Medicinal Plants - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 6 pages of information about Medicinal Plants.
This section contains 1,641 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
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What Characterizes Medicinal Plants

There are twenty thousand known secondary plant metabolites, all exhibiting a remarkable array of organic compounds that clearly provide a selective advantage to the producer, which outweighs their cost of production. Humans benefit from their production by using many of them for medicinal purposes to fight infections and diseases. An estimated two-fifths of all modern pharmaceutical products in the United States contain one or more naturally derived ingredients, the majority of which are secondary metabolites, such as alkaloids, glycosides, terpenes, steroids, and other classes grouped according to their physiological activity in humans or chemical structure. To illustrate the breadth of human reliance on medicinal plants, the accompanying table provides a list of the most significant plants, their uses in modern medicine, and the major secondary metabolites responsible for their activities. This list grows annually as new plants are found with desired activities and remedies...

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This section contains 1,641 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Medicinal Plants Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences
Medicinal Plants from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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