Plants are essential to everyone's lives. Welcome to Plantlife.

What are medicinal plants?

Plants form the main ingredients of medicines in traditional systems of healing and have been the source of inspiration for several major pharmaceutical drugs. Roughly 50,000 species of higher plants (about 1 in 6 of all species) have been used medicinally. This represents by far the biggest use of the natural world in terms of number of species.

Most species are used only in folk medicine, traditional systems of formal medicine using relatively few (e.g. 500-600 commonly in Traditionally Chinese Medicine). Around 100 plant species have contributed significantly to modern drugs. The use of medicinal plants is increasing worldwide, related to the persistence and sometimes expansion of traditional medicine and a growing interest in herbal treatments.

The medicinal uses of plants grade into their uses for other purposes, as for food, cleaning, personal care and perfumery. Plants are used in medicine to maintain and augment health - physically, mentally and spiritually - as well as to treat specific conditions and ailments.