New World Plants; New World Drugs
Abstract:The "discovery" and eventual colonization and exploitation of the New World by Europeans created the opportunity for the development of medicines from numerous plants native to the Western Hemisphere. Many of these plants had been employed by native cultures for centuries or millenia. The plants and, eventually, isolated drugs derived from them were incorporated into the materia medica of the Europeans both in Europe and in the new colonies. Many became official in the United States Pharmacopeia (USP); a few still remain today. In all, 30 plants and/or their derivatives are briefly profiled. The subject of plant-based medicines is becoming more timely as millions of Europeans and Americans begin to seek "natural" remedies for self-medication. Unfortunately, lack of patentability and high new-drug approval costs keep many traditional plant medicines from obtaining proper recognition.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1992-11-01
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