The Power of Plants
Powerful? Plants aren’t powerful, you say. They have to stay in one place and depend on the sun and rain for their survival. That’s true, but did you know plants have powerful chemicals inside them? Many plants have healing powers and have been used for thousands of years for medicine. In fact, most of the medicines we have today are made from plants or chemicals with similar properties.
In ancient Greek mythology, Achilles’ soldiers used yarrow to heal battle wounds. In fact, the scientific name for yarrow is achilleas. During the Civil War, soldiers used yarrow to stop bleeding, as well. Lavender has antibacterial properties. During the Middle Ages, doctors carried bundles of lavender and other herbs to keep them from getting the plague. Sometimes it worked; sometimes it didn’t.
While some plants have the power to heal, others have the power to kill. Many plants are poisonous to animals and people. Some plants that look harmful are actually poisonous. Pokeberries look a lot like huckleberries, but they can make you very sick.
Fun Facts about the Power of Plants for Kids
- Many common plants are very poisonous. Some are probably growing in your backyard. Daffodils, hydrangea, wisteria, oleander, foxglove and many others can make you very sick.
- Pesticides are sometimes made from plants. One of the most dangerous pesticides is made from tobacco. Pyrethrum is made from chrysanthemum flowers.
- Pregnant women sometimes drink tea made from raspberry leaves to prepare their bodies for birth.
- Tinctures are made from herbs that have been soaked for a long time in glycerin, water or alcohol. The tinctures are taken as medicine.
- Some plants, such as chamomile and lavender, are known to relax people.
Power of Plant Vocabulary
- Heal: make better
- Yarrow: a plant with yellow, white or pink flowers that grows wild in fields
- Antibacterial: destroys bacteria
- Bundle: package
- Plague: a serious illness that killed many people hundreds of years ago
Learn More About the Power of Plants
Take a peek at this video that shares about the power of plants:
A video documentary about medicinal plants that are commonly found.
Power of Plant Q&A
Question: Are plants poisonous only if you eat them?
Answer: Some plants can hurt you if you touch them. Poison ivy causes a terrible rash and even blistering.
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