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Question:
What rare kinds of medicines are found in the rain forests? What do they cure or what diseases do they cure or prevent?



Replies:
I am aware of a few medicines from tropical plants. Aspirin was originally derived from trees that grow in Peru. Quinine is used to treat cramps and fever, and also comes from Peru. Cocaine used to be used as a local anesthetic, and comes from Peru. An anti-leukemia drug has been developed from the Rosy Periwinkle, which grows in Madagascar. Eli Lilly, a large drug company, is engaged in a joint venture with a California company called Shaman Pharmaceuticals to learn how people that live in rain forests use plants as antibiotics.

Don Libby



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