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Native Plants/plants that make medicine


Hello Susan,

I need to know some information for my Bot class , And i was wondering what various plants are turn into medicine?

Hi Arcenio,

Thanks for your question.  About 60% of pharmaceuticals are made from plants, or are synthesized from plant derivatives.  Plants are being studied all the time as we search for cures for disease.  Here is a partial list, and I will add some links with more information below.

Opium Poppy - parpaver somniferum - Morphine, Codine, and other painkillers.
Foxglove - Digitalis Purpurea - Digitalis - a powerful heart medicine
Fever Tree - Cinchona Succiruba - Quinine - treats Malaria
Daffodil - Narcissus - used to treat Alzheimers
Willow - Salix species - from which common aspirin is derived
Bella Donna - Atropa Belladonna - contains atropine, which is used to relax eye muscles, and is also an antidote to organophosphate posioning - most insecticides
Madagascar periwinkle - Vinca- used to treat certain forms of cancer
Milk Thistle seed - silybum - used in liver ailments
Mango - rotten mango fruit is a major component of high dollar wrinkle treatments
The following link is to Duke University Ethnobotanical database.  You can search by plant, disease, or active compounds.

I hope this is helpful to you.

Native Plants

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Susan Tabor


I can answer questions about native North American Plants, with emphasis on the Southern US. I have studied native plants and their uses for over 30 years. I can identify from photos (sometimes just descriptions) trees, mushrooms, weeds, and most vascular flora. I actually use the things I gather, and I have some great recipes for wild foods. I frequently design landscapes using native plants. I discovered a new weed introduction in Iberville Parish, La.


30 years of study and application.

Horticulture - LSU Phytotherapy - D. Hoffman

Awards and Honors
LSU 1997 - new Emelia sp. entered in LSU botanical files.

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