Iran earns some $500 million annually by exporting medicinal herbs, an official with the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology said. About $350 million of the revenue is related to saffron and the rest is related to other medicinal herbs, IRNA quoted Mohammad Hassan Asareh as saying on Wednesday.
Tarahom Behzad, deputy director of the Forests, Ranges, and Watershed Management Organization, has said that some 2,300 species of medicinal plants bare cultivated across Iran, of which 1,738 species are endemic species.
Of the 8,425 species of herbs identified in the country, 2,300 have medicinal, aromatic, and cosmetic properties, he added.
In the first nine months of the past Iranian calendar year (started March 2019), 1,600 tons of medicinal plants were exported, which was 1,434 tons last year and 870 tons a year before, he said, adding that export of medicinal plants has increased over the past two years.
He also stated that this year 26 products have been exported, with 4 new products compared to the last year’s products.
According to the World Health Organization, the global market for herbal products is $60 billion annually. About 25 percent of medicines worldwide are made of herbs. Among 252 important medicines of WHO, 11 percent are exclusively produced from medicinal plants.
Mohammad Reza Shams-Ardakani, director of the department of Iranian traditional medicine at the Ministry of Health, has said that the establishment of traditional health centers, enhanced cooperation to promote a healthy lifestyle based on traditional medicine, and flourishing of health tourism for Iranian traditional medicine are on the agenda.
In July 2019, Javad Mirarab an official with the Ministry of Agriculture said that medicinal plants are cultivated on some 188,000 hectares of lands in Iran.
Meanwhile, head of the natural products department at Food and Drug Administration Mahnaz Khanavi said that natural and herbal medicines constitute 4 percent of the total amount of medicines used in the country.