Nature is a rich source of medicine – if we can protect it
When it comes to discovering medicinal products found in nature, we’ve barely scratched the surface. With every habitat that falls to the chainsaw or disappears under the plough or concrete, we impoverish nature and deprive ourselves of potential medicines.
The molecular diversity of life on Earth is effectively limitless, but it is under threat. Conservative estimates suggest that we are losing one important drug every two years because of our onslaught on the natural world.
While the WHO doesn’t seem to have a clear definition of disease, it does at least have a definition of health. It is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
The debate, however, raises other questions, such as, what exactly is a disease and who gets to decide?