Medicinal and aromatic plants are an important source of raw materials for traditional as well as modern medicines. Medicinal and Aromatic plants synthesise variety of secondary metabolites with remarkable structural diversity, which have been subsequently exploited by humans for their beneficial role in a diverse array of applications. Secondary metabolites are classified as: alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, phenolic compounds, volatile oils, terpenoids, saponins, steroids, resins and bitter principles. Many of these secondary metabolites (mixture, true isolates and chemically modified derivates/analogues) of plants are commercially important and find use in fragrance, flavouring and pharmaceutical formulations worldwide. Phytochemical exploration of prodigious number of plant species carried out in past led to the isolation of many drugs/ potential drug intermediates of high therapeutic value. Because of the broad structural diversity in secondary metabolites and their wide ranges of pharmacological activities; medicinal and aromatic plants still considered as valuable sources of novel compounds having potential for the development of new pharmaceuticals; and therefore are known as the ‘Chemical Goldmines’ of novel products and applications. Recent developments in the separation/ extraction of the active constituentsform these `chemical goldmines’ offer huge opportunities for their industrial utilization as valuable sources for new molecules for perfumery, flavour and drug development.
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