Major

Pharm.D. (six years)

Advisor

Lausier, Joan M

Advisor Department

Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Advisor

Morgan, JP

Advisor Department

Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Date

12-2014

Keywords

Medicine; Natural; Plants; Pharmaceutical; Pharmacognosy

Abstract

This paper describes ten plants that having been groundbreaking drugs in the past century that were all derived from plants. I chose to do my project on this topic because of my family’s history with natural medicine. In 1999 my mother was diagnosed with Bile Duct cancer and the doctors gave her only a couple of weeks to live. The doctors recommended chemotherapy and radiation, but the results seemed negative for the situation. After some extensive research, my parents found St. Georges Medicinal Wellness Center located in the tiny village of Bad Aibling, Germany. This hospital along with offering traditional medicine techniques for cancer like chemotherapy and radiation, also offered medicinal wellness as an individualized health care. The hospital refers to the program as an integrative cancer therapy concept. From what I remember from the times that I was fortunate to travel to the clinic, she would get a round of chemotherapy followed by a natural medicine, homeopathic remedy, or massage therapy. Although ultimately my mother lost her battle with cancer, she surpassed the doctor’s expectations of several weeks to over seven years. I truly believe that the natural medicine treatments in combination with the western medicine that were used at this clinic added valuable years to her life.

In my research I identified ten plants that I believed had the largest impact on modern medicine. The plants that I decided had the largest impact are as followed: Digitalis for atrial fibrillation, Yew for solid tumor cancer, Catharanthus for Leukemia, Camptotheca for soft tissue cancers, Poppy for pain management, Cinchona for Malaria, Podophyllum for Genital Warts, Saw Palmetto for prostate issues, Black Cohosh for menopause, and flaxseed for cholesterol. This project provided information to show that plants continue to play a significant role in holistic medicine . They also provide the chemical building blocks for new drugs. From my research I have concluded that plants will continue to play a role in drug design for years to come.