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disorders of heart rhythm

Foxglove

Digitalis

digitalis

treat heart disease, help

regulate heart rate

Yam Dioscorea cortisone treat inflammation and allergies

Yam Dioscorea cortisone treat inflammation and allergies

White willow Salix acetylsalicylic acid relieve pain, prevent

(aspirin) heart attacks and strokes

Yew Taxus taxol treat ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and some types of lung cancer

figure 27-4

(a) Taxol, originally derived from the bark of the Pacific yew, is a recently discovered cancer drug. This evergreen tree or shrub produces seeds that look like berries. (b) Foxglove is the source of digitalis, which is used in the treatment of heart disease. The beautiful flowers grow in a cluster.

Many modern medicines either still come from plants or were originally obtained from plants and are now synthesized in the laboratory. Table 27-2 lists examples of plants that are used in medicine. Two of these plants, yew and foxglove, are shown in Figure 27-4. Scientists are currently evaluating thousands of plant species that may have medicinal properties. One of the reasons scientists are very concerned about the destruction of rain forests is because many rain-forest plant species have yet to be researched. In addition to medicines, plants provide many other products, which are summarized on the next page in Table 27-3.

Your local health-food store carries a wide range of plant products that claim to prevent disease or improve health. These substances are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Consumers should remember that the effectiveness and safety of herbal remedies have not been confirmed by the rigorous scientific testing that new medicines must undergo before receiving FDA approval. The FDA, pharmaceutical companies, and health-care providers are working together to investigate the claims of those who market these remedies.

Clothing and Fabric Dyes

Figure 27-5 shows cotton, which is used to make most of our clothing. Some clothing is woven with linen, which is made from the flax plant. Artificial fabrics, like rayon, arnel, and cellulose acetate, are made from processed wood fibers. Leather is made from animal hides, but it is usually treated with tannin, a chemical obtained from many tree species. Tannin makes leather stronger and prevents it from rotting.

Prior to the mid-1800s, fabrics were dyed with natural plant dyes. Today most clothing is colored with dyes manufactured from coal, which is formed from the remains of ancient plants.

figure 27-4

(a) Taxol, originally derived from the bark of the Pacific yew, is a recently discovered cancer drug. This evergreen tree or shrub produces seeds that look like berries. (b) Foxglove is the source of digitalis, which is used in the treatment of heart disease. The beautiful flowers grow in a cluster.

figure 27-5

Cotton, the world's most widely used source of clothing, consists of fibers attached to the seed.

figure 27-5

Cotton, the world's most widely used source of clothing, consists of fibers attached to the seed.

TABLE 27-3 Nonfood Uses of Plants

Use

Example plants

Brooms/brushes

broomcorn, palms, coconut

Building materials

trees, bamboo, reeds, palms, grasses

Carpets/mats

jute, coconut (coir), cotton, trees

Clothing

cotton, flax (linen), ramie, pineapple, trees (rayon and arnel)

Cosmetics

corn, avocado, carrot, almond, cacao, soybean, macadamia, aloe

Fabric dyes

indigo (blue), madder (red), onion (yellow), black walnut (brown), peach (green), maple (pink)

Fuels

trees, bamboo, water hyacinth, grain alcohol, vegetable oils, gopher plant

Furniture

redwood, oak, rattan, teak, willow (wicker), rushes

Hair dyes

henna, rhubarb, chamomile, black walnut

Incense

frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon

Inks

soybean, flax (linseed oil), tung-oil tree

Leather

black wattle, quebracho, Spanish chestnut (tannin)

Lipstick

jojoba, castor bean, carnauba palm, soybean, coconut

Medicines and remedies

foxglove (digitalis), cinchona (quinine), yew (taxol), opium poppy (morphine and codeine), yam (cortisone), aloe, ipecac, ginseng, ginkgo, guarana, purple coneflower, kudzu, saw palmetto

Miscellaneous

cork oak (cork), incense cedar (pencil shafts), trees (disposable baby diapers and cellulose acetate plastic), kapok (life preserver stuffing), rosary pea (bead

necklaces), water hyacinth (water purification), lignum vitae (submarine engine bearings)

Musical instruments

ebony (black piano keys), maple (violins), reed (woodwind reeds), African blackwood (woodwinds)

Ornamentals

shade trees, shrubs, lawns, cut flowers, Christmas trees, houseplants

Paints

flax (linseed oil), tung-oil tree, soybean, pine (turpentine)

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