UK survey finds 28,000 plant species for medical use; AFP

UK – Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

LONDON: More than 28,000 species of plants around the world have a medical use but poor documentation means people are not making the most of the health benefits, according to a survey released on Thursday (May 18).

Britain’s Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London recorded 28,187 species in its latest annual survey and said it was probably a “very conservative figure”.

New plants discovered over the past year include nine species of a climbing vine used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, the survey found.

“The report is highlighting the huge potential that there is for plants, in areas like diabetes and malaria,” said Monique Simmonds, deputy director of science at the world-famous botanical group.

The report said two plants, artemisinin and quinine, are “among the most important weapons” against malaria, which killed over 400,000 people in 2015.

 

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