Natural Product Discovery

Natural Product Discovery: Drugs In Nature

Natural product discovery has always been a great partner of effectiveness. That is because most of the drugs available today come from the wild. Though these are manufactured in the laboratories. But you can still see these grow naturally. May it be in the forests, deserts, or the fields.

Let us take a look at some of these nature’s assets.

Opium Poppy 

A sedative that comes from the opium poppy is morphine. The process includes slicing the poppy in its bud form. Then the latex or milky fluid comes out. This one is dried. And this becomes raw opium.

The raw opium is then followed by a long chemical process. Moreover, harmful chemicals are then added. Then, it is filtered. Next, it undergoes cooking. Also, cooking increases the power of the drug.

On the other hand, heroin has a high potency. And it is an easily absorbed type of morphine. Also, this is the most extreme use of opium.

This is first discovered by an English researcher, namely C.R. Wright. When Wright accidentally boiled morphine and acetic anhydride on his stove. This happened in 1874.

Blue Agave

On the other hand, tequila comes from blue agave. Alcohol in the world of drugs is one of a kind. This is produced through the fermentation process.

Fermentation is when the sugars are eaten by the yeast. This can happen to whatever plant you use. This results in a by-product, which is being ethanol. 

Considering tequila, this comes from the center of the blue agave. This has a center that looks like a pineapple. And this one is roasted and mashed. This procedure brings out the sugar of the blue agave. And therefore when properly rotted, produces alcohol.

Coca Leaves

These are commonly found in South America. However, this plant has to go through undesirable steps before becoming cocaine. 

The following are needed for the process:

  • Gasoline soaks
  • Powdered cement
  • Battery acid baths

These are further processed and become an illegally hard drug.

However, this all started innocently. When these leaves are being used by the native citizens. Only as a mild stimulant or medication.

Ephedra Sinica 

This little bush has been used for producing Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. This one is called ma huang. 

Moreover, some decongestants such as the Sudafed use this. For instance, they manufactured their main ingredient from ephedra or pseudoephedrine.

However, this is now very rare to find. That is because the alkaloids of the plant are sometimes abused. This is mostly used for weight-loss drugs. Or for meth production. One reason why the US restricts the production of this. And is now one of the controlled substances.

If for instance, you want to have your plant. This is considered legal. However, legal registration of the herb garden is needed. Furthermore, growing these also needs submission into monitoring.

To Conclude

In conclusion, a lot of drugs have been used for ages that come from nature. However, abuse of such wonders can also lead to harm.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *