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Four remarkable plants of the Amazon


Strategic Area: Species -
Content Type: Blog

Remarkable Plants of the Amazon

To inspire awe of the planet’s extraordinary biodiversity, Nature and Culture is glad to share our monthly series: 12 Strange Miracles of the Rainforest and Beyond.

Last time we featured the coolest miracle. Check out this month’s remarkable gift from nature.

“Miracle” #5: Nature’s Pharmacy
The Amazon rainforest is the most abundant greenhouse on the planet with more than 150,000 species of plants. Rich in beneficial nutrients, phytochemicals and active elements, Amazonian plants are often used for traditional medicinal purposes, and many are the inspiration behind modern pharmaceuticals.
Biological surveys in the Amazon rainforest have revealed hundreds of herbal plant remedies used for traditional medicine. For example, malaria, one of the most lethal diseases in the tropics, can be treated (to varying degrees) with no less than 41 different species of plants in the Brazilian Amazon.
While there are many medicinal plants that are currently unknown – or known exclusively to local indigenous people – here are four known plants used to treat all sorts of ailments.
Ethnobotanists are currently studying traditional methods of using plants for medical solutions in the Amazon rainforest. However, as deforestation continues and indigenous lifestyles are threatened, these species and their medicinal properties may be lost to us forever.

The variety of life on the planet is our greatest treasure. Yet one million of the estimated eight million plant and animal species on Earth are at risk of extinction. Nature and Culture hopes that by sharing these 12 Strange Miracles you’ll be filled with wonder and gratitude for each species that enriches the planet. Stay tuned for next month’s feature!