Seeds for key ethnobotanical plants

The seeds of common and rare medicinal plants, herbs with healing powers and plants used for ritual purposes worldwide fall within the domain of ethnobotanical research. Humans have used herbs and all kinds of healing plants since the dawn of civilisation – quite possibly even the Neanderthals already knew of some plants with healing properties.

Today the study of ethnobotany involves collecting, studying and growing the seeds of plants from all over the world and studying the complex relationships between plants and cultures. Ethnobotanical research has led to discoveries about plants’ active compounds and their historic uses. Medicine and botany have always been closely related. Many present-day medicines were derived from plant sources, or directly from seeds – and they still form the starting point for drug development processes. Last but not least ethnobotany also studies how plants have been used for food, housing, medicine, clothing and religious ceremonies.