Medicines and Remedies

The content on this page was translated automatically.

There's an herb for that!

Many of our modern medicines go back to well-known medicinal plants. The malaria treatment quinine is an example; the active ingredient from the cinchona tree(Cinchona officinalis) can be synthetically produced. The bark is not needed as a raw resource for the medicine. Therefore, plantations in the highlands of Africa or America don't produce for the pharmaceutical industry, but rather almost exclusively for the beverage industry. The bitter substance flavors "Tonic Water" and "Bitter Lemon". Did you know that Jacob Schweppe, the namesake for quinine-containing lemonade, came from Witzenhausen?

They are highly poisonous and equally effective: the ripe, dried seeds from Strophantus gratus. Once celebrated as "insulin for heart failure", this therapeutic agent is now obsolete. Is it due to this plant preparation being cheap and unpatentable? Or are other agents more effective?

Have you already discovered the Madagascar Periwinkle(Catharanthus roseus)? This beautiful, abundantly blooming shrub is practically a weed in tropical areas but is available to buy as an ornamental plant here. All parts are medicinally useful, but most notably the roots and leaves contain highly effective substances, for example against childhood leukemia.