Circulatory Analgesic and Cancer Fighting Drugs

Through the ages, dogbane (Apocynum canna-binum) and milkweed (Asclepias) have been prized for their effects on the circulatory system. These

Image Not Available plants contain compounds called cardiac glycosides. Foxglove (Digitalis) has produced the most useful cardiac glycosides, digitalis and digoxin.

Opiate alkaloids such as opium, extracted from a poppy (Papaver sonniferum), and its derivatives, such as morphine as well as cocaine, from Erythro-xylum coca and Erythroxylum truxillense, have long been known for their analgesic (pain-relieving) properties through their extremely dangerous and addictive effects on the central nervous system.

The primary plant-derived anticancer agents are vincristine and vinblastine, extracted from Cather-anthus roseus, maytansinoids from Maytentus serrata, ellipticine and related compounds from Ochrosia elliptica, and paclitaxel (commonly known as taxol) from the yew tree Taxus baccata.

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