NordGen is an organization under the Nordic Council of Ministers, dedicated to conservation and sustainable use of plants, farm animals and forest. NordGen’s primary aim is to secure diversity of genetic resources linked to food, agriculture and forestry. The main task for most plant genebanks is to collect seeds, to provide long-term storage and to distribute collected material. In addition, they serve as knowledge centers for plant genetic resources. To manage this, genebanks regularly need to multiply seeds in order to keep the material alive and ensure sufficient number of seeds for distribution. Medicinal and aromatic plants include several species that often are difficult and challenging to germinate and cultivate. The genebanks’ seed collections are therefore often both incomplete and difficult to maintain, and botanical gardens often have only small demonstration plots of medicinal plants.
Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAP) have been of interest and importance to mankind for centuries. Wild native species in the Baltic Sea Region as well as naturalized species from foreign countries have been utilized as traditional medicine. During the 20th century importance of medicinal plants decreased gradually as knowledge to purify the active compounds and synthesize them chemically was gained. Nevertheless, interest for medicinal plants has by no means slowed down. More knowledge about medically active substances is still requested and the search for new compounds in wild material continues.
Large scale cultivation of MAP for production of medicinal components as well as spices has comparatively low impact on the environment as the crops require a low amount of fertilizers and will not contribute to overfertilization. In addition, for most commercial cultivation of MAP no pesticides are approved, which also contributes to making them environmentally friendly crops.
Seed Regeneration of MAP