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Suitability of aromatic plants for phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated areas: a review

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This review briefly elucidates the research undertaken and benefits of using aromatic plants for remediation of heavy metal polluted sites. A sustainable approach to mitigate heavy metal contamination of environment is need of the hour. Phytoremediation has emerged to be one of the most preferable choices for combating the metal pollution problem. Aromatic plants can be used for remediation of contaminated sites as they are non-food crops thus minimizing the risk of food chain contamination. Most promising aromatic plants for phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated sites have been identified from families – Poaceae, Lamiaceae, Asteraceae, and Geraniaceae. They act as potential phytostabilisers, hyper accumulators, bio-monitors, and facultative metallophytes. Being high value economic crops, monetary benefits can be obtained by growing them in tainted areas instead of food crops. It has been observed that heavy metal stress enhances the essential oil percentage of certain aromatic crops. Research conducted on some major aromatic plants in this context has been highlighted in the present review which suggests that aromatic plants hold a great potential for phytoremediation. It has been reported that essential oil from aromatic crops is not contaminated by heavy metals significantly. Thus, aromatic plants are emerging as an ideal candidate for phytoremediation.

Highlights

• Aromatic plants hold a great potential for phytoremediation of heavy metal contaminated sites.

• Being high value economic crops, monetary benefits can be obtained by growing them in contaminated areas instead of food crops.

• Research done on some major aromatic plants in this context has been highlighted in the present review.
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Keywords: Aromatic plants; essential oil; heavy metals; phytoremediation; sustainable approach

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), New Delhi, India; 2: Division of Agronomy and Soil Science, CSIR-Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) PO-CIMAP, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Publication date: April 16, 2019

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