For more than a decade and with increasing urgency, critics have called out the disproportionate influence the pharmaceutical industry has had on the practice of medicine, as well as biomedical research. Meanwhile, the power of natural medicine has increasingly entered the spotlight, and a new study brings more attention to the latter.
A report released by the Kew Gardens in the United Kingdom has revealed that there are nearly 30,000 plant species recorded as being of medicinal use throughout the world.
This is surely a blow to the many pharmaceutical companies who stay not just afloat, but on top, by calling natural, plant-based herbal remedies useless in the world of medicine.
Plant medicines are widely and successfully used across the globe, however. In Germany, for instance, 90% of the population opts for herbal medicines over drug-based medicine. And, interestingly enough, the United States spent 17 billion dollars on herbal remedies in 2000 alone, despite its heavy reliance on pharmaceuticals, greater than any other country in the world.