The Influence of Microbial Endophytes/Epiphytes on Medicinal Plant Components

Main Article Content

David J. Newman

Keywords

medicinal plants, endophytes, epiphytes

Abstract

I have been invited by the Editor in Chief and the Editorial Board of the Journal to contribute an editorial piece on a topic concerning natural health products that was thought-provoking based on my recognized experience in this field. I decided to take some information from how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), together with other medicinal plants from different cultures (Ayurvedic materials) were collected and used to produce medicinal treatments versus what is known today as to what the “bioactive components” are and what may have produced them. In this short article I will show with some specific examples, the involvement of fungi and/or bacteria in the production of medicinal compounds isolated from plants (some reported to be medicinal, others not recognized as such); this being such that one could argue that in certain cases, the plant is nothing more than a host to a consortium of microbes that are heavily involved in the production of the compound(s) of interest.

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