Before we had all the knowledge and technology we have today, we used natural remedies to fight illness. Herbs and plants were our only source of medicine and, despite technology coming a long way since those days, plants are still being utilised for their healing properties.
What makes the chemicals in flowers so potent is not yet clear, however it could be due to the incredibly sophisticated process they use to attract pollinators and deter predators.
So what kinds of flowers are being used and what are they being used for?
Blooming in late winter, this small white flower has many uses.
Traditional uses: A rub-on treatment for headaches and other pains as well as being used as a poison antidote.
Modern uses: One of the main drugs used to treat dementia is Reminyl, which is derived from galantamine – a compound found in snowdrop bulbs.
A pale purple flower native to the Mediterranean.
Traditional uses: Used as a sedative, anti-depressant and relaxant since Roman times.
Modern uses: Lavender oil is used to help with insomnia, anxiety, alopecia and even post-operative pain according to a review of studies carried out by the University of Maryland.
A bright yellow flower recognisable by its trumpet-like shape.
Traditional Uses: Used to help treat burns and to induce vomiting.
Modern uses: Similar to the snow drop, daffodil bulbs contain galantamine which is used to treat dementia. They are also being investigated as possible depression treatments as they contain compounds which piggyback antidepressants into the brain, making the drugs more effective.
If you are interested in the use of plants in medicine and how it could help you, you may benefit from speaking to a therapist who deals with Herbalism. To find out more, please see our relevant page.
View and comment on the original Daily Mail article.