"Ancestral Remedies to the Rescue"

As ethnobotanists meet in New York City, they offer reminders that obscure and endangered species should be preserved because they sometimes form the basis of miracle drugs.

"Ethnobotanists are fond of the joke that pills don’t grow on trees. The punch line, of course, is that they actually do. Countless pharmaceutical products originate from trees or other plant species, many of which are probably still waiting to be discovered. This week around 1,300 natural products researchers and practitioners gathered in New York to discuss the latest findings in their field, including the ways in which nature, culture and conservation overlap to provide health benefits to millions and how those links can best be preserved."

Rachel Nuwer reports for the New York Times' Green blog August 1, 2012.

Source: Green/NYT, 08/02/2012