Q: What do RAINFOREST TILES™ physically contain?
At the very least, "with the destruction of the tropical rainforests, over half the plant and animal species on earth, as well as numerous indigenous cultures will disappear forever."(2) If strong and decisive action is not taken immediately to reverse the destruction of this vital ecosystem, the consequences will be catastrophic. In fact, many scientists agree that the earth could very well become uninhabitable for virtually every living species, including humans!
• There are more fish species in the Amazon river system than in the entire Atlantic Ocean.
Q: I have heard that the Rainforest is called "The pharmacy to the world"...can you explain this?
The National Cancer Institute has identified 3,000 plants that fight tumors-and 70% come from the rainforest. Yet scientists have tested only 1% of the potentially healing plants that live in the rainforests. Who knows how many anti-aging therapies and drugs might be derived from the remaining 99%? And, an estimated 37% of all medicines prescribed in the U.S. have active ingredients derived from rainforest flora.
Rainforest plants make good medicines because they contain thousands of chemicals they have evolved to protect them from pathogens. The few chemical compounds we've analyzed so far have proven to be highly effective in battling the organisms that cause tuberculosis and other diseases. And scientists speculate that some might be able to eradicate even the virus that causes AIDS.
It is calculated that nearly half of the world’s estimated 10 million species of plants, animals, and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next quarter-century due to rainforest deforestation. Why should we in the United States be concerned about destruction of distant tropical rainforests? Because rainforest plants are complex chemical storehouses that contain many undiscovered biodynamic compounds with unrealized potential for use in modern medicine. We can gain access to these materials only if we study and conserve the species that contain them.
It is estimated that 90% of the rainforest flora used by Amazonian Indians as medicines have still not been examined by modern science. This situation represents a horrible irony as these unique ecosystems, which have been developed over millennia with the direct influence of Indigenous Peoples, are now disappearing at an alarming rate and the potentially catastrophic implications of this trend on the rest world are staggering. Further, this scenario is true not only of rainforest in the Americas but around the entire world. Of the few rainforest plants that have been studied by modern medicine, treatments have already been found for childhood leukemia, breast cancer, high blood pressure, asthma, and scores of other illnesses.
Some of the most potent medicines known to science were discovered in the rainforest. These include:
Vincristine. Extracted from a species of periwinkle that grows in the rainforests of Madagascar, this drug has dramatically increased survival from childhood leukemia. Thanks to vincristine, 8 out of 10 children stricken with the devastating disease recover fully.
Quinine. For decades this medicine made from South American cinchona bark has been used to save millions around the world from perishing from malaria.
Curare. South American Indians dip their arrowheads in this plant-derived poison. But curare has far more valuable uses. It yields d-tubocurarine and other alkaloids used to treat multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. And it's an essential ingredient of anesthesia.
When our remaining rainforests are gone, the rare plants and animals will be gone forever.
THE COST OF RAINFOREST DESTRUCTION
~ In 1500, there were an estimated six to nine million indigenous people inhabiting the tropical rainforests of Brazil. By 1900, that number had dropped to a million. Today, there are less than 250,000 indigenous people left in Brazil.
~ Man has recently increased nature’s "normal" extinction rate by 10,000%. Most of this increase is taking place in the rainforests.
~ Harvard's Pulitzer Prize-winning biologist Edward O. Wilson estimates that every day the rainforest loses 137 plant, animal and insect species. That is equal to approximately 50,000 species lost per year.
We are presently experiencing the largest mass extinction since the demise of the dinosaurs.
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