75% of people on earth get medicines from plants. It is absolutely critical to keep our forests as well as nature alive and unharmed. The biodiversity still hides many unknown remedies for humanity. It is really impossible to justify the destruction and the massive deforestation for economic purposes. For example massive palm trees have been grown instead of forests in some part of the globe to extract some oil for food businesses. It is not acceptable !
To give you some example of what the forest can offer us, I chose today to tell you a story about the Artemisia annua (Armoise in French, 黄花蒿 in Chinese), the sweet wormwood !
Artemisia is a Tradional Chinese Medicine herb used for up to 2000 years to treat many dysfunctions. The plant itself is hairless and naturally grows from 30 to 100 cm tall, although in cultivation it is possible for plants to reach a height of 200 cm. The leaves of Artemisia contain a powerful molecule, the Artemisinin.
The Artemisinin has the potency to fight Malaria, a severe disease one can find in South America, Africa and Asia. Artemisinin is a sesquiterpene lactone (it is a chemical molecule with a lot of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen) containing an unusual peroxyde bridge (it means two atoms of oxygen linked). It is not clear how the molecule works to fight the parasite of Malaria, the Plasmodium falciparum, however it is very efficient. And today it is combined with other molecule to fight the disease.
The massive deforestations will remove these opportunities of remedies. The nature is magic, we have to protect the plants of the planet. The forest and its biodiversity can cure women and men. Coming back to the beauty industry, Nature can offer efficient cosmetic formulations to protect the skin from aggressors, aging and keep its beauty !
Alexandre R Rio.