by Suzan Shahin

desert cotton or snow bush
Desert Cotton or Snow Bush (Aerva javanica)

In the desert regions, where natural conditions are severe and resources are so limited, each water drop is precious and should be used in the best possible way. Global phenomena such as climate change and global warming are additional stressful conditions, adding to the sharply growing global population leading to more complications and to further challenging consequences.

Sustainability is a definition merged in every single life aspect, and in arid regions this concept is questionable. Regional and international efforts at all levels are focusing on adoption of the best practices and strategies that ensure the continuity and sustainability of the natural resources, while mitigating and adapting the global concerns, like climate change.

Medicinal aromatic plants of the desert were always Bedouins’ rescuers in past times. Where hospitals did not exist, the traditional herbal practices using the medicinal aromatic plants were always the magical solutions to the acute and chronic health symptoms.

However, today with the urbanization activities and the land-use changing patterns the number of many desert medicinal aromatic plants has been declining, and many species have become threatened and endangered. Additionally, as people today become more dependent on modern medications, the vision related to the medicinal aromatic plants has been dramatically changed, and the values of their applications are mostly underestimated.

There is an obvious gap between the old herbal practices and the modern therapeutic ones. The mindset of the young generations should be changed and their vision of medicinal aromatic plants should be upgraded. The same is necessary to conserve the earth’s resources and to have a healthy sustainable future.

Awareness and education related to the expensive values of the medicinal aromatic plants are necessary as the same are the main resources of therapeutic phytochemicals, as well as, main resources of today’s industries (pharmaceuticals, fragrance, flavor, preservatives, etc.).


  • Shahin, S. M., & Salem, M. A. M. (2014). The cost of landscaping beauty in the United Arab Emirates (UAE): Call for quick actions to save the irrigation resources. Proceedings of ICMTSET.
  • Shahin, S. M., & Salem, M. A. M. (2014). The lifeline rescuers of tomorrow’s landscaping in the United Arab Emirates (UAE): All the hope rests on the indigenous plants. Proceedings of ICMTSET.
  • Shahin, S., Abdul, M., & Salem, M. (2014). Four reasons will convince the landscape decision makers to go for indigenous plants in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Int. J. Recent Dev. Eng. Technol, 3, 1-8.
  • Shahin, S. M., & Salem, M. A. (2014, October). Food security in the United Arab Emirates (UAE): The great competition between the agricultural and forestry sector on irrigation resources. In Proceedings of the International Research Conference on Science, Health & Medicine (IRCSHM), Dubai, UAE (pp. 15-16).
  • Shahin, S. M., & Salem, M. A. (2014, November). Extracting therapeutic grade essential oils from the Lamiaceae plant family in the United Arab Emirates (UAE):, Highlights on great possibilities and sever difficulties. In Proceedings of the XII International Conference on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (ICMAP).
  • Shahin, S. M., & Salem, M. (2014, March). Review future concerns on irrigation requirements of date palm tree in the United Arab Emirates (UAE): call for quick actions. In The 5th International Date Palm Conference.
  • Shahin, S. M., Ajaj, R. M., & Salem, M. A. (2015). Climate change and food security: Bridging the interaction gaps for future integrity. Proceedings of The Transitioning
    Cereal Systems to Adapt to Climate Change. Minneapolis, USA, 13-14.
  • Shahin, S. M., & Salem, M. A. (2015). The challenges of water scarcity and the future of food security in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Natural Resources and Conservation, 3(1), 1-6.
  • Shahin, S., Kurup, S., Cheruth, A. J., & Salem, M. (2018). Chemical Composition of Cleome amblyocarpa Barr. & Murb. Essential Oils Under Different Irrigation Levels in Sandy Soils with Antioxidant Activity. Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants, 21(5), 1235-1256.
  • Shahin, S. M., Kurup, S., Cheruth, J., Lennartz, F., Salem, M., (2018). Growth, yield, and physiological responses of Cleome amblyocarpa Barr. & Murb. under varied irrigation levels in sandy soils. J. Food Agr. Env. 16(2): 124-134.
  • Shahin, S., & Salem, M. (2018). Grasses in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands: The Multi-Benefits of the Indigenous Grasses. Grasses as Food and Feed, 67. Ajaj, R. M.,
  • Shahin, S. M., & Salem, M. A. (2019). The challenges of climate change and food security in the United Arab Emirates (UAE): From deep understanding to quick actions. Current Nutrition & Food Science, 15(5),