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Ms. Biljana GLIGORI_
Society for Medicinal Herbs, The REPUBLIC OF SRPSKA
Bosnia & Herzegovina


In Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Srpska, due to the favourable climate conditions, there are great floral resources of medicinal herbs. Thus, collection of medicinal herbs and self-medication has had a long tradition on our territories. But, this natural wealth is not adequately exploited. Plantation growing of medicinal herbs is quite a recent activity. The production is accompanied by a burden of problems, among others - an insufficient organization and undeveloped market. Taking into consideration such a situation in collection and production of medicinal herbs, we have established The Republic of Srpska Society for Medicinal Herbs, with its Statutes, aims and programme. The role of the Society is finding solutions for the said problems - in better organization of collectors and growers, as well as finding adequate markets, with the aim of increasing the level of production and achieving higher economic results. In that sense, the Society organizes lectures, scientific gatherings and other activities, aimed at providing education for collectors and producers, which will promote this kind of activity and generate income, without destroying natural ecological balance.

Society for Medicinal Herbs

In regard to the conditions in collecting and production of medicinal herbs in the Republic of Srpska, we have come to the conclusion that the interests of the individuals engaged in any activity related to medicinal herbs, could only be realized in an organized way. For that purpose, on 22 December 1999, the Republic of Srpska Society for Medicinal Herbs was established. The Society is a non-political, non-governmental and non-profitable association, where each member realizes his interest in the field of medicinal herbs.

The Society has two sections:

The Society's main tasks are the following:

For the purpose of promoting and improving the Society's work, we have planned the following activities:

One of the first projects of the Society is education of collectors and producers of medicinal herbs, aimed at creating self-sustained and controlled harvest. The purpose of the Project is for the collectors and producers to master the knowledge that will help them in collecting and producing medicinal herbs in a way that will generate income, without destabilizing the ecological balance in the environment at the same time.

The subject of the education are the sorts of medicinal herbs that grow wild but can be grown in plantations, for example: Matricaria chamomilla, Mentha piperita L, Melissa officinalis L, Anethum graveolens L, Thymus vulgaris L, etc.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Srpska, there are great floral resources of medicinal herbs, which make an important economic potential. Knowledge of medicinal herbs, including collection and production, provide for development of a series of activities, as well as creating employment for quite a massive labour force, which, from the economic point of view, has a great importance.

Thanks to its geographical position, soil and climate, the Republic of Srpska is particularly suitable for collecting and producing medicinal herbs.

Collection of medicinal herbs and self-medication has had a long tradition on our territories. Collection of herbs for commercial purposes is usually performed upon the current requests of the market, and it enables existence of several companies in the Republic of Srpska. But this way of collection is characterized by a non-organized, uncontrolled collecting, where the quality of medicinal herbs and their trading are not controlled.

In order to preserve what nature has given to us, it is necessary to organize collection of medicinal herbs in a way that will not influence the ecological balance in the environment.

Medicinal herbs are used as raw materials in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. In this regard, market needs for certain sorts of herbs increase, which causes an increase in their collection.

Excessive commercialization could have a detrimental effect to natural herb resources, thus ruining the existing ecological balance. Due to this fact, there emerges a need for plantation production of medicinal herbs. This way of growing herbs will solve not only the issue of supplying domestic industries with required quantities of medicinal herbs of appropriate quality and pharmacological characteristics, but will also influence the export of these healing raw materials.

Along with that stated above, medicinal herb growing has advantages in comparison with collecting, since it could provide a healing raw material of a stable quality, while, at the same time, quality and quantity of particular herbs could be influenced as well.

Medicinal herb growing is also a way of protecting natural resources from damaging exploitation, which is one of the main tasks of the Republic of Srpska Society for Medicinal Herbs.

Production of medicinal herbs is connected mostly with the activities of the private sector. Within the Society, initial steps have been taken in plantation production of Matricaria chamomilla L, Mentha piperita L, and we plan to start with plantation production of Hypericum perforatum. We also perform distillation of certain herbs, such are Juniperus communis, Abies alba, etc.

Within the Society, the most often grown herb on the plantations is Matricaria chamomilla. Its production is performed in ecologically clean conditions, without any chemicals or fertilizers. This way of production of Matricaria chamomilla as a clean product is of great importance since it is used for tea in both folk and official medicine.

Since the Republic of Srpska has great coniferous forest resources, we have started test distillation and production of coniferous ether oils, primarily from Abies alba and Juniperus communis. Analysis and examination in the “Kurt Kitzing” Institute for Chemical Analysis and Quality Control in Germany on 18 December 1999, determined consistency and quality of these oils.

According to the evaluation of the Institute, these oils can go along with high quality coniferous oils, due to their pleasant smell and high concentration of typical components.

On the basis of these results, which have shown a high quality of the oils, and having in mind the quality raw material they are processed from, we can conclude that this is a case for a realistic possibility of starting production of ether oils for the world market. These results also encourage us for further production of oils from other wild-growing coniferous trees, as well as other aromatic herbs.

At this moment, the important thing for the producers and the Society is finding an adequate market for these products, better organization and networking of the producers, as well as increasing production of ether oils, in order to justify market research in this regard.

The greatest problem is lack of funds, since the members of the Society are not able to enhance and finance the production themselves, thus they work as much as their capacities allow them to organize the production of medicinal herbs and ether oils.


Mme Biljana GLIGORIĆ
Association des plantes médicinales, REPUBLIKA SRPSKA


En Bosnie-Herzégovine et dans la Republika Srpska, les conditions climatiques favorables font qu'il y a une grande richesse de ressources en plantes médicinales. La cueillette de ces végétaux et l'automédication ont toujours été pratiquées dans ces régions mais cette richesse naturelle n'est pas bien exploitée. La culture de plantes médicinales est une activité très récente. La production est entravée par un grand nombre de problémes, dont l'organisation insuffisante de la production et du marché, lequel n'est pas assez développé. Cette situation a conduit à la création de l'Association des plantes médicinales de la Republika Srpska, qui a des statuts, des objectifs et un programme. Elle a pour rôle de rechercher des solutions aux problèmes évoqués plus haut-meilleure organisation des cueilleurs et des producteurs de plantes ainsi que recherche de débouchés, l'objectif étant d'accroître le volume produit et d'obtenir de meilleurs résultats économiques. À cette fin, l'Association organise des conférences, des rencontres scientifiques et d'autres activités visant à assurer une formation aux cueilleurs et aux producteurs de façon à promouvoir cette activité génératrice de revenus sans pour autant perturber l'équilibre écologique.

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