# Plants found in the rainforest may have a direct impact on the health and well being of people around the world. Rainforests are the source of nearly half of the Earth's species of plants; 25 percent of all Western pharmaceutical drugs are manufactured from chemicals found in these plants, according to Save the Amazon Coalition. Scientists studying plants in indigenous societies are discovering increasing amounts of species that provide nutrition, antioxidants, support the immune system and may even fight cancer in humans.
Graviola (Annona muricata)
# Graviola is a small tree native to Peru and Brazil. All of its parts are used for medicine. The berries are made into a drink for increasing lactation in women and reducing fevers; the crushed seeds are used to treat parasites; and the bark and leaves are used to sedate the nervous system, prevent muscle cramps and treat diabetes. According to author Leslie Taylor in her book "Herbal Secrets of the Rainforest", Graviola contains plant chemicals called annonaceous acetogenins that selectively inhibit tumor cells, kill parasites and reduce depression.
Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
# Maca is native to Peru and can be found today in many health food stores. Maca root contains good amounts of calcium, potassium, iron and amino acids, as well as other active plant chemicals. In Peru, maca roots are used as an edible food, as well as a herbal medicine for treating anemia, infertility, low-libido, menstrual disorders, menopause and fatigue.
Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata)
# Andrographis is a herb native to Malaysia, Thailand, China, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. In traditional Thai medicine, andrographis is employed as a herbal remedy for herpes infections, fever, stomachache, typhoid, diarrhea, itchy skin and snake bites. In traditional Chinese medicine, andrographis is used for influenza, colitis, urinary infections, snake bites and detoxification from poisons. According to medical herbalist and author Kerry Bone, in his book "The Clinical Guide for Blending Liquid Herbs," andrographis has immune-stimulating, anti-inflammatory and liver-protecting properties due to chemicals called andrographolides present in the leaves.
# This traditional Brazilian medicine, made from trees such as trichilia catigua, erythroxylum catuaba or erythroxylum vaccinofolium, uses the bark as an aphrodisiac tea and nervous system stimulant, most often employed for low libido and erectile dysfunction in men. According to James Green, author of "The Male Herbal," catuaba is also useful for treating insomnia, nerve pain, fatigue, hypertension and anxiety.
Cat's Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
# Cat's Claw is named for the sharp thorns that grow along its vines. Native to the Amazon Rainforest, it has been used by indigenous people as a herbal medicine for a variety of purposes, many of which are being supported by modern studies. Tribes used the bark of cat's claw in treating rheumatism, gout, arthritis, digestive problems, menstrual problems and fever. According to author Leslie Taylor, from her book "Herbal Secrets of the Rainforest," Cat's Claw is a rich source of antioxidants and alkaloids that stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation and may prevent cancer growth.
Read more: Species of Medicinal Plants in Rainforests | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_7342777_species-medicinal-plants-rainforests.html#ixzz14jv1tkx0