Botanical gardens exhibit with medical plants

May 23, 2013 1:49:16 PM PDT
Did you know the bark of a white willow tree helps make aspirin?

The fact of the matter is, so much medication we take every day derives from plants.

And now, a new exhibit at the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, explores the wonder of healing plants around the world.

Inside this conservatory, hundreds of plant species that have the power to heal.

It's the new wild medicine exhibit at the Gardens.

About 25 % of all medications prescribed today are dry iced directly or indirectly from plant based compounds," said Todd Forrest.

The bark of that willow tree is where aspirin comes from. Morphine comes form that poppy plant. The poisonous bell shaped foxglove blooms are the source of digitalis/digoxin, a heart medication.

And these are more than pink flowers, the rose periwinkle is the source of two powerful chemotherapy medications.

Many of the active ingredients in modern western medications are now manmade and it's hard to know how much of the real plants makes it into herbal supplements since they are not regulated.

Many cultures don't even use pills.

Chocolate comes from the cacao plant it contains antioxidants and theobromine -which can lower blood pressure.

The darker and more pure the chocolate the healthier it is.

For more, go to: