IMPORTANCE OF MEDICINAL PLANTS
What are medicinal plants good for?
Are plants really so important to Man?
Plants are extremely useful for us. On the one hand, they provide us with the oxygen we need by means of photosynthesis necessary for us to breathe. But furthermore they contribute with nutrients through food, wood for fire, chemicals for the industries, etc.
The use of the plants as food has been the main aim from the beginnings of the Humanity, looking for the differences among those species that were eatable from the ones that were not. In this search, Man has experimented with plants in his own body and has seen how what he thought was food was in fact a deadly poison.
Throughout history, civilizations have moved around the plants, living beings who have influenced a lot in humanity. The conservation of the seeds in cooked mud jars allowed to get free of harvesting wild plants and the invention of agriculture with the consequent progressive disappearance of the nomadic cultures.
The search for new species led the discovery of the American continent and the appearance of colonialism. (See more reasons why plants in general are so important)
Medicinal plants have also been very important to mankind
Also, the search of medicinal plants, narcotic species or plants with aphrodisiac properties has guided human beings to look for plants in the most recondite places.
In order to obtain a cure for any illness, to experience new sensations or just because of simple curiosity, these type of plants have been very as necessary as appealing to us, since ancient times.
Are medicinal plants still useful in recent days?
The importance of medicinal plants becomes more patent at the present time in developing countries. In Pakistan it is estimated that a 80% of its population depend on plants to cure themselves, a 40% in China. In technologically advanced countries as the United States, it is estimated that 60% of the its population use medicinal plants habitually to fight certain ailments. In Japan there is more demand of medicinal plants than of "official" medicines.
Modern medicine, through clinical tests, has been able to validate those plants that the tradition had used with the method of test and error. Many turned out to have been worth; others demonstrated to be innocuous; others, potentially dangerous. Biochemical tests have been the ones that determined the main components of the medicinal plants - the active principles.
What are the main virtues of medicinal plants?
The capacity of the modern chemical industry to produce these principles without the aid of the plants does not suppose to deny the importance that these have and will still have in the future.
Among the main arguments in defense of the medicinal plants we have to mention the following:
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.