Medicinal plants are highly valuable to human livelihood and the medicinal plant wealth of India is well recognised. Studies on possible effects of climate change on medicinal plants are particularly significant due to their value within traditional systems of medicine and as economically useful plants. There is evidence that climate change is causing noticeable effects on life cycles and distribution of the plant species. However, the effect of climate change on secondary metabolites in plants is not well understood. A need for research to improve our understanding of climatic effects on medicinal plants is stressed in the present article. An attempt is being made here to review the work so far done on this important issue with Indian perspective.
Reviews have been collected from different sources related to medicinal plants.
The impact of climate change with respect to medicinal plants has been discussed under the following heads. Effect of elevated CO2 on productivity and quality, Effect on threats to medicinal plants species, Adaptation measures for climate change and global warming, Mitigation measures to reduce emission of CO2/GHGs, Future strategies for research.
The impact of climate change on medicinal plants both cultivated and wild is very significant. The need of the hour is to have a focused research approach specially on the accumulation of secondary metabolites of health significance. The research on medicinal plants with respect to climate change is very sporadic and insignificant in comparison with other commercial crops. It is the high time that, these group of plants should not be left as they are potential sources of bio-molecules and neutraceuticles.