in India . Since 1974, a number of industrial companies have been established for large scale production of essential oils, oleo resins and perfume. The essential oils from plants being produced in India include ajowain oil, cedar wood oil, celery oil, citronella oil, davana oil, eucalyptus oil, geranium oil, lavender oil. lemon grass oil , mentha oil , palmarosa oil, patchaouli rose oil , sandal wood oil , turpentine oil and vetiver oil .The manufacture of turpentine oil , and resin from pine is a sizable and well established industry in India having 10,000 - 25000 tones annual production of the oil , α - pinine and δ-3 carene are the two vital components produced from the oil. α - Ionone from lemongrass oil for perfumery and β- ionone for vitamin A synthesis are produced in India . Before 1960, menthol was not produced in India but the introduction of Japanese mint, Mentha arvensis and subsequent improvements therefore enabled India to produces over 500 tones of menthol and now tops the world market in export of natural menthol 4
Although the production of major oils is highly organized, a number of developing countries have volatile oil rich flora not fully utilized or cultivated and the United Nation. Industrial Development Organization has taken steps to inform on the setting up of rural based small scale essential oil industries 3
The extensive occurrence of ester in essential oil include linalyl acetate , which is a component bergamot and lavender , and geranyl acetate found in sweet marjoram .Other common ester are the bornyl, eugenyl and lavendulyl acetate. The characteristic fruity aromas of esters are claimed to have sedative and fungicidal properties.
Aldehydes are also clamed to have sedative properties, the most common being citralnellal and neral found in lemon sconted oils, citral also has antiseptic properties. Equally pungent to the aldehydes in many instances are the ketones such as jasmine and funchone found in jasmine and fennel oil, respectively. Ketones such as camphor, carnone , methone and pine comphone , found in many proprietary preparation are effective in upper respiratory tract complaints . However, some ketones are also among the more toxic components essential oils such they one found in pennyroyal and buchu.
The alcohol within essential oils is generally nontoxic. Commonly occurring terpene alcohols include citronellal found in rose, lemon and eucalyptus, also geramnial, bornenol , fornenesol , menthol , nerol and linalool occurring in rose wood and lavender . Alcohol has antiseptic and antiviral properties and in aromatherapy are claimed to have an uplifting quality
A wide range of oxides occur in essential oils including ascaridol , bisabolol and bisaleolone oxides and linalool oxide from hyssop . The most important oxide, however, is cineole . Also known as eucalyptus oil, it occurs extensively in other oils such as bey laurel, rosemary and cajuput. It is used medicinally for its expectorant properties. 3
Use of Essential oil
The magic items of expert are ginger oil., sandal wood oil , lemon grass oil , jasmine oil , tuberose concrete ad other essential oils . During the year 1991-92 export of sandalwood oil has registered a recorded figure of Rs 13 crores compound to Rs 6.2 crores during 1990-91. The major buyers of Indian essential oil being USSR , USA , France , UK , Netherlands, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Spain ,Morocco, Germany, Australia, Pakistan, Korea, Taiwan etc. Similarly, citronella oil production has reached 500 tons when it was totally imported 55 years ago. Also jasmine and tuberose concentrate from south India have created a marks in world marked. Thus an interesting scenario in the development of natural essential oil in India has enraged.2
The world trade in essential oil & its product is vast and the oil of major importance are aniseed, citronella, clove, geranium, lemon grass, peppermint oil, patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver, sand wood ,mint oil, lemongrass, palmorosa occupies prominent position in the world market.
The home demand for essential oils during the next five year, is given below keeping the base year 1991-92 =100 and consumption at 8100 tones. 2
The association of essential oils manufactures estimated growth in export value from Rs 50 corers in 1991-92 to Rs 125 corers in 1995-96. India ranks 14 th in world export trade, share being an average 0.6 -0.8 % of the total. These are an ample room for penetration into the foreign market especially to the newly developing countries of the middle and for east. Certain Indian varieties namely Sandalwood, lemongrass, palmarosa , davana , jasmine and all mint oils are becoming popular in these countries though there is a competition from other developing countries (namely China and Indonesia 0 and the synthetics oils that are manufactures in the European countries are much cheaper than the natural oils . India is the world leader in production of mint oils .2
Taking 191-92 as the base year = 100 and the average export of 793 tones, the estimated demand of essential oil for export and the total demand (domestic and export ) during 5 year are as under 2
Demand for export
(000 tones )
(000 tones )
The total west European market for flavor and fragrance is estimated to the 100000 tones in 1991 with flavor industry accounting for 40% & fragrance industry accounting for 60%. It's therefore presented that total consumption will touch 1, 15000 tones in 1996 at an annual growth of 3 % while the sale of flavors and fragrances in USA will reach US $ billion in 1995 with the annual growth rate of 7 %. The sale of essential oils are expected to reach US $ 435 millions in 1995 2
Indian expert earning from some selects essential oils during 1989-90
Quantity (tones )
Values ( Rs )
Jasmine / tuberose concentrate
Foreign exchange saved from some essential oil during 1991-92
Values ( Rs )
Citrenella oil java
Japanese mint oil
Lemon grass oil, Davana oil, Anise oil, Caraway oil, Coriander oil, Spearmint oil, Lavender oil
2. Handa S.S. and Kaul M.K. , Supplement to cultivation and utilization of aromatic plants , Regional Research lab council for Scientific and industrial Research
3. Trease and Evans , Pharamcognosy Saunders
4. Handa S.S. and Kaul M.K. , Supplement to cultivation and utilization of medicinal plants , Reginal Research lab Jammu Tawi
7. Varsheny S.C. Export of essential oil from India. Ind