List of Drugs Taken from Plants

Drugs Taken from Plants

If you have undergone testing for drugs, you might wonder how to beat a drug test step by step? Well, the answer is simple: just don’t consume drugs days before the test. However, there are certain types of drugs that came from the plants which you’d think can’t affect the result. After all, many medical and recreational drugs originated in the wilds, with most of them flourishing organically in the fields, deserts, and forests.

Without further ado, here are some of the most well-known drugs taken from the compounds of plants.


Digoxin is best known for treating heart conditions such as heart failure and cardiac arrhythmias. In 1930, it was extracted from the foxglove plant known as Digitalis Lanata. However, as early as 1785, foxglove was already used as a medicine for an illness known as dropsy, an illness which resulted from the accumulation of fluid beneath the skin which is commonly an effect of having chronic heart failure.

As time goes by, the application of digoxin has changed in treating cardiovascular ailments since many patients suffered from its hazardous side effects. Due to this, most medical professionals don’t prescribe this anymore. In fact, 40 patients have been killed by a nurse named Charles Cullen when he overdosed them with digoxin.


Penicillin is an antibacterial drug that combats a wide variety of bacteria. Doctors used this first among other antibacterial drugs. The finding and manufacturing of penicillin have improved the reputation of medicine as this drug has saved millions of lives. It was discovered unintentionally in 1928 by Alexander Fleming.

He found a mold known as Penicillium chrysogenum which developed all over a petri dish filled with staph bacteria which he has forgotten. Every time the mold made contact with the staph, the bacteria vanished.

However, Fleming didn’t consider that it would work with humans, so he never tried to create a drug from it. Fortunately, this was done by an English biochemist Norman Heatly together with a German Nobel laurete Ernst Chain and an Australian Nobel laureate Walter Florey.


Aspirin is a well-known remedy for inflammation, fever, and pain. It works by constraining an enzyme recognized as cyclooxygenase (COX). This enzyme transforms arachidonic acid to prostaglandins and thromboxanes which are accountable for blood clotting and inflammation.

Aspirin was first produced by a man named Felix Hoffmann in 1890. It is also known as acetylsalicylic acid which can be extracted in some plants such as Spirea spp, Betula spp., and Salix alba. These plants were used for treating illness concerning inflammation, injury, and pain ever since ancient times.


Cocaine is taken from the leaf of the Erythroxylon coca bush which is commonly found in South America. The consumption of coca leaf can be traced back to 3000 BC. During that time, the primary way of cocaine absorption was by chewing the coca leaf. It has been used for its capability to relieve fatigue, reduce hunger, and increase energy.

Through the 1880s, it was utilized to tighten blood vessels to limit bleeding and as an anesthetic for eye, nose, and throat surgeries. As cocaine’s fame rose, reports of addiction transpired, and the possible harm was soon documented. These incidents lead to the passing of the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914 which forbid the importation of coca leaves and cocaine with the exemption of medicinal purposes.


Phytochemicals are accountable for some of the most significant medical progressions of our time. However, these drugs taken from plants can be addictive and harmful to our body. Therefore, it’s advised to refer to medical experts first if you’re planning to consume these drugs to avoid unwanted side effects.

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