Tropical rain forests cover only around 6 percent of the Earth’s surface, and yet they contain at least half of all the species that exist on the planet. Rich in botanical resources, tropical rainforests produce medicinal potentials, both known and unknown to man. It may be difficult to believe, but roughly only 1 percent of the known plant and animal species have been examined for their potential medicinal possibilities. The extent of how these natural resources can impact our lives for the better is infinite, yet we are destroying our rainforests yearly.

Western medicine is rooted in botanical derivatives, with approximately 7,000 medical compounds prescribed by doctors directly from plant-based sources. The potential for life-saving cures and life-altering treatments to be found in our rainforests is almost endless, which is why we need to continue to pursue their protection.

Extraction Of Organisms

Our planet’s tropical rainforests species serve Western medicine in three ways, each important to how far we have come and how far we will continue to go in our ability to treat and to heal illnesses. One of the ways we can use these healing properties is through extracts of organisms. These extracts have provided our modern society with a variety of treatments of discomfort and disease.

Synthesizing Compounds

Scientists have chemically synthesized drug compounds from the chemical structures of rain forest organisms that then serve as blueprints for healing compounds we use today. Aspirin is one such compound derived from the extracts of willow trees that grow in the rainforest. Around 90 percent of prescription drugs include direct extractions from plants, as creating chemical structures are much more costly and complicated than using original plant extractions.

Teaching Through Observation

Plants from the rainforest also aid in medical research. Scientists can utilize some plant compounds to understand how cancerous cells behave, while other plants serve as testing agents for potentially harmful products. Our rainforests continue to produce new avenues of study and science, increasing our potential to one day fully eradicate some diseases from our society.

The Amazon Rainforest is one of the richest and most diverse rainforests on Earth. It’s trees provide medicinal properties that have been used by humans for centuries. As we continue to learn how these trees, plants, and animal species can have positive effects on our human race, we are reminded of how truly connected we are with nature itself. For more information on therapeutic and medicinal products derived from the rainforests, log on to