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Plants: Poultice or Poison?

It is important for humans to understand that some plants have medicinal properties and have been utilized for centuries to heal wounds or maintain well-being. In ancient times, healing plants were grown in special gardens and used to heal injuries. Today, there are still many plants used for medicine or other needs.

The cosmetic industry is one place we see the use of plants. Specifically, many plants have pleasing smells and soothing oils that can help with skin problems. Two plants that are commonly used in today’s cosmetics are jojoba and aloe vera. They are usually found in dry places and are known to moisturize and soften skin.

Along with cosmetics, plants are often used to treat illness. In China, the ginseng root has been used for nearly 5,000 years. This powdered root has a stimulant effect that helps recover from illness. Ginseng is grown commercially and is sold throughout the world. Another example of medicinal use of plants comes from the oils harvested from the beans of castor oil plants. These oils have been used to clean the immune system since Ancient Egypt. However, these plants contain one of the most potent poisons known: ricin. Eating one ricin bean is enough to kill a human.

Learning about the medicinal use of plants can be a great start to understanding health and maintaining your well-being. It is important for people to recognize the power of plants and discover ways to implement their use into their daily lives to promote better health.

[Source: Eyewitness Books; Plants]

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