High global demand for plant-derived medicines is threatening the existence of many wild indigenous plant species. However, the high demand of medicinal plants has also created huge business opportunities in commercial farming of medicinal plants. Large-scale production of secondary metabolites by plants and medicinal materials will be crucial in the medicinal plant industry. As commercial cultivation of medicinal plants gains traction among farmers, N fertilizers will be increasingly used to enhance plant growth and yield. Therefore, the implementation of better nitrogen use efficiency is critically important. Excessive use of N can lead to many problems; it is costly, it can cause environmental pollution and its high levels in plant tissues can be toxic to plants, herbivores and humans. This chapter discusses the potential risks, opportunities and setbacks associated with the use of N in cultivation of medicinal plants.
Part of the book: Nitrogen in Agriculture