Today, most medicines are made in a lab. While some people do have an interest in healing herbs, Chinese and Native American medicine, most of us still get our medicine at the pharmacy.



Even though medicines are made in a lab, they are often derived from chemicals found in nature. For example, Taxol, an anti-cancer medicine was derived from the bark of the Pacific Yew tree. Another is the chemical called, cynarin which is used to treat hypertension, liver disorders, and high cholesterol levels and is found naturally in the artichoke plant. The reason laboratories find ways to synthesize these substances already found in nature is so that the concentration of chemicals can be controlled, and a molecule can be shaped to perfection.