Medicinal plants, herbal remedies

Lorestan is one of the provinces which is capable of planting medicinal plants because of topographic conditions. Availability of these medicinal plants in the country and the province has increased grounds for production and even export of these plants. Today, most reputable pharmaceutical companies in different countries use medicinal plants for the production of drugs which is evidence of the importance of such plants.Due to the geographical and specific climatic conditions of Iran, Lorestan Province holds a valuable position in the production of a variety of herbs and medicinal plants. Different climatic conditions in Iran has caused medicinal and pharmaceutical plants to grow so that Zagros region, in which Lorestan is Located, has become the habitat of diverse species of forest and grassland products.
To study the medicinal plants, two characteristics of the province have to be taken into account:
First, the old history of human life in the region which indicates that using medicinal plants has the same long history. Second, the specific climate and weather conditions of the region has made the province a rich habitat for such plants. For example, Hoseinieh in Poldokhtar, in the south of Lorestan, has the minimum altitude of 350 m and Oshterankooh, Doroud has the maximum altitude of 4050 m.
This difference of 3700 m in altitude has made the province to be the home of a large variety of plants with different characteristics. Being at the intersection of several weather fronts namely the Black Sea and the Mediterranean from west, the Indian Ocean from east, the Red Sea from south, has made Zagros region a unique ecotom in the world which is home to unique species of flora and fauna. Lorestan is located at the heart of such exquisite nature, i.e., central Zagros.
There are more than 1200 species of plants in Iran 167 of which have been identified. Of these, 27 species are indigenous to Lorestan. The area under cultivationfor medicinal plants in the province is 357 hectares, of which 4150 tons of medicinal plant is produced.
Of the eight thousand plant species in the world,2500 species are medicinal plants and native to the province. This natural diversity has also contributed to production variety in the region.
The most medicinal plants in Lorestan include chamomile, artichoke, mint, fennel, chicory, lemon balm, Musk willow, coriander, cumin, savory, anise, sesame, fumaria, anemone, sisymbriumirio, borage, yayty cave, licorice, marshmallow, five digits, marianum, shnblyh, grass, knotweed, about, sage and parsley, while some species such as anshk, and savory are indigenous to Lorestan. Meanwhile, these plants have been distributed in different cities of lorestan including Aligudarz, Kuhdasht, Khorramabad, Poldokhtar, Chegeni, Delfan and Selsele.
It is worth mentioning that 5000dug products are originated from plants. In our country, only 10% of drugs are of plants origin; 90% are produced using chemicals. Besides the use of medicinal plants for chemical products, the plants, themselves, can be used to treat diseases. For example, mountainsavoryis effective in the treatment of blood pressure and blood lipid.Some other plants are effective in the treatment of skin and mucosa diseases, and bronchitis.
Mint is also effective in the treatment of infectious and digestive diseases as well as and urinary tract. These are, of course, but a few benefits of medicinal plants. According to natural and supplementary drugs department of the Ministry of Health, treatment and Medical Education, more than 700 plant products have been patented as medicinal and are now used for diseases treatment. Additionally, more than 1/3 of the drugs used by human being is of plant origin and this amount is increasing. According to WHO, the proportion of using medicinal plants, compared to chemical plants, is 15 to 3 which contributes to the international financial balance of these drugs.Although the marketing of pharmaceutical plants such as, Gaz, tragacanth, thyme, celery, radish, marshmallow, cam and other edible plants are national, some other plants such as turpentine, galbanum, kapparis and grasses borage are exported to Asian and European countries.
Finally, the climatic diversity coupled with mountains and special plantation productivity in Lorestan and current capabilities can make the province the hub of medicinal plants production and provide job opportunities for graduates of agriculture majors.