Botanicals

This passage talks about certain medicines that come from plants.

Lexile Level: 1020L

Categories: Sports & Health Science & Technology Animals & Nature


Many modern medicines originally came from plants. Aspirin was first made from the willow tree. Ancient Greeks discovered that chewing willow leaves helped relieve pain. The Romans made tea from the bark of the willow and drank it to cure headaches. Have you ever put lotion on a sunburn? Chances are it contained a gel from the leaves of the aloe vera plant, which has been used for centuries to heal cuts and burns. Quinine, which comes from the bark of a South American tree, was first used in the 16th century to treat malaria, a disease carried by mosquitoes. Quinine is still used today. In 1785, the dried leaves of a garden plant called "foxglove" were first used to successfully treat a heart condition. As recently as the 1960s, a substance in the bark of the yew tree was found to help fight some types of cancer. Today, instead of harvesting plants, scientists duplicate plant medicines in laboratories. But researchers are always looking for new plants with healing properties.


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