Did You Know? Some of the Most Popular Drugs Today Come From Indigenous Medical Knowledge

Over 40% of pharmaceuticals on the market used by the World Health Organization stem from traditional herbal medical knowledge (nih.gov)

Let’s give you a few examples.

Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Taxol® (NSC 125973) Paclitaxel, is the most well-known natural-source cancer drug in the United States. It is derived from the bark of the Pacific Yew Tree (Taxus brevifolia). The Native Americans in Northern California used this bark and tree for the elderly, and for cancer. This traditional medical knowledge led to the creation of one of the most effective chemotherapy drugs for breast, lung, and ovarian cancer, as well as Kaposi's sarcoma.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals has extracted a powerful ingredient artemisinin, from Artemisia annua. It is the modern antimalarial drug used throughout the world. The plant’s Latin name is Artemisia annua, but it is also known as “Qing Hao.”  The Qing Hao herbal formulas for treating malaria come from the 7th century, found in material medicas in China, Vietnam, all over Asia.

Ortho-Pharmaceuticals have made Razadyne™, Reminyl™, Nivalin® out of the Galanthus plant, for Alzheimer’s disease. The Galanthus plant, or the Snow Drop plant is used in Mongolian, Tibetan, and Inuit medicine for Alzheimer-like symptoms and also psychosis. Ethnopharmacological research in the 1950’s led to these pharmaceuticals being created.

Merck Pharmaceuticals benefited from Chinese herbal medicine’s use of Red Yeast Rice to lower cholesterol, producing a widely used pharmaceutical called Mevacor (lovastatin). Mevacor is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor or "statin." It lowers levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Many people come into our clinic looking for Red Yeast Rice instead of Mevacor to lower cholesterol, since Red Yeast Rice does not interact with any other pharmaceuticals people may be taking.

Preserving the Traditional Medical Formulas

Plants are more than active ingredients. As a doctor of Chinese medicine, I know that some of the formulas I use in my practice have been handed down for centuries from one doctor to another. And herbs interact with each other in a formula. They make it stronger. For example, in RELIEVE, the general herb for pain is Yan Hu Suo, or Corydalis, but we also use Blue Cohosh from Native American and Siberian traditions, as we know from these elders that this wonderful herb “guides” the other herbs to the joints and the back.

And if I had malaria, I would prefer the full formula from Chinese herbal medical traditions that go back several centuries. The artemesia plant is a strong anti-malarial, and also anti-parasitic, but it is harsh on the stomach, so I would want the asparagus root that Chinese medical doctors use to protect the stomach, while still using the harsh herbs for a strong effect. Trust the traditional medical formulas that go back centuries. Trust us! Artemis Purely Plants will ease your discomfort, and nourish you, too.