As we all know, life would be impossible without greenery on Earth, which is why the importance of plants should not be understated. They provide us with nutrients, oxygen, materials for industries and much more. However, one of the most prominent uses of plants is in pharmacy. Let’s learn about the importance of medicinal plants together, as we discover why we still need them to stay healthy in the modern times.
Are medicinal plants still important today?
With the rapid development of pharmacy, one would think that the age of plant-based medicine is long gone. Wherever you look, most medicine is made without a single natural element in sight, as it is packed to the brim with chemicals.
However, this is not the case. In fact, the progress has had its disadvantages. First, people in developing country cannot keep up with it, which is why they still put their faith in medicinal plants. For instance, 80% of the population of Pakistan relies heavily on plant-based medicine.
Second, countries with technological advancement are actually somewhat moving away from the chemicals and going back to their roots, literally. 60% of the population of the United States habitually use medicinal plants to fight some ailments. Japan actually has a higher demand for plant-based medicine than for the ‘regular’ medicine.
Therefore, as you can see, not only the importance of plants has not been lost by the generations of today, medicinal plants are more essential than they have been in ages! Let’s look at why exactly that is.
Importance of plants in medicine
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As we have mentioned before, modern pharmacy is capable of producing medicine made entirely out of chemicals. So why do we still need plants to make medicine? Well, there are quite a few reasons we need to mention:
- The most viable option. We talked briefly before that some countries might not have the opportunity to produce chemical medicine, which is why they heavily rely on plant-based medicine. It is cheaper and much more accessible, so more people can afford to stay healthy. More people are in need of it than you might think.
- Untapped potential. While there are millions of different chemicals humans have come up with over the years, nature had more time to work on that. Thus, no matter how many new things we invent that could be used in pharmacy, there are most likely plants that have existed for centuries that could do just that but better. Not only have we not discovered all plant species that would be useful in medicine, we are still not entirely aware of medicinal properties of plants we have already found.
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- Synergic medicine. Some plant components can combat certain ailments, as they contain elements that can neutralise the negative effects of some diseases. For instance, lycopene found in tomatoes is capable of delaying cancer, and tomato dust can be more powerful than the pure lycopene that is usually administered on its own.
- Supporting official medicine. While modern medicine is more powerful than the mostly plant-based medicine of the olden days, it comes with many side effects. In order to combat them, the medicine of today is often supplemented with plant-based medicine. The latter is also used to boost the effects of the former.
- Preventive medicine. You can look down on the traditional ways of preventing diseases with plants, but they have proven to be working. If you have a healthy plant-based diet full of vegetables with antioxidants, or even have some onions and garlic in your meals, you can boost your ability to avoid degenerative diseases or ailments of the circulatory system. You can also improve the work of your immune system, thus protecting yourself from many illnesses.
By now, we should have been able to convince you that plants are still important in pharmacy to this day and will most likely be essential for medicine of the future. After all, there is still so much to discover!
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