Increasing genetic diversity of medicinal and aromatic plants


Wild medicinal herbs and aromatic plants such as Valeriana officinalis L., Matricaria recutita, Echinacea Angustifolia, Taraxacum officinale and Saposhnikovia divaricata are known for their high concentration of active substances. For this reason, they are used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry around the world. Theoretically, the soil and climatic conditions for their cultivation are suitable in Latvia, but till now no technologies of growing and cultivation of these plants have been introduced. During the project, an international team of scientists will set up an experimental garden to study the genetic resources of the plant species mentioned above. As a result, researchers will select biologically and economically most valuable medical and aromatic plant genotypes that are most suitable for the climate of the country and their cultivation technologies, which can be used by producers.


  • To assess the natural populations of medicinal and aromatic plants of Latvia with market potential and compare then with the genetic resources of foreign medicinal and aromatic plants;
  • To determine the quality of various medicinal and aromatic plant genotypes, yield stability and composition of active substances in Latvia, and to study the influence of genotype and growth conditions of yield and quality;
  • To develop an innovative methodology for the cultivation of high-value medicinal herbs and aromatic plants in Latvia.


To create an innovative methodology for the cultivation of high-value medicinal herbs and aromatic plants in Latvia and to start the cultivation traditions of these plants, scientists will carry out an industrial research. An experimental garden of multiple medicinal herbs and aromatic plant species will be created. The collection of medicinal herbs will be created by collecting wild populations in different regions of Latvia and evaluating various varieties created abroad. The experiments will assess the productivity of these plants, biochemical quality, genetic diversity, and also seek out the most suitable growing technologies for organic farming. As a result of the project, valuable knowledge will be gained in areas such as medicine, food production, cosmetics and agriculture.

Project implementation time: March 2017 – February 2020

Project scientific leader: Dr. Andrea Primavera

Project is funded by: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Operational program “Growth and employment”, Specific Aid Objective 1.1.1. “To Increase the Research and Innovative Capacity of Scientific Institutions of Latvia and the Ability to Attract External Financing, Investing in Human Resources and Infrastructure”, Measure “Support for applied research”.

Project partner: Foundation “Institute for Environmental Solutions

Funding: The total funding of the project is EUR 736 765,98, of which the ERDF co-funding amounts to EUR 589 412,79.