Site Loader

Nothing lasts forever.  Whether it’s something you possess physically or mentally, it’s going to disappear for a certain time at least once.  However, there are things that disappear permanently.  An example of this are medicinal plants.  Some medicinal plants, which help all kinds of living beings heal, are endangered and are at risk of becoming extinct.  There are many plants at risk, such as the following.          Eyebright, classified scientifically as Euphrasia, is an annual plant that originates from Europe, especially Britain.  It grows in open grasslands or meadows, and grows up to 8 inches.  This plant can be colored blue, purple, or white.  They can even have yellow dots in the middle, but whether it possesses that accent or not is irrelevant.  Because as explained in the article, ‘There are about 450 different species of Eyebright, but they are all used in the same manner’ (Kim Wang, 2010-2017). They share the same purpose, which is to prevent problems revolving the eyes or breathing.  The fluid that can be extracted from the flower contains substances called tannins that reduce the effects caused by respiratory or visual problems, and can even produce an added effect that protects the tissues against these said problems.  However, it is endangered due to high demand.  Many people desire this plant for its medicinal advantages, so a lot of it is getting cut and is disappearing from the meadows around the world.          Then there are the three different species of a plant called Echinacea.  The names of these three species are Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea, and Echinacea pallida.  They are all native to North America, most likely in scattered locations far from each other in the continent.  This purple plant contains unnamed components that work against viruses such as the common cold.  The plant can shorten how long the cold lasts along with its symptoms.  The components are ‘believed to improve immune defenses by stimulating lymphocyte activity’ (Jeff McIntire-Strasburg, 2008).  A lymphocyte is a white blood cell that fights against the pathogens that cause viruses.  In other words, the Echinacea can boost the white blood cells’ activity which boosts the destroying of the virus.  However, the reason it suffers from being endangered is the same reason the Eyebright is endangered.  Many people found interest in its medicinal purposes, and as a result, many people dig it up and fail to replant its species.          Then there is the Sanguinaria Canadensis, also known as the Bloodroot.  The name of Sanguinaria comes from the Latin word for blood, since a red liquid will ‘bleed’ from the plant if the stem is broken.  It’s color consists of pure white petals and yellow stamens in the middle.  It is found in moist and rocky woods, and is mostly found in the United States and Canada.  Its purpose is to assist with skin diseases and the root is even used to treat internal problems or dental problems.  However, a huge warning to this plant is that, ‘it contains toxic opium-like alkaloids and can cause mucous membrane irritation, an overdose can be fatal, do not use when pregnant of lactating.  Bloodroot is not edible’ (Deb Jackson and Karen Bergeron, 2000-2017).  This explains that there are restrictions to the use of this plant, and it can NOT be eaten.  It must be converted first into a medicine that can be used safely.  This herb is endangered for the same reason of its popularity, and because many people choose to harvest the plant from its habitat instead of buying it from owners who already possess it.          Goldenseal, or Hydrastis canadensis L., ranges from the areas of Southern Quebec to northern Georgia, then to the west of Missouri.  This plant contains a red or green berry-like fruit in the middle of a blooming leaf, and grows in the deciduous forests of those areas.  It has been used to kill tumors, and its modern uses ‘include the treatment of nasal congestion, digestive disorders, and inflammation’ (Jackie Greenfield and Jeanine Davis, 2004).  The components of goldenseal contains alkaloids, and one of those alkaloids can even be used to kill tumors.  However, it is on the list of endangered plants for a reason.  Much like the previous plants, the Goldenseal is in high demand and as a result, its population has significantly decreased in its habitat range.          Finally, there is Slippery Elm, or Ulmus Rubra.  This is a species of elm tree that like many other of the endangered medicinal plants, can be found in North America.  The Slippery Elm is a deciduous tree that can grow up to a very tall height, with the nickname of ‘Red Elm’ due to its reddish bark.  The bark is first to be ‘dried and powdered, and often coagulated into a solvent (Irene Brooks, 2012)’ before it can be officially used as a medicine.  The Slippery Elm can be used to provide relief with disturbances that involve the mouth, threat, stomach, or intestines, or can be used as an ointment to apply to damages to the skin such as cuts.  As for its reason of being endangered, it differs from the previous four plants.  Not only is it overharvested like the others, but it has also fallen victim to the Dutch Elm disease.  So for this medicinal tree, there are two factors that contribute to its risk of extinction.

Post Author: admin

x

Hi!
I'm Russell!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out