Fully one-fourth of all modern drugs
are based on extracts from only a few plants. However, folk doctors around
the world therapeutically employ many thousands of plants sill unexamined
by western science. The extinction of 500 plant species each year threatens
us with the loss of invaluable medicinal treasures. Powerful Medicine
visits scientists striving to save the lives of these life-saving plants.
"Genetic librarians" frantically collect and preserve the seeds
and pollen of endangered species. Marine biologists gather and test promising
ocean organisms. Deep in the Amazon rain forest ethno-botantists urgently
learn from the last native healers. These pressing actions might salvage
a few wonder cures before they disappear forever.