Maintaining efficacy of phytopharmaceutical products in a Plant Factory
Phytopharmaceutical products need to be obtained from medicinal plants which are grown in sterile conditions so as to maintain their efficacy. The production of medicinal metabolites in plants depend upon environmental factors such as temperature, light intensity, and quality, relative humidity, carbon dioxide content, etc. These environmental factors can easily be manipulated in the controlled environment maintained in a plant factory so as to maximize biomass production.
The following are medicinal herbs that can be suitably grown in a hydroponic environment inside a plant factory: Basil (Ocimum basilicum), Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), Wild Pansy (Viola tricolor), Lavender, St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), Alfalfa (Medicago sativa), Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis), Marigold (Tagetes), Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), Peppermint (Mentha × Piperita), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and Sage (Salvia officinalis).
The advantages of growing medicinal plants in a plant factory under controlled environment agriculture conditions are: free from biotic and abiotic contamination, uniform plant growth, consistent biochemical profiles can be achieved with uniform production of metabolites. Thus, safe, consistent, and high-quality phytopharmaceutical products of medicinal plants can be obtained from plant factories.