Part 1: Plant Uses

Plant Uses

Plants have a seemingly endless variety of benefits that extend through many arenas. As science continues to progress, the many applications of plants for human health and wellness is becoming better understood. In fact, plants are truly the backbone for all life on earth; without plants, life would not be possible. Perhaps most importantly, they provide the food and oxygen needed to sustain most living organisms. Additionally, plants are the source of many of the resources used for construction and fuel as well as various textiles, inks, cosmetics, personal care products, adhesives, containers, and decorations, among a long list of other things.

  • Photosynthesis sustains life on earth. Unlike humans and animals, the only resources needed for a plant to survive are sunlight, air (carbon dioxide), soil, and water. Plants use a complex process called photosynthesis to produce all of their own food from only these simple resources. As a byproduct of this process, plants produce all of the oxygen needed to sustain the Earth’s biosphere, the layer of life found on the Earth’s surface.
  • Plants are the Earth’s primary food source. Each year, photosynthetic plants yield more than 250 billion tons of carbohydrates. Over time, many of these plants have been domesticated and are now used as food sources for humans and animals. Wheat, corn, rice, potatoes, cassava, and sweet potatoes are the crops responsible for providing more than three-fourths of human caloric intake. Other fruits and vegetables are important sources of essential vitamins and nutrients in the human diet.
  • Health benefits. Since the beginning of time, people for their health benefits. The use of Frankincense oil (extracted from the gum of the Boswellia tree) dates back nearly 2, 500 years. Frankincense was originally used for addressing various health needs and today is still used for relaxation, cellular function*, and mood enhancement. Thousands of other plants have been used for their beneficial properties, and currently over a quarter of all health care products contain some sort of plant derivative.
  • Shelter, fuel, and paper products. Plants such as trees have woody trunks that are sturdy and dense. Wood taken from tree trunks is a commonly used construction material and is also a crucial fuel source for much of the developing world. Even fossil fuels were formed from fossilised plant and animal remains millions of years ago. Wood is also the basis for the paper used every day for books, newspapers, advertising, and magazines.

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