Current State and Prospects for Studies on the Diversity of Medicinal Flora in Kazakhstan

  • Nadezhda G. Gemejiyeva
  • Lyudmila M. Grudzinskaya


A large territory and diverse soil and climatic conditions are responsible for the rich genetic resources of Kazakhstan. Approximate 6000 species of vascular plants from 160 families are distributed in the country. It is home to hundreds of species of economically valuable plants, including those used for medicinal purpose, as animal forage and in the food industry. Medicinal plants can be evaluated as raw material in different industries in Kazakhstan. These are an extremely valuable natural resource. Therefore, an appraisal of the current state and potential for studying the diversity of medicinal flora in Kazakhstan is extremely important.

Analysis of species diversity and the potential for their use in conventional and alternative medicine has confirmed that Kazakhstan’s medicinal flora accounts for a quarter (26%) of all species of vascular plants of Kazakhstan and numbers 1406 species belonging to 612 genera and 134 families. Out of these 230 species from 71 families are used in conventional medicine. Raw material reserves have been registered for 141 (10%) resource species of medicinal flora in Kazakhstan, which belong to 100 genera and 47 families. Approximately 82 species are used in conventional medicine, whereas 59 species are widely used in experimental and alternative medicine. Greatest species diversity is concentrated in the mountain ecosystems of Kazakhstan. Reserves of commercial value in the North and West Tien Shan ranges create no less than 25 of the 141 resource species of medicinal flora. In the Kazakhstan Altai ranges, at least 10 of the 141 resource species of medicinal flora are recognized as having commercial value. Country exports raw materials for the following valuable medicinal plants: Allochrusa gypsophiloides, Cistanche salsa, Ferula foetida, Glycyrrhiza glabra, and G. uralensis. Approximately 700 species (49%) of medicinal plants have been crop tested, while experimental data on the productivity of raw materials and changes in the data have been generated for 250 species. Sixty-five species are classed as rare and endangered, and their cultivation is the priority for introduction and agricultural technology in this particular area. Current state of medicinal plant resources in Kazakhstan requires the realization of a regional and nationwide long-term program for a comprehensive study and development of medicinal plant resources. There is great need for the creation of a collection of useful plants within the Kazakhstan flora; development of technology for introducing the cultivation of species of local flora is used intensively and with a limited realm to create a sustainable raw materials base for the domestic pharmaceutical industry. We also need to continue ethnobotanical research to highlight new sources of medicinal raw materials based on indigenous species. Contemporary systematic resource research into the medicinal flora in Kazakhstan will provide a scientific basis for its preservation and sustainable use.


Kazakhstan Medicinal plants Raw material reserves 



The materials and results used here cover studies supported by the project grant on “Screening of the Natural Flora of Kazakhstan for Plants with Medicinal Properties and the Development of Proposals to Improve their Use” (2012–2014). Some of the results have been published reference book “Annotated List of Medicinal plants of Kazakhstan” (2014).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadezhda G. Gemejiyeva
    • 1
  • Lyudmila M. Grudzinskaya
    • 1
  1. 1.Ministry of Education and ScienceInstitute of Botany and PhytointroductionAlmatyKazakhstan

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