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4 Plants That Are Great for Humans

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A quarter of all prescription drugs in the U.S. come from substances that are found only in plants. In this episode of SciShow, we take a look at four of these talented plants who make our lives better. Hosted by: Hank Green ---------- Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow ---------- Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters -- we couldn't make SciShow without them! Shout out to Justin Ove, Accalia Elementia, Kathy & Tim Philip, Kevin Bealer, Justin Lentz, Fatima Iqbal, Linnea Boyev, Tomasz Jonarski, Chris Peters, Philippe von Bergen, Will and Sonja Marple, and Mark Terrio-Cameron. ---------- Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Check out our awesome products over at DFTBA Records: http://dftba.com/scishow ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow ---------- Sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3358962/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14506884 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19123171 http://www.who.int/medicines/publications/essentialmedicines/en/ http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/a9388/how-it-works-atropine-the-nerve-gas-antidote-15859092/ http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704111704575354911834340450 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC527695/ http://trstmh.oxfordjournals.org/content/100/6/505.full.pdf+html http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2015/advanced-medicineprize2015.pdf http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-prevalence.html http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pdi.606/abstract http://plants.usda.gov/java/noxious http://archive.wilsonquarterly.com/issue/what-nature-worth http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/catharanthus-roseus-madagascar-periwinkle https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1240518/ http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-1365 https://www.cbd.int/information/parties.shtml http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/39147/0 Image Credits: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Early_writing_tablet_recording_the_allocation_of_beer.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koffein_-_Caffeine.svg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nicotine.svg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Morphin_-_Morphine.svg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Atropine.svg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dilated_pupil.gk.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Artemisinin.svg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Artemisia_annua_West_Virginia.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tu_Youyou_5012-2015.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Quinine.svg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_020518-0005_Cinchona_calisaya.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chloroquine.svg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Malaria.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Natural_anti-malarial_(4738072658).jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%E8%91%9B%E6%B4%AA.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Metformin.svg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Galega_officinalis1UME.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Malaysia_(orthographic_projection).svg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Symphony_Lake,_Singapore_Botanic_Gardens_-_20041025.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Catharanthus_roseus24_08_2012_(1).JPG
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Text Comments (2005)
Willie A (6 hours ago)
I think I had a teacher in college that smoked that professor weed. He was pretty dope. His class was, like, far out, man.
BingBong Hafu (10 hours ago)
I can’t tell you from Joe
FitzBerg (1 day ago)
Periwinkle grows in the Caribbean too
Colt45Caliber (10 days ago)
No cannabis? Shame
Alpha Ralphe (11 days ago)
We have those periwinkles here in the Philippines and it is considered here as a weed
wesley Hammonds (12 days ago)
well next time my left nut starts falling off i'll go to madagascar.
athena gutte (12 days ago)
TheHoly PopeTart (13 days ago)
There also henna that works for stomach pain there is scientific evidence
Chris Pretorius (13 days ago)
nightshade issnt poisenis in south afrika i have a jar of nightshade jam in the citcenXD
Avril Spencer (15 days ago)
Oh FFS, It's "herb" not "erb".
Justin Dougherty (22 days ago)
so they took a malaria fighting plant and added ether to the method of extracting whats needed when obviously they didnt need to why? maybe the either is the reason for the mild side effects....
OldeOne deESuhrim (22 days ago)
Metformin has common and extreme side effects. Usually, it makes people extremely nauseous. Those who can manage to keep it down experience other gastrointestinal distress as it works its way through your system. Some people (like me) experience dangerous side effects, such as uncontrollable extreme fatigue (sleeping 23 hours a day) and neuropathy in all four limbs at the same time. You have but to join a support group or two to see just how prevalent these dangerous side effects can be.
Jacob (25 days ago)
the periwinkle plant grows here in the Philippines, my neighbor has tons of them as decorative plant. You can actually buy a pot of that plant for less than a dollar honestly.
bear adams (25 days ago)
Cinnamon works good for diabetics
Edric Yeo (28 days ago)
Hold up, Singapore botanical garden. Owned by Malaysian government, doesn't add up
Damodar Gaire (1 month ago)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKHWHIZGxII amazing health benefits of T. cordifolia
Ray Kent (1 month ago)
If a person eats garlic because they like the taste, it's a food stuff. If they eat it because they heard that it's good for their health it's a dietary supplement or medicine, subject to different regulation. Don't use an umbrella as a parasol, they have different classifications! Oh, but the word umbrella is derived from shade, so......
John Pick (2 months ago)
Plants have the Doctrine of Signature that indicate to an Herbalist their beneficial medicinal uses.
alex mejia (2 months ago)
They forgot weed
Sandhiya Ann (2 months ago)
I live in Malaysia
freddie naputi (2 months ago)
Can y'all please do an episode on the Moringa oleifera plant?
Igor Kisic (2 months ago)
malaria did not kill nearly half of all people who died so far...thats a myth
Saketh Kumar (3 months ago)
You totally left Ayurveda which is as old as 10000bc
Saketh Kumar (3 months ago)
Hello u left a lot bro withamnia somnifera acalypha indica phyllanthus amarus etc etc
Landon Rickets (3 months ago)
This channel has given me enough information to become the very best doctor in all of Europe, in like the year 1000 CE.
Landon Rickets (3 months ago)
This channel has given me enough information to become the very best doctor in all of Europe, in like the year 1000 CE.
Light Monolith (3 months ago)
Periwinkle is pretty cool. They grow everywhere where I live. Always thought they were really ugly though, hated em haha
Bryce Brown (3 months ago)
Watch this at 75% speed and its great
Dylan T (3 months ago)
I had a philosophy teacher we called professor weed.
Melody Scudmore (3 months ago)
Thanks hank,
jouneymanwizard (3 months ago)
6:30 - "Haven't you ever lost anything doctor Bronx? Your purse? Your car keys? Well, it's rather like that: Now you have it and now you don't." [Medicine Man] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek8NmpVBssA
N. D (3 months ago)
Better if you talk faster...will make everyone 's blood pressure go higher!
Stevie Cormier (3 months ago)
You forgot to mention atropine being used in cardiac arrest and cardiac dysrhythmias
Sav Harris (3 months ago)
William (4 months ago)
It would probably appreciate being breathed on more
Not just another guy (4 months ago)
Yeah, plants are great. One advice: GO VEGAN.
agondeze phillip (4 months ago)
very interested in your nice lectures
FaithMidnight (4 months ago)
Don't forget mint which has been used for both settling an upset stomach and a cough suppressant
Anomaly88man (4 months ago)
I tried atropine eyedrops, and my it dialated my eyes for five days. It was horrible, because I had to read the old CRT screen, and write, and the atropine made it hard to read, I had to look at the papers and computer monitor from a further distance. The eyedrops actually made me far sided temporarily. I also tried the 3 mg scopolamine patches that were for nausea, and I didn't have nausea. I had to put the patch behind my ear , for 3 days it sad to. I just had really vivid dreams, and I felt a little weird for those 3 days while I was smoking marijuana with the patch back then! I quit smoking weed 2 years ago.
Who's Scott Green (4 months ago)
it's Red Forman just fyi
Marnino Mamorbor (4 months ago)
We have a periwinkle plant here on our garden, although I'm not sure if it's the right species.
Carol Jo Martin (5 months ago)
DUDE!!!! Cannabis has some great properties! I've had epilepsy for 60 years, with violent severe seizures that broke bones (most recently, my skull and jaw), caused gashes that required stitches, and countless concussions. That was just the physical effect. Mentally, it would take me anywhere from 4 days to 3 weeks to recover, but I was having seizures at a rate of 2 or 3 per week, so I was rarely recovered before the next one hit. Two and a half years ago a friend recommended medical cannabis, and I tried it. I chose edibles, because the effects last longer. In 2 1/2 years, I've had 2 seizures, both so mild that I was recovered literally within minutes. If I hadn't had witnesses to both of them, I would never have known I had them. But after 60 years of seizures, other things developed, and I had also inherited bipilar disorder from my father. I had spent 62 years in a state of deep, crippling depression. My mother said I was a depressed kindergartener. For the last 2 1/2 years it's not just relieved: it's 100% GONE! I was born with a malformed vertabrae in my lower back, and I've been on opioids for most of the last 40 years. When I started cannabis, I reduced my dosages of opioids by 2/3rds, and with the help of cannabis, I'm able to skip the opioids for 2 days every 2 weeks to ensure that I'm not addicted. 40 years, with no addiction! Of course, all those concussions have resulted in frequent, severe migraines. The medication I take for that used to last 1 month. Now it lasts 3. Being bipolar has it's anxiety and panic attack issues, as well as social anxiety. I've even gone to the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack, when it was a panic attack. Meeting new people often triggered severe attacks. Now I look forward to getting out and meeting new people. AG Jeff Sessions is dead wrong about "good people don't smoke marijuana"; some really GREAT people do! And he's dead wrong about it not having any medical value; it's medicine that has given me back my life at the age of 62, and I can't help but wonder what my life would've been like if I'd been allowed to have it when the seizures started....
I Ruthless (5 months ago)
Happy birthday to you you you to
İlayda Potterhead (5 months ago)
I am watching this in case I go back in time, to be able to show off my 2018-medical knowledge and survive
Duck Stapha (5 months ago)
O shet is that the plant (periwinkle) in my yard in Philippines, Lmao i used to just pluck the petals from it
Ruthy drawsalot (5 months ago)
Wait the rosy periwinkle grows here in the Caribbean. Man I didn't know that helps treat cancer
kirtiprakash pathak (5 months ago)
Ayurveda everyone knows
SKB Artistry (6 months ago)
People wonder why weed and the Willow tree wasn't mentioned, while I wonder why Chamomile (idk how to spell it) wasn't on the list.
1234bmt (6 months ago)
tex everett (6 months ago)
You can't say that something is new and improved because if it's new there was nothing before that. If it's improved that's because there was something before the newer version that could be improved upon. You can however say that something is a new, improved product, clearly saying that an existing product has been improved in some way making it better than the original.
carl gangl (6 months ago)
The killing of South American rain forests pains me killing the priceless for pennies.
Kimberly Cooper (6 months ago)
Diabetes type 2 is a disease of insulin resistance. To stop insulin resistance, you need to give your body a break from the hormone insulin. Insulin has two jobs: take blood sugar (fuel) out of the blood vessels and (1) put the fuel into the body's cells so that they can do their jobs (2) put excess fuel into the liver and the fat cells so that the excess fuel can be stored for when you have no food in your digestive system. When the digestive system has no food in it, blood sugar begins to decrease in the blood vessels. Then, the body's sensors sense the decrease and tell the pancreas to decrease insulin production and start producing the hormone glucagon. Glucagon's job is to take stored fuel out of the liver and the fat cells and put the fuel back into the blood vessels so that the body's cells can run on that fuel. Dr Jason Fung, MD, wrote the book "The Obesity Code", which explains about how insulin, glucagon, and other hormones effect diabetes type 2 and obesity.
Captain Raz (6 months ago)
Malaria killing half of all humans???? C'mon, thats a totally impossible math.
Jodi Henry (6 months ago)
Periwinkle Its in Jamaica
CaramelLeek (6 months ago)
My grandfather grows the rosy periwinkle in pots. I also got bottles upon bottles of seeds from him.
Existenceisillusion (6 months ago)
0:37 I thought beer _WAS_ medicine
Athul Gabriel K M (6 months ago)
I have Rosy Periwinkle in my garden
stampyhead 193 (6 months ago)
Who realized that youyou tu kinda sounds like YouTube? Or is it just me?
gOdZiLlA zumagod (7 months ago)
Breeding a CBD plant from a THC plant is a human intelligence demonstration.
Tu'Orb (7 months ago)
I wonder has star fruit an medical property ??
Tu'Orb (7 months ago)
Can we make a artificial plant seed not genetic modified (taken a seed and modified) i mean making a seed with chemical and something else ???
David Murphy (7 months ago)
we HAVE beaten malaria. MMT Sodium Chlorite is an oxidizer heals anything and malaria really quick
Rasip (7 months ago)
No love for willow bark?
Bluelights aquarium (7 months ago)
Metformin stimulates production of insulin from pancreatic beta cells
Bluelights aquarium (7 months ago)
Atropine offers no sedative properties. FYI
aaron faucett (7 months ago)
Early man was trying to get high! People weren't going around munching on random plants just because. Especially when you consider most alkaloids are bitter.
UncleCatfishDub (7 months ago)
linguistic question... why do so many end in -ine?
Rien Jen (7 months ago)
Metformin inhibits thiamine from being properly absorbed into the body, which can cause neurological symptoms in the long run. Without thiamine, your mitochondria (aka, the energy source of your cells) cannot properly utilize other nutrients and oxygen in your body.
Ya Boi (7 months ago)
I wish you did all the videos tbh
Jes Brown (7 months ago)
I love this channel but why is it that everyone talks so fast they should be a professional auctioneer?
ArticVikingChic (7 months ago)
Feverfew and ginseng are another two great plants to mention. Feverfew is good at regulating migraines and ginseng is shown to have some (tentative) abilities to fight radiation poisoning. I also can’t help but think that some herbs were more for nutrition support than as medicine, the nettle species don’t have any easily identified active component but have high amounts of calcium, iron, and magnesium along with other vitamins, so maybe herbs like it were really better for eating and prevention than actual medicine
Critter Cosner (7 months ago)
He showed Goldenseal at the end of the video but never mentioned it.
cilliqn (7 months ago)
professor weed
Narendra Chettiar (7 months ago)
Periwinkle is in abundance in india or may b its a similar looking plant let me know if you want a picture
Sk Verma (7 months ago)
Hey hey that rosey periwinkle grows commonly in India
Rahul Pavitrakar (7 months ago)
Am surprised you did not mention Ayurveda, a medical science from Ancient India mostly based on medicinal plant extracts....
tarjei99 (7 months ago)
Many soldiers used to carry an atropine syringe for use in case of a gas attack.
404 The Geek (8 months ago)
Bernie Dorosz (8 months ago)
Professor Weed? Funny, that's the same name as my dealer 🤣
Alvin Lee (8 months ago)
4 plants? That felt like 40. But, that was Hank. I could listen to 400.
MissPronounced (8 months ago)
While travelling through Zimbabwe and Botswana (both still active with malaria), my grandmother made us drink tonic water the entire trip, which she said repels mosquitos; I'm not sure about the validity of that statement now, but I did report having far fewer mosquito bites, and the product we drank had quinine in it, so now I know my grandma wasn't just crazy.
Teemu Seppänen (8 months ago)
where is Cannabis.....
Tamar H. (8 months ago)
re: the sweet wormwood story: I'm gonna link people to this video every time they imply that science is somehow "suppressing" "natural" medicine, rather than simply perfecting and standardizing it and tossing out the stuff that doesn't work.
Brenden Pischke (8 months ago)
"You, what's your name?" "You" "No, not me. You" "Yes, I am you." "Just answer the damn question." "I have told you"
Christopher Day (8 months ago)
Yes, but is there a Vindeisine?
Suhani Yadav (9 months ago)
My mother uses rosy periwinkle( Catharanthus roseus or vinca roseus) leaves for cancer treatment..it can be found growing anywhere itself..we call it as 'sadabahar'..
Suhani Yadav (9 months ago)
But is there something that the leaves of rosy periwinkle whose flowers are pink are much effective? What about it having white flowers? I have seen them also..Which one is more effective?
Aeon Maujean (9 months ago)
Yep, The Gin and Tonic was invented to treat malaria in British soldiers in India.
Christopher Ellis (9 months ago)
Illness, rather than diseases. TU You you, same as in Portuguese (2 yoyo)
Tsavorite Prince (10 months ago)
Guys, cannabis isn't as life saving and powerful as these plants. These plants save lives, weed only fills an emotional hole with the emotional equivalent of empty calories for those who are depressed. What the heck were you guys smoking when you made these comments.
MrTesla1231 (10 months ago)
Yall stupids thinking drugs'll be on here. Theres a different type of marijuana used as a drug, and it's different from the street drug, so shaddap, no onea wants to know about your stupidity by smoking it. OKAY?
Just Wondering (10 months ago)
Ignorant man and manipulative video. Herbs heal every ailment known to man. Medicine treats symptoms only.
kjell159 (10 months ago)
Not forgetting the power of the Cannabis genus with all its medicinal cannabinoids and terpenes. Or following a plant based diet (like a vegan one) that prevents cancer, prevents aging (prevents fast telomere damage), reverses heart disease, clogged arteries and atherosclerosis, ...
Dubey (10 months ago)
The last one "rosy periwinkle" I have many of those in my backyard they are called "sadabahar" here in India
Mini Draco (10 months ago)
I just clicked to see if weed is here
Dommy521 (10 months ago)
Mary Jane is the master plant
Michael Skinner (10 months ago)
Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry charges hundreds of Thousands of dollars Per Person for these:-p
L. Francesca (11 months ago)
Metformin gave me terrible side effects, but I'm glad it's helping lots of others manage their diabetes!
Anon Hate Mail (11 months ago)
*stares at periwinkles in yard* oH
Vince Bellisano (11 months ago)
Metformin is no longer being used.
Anon S. (11 months ago)
It wasn't all just luck, mysticism played a big part of it. So it was luck combined with hallucinations

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