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Medicinally Important Plants of Kazakhstan

  • Kanat N. Sarsenbayev
Chapter

Abstract

The flora of Kazakhstan includes about 6,400 species of higher vascular plants (Aralbai et al. 2017), approximately 5000 fungus, 486 lichens, more than 2000 algae, and about 500 bryophytes. The phytobiota’s wealth in Kazakhstan is estimated at 14500-15500 taxa. Out of 6,400 species of higher vascular plants, about 730 species are endemic (Baitenov, 2001; Aralbai, 2011), representing 11-12% of the total species composition. There are more than 1,000 species with curative values (Aralbai, 2016). In addition, there are more than 500 species of introduced, cultivated, and imported plants. In Kazakhstan and Central Asia nearly 80% of the plant resources, in particular medicinal plants, were harvested during the soviet period. The plant diversity of Kazakhstan is an inexhaustible source of biologically active substances. However, knowledge about the biochemical composition of plants is poor; there is a lack of information on the regulation of biologically active compound synthesis, and an insufficient number of pharmaceutical profile productions. The main sources obtained include licorice, Cistanche, and Ferula. In earlier times during the USSR period, Ephedra was mainly collected from the Almaty region of Kazakhstan and a major part of the raw material was exported under the informal scheme, which means permitted harvesting of plants is significantly exceeds quantities. Currently nearly 10 species of plants are exported, and in the case of Cistanche, under another name through the Customs. This chapter presents information on some of these valuable plants of Kazakhstan, which are being harvested, exported from Kazakhstan, and resold by China to other countries. There is an urgent need for Kazakhstan to establish a business partnership with other countries on a mutual long-term basis and start sharing the supply of plant resources and processing of their products.

Keywords

Plant resources Ephedra Ferula Cistanche Glycyrrhiza 

Notes

Acknowledgments

My special thanks go to my Ph.D. student M. Sagindikova for providing valuable data.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kanat N. Sarsenbayev
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological SciencesEurasian National University named after N. GumilyovAstanaKazakhstan

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