Plant based medicines are used in all civilizations and cultures and have always played a key role in health care systems worldwide. In most developing countries, the indigenous methods of herbal treatments are part of the culture and the main method of therapy with well-experienced effectiveness, are socially accepted, economically viable and, often are the only available source.
The livelihoods for the majority of mountain people mainly depend on subsistence agriculture and natural resources. Non timber forest products (NTFPs) including medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) have always been the most important source of rural livelihoods and health care facilities in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region, as their collection from the mountainous wild habitats has provided the rural communities with self-employment opportunities. The HKH region offers a home and protection to about 12,500 species of higher plants (Dobremez 1996) including 7,000-7,500 species of medicinal plants (Shengji 1998, 2005).