13 Amazing Discoveries to Come Out of the Amazon Rainforest
It’s home to 40,000 classified plant species—some of which are known cures for the things that ail us.
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Sangre de Grado (Croton lechleri)
From the Peruvian side of the Amazon, this tree oozes a bright red resin that is known as “dragon’s blood.” The resin is used to close up wounds, ease the itching of insect bites, and in skin-care products. It can also be brewed into a tea that cures ulcers, tumors, diarrhea, hemorrhages, and other internal ailments. Not only that, but it’s also been used for birth control, according to the Rainforest Conservation Fund. Here are other natural skin-care swaps you can make, too.
Pãu d’arco (Tabebuia)
Derived from several species of tree in the Tabebuia genus, pãu d’arco has been found by native peoples and, subsequently, Western researchers, to have a variety of uses, like inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungi—useful in treating a host of skin diseases, dangerous MRSA infections, and the H. pylori bacterium.
Guaraná (Paullinia cupana)
This rainforest vine originally domesticated for its caffeinated fruits that’s now a “key ingredient in various ‘sports’ and energy drinks as well as concoctions that allegedly boost one’s libido” has been used for centuries to reduce fevers, cure headaches, reduce hunger, treat migraines, and act as a diuretic, write researchers Nigel Smith and André Luiz Antroch in their paper in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The disappearance of all these amazing plants is only one of the things that could happen if the Amazon rainforest disappeared.