Medicinal plants

Plants have been used for healing during all times. They have eased colds and sleeping problems, helped with stomach problems and joint pain, been invigorating or calming. Many medicines for cancer and malaria also come from the plant kingdom.

Here is a little information about some healing plants:

Old Drugs from Medicinal Plants

Substance Origin Scientific plant name
1806 Morphine Opium poppy Papaver somniferum
1818 Noscapin Opium poppy Papaver somniferum
1820 Caffeine Coffee Coffea arabica
1820 Quinine Quinine bark Cinchona spp.
1828 Nicotine Tobacco Nicotiana tabacum
1832 Codeine Opium poppy Papaver somniferum
1833 Atropine Deadly nightshade Atropa belladonna
1835 Salicylic acid Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria
1848 Papaverin Opium poppy Papaver somniferum
1855 Cocaine Coca leaf Erythroxylum coca
1868 Digitalin* Foxglove Digitalis purpurea

* Digitalin is a mixture of glycosides. Nowadays some of the glycosides are used as pure compounds, as cardiac medicines.

New Medicinal Substances from Medicinal Plants

Substance Origin Scientific plant name
1932 Ginkgolides Maidenhair tree Ginkgo biloba
1950s Vinblastine Madagascar periwinkle Catharanthus roseus
1950s Vincristine Madagascar periwinkle Catharanthus roseus
1962 Ginsenosides Ginseng Panax ginseng
1967 Taxol Pacific yew Taxus brevifolia
1968 Silymarin Milk thistle Silybum marianum
1972 Artemisinin Sweet wormword Artemisia annua
1972 Cyclosporine A microfungus Cordyceps subsesselis
(Tolyplocladium inflatum)
Last modified: 2021-11-29