Medications have long been derived from a wide variety of strange places and substances from plants, to animals, and even minerals. Today we want to share a few very unconventional places to derive medicine from. All of these substances have one thing in common; they are helpful in the correct quantity, but very deadly if not dosed correctly.
- Arsenic – This substance is commonly found in pesticides, some building processes, and some industrial processes. It has also been found to be helpful in battling certain cancers in the correct dosage. Arsenic belongs to a class of medications called anthracyclines.
- Foxglove – You may have this pretty flower growing in your yard and you probably won’t have a problem with any small animals sneaking in and eating it. In high doses, consumption of foxglove will cause a drastic decrease in blood pressure which could lead to death. In the correct dosage though it becomes a key ingredient in the heart failure medication known as digoxin.
- Radiation – High doses of radiation can be lethal and lead to radiation poisoning and ultimately death. Without it however, we wouldn’t have much of the imaging equipment we have today. Radiation is also an important part of many cancer treatments.
- Yew Plant – Every part of the Yew Plant is highly poisonous to humans. But in the right quantity, there is a great benefit to fighting certain types of cancers. Yew is also used in some medicines that help keep arteries from narrowing after the placement of a heart stent.
- Snake Venom – If you are a student with us in Arizona you are probably very familiar with venomous snakes and try to avoid them. Snake venom has been used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and even diabetes-related kidney problems.