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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 333: WOCMAP I - Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Conference: part 1 of 4

AROMATIC AND MEDICINAL PLANTS IN BOLIVIA

Author:   L.A. Leigue
Keywords:   Rural industries, traditional medicine, new essential oils
Abstract:
Bolivia, in the center of South America, is a country with a rich variety of flora and with a great diversity of climates and soils. It has a long tradition in the utilization of medicinal plants.

More than 5 000 species have been studied since the beginning of the 20th century, but most of them only partially. Only a few have been submitted to systematic botanical, agronomical and chemical studies, and some are being exploited on a limited scale. The high costs of research and the poor local availability of information make this task difficult.

As a part of governmental policies to dynamize agri-business, the “Programa Agroquimico CORDECO-UMSS” performs research and development to create industries based on processing of agricultural resources using an appropriate technology, introduces new species and designs ways for the domestication of wild species.

As a result of this work, 13 rural plants for the extraction of essential oils of Eucalyptus globulus, Cymbopogon citratus and Mentha arvensis have been built. Smaller quantities of essential oils of Baccharis dracunculifolia, Acanthostyles buniifolius, Hedeoma mandoniana, Minthostachys andina, Baccharis latifolia, Aloysia gratissima, Gnaphalium spp., Porophyllum ruderales, Pluchea fastigiata and other species have been extracted. Some of them are medicinal plants.

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