Super tree maps 20,000 medicinal, related plants

“By studying and recording over 1,500 medicinal plants reported to have health benefits in three continents, the researchers created a family tree of plant species for each area, demonstrating how medicinal plants relate to each other. They then combined the trees to create a ‘super’ family tree representing 20,000 species to reveal which medicinal plants from different areas were related. The results were extraordinary. Not only did the researchers find examples of very closely related plants being used as medicines in different parts of the world, they also discovered they were being used to treat the same ailments. Furthermore, they found that many modern day drugs come from these groups of closely related plants.”

“Across the whole of the super tree we found many groups of related plants that had been independently discovered. One example is that plants from the soapberry family are used in Nepal, the Cape of South Africa and New Zealand to treat gastro-intestinal problems. It seems these treatments, using closely related plants, have been independently discovered. Additionally, the study showed that other closely related plants that are not used by traditional medicine in these regions, such as maple or lychee trees, could also have medicinal properties. “Our super tree will help companies involved in bioprospecting narrow their search for plants with medicinal properties which could lead to new disease fighting drugs.” continued Dr Hawkins. “It’s incredibly exciting to think that communities around the world that weren’t in contact with each other have sampled related plants and are using them to treat the same things.”

via Super tree maps 20,000 medicinal, related plants.

Advertisements

About Karen Saint Marie

Hi! I'm Karen Saint Marie. I have worked in the fields of health care, nutrition and mental wellness since 1991. Over the past two decades, I became aware that almost everyone is interested in how to feel better, live better and think better. The problem is, most people find it impossible to prioritize their physical and mental health while juggling family, jobs, and community projects. I have helped many individuals and small groups learn to identify, understand and implement better health and wellness practices. Wellness is a many-fold process. To begin, pick a place to start and get the process going. Being healthy in mind and body doesn't mean spending hours every day focused on healthy living. Instead, it is easier to make healthy living a natural and enjoyable part of our lives. Taking care of our minds means putting the right things in our bodies. It means pushing our minds in fun and explorative ways. Learning about the latest neuroscience and psychological research is helpful. It shows us the easiest ways to keep our brains humming along, well into our later years. Taking care of our bodies means being aware of our movements. It means making good choices for healthy foods, even when we eat out for most of our meals. It doesn't have to be hard, and, it can be a lot of fun. Living a great life doesn't have to come at a high price. It just involves knowing what is needed, and then, doing some small part of that every day. You can contact me at karen.saintmarie@gmail.com.

Posted on September 11, 2012, in Health, Nutritive Medicine and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: