The case of the Medicinal Plants of Mexico.

Mexico has a rich tradition in medicinal plant utilization among its varied folk healing practices (Aguilar, 1999; Argueta et al., 1994; Linares et al., 1994; Lozoya 1994; Martinez, 1989). Approximately 62 different ethnic groups currently live in Mexico, each with its own culture and dialect and medicinal herbal repertoire (Aguilar 1994; Lozoya, 1999).

It is estimated that the Mexican medicinal flora contains between 3000 and 5000 plants that have potential medicinal benefit (Aguilar, 1999; Lozoya, 1994).

A total of 3,000 species have been compiled in an atlas of medicinal plants employed by diverse ethnic groups. Incredibly, of these only approximately 1% of them have been studied in depth, regarding their potential medicinal properties (Argueta et al., 1994). It is therefore apparent that more research has to be undertaken in order to elucidate the possible medicinal benefit of various Mexican plants.