Discussion 10: Our Most Medicinally Rich Ecosystems

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Tropical Forests. . . Why Protect Tropical Forests?

Here’s another reason:

Our biggest opportunities for curing and managing human diseases — and bringing medical science and nature itself into partnership — lie in the protection of tropical forests. Tropical forests are often called “Earth’s medicine cabinet,” containing a greater variety of natural medicines than any other living system on our planet. A number of powerful medicines currently in use from tropical forests include effective treatments for: arthritis, bronchitis, cancers, candida, colds, depression, diabetes, digestion, dysentery, headaches, hunger, immunity deficiencies, impotence, insomnia, gallstones, liver ailments, low energy, malaria, pain, and PMS.

The plant Madagascar Periwinkle has already prevented more than 100,000 leukemia deaths in American children and successfully treated glaucoma, Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, nueuroblastoma, advanced carcinoma, and sarcoma. One plant. The chemicals in this plant, like so many others, are too cost-prohibitive to reproduce synthetically.

Less than 10% of tropical forest plants, and an even smaller percentage of tropical forest animals, have been assessed for their medicinal potential.

Many indigenous forest peoples possess enormous natural medicine knowledge. The first indigenous medical encyclopedia was released just last year, coming in at 511 pages. A second volume is in the works.

Check out a 2 minute YouTube synopsis here:

More detail and citations in my white paper.

Your questions and comments welcomed.

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