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The history of diseases is as long as that of human, and the use of plants to treat diseases has been around since the beginning of human history. The documents of several thousand years of history of medicine and pharmacy show valuable experiences and information in the field of medicinal plants. Until a few decades ago, what was used as medicine was extracted from natural sources, mainly plants. The rapid advancement of science on the one hand and economic issues on the other have led to a decline in the use of medicinal plants and the replacement of plants with synthetic drugs in many cases. The experience of the last few decades has shown that synthetic drugs, with all their effectiveness, are associated with many adverse effects, and it has become clear that there is barely a pure substance with no adverse effects. For this reason, a paradigm shift to the use of medicinal plants has received scholarly attention today, and universities, research centers, factories and the World Health Organization have prepared extensive programs for the use of medicinal plants and highlighting the role of plants in various cases in the twentieth century. The use of herbal medicines and research into medicinal plants and their constituents have already been established in most of the developed countries of the world, such as the United States, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom, which are pioneers in the production of chemical and synthetic drugs. Due to the rapid movement of the world towards the exploitation of natural resources, however, it is necessary for us to adopt a new and scientific approach to use of Iran’s vast natural resources and to take a step towards the introduction of Iranian science and culture beyond national borders by conducting relevant research in this field.
Topographically speaking, Khuzestan has well-defined areas including low plains, hill ranges of northern regions, oak and half-wooded forests, rocky and mountainous heights, and summer pastures, and it is also adjacent to the Persian Gulf which is a great source of marine compounds and creatures. In terms of climate, Khuzestan province has three distinct areas: warm steppe area, semi-warm steppe area, and an area with dry forests and summer pastures. This geographical and climatic diversity has given Khuzestan province a huge diversity in natural and plant compounds.
In addition to climatic diversity, the existence of different ethnicities and tribes in the province, which is a treasure for folk and complementary medicine further highlights the need to establish a research center for medicinal plants. By integrating the capabilities of the educational-research activities of the Pharmacognosy Department in the School of Pharmacy as well as those of other related research centers and by optimally utilizing appropriate facilities and equipment, the Medicinal Plant Research Center can set the stage for conducting useful and extensive research according to the needs of the region and the country, and publishing the results of research in seminars, international forums, and prestigious domestic and foreign journals in order to improve the level of specialized education. Finally, careful and purposeful attention to basic and applied research in the field of pharmacognosy (medicinal plants and marine organisms) along with the application of this research is an effective and long step towards improving, maintaining and promoting public health and meeting the needs of research and macro policies in health.

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