For many years now, scientist have been scouring tropical rain forests for botanical extracts that could cure some of the deadliest diseases.
In 1967 Robin Foster discovered a tree that never flowered. After three years of studying this species of tree, it finally flowered. All at once the trees produced an array of light yellow and pink flowers. Unfortunately, these trees all died within a year of their flowering and fruiting.
Robin also discovered that as soon as the tree flowered it was attacked by insects and wood-decaying fungi. It was odd that these trees could live for decades and never come under such a sudden attack. This species of tree is known as Tachigali versicolor. The logical reason for the assaults is that the tree was diverting the energy it once used to defend itself in order to flower and fruit. As soon as the tree let down its guard or defenses it was subject to attack.
The Tachigali tree produces an anti-fungal compound. The people of the Amazon rain forest use it to treat fungal skin infections. The extract is how the tree protects itself until it flowers. Amazon people are not the only people who use plants for medicinal purposes, people all over the world have been transforming chemicals from plants into medicines.
Most of todays drugs come from plants. However, some plant chemicals can be deadly in high dosages. Medicinal plants can be found in practically any part of the world, but the best place to find them is in the rain forest. Rain forests have more variety and diversity in one place than anywhere else.
Besides finding different types of flowers and plants, researchers have also found a variety of defensive plant chemicals. Anti-AIDS and anti-tumor properties have come from these chemicals.I think its great that humans are looking into less destructive ways to save our species.
Its good to know that they arent chopping these trees down and killing them. Research like this does not get shown on the news too much, so not many people are aware of what measures are being taken to cure diseases. Im sure many people with life threatening diseases would help the further testing of these chemicals, if they were aware of them.
With all the plants that have passed certain degrees of testing how come we are not yet closer to a cure to AIDS and fatal cancers?Bibliography: