Ancient civilizations spanning time and geographic locale have used plants in the treatment of mental and physical illness (Petrovska, 2012). All parts of a plant, from flower to root to stem, were tested and used for their respective medicinal properties (Petrovska, 2012). The discovery of the Americas and its natural resources only expanded the healing repertoire of physicians of the time (Petrovska, 2012). Many of these plants were foundational for the development of modern-day pharmacology and still are widely used; aspirin, for instance, is derived from the willow bark, and licorice root remains a common ingredient in cough drops (US Forest Service, 2020). The documented harmfulness of some synthetic drugs, among other recent political concerns related to the pharmaceutical industry, has contributed to a renewed interest in alternative medicine (US Forest Service, 2020). Even more common is syncretic medicine – that is, medicine that combines both modern pharmaceuticals and plant-based drugs in a comprehensive, mixed-methods approach to healing (Petrovska, 2012).
Have you had any experience growing or using medicinal plants?