Power Plants

Power Plants
5 (100%) 5 votes

Many of the most powerful drugs in modern medicine’s arsenal came from natural products, from penicillin to the chemotherapy agents Taxol® and vincristine.

Comenta
Comparte

Doctors are skeptical of the ability of plant foods to treat disease. We have no problem believing a drug like lovastatin can lower cholesterol, but red yeast rice? Come on! It has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for over a thousand years; but what did they know back in the Tang Dynasty in the year 800?

But guess what’s in red yeast rice? Lovastatin; literally, the exact drug. Instead of us synthesizing it in a lab, some purplish mold synthesizes it on rice, and has since forever. Now, the drug levels in the moldy rice are too variable to be reliable, so I don’t recommend anyone take red yeast rice supplements. I don’t recommend people take lovastatin either; I recommend eating healthy enough that you don’t need either one. But it is an illustration of the power of plants; or in this case, a fungus.

Doctors prescribe diabetes drugs like candy (even though some may increase the risk of heart failure, heart attacks, and death), but at the same time are skeptical that cinnamon could possibly help with blood sugar, because it’s just some dried bark scraped from some tree.

Well, guess what Taxol is—the revolutionary chemotherapy drug that’s routinely used against half a dozen human cancers? It’s some dried bark scraped from the Pacific yew tree. Now, we just grow tree cells in a tank, and make it that way. But originally, they were just scraping thousands of trees.

Still don’t think plants can be powerful? This is where cocaine comes from; morphine. This makes a glaucoma drug; anesthesia; this shrub cures malaria. This is where aspirin came from; digoxin; colchicine; quinine; ipecac. This is where we get a drug to treat emphysema; Alzheimer’s; Parkinson’s. Periwinkle is what we use to treat childhood leukemia, even though on the bottle we call it vincristine.

In the middle ages, they rubbed moldy bread into infected wounds; it was a staple European folk remedy. What quacks! Until a couple hundred years later, when penicillin went on to become the greatest discovery in all of medicine.

Thanks to a moldy cantaloupe found in a market in Peoria, Illinois—no joke—the United States went from having just enough penicillin in 1942 to treat ten people, to two million doses in time for the invasion of Normandy.

Over the last 25 years, about half of new drug discoveries have come from natural products. Plants can powerfully affect our health.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by MaryAnn Allison.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctors are skeptical of the ability of plant foods to treat disease. We have no problem believing a drug like lovastatin can lower cholesterol, but red yeast rice? Come on! It has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for over a thousand years; but what did they know back in the Tang Dynasty in the year 800?

But guess what’s in red yeast rice? Lovastatin; literally, the exact drug. Instead of us synthesizing it in a lab, some purplish mold synthesizes it on rice, and has since forever. Now, the drug levels in the moldy rice are too variable to be reliable, so I don’t recommend anyone take red yeast rice supplements. I don’t recommend people take lovastatin either; I recommend eating healthy enough that you don’t need either one. But it is an illustration of the power of plants; or in this case, a fungus.

Doctors prescribe diabetes drugs like candy (even though some may increase the risk of heart failure, heart attacks, and death), but at the same time are skeptical that cinnamon could possibly help with blood sugar, because it’s just some dried bark scraped from some tree.

Well, guess what Taxol is—the revolutionary chemotherapy drug that’s routinely used against half a dozen human cancers? It’s some dried bark scraped from the Pacific yew tree. Now, we just grow tree cells in a tank, and make it that way. But originally, they were just scraping thousands of trees.

Still don’t think plants can be powerful? This is where cocaine comes from; morphine. This makes a glaucoma drug; anesthesia; this shrub cures malaria. This is where aspirin came from; digoxin; colchicine; quinine; ipecac. This is where we get a drug to treat emphysema; Alzheimer’s; Parkinson’s. Periwinkle is what we use to treat childhood leukemia, even though on the bottle we call it vincristine.

In the middle ages, they rubbed moldy bread into infected wounds; it was a staple European folk remedy. What quacks! Until a couple hundred years later, when penicillin went on to become the greatest discovery in all of medicine.

Thanks to a moldy cantaloupe found in a market in Peoria, Illinois—no joke—the United States went from having just enough penicillin in 1942 to treat ten people, to two million doses in time for the invasion of Normandy.

Over the last 25 years, about half of new drug discoveries have come from natural products. Plants can powerfully affect our health.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by MaryAnn Allison.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Nota del Doctor

Be sure to check out my other videos on medications, and don’t miss all my videos on nutrition myths.

Also, check out my associated blog posts for more context: Amla: Indian gooseberries vs. cancer, diabetes, and cholesterolIs Caffeinated Tea Really Dehydrating?Stool Size and Breast Cancer Risk Treating PMS with SaffronIncreasing Muscle Strength with Fenugreek; and Cinnamon for Diabetes,

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

Deja una respuesta

Tu correo electrónico no se publicará Los campos obligatorios están marcados *

Pin It en Pinterest

Share This