Simran Kaur and Arpita Roy* Pages 542 - 553 ( 12 )
The world is facing many issues regarding malnutrition, lack of food security, unavailability of food resources, and famines due to poor crop harvest, scarcity, and high cost of healthy food. To overcome these situations, there is a need for an alternative that can effectively fulfill the requirement of the world population. Wild edible plants (WEPs) are one of them, these plant species are neither managed nor cultivated commercially, but utilized in many cultural, traditional, and heritage practices all over the world. They are the sources of various essential nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, etc., which can serve as an important source of nutrition in many parts of the world especially, developing and under-developed countries. They have high nutritional and medicinal properties, therefore utilized to cure a range of diseases like fever, injury, diarrhea, boils, stomach ache, bleeding gums, toothaches, etc. WEPs are currently underutilized and consumed traditionally by different communities. These foods lack recognition as a significant contributor to the human diet in developed areas, which suggest more scientific exploration to make their use common among people all over the world. Therefore, the aim of this review paper is to document, compare, and contrast the nutritional and medicinal properties of selected fifty WEPs. This review emphasizes diversity, ethnobotanical value, conservation, cultural as well as traditional knowledge of wild edible plants (WEPs). Commercial exploitation and scientific scrutiny of WEPs to develop dietary supplements, new food alterations, product development, pharmaceutical use, and biofortification have also been discussed.
Wild edible plants, nutritional value, food security, diversity, medicinal properties.
Department of Biotechnology, Delhi Technological University, Delhi, Department of Biotechnology, School of Engineering & Technology, Sharda University, Greater Noida