This book is meant for teaching useful plants under the subject heading of "Economic Botany". The most important useful herbs of the planet earth are explained in terms of their active chemical compounds and relevant properties. All the conventional topics such as Food plants, spices, timber etc have been revamped with the latest research inputs on those plants and the new features of these products. For example 'Cereals' are treated with the most recent discussions like the antioxidant and thus nutraceutical potential as well as bioactive peptides present in them. The chapter on medicinal plants has been enlarged greatly to include almost all the recently discovered plants as well as the new medicinal properties of the old plants. A number of chapters including the present day 'Hot Topics', which are of interest for the common man and thus make headlines in Magazines and Newspapers, such as Nutraceuticals,
Herbal Cosmetics, Antioxidant therapy, Natural Dyes, perfumery and Aromatherapy, Biopesticides, Biofuel and Biofertilisers are added which will increase the acceptance of plant- based courses. In addition, in the beginning of each chapter, relevant chemistry of natural products is added which will explain the said actions in a meaningful way.
It is sincerely hoped that the publication of this treatise will initiate discussions on revamping and restructuring the age-old courses on "Economic Botany". It is expected that, this book fills a long felt void by introducing an interdisciplinary area of Phytochemistry in a plant science curriculum. It is my sincere desire that the basic philosophy which guides the production of this book gains wider acceptance.
As a pioneer in the field, the book may have a few short comings. Suggestions and frank criticism from readers will be useful in improving the contents of the book.