Sunday, May 21, 2017

A plant could save your life

Eat a plant, live forever.
I am fascinated by the healing properties in plants. This is not an idea prevalent in contemporary medicine, which is a shame and a waste.

Since 1981, 1,130 new therapeutic agents have been approved for use as pharmaceutical drugs, of which 593 are based on compounds from natural sources. Thirty-eight are derived from medicinal plants. Fifteen of the 56 natural drugs registered for the treatment of cancer since 1980 are derived from medicinal plants with a long history of traditional use.
A recent survey found that more than 28,000 species of plants around the world have a medical use but poor documentation means people are not making the most of the health benefits.
  • New plants discovered over the past year include nine species of a climbing vine used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
  • Two plants, artemisinin and quinine, are "among the most important weapons" against malaria, which killed over 400,000 people in 2015.
  • Drugs based on Paclitaxel have been isolated from the yew tree (Taxus spp.), Camptothecin from the happy tree, (Camptotheca acuminata) and Podophyllotoxin from the May apple (Podophyllum hexandrum and P. peltatum).
  • One study documents 656 flowering plant species used traditionally for diabetes, representing 437 genera and 111 families.
  • Of “only five drugs developed specifically for the symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, two are derived from plants.”
Though plant medicines are making their way into the mainstream, the researchers note that currently, just “16% (4,478) of the species used in plant-based medicines are cited in a medicinal regulatory publication.”

What we need is for the FDA to regulate supplements as it does medicines so that we can safely and effectively make use of what we know about plants.

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