Cultivation is the best approach for the conservation of wild medicinal plant habitats and the overcoming of resource deficits of given species. This is especially important with species, which are rare or threatened, as well as those collected in particularly large quantities. Cultivation provides a large quantity of high-quality raw herb material, which often complies better with the sanitation requirements of industries such as the pharmaceutical one. The world trend is for the herb processing industry to favor cultivated herbs. The share of organic production is also increasing.
Bulgaria is the largest herb producer and exporter in Europe and one of the largest in the world. Around 17 thousand tons of medicinal plants are collected in the country yearly. They are sold mainly abroad for over 25 million euro. Around 50% of the herbs collected in Bulgaria are from cultivated sources.
The Bulgarian people have traditions in the field of herb cultivation. There are good opportunities for the development of processing initiatives, which could add value to the produced plant material on the spot.
The species, which are successfully cultivated in the country are: lemon balm, dog rose, marshmallow, lavender, salvia, chamomile, yarrow, mint, St. John’s wort, thyme, valerian, common mallow (Malva sylvestris), oregano, calendula, deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), Loddon Lily (Leucojum aestivum), ironwort (Sideritis scardica), marjoram, rose (Rosa alba, Rosa damascene), Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), Anise (Pimpinella anisum), blessed milk thistle (Silybum marianum), basil, burdock (Arctium), yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis), etc.
- The choice of species for cultivation;
- The main prerequisites of the cultivation techniques;
- The requirements for gathering and storing of herbs can be found here;
- General information about the appropriate regions in the country with traditions in the cultivation of given species can be found here;
- See here for medicinal plants for under-planting in young orchards.
Techniques/instructions for the cultivation of:
You can listen to the radio broadcasts (in Bulgarian) about the sustainable use and cultivation of medicinal plants featuring farmers and experts here.