Jacqueline, thank you so much for your question. It’s wonderful to hear from you, all the way from the United States of America.

If you had to look for the next wonder drug, you’d be wise to look in the forest.

About half of modern prescription medicines are based on a compound that was originally found in a plant. More and more powerful new drugs are being discovered as science probes deeper into the plant world. One of the most famous examples is aspirin, which is derived from salicylic acid, found in several plant species like willow and meadowsweet.

Scientists are having a fresh look at well known plants like tea, barley and turmeric, for they all contain compounds that show promise as drugs of the future.


What was the first tree?