In everyday life we use plants, parts of plants and their extracts. They are used in various ways: as food, medicines, in cosmetics industry, as colouring agents, detergents, perfumes and many other things. Medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) have been an important resource for human health care from prehistoric times to the present day. India has a rich heritage of plant based healthcare systems like Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha with a very high degree of societal acceptance. It is reported that in India, 4,635 ethnic communities, including over one million folk healers, use around 8,000 species of medicinal plants. There is a global upsurge in the use of traditional and complementary systems of medicine. This is primarily due to the fact that these systems of medicine, being largely plant based, are generally safe, efficacious and affordable. The increasing demand of natural/herbal products world over, therefore, creates a need not only for conserving medicinal plants but also judicious utilization due to the large potential they have to offer in the service human kind as health care products. Over exploitation is leading to unsustainable collections from natural forests resulting in uncertain availability of a large number of medicinal plants species and their decline in the wild. Almost 90 percent of the raw materials of medicinal plants used by the manufacturing units are sourced from natural forests, often with little regard to environmental and social considerations, often resulting in the harvest of much in excess of sustainable limits.