Friday, January 21, 2011
Medicinal Plants: What Makes Them Different From Other Plants
For all intents and purposes, there really is no difference between plants we term medicinal and other plants. In that the biological processes that define plants apply to all members of the plant kingdom, any plant may serve a medicinal purpose–perhaps one we simply have yet to discover. Fundamentally, the use of plants that can provide therapeutic benefits all comes down to their chemical make-up as to whether they will serve a curative function. Today, the fields of organic chemistry and pharmacology have qualitatively determined which chemical factors of a given plant are responsible for which therapeutic effect. These distinctions regard the chemical “constituents” of a given plant: alkaloids, glycosides, essential oils, tannins, bitter principles, sugars, fatty oils, and organic acids. Read more . . .