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Neuroscience News: Traditional Medicines Related Worldwide

Researchers at the University of Reading in UK have analyzed medicinal plants used by 100 cultures around the world. The study identified phylogenetic relationships and then superimposed data about how the medicines were used. They found that many cultures have discovered related plants used to treat similar diseases. The idea that many cultures would independently discovery  similar uses for the same plants supports the idea that the medicines really do work. Drug companies could use the technique of phylogenetic analysis in their search for medicinal compounds.

Pseudowintera (pictured on the right) is used by the New Zealand Māori to treat skin problems, respiratory problems and to help heal wounds.

Read the full article in The Scientist