There are over 120 prescription drugs containing ingredients directly from rain forest plants. About two-thirds of the medicines used in helping fight cancer are derived rain forest plants (http://environment.about.com/od/healthenvironment/a/rainforest_drug.htm). Periwinkle, for example, has been very effective in curing leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease. Quinine, used for helping cure malaria, is extracted from the bark of the Cinchona tree found in both Latin American and African rain-forests. Novacaine contains the cocoa plant from South America. Cortisone contains wild yams from Central America.
One of my friends brought some Dragon’s Blood back from her trip to the rainforest (Peru), which is a resin of the plant species Dracaena. It has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, and is used to sooth stomach ulcers, among other things. It is also an ingredient in a few pharmaceutical products for diarrhea. My friend puts it on her cuts, and also her face.
Other medicinal species of plant include Acai palm berries (loaded with antioxidants); curare, a South American vine used in modern surgeries as anaesthetic; graviola, being researched for its antiviral/tumorous/cancerous properties; and wild yam, which is used for treating menstrual cramps and other conditions associated with pregnancy.
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