Drugs from Plants

Drugs from PlantsCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here’s a program from our archives.musicAll over the world, plants which are used by indigenous peoples have been rediscovered by western medicine. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Ambience, Costa Rican Rainforest Schultes: “There are a number of good examples of plants that we have learned from native peoples which have given us chemical constituents of great importance in our own medicine.” Dr. Richard Evans Schultes is Jeffrey Professor of Biology and director of the Botanical Museum at Harvard University, emeritus. Schultes: “The Indian Snakeroot, used for a thousand years in India, and only in the 1950’s when they decided to analyze this, they came up with risurpine which revolutionized the treatment of certain mental problems, plus it lowered blood pressure.”China has given us ephedra which has been used for centuries in China for asthmatic and pulminary problems, colds, and so forth. That was the beginning of ephedrine, which now is, of course, a medicine.””In Africa, the two explorers, Livingston and Stanley, they found the arrow poison of Africa was made with the plant, Strophanthus. Livingston said, ‘this should be investigated, because the african arrow poisons work on the heart muscle. And,’ he said, ‘there might be a cardiac, medicinal use for this.’ We now have strophanthene, which is a great medicine for circulatory problems.”The sounds we’ve been listening to were recorded in the Amazon, where it’s estimated there are 80,000 species of plants, most of which we know very little about. This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.music

Drugs from Plants

A wide range of exotic plants have yielded drugs valuable to western medicine. This archival program is part of Pulse of the Planet's 30th anniversary celebration. Richard Evans Schultes (1915 - 2001) has been called the father of modern ethnobotany. His work inspired the film "Embrace of the Serpent".
Air Date:06/14/2018
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Drugs from PlantsCelebrating three decades of Pulse of the Planet, here's a program from our archives.musicAll over the world, plants which are used by indigenous peoples have been rediscovered by western medicine. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Ambience, Costa Rican Rainforest Schultes: "There are a number of good examples of plants that we have learned from native peoples which have given us chemical constituents of great importance in our own medicine." Dr. Richard Evans Schultes is Jeffrey Professor of Biology and director of the Botanical Museum at Harvard University, emeritus. Schultes: "The Indian Snakeroot, used for a thousand years in India, and only in the 1950's when they decided to analyze this, they came up with risurpine which revolutionized the treatment of certain mental problems, plus it lowered blood pressure."China has given us ephedra which has been used for centuries in China for asthmatic and pulminary problems, colds, and so forth. That was the beginning of ephedrine, which now is, of course, a medicine.""In Africa, the two explorers, Livingston and Stanley, they found the arrow poison of Africa was made with the plant, Strophanthus. Livingston said, 'this should be investigated, because the african arrow poisons work on the heart muscle. And,' he said, 'there might be a cardiac, medicinal use for this.' We now have strophanthene, which is a great medicine for circulatory problems."The sounds we've been listening to were recorded in the Amazon, where it's estimated there are 80,000 species of plants, most of which we know very little about. This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. Im Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.music