Chapter 5

Industrial Uses of MAPs: The Pharmaceutical Sector

M. Paz Arraiza, Carlos Calderon-Guerrero, Silvia C. Guillen and Miguel A. Sarmiento

Abstract

Medicinal and aromatic plants play an important role in the pharmaceutical sector, both in the phytotherapy aspect, as in the strictly medicinal significance. Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes. The absorption can be topical, oral or by inhalation. The second group includes all preventive and therapeutic use of MAP or their active ingredients. Active principles from medicinal plants are called phytopharmaceuticals, phytomedicines, herbal medicines or botanicals. Current pharmacopoeia reached more than 7,000 compounds derived from these plants. The uses of these substances include: 1) health care using natural products; 2) The newer drugs against the challenges of the twenty-first century (cancer, cholesterol, diabetes, dementia, depression, malaria, stress, etc.); 3) Essential oils used in aromatherapy; and 4) compounds useful in the veterinary area. The main species used in each of the previous four sections are introduced in this chapter.

Total Pages: 60-75 (16)

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