By destroying animals, plants and habitats, humans aren’t just depriving the earth of interesting or beautiful things. We are, without question, losing important answers – amazing natural secrets that could, one day, save us all.
Click here to access our ‘SECRETS OF LIFE’ Directory. It has just some of the fascinating breakthroughs that have happened as a result of the study of plants and animals.
There are so many benefits we enjoy from the natural world, but do you realise just how many inventions have come about as the result of studying plants and animals?
From medicine to engineering, from sport to art, there are literally thousands of examples of how nature has shown humans how to make things better. And, crucially, as science advances, we’re discovering that we don’t have to exploit and destroy animals and plants to learn from them.
No one knows how many plant species we have on our planet, but they are the ultimate source of medicines for 75% of the world’s population.
A quarter of all modern drugs – including Aspirin, morphine, antibiotics, antiseptics and anaesthetics – are either derived from or based on plant compounds.
- Two-thirds of all approved anti-cancer drugs are directly or indirectly derived from plants.
- L-Dopa, from a tropical legume Mucuna deeringiana, used for treating Parkinson’s disease.
- The deadly Foxglove flower gives us a drug to treat heart conditions.
- The Cocklebur seed was the inspiration for the creation of Velcro fastenings.
- Penicillin, the antibiotic which has saved millions of lives, is derived from a fungus.
- Tropical plants are now showing scientists how to create self-cleaning paints and surfaces, reducing our need for harmful soaps and detergents.
There are many, many more examples, Yet amazingly, more than 80% of the world’s plants have never been scientifically studied for their potential in modern medicine. And the influence of plants goes further than their study in medicine:
The natural world is a treasure trove of secrets, of ideas and solutions, worked out by plants and animals that have evolved over millions of years. But in order to share in this knowledge, we must protect and nurture life. All life. Because, once life is extinct, there is no going back…