For thousands of years, mankind has been using natural substances for medical purposes. Common drugs such as aspirin, quinine, taxol, penicillin, and morphine originally came from tree barks, molds, and flowers. Folk medicine's long learning curve has been with us as long as man has trod the earth. Scientists continue to research medical practices of primitive peoples, searching for "witch doctor" medications that can be adapted to the modern world. The number of drugs being derived from sources on land continues to decrease, however. Most of the major finds have been made, yet the number of diseases that have developed resistance to previously effective pharmaceuticals has increased.
Oceans: Take Two Clams and Call Me in the Morning
By Don Walsh