Medicinal Plants
Plants grow in almost every part of the world. We see such plants as flowers, grass and trees nearly every day. Plants also grow on mountaintops, in the oceans, and in many desert and polar regions.
Without plants, there could be no life on the earth. People could not live without air or food, and thus could not live without plants. The oxygen is the air we breathe comes from plants. The food that we eat comes from plants or from animals that eat plant. Much of our clothing is made from the fibers of the cotton plant. But not only this. Many useful drugs come from plants. Some of there plants have been used as medicines for hundreds of years. More than 400 years ago, for example, some Indian tribes of South America used the bark of the cinchona tree to reduce fever. The dark is still used to make guinine, a drug used to treat malaria and other diseases. Another drug, called digitalis, is used in treating heart disease. It is made from the dried leaves of the purple foxglove plant. The roots of the Mexican yamare used in producing cortisone, a drug useful in treating arthritis and a number of other diseases.
The collection and use of medicinal plants began many thousand years ago.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine who lived in Greece wrote in his books about such drugs as hemlock [ ] - "", gentian [ ] - "" and many others.
Today many drug plants are cultivated and many drug plants are collected from fields and woods.
Some drugs are made from fruits, leaves, flowers, roots, seeds of the plants.
It is very important to collect plants in proper time. Leaves are collected when they are fully developed. The time of the day is also important in the collection of drug plants.
Flowers are collected before the time of pollination [ ]. Fruits are collected when they are fully grown but unripe.
To dry plants correctly is also very important. If it is made carelessly the drug may be spoiled. Drug plants which have glicosides must be dried at a low temperature.
And now I want to tell you some words about mint and camomile.
Mint is the name of a large family of plants. There are about 3500 species of mint. Most mint plants have small, white, bluish or pinkish flowers. Their leaves are dotted with small glands that contain aromatic oils. The oil are released when the leaves are crushed.
Popular cooking mints include marjoram, rosemary and sage. Such mints as white horehound and peppermint add a cool, sharp flavor to candies. Mints also are used in some medicines and perfumes.
Camomile, is a group of small plants that are sometimes used in folk medicine. The name is often spelled chamomile. The most commonly cultivated camomile grows in the eastern and central regions of the United States, where it was brought from Europe. It is called common or corn, camomile, and sometimes the English, or Roman, camomile. The flowers look much like daisies. The flowers and leaves smell sweet, but taste bitter. They are sometimes applied as a poultice (warm, moist mass) to treat toothache, or made into a tonic.
collection - [ ] -
Hippocrates - [ ] - ó
hemlock - [ ] -
gentian - [ ] -
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in proper time -
fully developed -
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