Plants Used To Make Medicines
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
Plants have been used for medicine as far as back as history has been recorded. For many centuries cultures around the globe have embraced this way of life by utilizing plants not only to cure their hunger and quench their thirst but also for their medicinal attributes and benefits. There are hundreds and possibly even thousands of plants that offer medicinal properties as well as many pharmaceutical medications that utilize plants in their manufacturing. Let’s take a look at some of the plants that are commonly utilized for their medicinal attributes as well as a few of the medications commonly prescribed today that leverage medicinal properties from a plant.
Sage- Sage is a remarkably useful plant which has been utilized for many years for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antioxidant properties. Sage also helps to aid in digestion, reduces diarrhea, helps to fight colds, kills bacteria and can even be used to preserve meat when refrigeration isn’t available.
Feverfew- Fever few offers menu well known health benefits and medicinal properties. This plant for many years has been consumed by many different individuals on a daily basis to treat and prevent arthritis, migraine headaches, tension and general anxiety. Feverfew also offers pain relieving benefits in a pinch when no Tylenol or Advil is within reach.
Cannabis (Hemp/Marijuana)- Cannabis in both its psychoactive and non-psychoactive forms is proving to contain and offer many medical benefits. Cannabis contains compounds known as cannabinoids that directly interact with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system allowing patients to find relief from ailments ranging from inflammation and anxiety all the way to cancer, fibromyalgia and epileptic conditions. Cannabis before being prohibited by governments around the world was utilized for centuries in cultures around the globe for its amazing medicinal benefits.
Blackberries- Blackberries are another common plant that offers many medical benefits. While many people know that blackberries are packed full of vitamins and antioxidants what many do not realize is that their leaves and roots also offer many healing properties. It was common practice amongst many Native American tribes to utilize the leaves and roots of blackberry plants for treating cuts and inflammation in the mouth and as a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery.
Alfalfa- Alfalfa is one plant that is incredibly potent in health-promoting nutrients, compounds, and minerals. Alfalfa has roots that grow up to 20 to 30-foot-deep and is one plant that can be found growing in places around the globe. Alfalfa is a natural diuretic which helps with things such as kidney stones, urinary tract infections, morning sickness and nausea to name a few. It is also believed by the scientific community that when consumed on a regular basis that Alfalfa can help to regulate cholesterol naturally.
Plant Based Medicines
Codeine- Codeine is a common compound found within pharmaceuticals designed as cough suppressants, pain relievers, and analgesics. Codeine which is also called methylmorphine is a naturally occurring alkaloid of opium which comes from the poppy Papaver somniferum. Some of the come medications that contain codeine include but are not limited to Tylenol, Aspirin, and Robitussin.
Ephedrine- Ephedrine is a commonly utilized compound within many asthma medications, nasal decongestants and OTC allergy medicines. Ephedrine is derived from the Ephedra Sinica plant. Some of the common medications that you can find on the market today that contain Ephedrine include but are not limited to Primatine, Hydroxycut, and Benadryl.
Morphine- Morphine is a compound widely utilized for its pain-relieving benefits. This compound occurs naturally in a number of different plants however is most commonly found in and extracted from the Papaver somniferum. Roxanol, Kadian, MS Contin, and Avinza are just a few of the brand names for morphine derived medications that can be found being utilized around the world today.
Pseudoephedrine- Pseudoephedrine is a compound utilized in many different medications today that are designed to treat ailments ranging from the common cold and allergies all the way to inner ear infections. Pseudoephedrine is derived from the plant known as Ephedra sinica and while it has many benefits it has also been highly abused to make illegal drugs such as methamphetamine aka crystal meth. Some of the legal OTC medications that you can purchase that contain the plant derived compound pseudoephedrine include but are not limited to Advil Cold and Sinus, Sudafed, Mucinex D, Allergy Relief D and Claritin to name a few.
As you can see, there are a number of different medication in which are plant derived as well as many plants that can be utilized as medicines in their natural state. As more and more people become aware of this information, you can expect to see a shift in how many people choose to medicate in the years to come and it is likely that you will start to see more plants used to make medicines.