ERIKA CRADDOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ERIKA CRADDOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Herbal medicine. View of various plants used in herbal medicine. Also seen is Nicholas Culpeper's book 'Culpeper's Complete Herbal', at bottom left (published 1653). The pink flowering plant at centre is a foxglove (Digitalis sp.) which contains the extract digitalis. This contains two substances, namely digitoxin and digoxin, these stimulate the heart muscle. At lower centre are unripe poppies. The sap from some species of unripe poppy seed capsules (opium) is used for pain killing alkaloid drugs. The periwinkle (Vinca sp., at upper centre) is a source of alkaloids, used to treat cancer. Also seen at centre left is a hawthorn (family Rosaceae).
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