The role of plants in the treatment of disease is exemplified by their employment in all the major systems of medicine irrespective of the underlying philosophical premise. As example, we have the western medicine with origin in Mesopotamia and Egypt, the Unani (Islamic) and the Ayurvedic (Hindu) system and in Western Asia and the Indian subcontinent and those of the Orient (China, Japan, Tibetetc.). There is a great wealth of knowledge concerning the medicinal,narcotic and other properties of plants that is still transmitted orally from generation to generation by tribal societies, particularly those of the tropical Africa, North and South America and the Pacific countries (Evans, 2009). These are areas containing the world’s greatest number of plant species, not found elsewhere, and with the westernization of so many of the people of these zones there is pressing need to record local knowledge before it is lost forever. In addition, with the extermination of plant species progressing at an alarming rate in certain regions, even before plant have been botanically recorded, much less studied chemically and pharmacologically, the need arises for increased efforts directed towards the conservation of gene pools (Evans, 2009).
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