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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Medicinal Plants Face Extinction

Another one of those that got shuffled into the wrong bookmark folder and lost, until now...

Researchers from the Botanical Gardens Conservation International surveyed 600 (earlier this year) of its members and identified at least 400 species of plant that are facing extinction. The group represents botanic gardens from over 120 countries. This is incredibly dangerous to Man, as some of the plants are those from which important medical drugs are culled, including the yew tree, which is used in the manufacture of one of the most widely-used cancer drugs!

While many of the other plants on the list are not medicinally-related, as the researchers say, who knows what the future may bring? There exists the very real possibility that, should these plants go extinct, we may lost the cure for any number of diseases before we even discover them!

Many of the chemicals garnered from plants are now made synthetically, but over-harvesting and deforestation of the plants' indigenous areas are the leading threats.

As many as 5 million people worldwide depend on flora-based medicines.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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