Regenerative agriculture (RegenAg) encompasses principles that prioritize soil health, biodiversity, and ecosystem restoration in farming practices. Additionally, in RegenAg these practices must take into account economic viability and community benefits. Applying these principles to cultivating medicinal and aromatic plants (MAPs) has generated significant interest, driven not only by rising demand but also by the potential for integrated production systems. Regenerative methods nurture healthier soil microbiomes, enhancing nutrient availability and plant resilience. This approach not only promotes a more sustainable agriculture but also has the potential to enhance the production of secondary metabolites and oils in MAPs due to plant interactions with a thriving soil microbiome. By emphasizing ecological balance and soil vitality, regenerative agriculture presents a promising avenue for cultivating these valuable plants while supporting environmental well-being.
Iris Mota, a Portuguese Plant Biologist with a Master’s in Pharmacy and Chemistry of Plant Natural Products, is a professional with diverse expertise. Having extensively worked in essential oil distilleries across Portugal, Angola, Italy, and Peru, Iris evaluated value chains and critical points to achieve an optimized production of oils. In parallel, she has also worked as an agronomist, aiding farms transitioning to regenerative agriculture. Her hands-on experience spans nearly 100 farms between 2021 and 2023, learning and teaching farmers how to evaluate their soil and what are other methods of observing a farm. Her passion for MAPs and regenerative agriculture led her to publish a scientific article exploring mycorrhizae soil fungi’s influence on essential oil production, its effect on the chemical profile, and biomass production. Iris has a deep commitment to studying and promoting regenerative agriculture while recognizing its potential in optimizing the cultivation of medicinal plants while prioritizing ecological balance and sustainability.