Natural herbs and plants have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. While every geographical area in the world features plant species that can be used as medicine, the Amazon rainforest contains more than two-thirds of the Earth's vegetation, according to the California Institute of Technology. Not every plant in the rainforest can be used medicinally; some species are deadly if ingested. However, the Amazon rainforest provides several plant species that can be used as a topical cream or internally to help cure an ailment.
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The cocoa tree is found within the Amazon rainforest due to the fact that it needs a minimum of 80 inches of rain annually, high humidity and an average temperature of at least 18.3 degrees Celsius, according to the Chocolate Manufacturers Association. The fruit, seeds, bark and leaves of the cocoa tree are used as a natural remedy for various ailments. Some of the more common medicinal uses for the cocoa tree include treating eczema, dry lip and burns. Internal uses for the cocoa tree include soothing a cough, reducing high blood pressure and treating headaches, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
The Trumpet Tree, which is also known as cecropia peltata, has been used by the indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest for centuries due to its medicinal qualities. The roots contain a chemical that is applied to wounds in order to expedite the healing process. Not only can chemicals be extracted from this plant, but the leaves in their raw form can be applied to an abrasion as a poultice in order to reduce inflammation. The leaves can also be used to treat skin warts and calluses and the tea made from the leaves is known to help treat asthma and other respiratory infections.
The wild yam found in the Amazon rainforest is used by women around the globe due to its reproductive-system benefits. The chemical diosgenin, which is extracted from the underground stem and root system, is used as a natural birth control and is the foundation for most modern birth controls. The most common use for this rainforest plant is to treat menopause due to its hormone balancing qualities. Other extracts from the wild yam are used to reduce pain and inflammation.
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