Natural cures from the wild flora of the tropics: outline #1

This topic submitted by Allie McDavid ( at 11:32 PM on 3/10/06.

Check out Arenal, a beautiful, active volcano in Costa Rica. Arenal is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

Tropical Field Courses -Western Program-Miami University

Tropical plants have a much larger role in medicine than many of us realize. In my presentation, I will discuss the importance of plants in medicine today, many of the treatments used with plants, and the future outlook of the medicinal plants. It is vital that the environment in which these plants thrive be conserved and protected.

I. Introduction
II. History
A. Basic facts
1. 75% of the world uses plant medicines
2. Location of most medicinal plants
3. percentage of drugs/ treatments today come from plants
B. History of plant use
III. Plant parts used
A. Root, stem, bark, wood
B. Leaves, flowers, fruits
C. Resins
IV. Uses of plants in medicine
A. Anti-cancerous plants
B. Treatment of Hodgkin's disease
C. Pain, muscle relaxers
D. Chemotherapy
V. Location of medicinal plants
A. Mainly in Rainforests
B. Medicinal plants found in Costa Rica
1. Aloe Vera
2. Mammosa - treats sinus infections and skin cancers
3. Hawthorn - treats congestive heart failure and lowers cholesterol
VI. Possible future discoveries
A. Anti-HIV compounds
1. Malaysian Tree
VII. The real future for tropical plants
A. Destroying/ logging of rainforests
B. Disappearing plant species


"The Tropical Forest a Medical Treasure Trove." UNESCO Courier. Sept 1992, Vol 45, Issue 9. P.24.

Gurib-Fakim, Ameenah. "Medicinal Plants: Traditions of Yesterday and Drugs of Tomorrow." Molecular aspects of Medicine. Feb 2006. Vol 27, Issue 1. P.1-93.

Balunas, Marcy J. "Drug Discovery from Medicinal Plants." Life Sciences. Dec 2005. Vol 78, Issue 5. P.431-441.

Cubie, Doreen. "A 'Green' Threat to Plants." Wildlife Conservation. Jul/Aug 2003. Vol 106, Issue 4. P. 14.

Shanley, Patricia. "The Impacts of Forest Degradation on Medicinal Plant Use." Bioscience. Jun 2003. Vol 53, Issue 6. P.573-585.

Royal, Dentinee-Charisse. "Nature's Ailing Medicine." Mother Earth News. Feb/Mar 2000. Issue 176, p.12

"Medicinal Plants in Costa Rica." American Botanical Council. Online. Accessed March 10, 2006.

Blythe, Shephen. "An Introduction to Medicines from Plants." Online. Accessed March 10, 2006.

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