Survey of Medicinal Plants in the Main US Herbaria

Flaster Trish

Abstract


Plant identification has been waning during the recent ex-
pansive study of medicinal plants. This has been partic-
ularly  true among manufacturers of products being mar-
keted for natural heath care sectors. In an attempt to un-
derstanding to why basic plant identification is lacking, an
inventory of the main US herbaria was completed in 2002. 
The  inventory  included plants  that are commonly  in use
for medicinal purposes and those considered as adulter-
ants. The results identify the plants found in each herbar-
ium collection, access to the collections, and future plans
of the herbaria for virtual (computer based) access to the
collections. Recommendations are made for usage of vir-
tual herbaria and expanded usage of  traditional herbaria
for identification of plants used in health care.

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