Medicinal Plants and Its Properties

Thesis Statement: There are many common plants that contain medicinal properties that also explore information on treatment, health benefits & side effects.

Guide Questions: 1. What are the common plants with medicinal properties? 2. What are the common medicinal properties that these plants contain? 3. What are the benefits and risks brought about by these medicinal properties of plants? 4. What are the side effects in taking up medicinal plants? Are there any?

Sentence Outline I. Medicinal plants have been identified and used throughout human history. Toxic plants even have use in pharmaceutical development.

A. Herbal medicine (or “herbalism”) is the study and use of medicinal properties of plants.

B. Plants have the ability to synthesize a wide variety of chemical compounds that are used to perform important biological functions, and to defend against attack from predators such as insects, fungi and herbivorous mammals.

1. Chemical compounds in plants mediate their effects on the human body through processes identical to those already well understood for the chemical compounds in conventional drugs; thus herbal medicines do not differ greatly from conventional drugs in terms of how they work.

2. Herbal medicines to be as effective as conventional medicines, but also gives them the same potential to cause harmful side effects.

II. The use of herbs to treat disease is almost universal among non-industrialized societies.

A. The use of plants as medicines predates written human history. Ethnobotany (the study of traditional human uses of plants) is recognized as an effective way to discover future medicines.

B. The use of, and search for, drugs and dietary supplements derived from plants have accelerated in recent years.

1. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 25% of modern drugs used in the United States have been derived from plants.

2. Among the 120 active compounds currently isolated from the higher plants and widely used in modern medicine today.

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