Aromatic plants possess odorous volatile compounds, which occur in specialized structures in the form of essential oil in one or more parts of the plant. Aromatic plants occur in nearly all vegetationcovered regions of the world. A large number of plant species belongs to family Lamiaceae, Asteraceae, Apiaceae, Zingiberaceae, Rutaceae etc. are characterised by the presence of essential oils. The essential oils are usually complex mixture of terpenes (mainly mono-, C10 and sesquiterpenes, C15) and their oxygenated derivatives. The essential oils are practically insoluble in water, generally lighter than water, and possess characteristic odour. Essential oils find extensive application in flavour, perfumery, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries. Therapeutically these are used as antiseptic, stimulant, carminative, diuretic, antihelmintic, analgesics, anti-rheumatic, and counter irritant. Aromatic plants which are being cultivated in different parts of the world for commercial production of essential oils are Orange, lemon, lime, mints (Mentha arvensis, M. x piperita, M. x spicata), cedar, citronella, lemongrass, basil, Eucalyptus, geranium, lavender Litsea cubeba, clove, sassafras (Ocotea pretiosa and Cinnnamomum micranthum), Osmanthus fragrans, patchouli, rose (Rosa spp), tuberose, jasmine, sandalwood, vetiver, bergamot, coriander, etc.
For more details check Medicinal & Aromatic plants
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