You are on page 1of 7

Conservations of Medicinal Plant Sources

LightningIce, Nov, 2015

Massive population growth and pollution have led to the extinction of a large diversity of plants and
wildlife. Due to over harvesting of crops and deforestation of large acres of forest; for example the
recent massive forest fires set alight in indonesia just for obtaining palm oil plantations has also
destroyed many species of both flora and fauna. Along with spreading hazardous air pollutions,
smog and haze all over.
Countries such as capitalism china has seen an immense population overgrowth which led to the
destruction of many beautiful habitats and natural forest regions just so as to clear land for the
building of more cities and building to contain their exponentially growing populations. Wildlife and
nature are eliminated by the acres just to fulfill their greed and species domination mindsets, they
have even eradicated many natural forest lands, killing off and eating up all the animals, torturing
them for their skins and furs; with this massive destruction of natural wild ecosystems and
biodiversities just to build many more unoccupied, empty towns and building for the future
generations which their unrestrained, excessive population explosion growth foresees.
Human activities which harm the earth occur often such as drillings within the earths for oil
destroying the nature landscapes and its surroundings just to achieve this aims. During drilling
events, nature is cleared from the targeted regions, while the lands are further destroys some lead to
downstream occurrences from the impacts of these actions such as landslides and tremors.
When offshore drillings within the oceans occur or during the transportation of oils, these often
result in high volume oil spills within the oceans and seas. When events like that take place, the
chaos theory sets in : sensitive freshwater marshes are destroyed, mangrove forest are wiped out as
they cannot survive with roots coated in and immersed with oil, coastlines are tarred and damaged,
the ecosystems and habitats involved are destroyed with coral reefs and marine plants dying off,
unable to regrow due to the heavily polluted environments and oil toxicities which blocks off air
atmosphere contact and they can no longer carry out photosynthesis or bloom in.
Pollutions also take the form of garbage and rubbish disposals within the oceans, seas, streams,
rivers and lakes leading to a contaminated environment and loss of clear water which hinders
further plant growth and leads to fresh water shortage. Fishing equipment are left behind and they
get tangled within marine beds, harming plants inhibiting growths. When fish are to be killed in
large numbers these hunters engage in bottom trawling, destroying reefs and marine plant life;
further utilizing dynamite or cyanide to achieve their evil ends thus resulting in deaths of entire
marie ecosystems and the inability for ecological regrowth occurrences.
i

Air pollutions and emissions of particulate matter and ground level ozone forms smog, along with
releases of greenhouses gases methanes, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide while pollutants such as
poisonous carbon monoxide, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, soot and volatile organic compounds
are further produced from factories and manufacturing facilities leading to the thinning of the ozone
layer which brings about an overheating of the planet.
This global warming has led to the melting of many icebergs within arctic regions of alaska and
greenland, with an ice sheet within the west antarctic on an impending collapse, increasing the sea
levels, drowning plantlife blooming at the edges and turning the atmospheric temperature too hot
for native plants to thrive any longer. Heat and draught are common occurrences from these climate
changes which lead to the death of plant life due to temperature fluxes and environmental changes
exceeding beyond their viability limits. As glaciers start to melt, plants at the lower landscapes have
to move higher in order to survive these changes, thus affecting the higher growing plants which
loose their footholds within the soils or are lost to competing weeds or shrubs.
Agriculture is another major factor that leads to the loss of a nature ecosystem as forest and
wildlands are clear off for the plantings and harvesting of specific crops. Mining and logging for
timber and wood destroys most of the natural habitats which has led to the loss of lxx % of
Australia's natural forest which remained after agriculture clearances, leading to further declines of
the natural ecosystem.
These ecosystems are self contained in the wild and perfectly balanced, however when humans
interfere within, with these destructive activities the intricate balance is gone and so too the vast
array of flora and plants. Within the Pacific islands, large arrays of its beautiful biodiversity has also
been gone through these man induced activities. Diseases to crops arise as the plants are saturated
with fertilizers, poisoned by insecticides and many are genetically modified, these ailments end up
spreading to the remaining ecosystems thus affecting nature within the regions.
Activities of hunters and horticulturist have also affected the decline of natural ecosystems by the
introduction of completing and invasive plant species thus wiping out the natural species as sunlight
and nutrients become limited from the extensive conflicting competitions at survival. As hunters
damages the lands with their intrusions, plant killing vehicles and pollutions while killing off the vast
majority of animal life within the forest regions, plants are affected too as animals aid in scattering
their seeds and the maintenance of ecological plant balances and diversities.
Overharvesting of medicinal plants for commercial gain is also an area of concern, to date 15 000
medicinal plant species are at risk of extinction while many have already gone extinct. It is a long
and extensive list of extinct plant species, some include Szaferi Birch, Lysimachia Minoricensis,
Royal Cyanea Tree, Fuzzyflower Cyrtandra, Toromiro, Root-spine Palm, Lotus berthelotii, Franklin
Tree and Encephalartos nubimontanus. While extinction prone, high risk medicinal herbs include
Americian ginseng, Cimicifuga racemosa, Ulmus rubra, Yew and Hydrastis Canadensis.
Conservations can still occur to save these plants from potential extinctions. Medicinal harvesting
within regions of Amazon and Tibet used to occur only on a limited basis of necessity thus leaving
many of the ecosystems largely in tact, when commercial harvesting occurs on a small scale, the
easily spotted larger plants thought to be more medicinally potent are taken away from their natural
ecosystems, leaving only the smaller ones to sow their seeds and carry on the species. The
ii

generations that result from such meddling of artificial selection emerge shorter and smaller than the
species once was, thus resulting in an overall negative phenotypic evolution change.
However when a large scale commercial harvesting occurs, all the plants that can be found within
the regions targeted are taken thus leading to the onsets of species extinctions. An example of which
is Saussurea laniceps which blooms wildly within the Tibetian and eastern himalayan snowy
mountains, overharvesting and climate changes have led to a major decline in its numbers,
phenotypic changes within the few survivors and now it is a rare sight for any blooming within the
regions.
Many pharmaceutical medicines that saves many lives are derived from medicinal herbs and plants,
such as Foxglove which produces cardiac ailment attenuating digitalis, anticancer taxol from the
Pacific Yew tree, aspirin from Willow, Cinchona tree yielding antimalaria quinine, antimalaria
tazopsine from Strychnopsis Thouarsii, Poppy which gives rise to morphine and opium, antidiabetic
devil's club shrub from Oplopanax, antidiabetic byetta from Heloderma Suspectum, antileukemia
alkaloid from Madagascar's Rosy Periwinkle, antiviral shikimic acid derived from Star Anise,
anticancer colchicine from Autumn Crocus and glaucoma attenuating pilocarpine from Jarborandi
Pilocarpus plants.
Medicinal mushrooms which blossom wildly in fields of the forest are eliminated overnight just by
logging companies or humans seeking to clear land for roads or other construction purposes. These
factors have led to the loss of many medicinal plants that could have been sustainably cultivated
instead. Indigenous native end up loosing all their traditional remedies when overexploitations from
commercial harvesters occur. Many plant diversities and ecosystems are lost to logging, mining,
irresponsible large scale commercial overharvesting, the setting of bush fires for land clearances,
hunters that destroy the entire ecosystem balances, oil drilling, fracking along with activities of
destruction upon the earth and activities leading to global warming.
As these earth destroying actions occur, many unique plant species with medicinal properties yet
studied, analyzed, understood or characterized are gone as well, leaving mankind with the loss of
many potential curatives and medicinals which could have been the missing link to attenuating
current untreatable ailments.
Without conservations or climate protections, the earth will no longer be able to sustain the
excessiveness of mankind. As evident from the large scale wastage of crops and foods, much of what
is taken from the earth in its purest form and contributing to an ecosystem's destruction is not even
utilized, yet returned as junk to the planet instead; causing further issues with pollution and the
resulting environmental and ecosystem harm. Countries such as France have taken steps to curb this
excessive usage and wastage by implementing a law with regulations upon supermarkets to donate
their unsold and still fresh food, instead of discarding it off. Recycling effects have also been carried
out by manufacturing companies to reduce plastic accumulations within the environments and
marine systems, leading to entrapments and entanglements of marine wildlife along with it's fragile
plant life.
Method of conservations of wilderness, nature and the ecosystem are essential to prevent their
further loss. These include regional mappings of plant species locations for their habitat restorations,
increasing the growths of dwindling species numbers, protection of these plants and regions,
iii

classifying them as endangered and protected, preventions of further habitat loss and conservations;
mappings of regions with plants that are close to extinction so as to prevent it and conserve them;
communications with local land natives and indigenous communities to learn about and respect their
herbal traditions, rights to medicinal herbs within their lands which they harvest in limited
quantities only when a medical situation arises, along with their cultivation practices while
educating them about the essentials of a sustained ecosystem along with the detriments of wild
habitat loss and importance of conservations and species protections.
Ensuring that all environmental and ecology regulations pertaining to wild life destruction,
harvesting prohibitions, public land use / destruction policies, state and federal Endangered Species
Acts, quantity limitations and permitting requirements are complied with; creating awareness of the
harms of deforestations, hunting, excessive overharvestings, environmental pollutions and climate
change along with influencing positive changes for the earth by encouraging new laws and
regulations set in place to enhance and facilitate their conservations and protections, encouragement
of developments of responsible and sustainable commercial practices along with the inhibitions of
anymore environmentally destruction activities upon the earth, environment or climate.
Issues that affect plant life have to be looked into and changes made such as reversing climate
change, restoring wild ecosystems and reductions in pollutions. Clearings of land by forest fires is a
practice that is both extremely dangerous to all plants and wildlife along with the environment as a
massive toxic aireous pollution also results; such harmful and destructive activities can be
internationally banned. However it will take the cooperation of nations to implement these essential
regulations before global improvements to the planet and diverse ecosystem can occur. Some
commercial activities results when people or nations see themselves as an insolation, aware only of
the profits derived yet oblivious to the environmental harm and downstream species devastation
effects they are causing. Viabilities are sustained by the earth of which organisms are a part of,
irresponsiveness towards the environment they live in by causations of massive ecological
detriments within, might lead to a situation like microbials kept in a cultured tank with growth
medium unreplenished and waste left to accumulate with media unchanged.
As continued cancer causing pollution destroys the ozone layer reducing shielding from the sun's
ultraviolet radiations < UVA and UVB >, risk of melanoma, mucosa cancers and cataracts arise;
pollutions produce a greenhouse effect and when global warming leads to the extend whereby
temperature is no longer conducive and majority of plant life can no longer thrive, life of the
creatures upon earth would also be in peril due to the extreme declines in oxygen quantums of
which sea ecosystem dependent marine phytoplankton and plants are a major producer of. As plants
absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, large scale deforestation would also have been a
factor leading to climate change. Inversely forest conservations and increasing acres of forest and
jungles could aid in reducing the high atmospheric carbon dioxide contributing to global warming.
Many firms are well aware about the detriments of environmental harm, some work in harmony
with the ecosystem by coming up with environmental pollution reduction methods such as rockets
or electric cars that run on hydrogen mediated by reactions rather than land destructive and oil spill
causing fuels. Forest lands can also be acquired by individuals focused upon their pristine
conservations so as to prevent commercial activities from occurring within such as logging, minings
or huntings. While investments in coal have been reduced so as to reduce environmental harm.
Instead of the burnings of fossil fuels with high carbon emissions, energy generations can be derived
iv

from hydro, wind and solar powered sources.


While countries can protect their natural wild habitats by turning them into non penetrable reserves
and conserved ecosystems. Pristine forest, lush wildland, swamps, marshes, beautiful meadow and
jungles can be turned into parks and nature reserves instead as healthy activities such as exercise are
encouraged while the inhabitants learns and explore these nature wonders, a bond to the ecosystem
and environment forms and they understand the essentiality of conservations.
Rare plants close to extinctions can be better protected and commercial harvesting within their
natural environments halted. These plants can be sustainably cultivated as crops within greenhouses
instead of removing them any further from the ecosystem. Animals are essential in an ecosystem
ensuring the balance of plant life through their feeding habits; animal farming leads to formation of
antibiotic resistant microbial strains, meat is also a carcinogen and a vector of disease spreads. Thus
slaughter houses and animal farming can be totally eliminated and these lands turned into acres of
sustainable healthy crop planting regions instead, without the need for continued environmental
destruction for land.
Agriculture growth of crops can be sustained without harm to the natural environment and
surrounding ecosystems if certain techniques are adhered to. These include crop rotations which
keeps the earth fertile and disrupt insect life cycles as they prevent pest from prevailing thus
carcinogenic insecticides are not needed. Insects prey mainly upon targeted crop species, plant
nutrients within the soil can also be replenished this way without any chemical fertilizer additions;
accompanying growth of cover crops upon the agricultural landscapes such as oats and clover
prevent soil erosions from occurring, improving the overall soil quality while preventing weeds from
taking root; soil enrichments can be assured with the addition of natural plant compost, carrying out
plowings under the overlaying over crops and leaving crop residues post harvest; natural predators
of pest within the lands are also encouraged thus birds, bats, mammals, spiders and wildlife can be
encouraged to flourish upon the lands; insect killing pathogens can also be naturally introduced or
genetically engineered to destroy the crop eating insects.
Regenerative methods for plants within their natural habitats can be set in place. These include the
process of adequate seed production, dispersals, germination and seedling establishments. Plants can
also be regenerated by methods of somatic embroygenesis, direct shoot induction from meristems,
callus inductions and shoot induction from callus facilitated by plant growth regulators < Colln, et
al, 1999 >; while regenerative methods by genetic enhancements can result in the large scale
production of crops that can sustain population dietary or fiber demands without affecting the
natural ecological environments.
Explants for culture can be obtained from any region of a preexisting plant such as its
undifferentiated cells, roots < Kumar, et al, 2012 >, shoots, stems, seeds, leaves < Bekele, et al, 1995 >
or flowers. Effective conservation of near endangered medicinal plants have been successfully
carried out via this method < Verma, et al, 2011 >. Somatic embryogenesis derived from a single or
group of somatic cells sees the initial formation of a plant's polar axis, domains of the plant's regional
organization are gradually established, while the primary plant organ and tissue are subsequently
delineated. Cell division, enlargement and differentiation is an organized process giving rise to a
bipolar plant formation with apical shoot and radicular poles at each end.

Culture mediums aid in these cellular growths and differentiations, they contain inorganic elements,
organic elements such as essential vitamins, sugar, myoinositol, carbon; micro mineral elements such
as boron, cobalt, copper, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, zinc; macro mineral elements calcium,
magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, sulphur, iron and a supportive matrix.
Plant growth regulators function in intracellular hormonal communications that facilitate cell
differentiations and divisions. They include abscisic acid, auxins, cytokinins, ethylene and
gibberellins which can also be added within the liquid mixtures. Growth media can either be solid or
liquid, solid medias provide aireous contact with the environment for respirations and encourage
cultured plants to take anchorage root such as in the case of regenerated plantlets, while a liquid
medium facilitates explant growths as they are kept well saturated with nutrients. Clonal
propagation of genetically identical plant cells emerge and formations of protoplast are enabled this
way.
When cultivating plants for medicinal extracts in drug manufacturing, they can be produced by
plant tissue culture in sterile laboratories instead of harvesting them from the environmental
ecosystems. This method can also function as a regenerative technique for reproduction of a whole
plant, it leads to fast growth maturations, is extremely effective leading to batch consistencies too as
exact plants with specific positive traits desired are produced, can occur without the necessities of
seeds or pollinators, occurs within a totally sterile environment so large batches of crops are not lost
to ailments or diseases while transmission spreads to the environmental wildlife would not occur.
Crops can also be cultivated on a large scale in this way to meet the manufacturers quantity and
quality requirements, while weak plants can be encouraged to germinate in culture while a normal
environmental might not have ensured its survival or emergence as a seedling. Conservations of
endangered and rare plants can be carried out via this method to ensure continued propagations,
novel hybrid regenerations can also be carried out this way when their protoplast are fused, embryo
rescue can also be mediated as distantly related plant species are crossed pollinated with the
resulting embryo cultured and it's survival ensured, meristem tip plant cultures can also be mediated
from virally affected plants so to to produced an uninfected identical plant, large scale plant cell
cultures can produce the metabolites and recombination proteins utilized by biopharmaceuticals and
molecular studies can be conducted in cultures to analyze plant biochemistry, physiology and
mechanisms of actions.
These methods highlighted can thus prevent overharvesting of plants in the wild, leading to their
sustained growth, conservations, regenerations and maintenance of their natural environments and
ecosystems.

vi

References
A. M. C. Colln and C. I. Jarl. Comparison of different methods for plant regeneration and
transformation of the legume Galega orientalis Lam. (goat's rue). Plant Cell Reports
November 1999, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 13-19
Endashaw Bekele, Gerd Klock and Ulrich Zimmerman. Somatic embryogenesis and plant
regeneration from leaf and root explants and from seeds of Eragrostis tef (Gramineae). Hereditas
123: 183-189 (1995)
Kumar SR, Krishna V, Venkatesh, Pradeepa K, Kumar KG, Gnanesh AU. Direct and indirect
method of plant regeneration from root explants of Caesalpinia bonduc (L.) Roxb.--a threatened
medicinal plant of Western Ghats. Indian J Exp Biol. 2012 Dec;50(12):910-7.
Priyanka Verma, Ajay Kumar Mathur, Sheetal Prasad Jain and ArchanaMathur. In Vitro
Conservation of Twenty-Three Overexploited Medicinal Plants Belonging to the Indian Sub
Continent. The ScientificWorld Journal. Volume 2012, Article ID 929650. doi:10.1100/2012/929650

vii