4 Plants That Are Great for Humans

  • Added:  Year ago
  • A quarter of all prescription drugs in the U.S. come from substances that are found only in plants. In this episode of SciShow, we take a look at four of these talented plants who make our lives better.

    Hosted by: Hank Green
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    Image Credits:
  • EducationEducation
  • Runtime: 8:16
  • SciShow  science  Hank  Green  medicine  medicinal plants  herbal remedies  alkaloids  deadly nightshade  atropine  artemisinin  Youyou Tu  Nobel Prize for Medicine  malaria  chloroquine  cinchona  quinine  plasmodium  sweet wormwood  Artemisia annua  metformin  diabetes  Galega officinalis  goat's rue  professor weed  guanidine  Burley-and-Lee 351  HIV  cancer  Calanolide A  Catharanthus roseus  John Burley  Rosy Periwinkle  vincristine  vinblastine  leukemia  lymphoma  testicular cancer  traditional  

Comments: 1 960

  • g p
    g p Day ago

    you forgot marijuana

  • SSchithFoo
    SSchithFoo 8 days ago

    I think its pronounced Kwinin not kwai-nein

  • Zach Mckowni
    Zach Mckowni 8 days ago

    I thought I heard a chuckle or two when he said professor weed

  • Benton Stacy
    Benton Stacy 15 days ago

    Comments on this video:
    85%: Something related to marijuana
    60% of these are about Pfr. Weed
    10% of these are about how marijuana shouldn't be in this vid
    5%: Something about forgetting any other plant that has medical properties
    3%: Some anus joke
    2%: Some legitimate comment about SciShow
    5%: Other

  • Deadlygirl12
    Deadlygirl12 19 days ago

    Professors Weed: The Weed for those Professors 😆

  • J0hn D0e
    J0hn D0e Month ago

    I learned next to nothing with this video

  • davi santos
    davi santos Month ago

    Professor weed sounds dank

  • davi santos
    davi santos Month ago +1

    Ahhhhhh ether

    • davi santos
      davi santos Month ago

      Reminded me of my days in Las Vegas

  • yopizza
    yopizza Month ago

    come for weed

  • brandon raincloud
    brandon raincloud Month ago

    Professor Weed? It makes you smart as a professor and high as the stratosphere

  • brandon raincloud
    brandon raincloud Month ago


  • Mellisa Fan
    Mellisa Fan Month ago

    Thank you for this video!! So much propaganda on how traditional medicine using plants doesn't work. You need to look at the source and preparation of the plants too or else the results are not representative at all. Makes me wonder why biased studies are being published. Politics perhaps? Huge problem with science is that people think it is free from politics. How naive.

  • Ty Gar
    Ty Gar 2 months ago

    Scishow question, can a houseplant cool a room?

  • Whoo rocks
    Whoo rocks 2 months ago

    The forgot aloe vera

  • Megan R
    Megan R 2 months ago

    Do NOT go around just touching random plants their are some very dangerous ones that can grow in your backyard.

  • young ronin
    young ronin 3 months ago

    #1 should have been cannabis

  • christigmc
    christigmc 3 months ago

    Chia seeds and pumpkin seeds. My husband suffered from migraines for years. We heard about a muffin recipe on The Doctors and gave it a try. He eats a muffin a day and his migraine frequency has gone down. When he actually gets a migraine they aren't as bad. Plus no side effects.

  • nattovia james
    nattovia james 3 months ago

    Well shit. I live in Jamaica and my entire yard is filled to the tits in periwinkles. pinks purples and whites. we couldn't get rid of them even when we tried. who knew the stuff actually cures cancer. 😲

  • rbfreitas
    rbfreitas 3 months ago


  • teccoxetto
    teccoxetto 3 months ago

    YouYou Tu.. xD Damn, his parents were hilarious!

  • zXeno9
    zXeno9 3 months ago

    half a nobel prize, not one, just half, dont be greedy, c'mon, you had your moment of glory...

  • Drishta Gopala
    Drishta Gopala 3 months ago

    Madagascar Periwinkle is not limited just to Madagascar. it is also a commonly found plant in India and is called 'Sadabahar'/ 'सदाबहार' in Hindi. It has been a very popular remedy for a variety of treatments in Ayurveda as well as other indigenous medicine systems across the country.

  • TheHollowBodiesBand
    TheHollowBodiesBand 3 months ago

    6:55 Mexico here, I have that one on my garden. I'm immortal now.

  • Janelle Lane
    Janelle Lane 3 months ago

    How can u win half a Nobel prize? In my opinion, he deserved a whole Nobel prize.

  • Saavykas
    Saavykas 3 months ago

    7:17 - What about Vindieseline?

  • JhonnyLeeGames
    JhonnyLeeGames 3 months ago

    he forgot about weed, marihuana, ganjah, mary jane, hasheesh

  • Rex Royulada
    Rex Royulada 4 months ago

    We used to have a Rosy Periwinkle in our backyard.... Used

  • Grim Reaper
    Grim Reaper 4 months ago

    we have the rosy periwinkle here also in the Philippines ..........

  • Luisa Linda Zarazúa Islas


  • toasty DAY
    toasty DAY 4 months ago


  • Gao Edward
    Gao Edward 4 months ago


  • I am knowledge
    I am knowledge 4 months ago

    you have deadly nightshade on the list but no cannabis its apparently helping alot of sick kids with things like cutting the frequency of fits/seizures to next to non?

  • Rahul Surana
    Rahul Surana 4 months ago

    May be you haven't studied "Ayurveda" !

  • AngelaMerici12
    AngelaMerici12 4 months ago

    Professor Weed!! Hahaha!!!

  • Jaden Cockran
    Jaden Cockran 4 months ago

    "Have a good day!"

    "Youyou Tu!"

  • VN M
    VN M 4 months ago

    periwinkle is a common plant in India. we call it "nithya kalyani"' meaning flower that blossoms everyday. we have rose and white varieties.

  • I'm Blue
    I'm Blue 4 months ago

    I was wondering what would we find if we send a team of very tough scientists into the depth of Borneo jungle.

  • Joe hoe
    Joe hoe 4 months ago

    Please talk about how to survive on a deserted island! Perhaps different necessary skills and such.

  • Covodex
    Covodex 4 months ago

    i think its very unfair that you call the successes of Metformin to the Professor's Weed. It was a development by chemists, not a natural compound - they just got the rough structure from it.
    It was a human development; and while Plants deliver a lot of amazing stuff for us; the stuff we made for ourselves isn't near as bad as most people think.

  • CatherineZ
    CatherineZ 4 months ago

    I see a phlox, I click.
    ...and it's not a phlox.

  • Melesha Williams
    Melesha Williams 4 months ago

    periwinkle is in Jamaica

  • PranksterGL25
    PranksterGL25 4 months ago


    Great show!

  • Red Pill prime
    Red Pill prime 4 months ago

    God provided, but mankind's will destroy it.

  • Shredder McScumbag
    Shredder McScumbag 4 months ago +1

    You better say Cannabis...

  • Nmethyltransferase
    Nmethyltransferase 4 months ago

    Why was the diabetic goat rueful?
    >Her vet had prescribed her metformin!

  • Sazy Plew
    Sazy Plew 4 months ago

    6:56 The Rosy Periwinkle. Periwinkle was my favorite Crayola crayon as a child...interesting how a long-ago memory can "pop into your mind"...makes me wonder how it's all stored in there..

  • rulerste
    rulerste 4 months ago

    did the asterisk on the sumarian clay tab meant to say "receipt for beer" or recipe

  • Northern Woodsman
    Northern Woodsman 4 months ago

    Ethnobotanical research needs more funding for this reason. There are thousands of plants the indigenous peoples of the Americas used for medicinal reasons but main stream pharmaceuticals just ignore them because they believe them to be just weeds.

  • Cathrina Abalos
    Cathrina Abalos 4 months ago

    Wait we have the periwinkle in our school garden

  • da1stamericus
    da1stamericus 4 months ago

    we grow periwinkle plants too.

  • Grey Wolf Alpha
    Grey Wolf Alpha 4 months ago

    humans are the worst enemies of nature , preffering money destroying nature instead of a healthy and happy planet for all the creatures in it.

  • Small Adventure Vlogs
    Small Adventure Vlogs 4 months ago

    Of course still no significant help for type 1 diabetes... 😑💉 Don't mind me just digging my own early grave while constantly trying to not go blind and lose my senses, but yes, by all means find 100s of prescription cures for type 2... #yesimsaltybecauseimtoosugary

  • Kira Nour
    Kira Nour 4 months ago

    that flower in the thumbnail, we have a lot of it here sometimes I eat it .

  • Abhishek Singh
    Abhishek Singh 5 months ago +1

    Fun fact: Atropine was used to protect Coalition troops from nerve gas during the Gulf War.

  • Christine Cameron
    Christine Cameron 5 months ago

    Gotta love youtube, doing away with the 30 second unskippable ad, and replacing it with a 60 second one instead >.<

  • cocoshpee
    cocoshpee 5 months ago

    science is cool

  • cocoshpee
    cocoshpee 5 months ago +1

    when i saw this vid i instantly thought hes gonna talk about weed

  • doris li
    doris li 5 months ago +1

    Can you do a video on autism next?

  • Michael Jenard Ligan
    Michael Jenard Ligan 5 months ago +2

    Oh my God! We have that Rosy Periwinkle on our backyard and fyi it's not only found in Madagascar but it can also be found in the Philippines. I just learned its name from your video, I didn't know about its health benefits, thanks for the very informative and educational videos 😊

  • Teo White
    Teo White 5 months ago

    you said that a plant wouldn't understand your show of kindness towards it. Wrong! Come out of the dark Hank, plants are more complex than you imagine!

  • Joe Lights
    Joe Lights 5 months ago

    For a good chunk of the people with diabetes, there are tons of plants that can reverse it: carrots, apples, leafy greens, lean proteins, whole grains, water......

  • I'm ur fan
    I'm ur fan 6 months ago

    The perry winkle flower thing is also found in philippines

  • girish karuvelil
    girish karuvelil 6 months ago

    They do a great job of protecting you from zombies as well

  • DJSPECTA 115
    DJSPECTA 115 6 months ago


  • kysha lambertis
    kysha lambertis 6 months ago

    I have that purple one at home

  • Nim Gibbs
    Nim Gibbs 6 months ago +2

    I love my Aloe Vera plant :) break a leaf off and smear it around ur sunburn and it feels so much better! It also reduces the risks or getting skin cancer :D

    • Nim Gibbs
      Nim Gibbs 5 months ago

      I agree!

    • nickolie flippo
      nickolie flippo 6 months ago

      Nim Tigress Seriously no love for aloe vera in this video? Its been used by humans for ages and is like the best home first aid for simple stuff. My grandma always had one at all times. Every time we got a burn, scrape or mild cut a little bit of fresh aloe and off you go. They should do an entire video dedicated to that hardy little plant.

  • Flibber Nodgets
    Flibber Nodgets 6 months ago +1

    In the Philippines, they use a plant called tawa tawa to treat fevers and especially Dengue. It grows like a weed where I live, though. I haven't met anyone where I live that knows what it is, even a professor of herbal medicine at a local university.

    Here's a link to a picture I found, or you can just type "tawa tawa plant" in your search engine of choice.

    The thing I can't figure out is why it's named that. "Tawa" means "laugh" in Tagalog, so this is "lots of laughing"?

  • Trevor Morrice
    Trevor Morrice 6 months ago

    what about all the plants we eat to stay alive...

  • ilham ryandee
    ilham ryandee 6 months ago +1

    anyone from malaysia?

  • Kumar Sanjeev
    Kumar Sanjeev 6 months ago

    #where Weed at

  • genevieve curl
    genevieve curl 6 months ago

    I've successfully used a cold steeped tea of the periwinkle flowers to treat eye infections for about 20 years now. I don't know if there are any dangers of using this though. I've not lived in Florida where it invasively grows every where for some years though. I have used it myself as well as on several species of animals for conjunctivitis. No one went blind, actually cured even a horrible eye infection on a raccoon I found on one of the farms I had in Florida

  • Captain Redbeard
    Captain Redbeard 6 months ago

    I mean plants have *definitely* saved my life from starvation, but I'm listening.

  • ELF4187
    ELF4187 6 months ago +1

    One of the complications of diabetes is death. Just so you know

  • Scott Marino
    Scott Marino 7 months ago +1

    Also Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, is used to make blood thinners. Saved my butt!

  • Death Noise
    Death Noise 7 months ago +1

    When you see the like button at 14,999 likes.... I must, but i shouldn't..

  • miloradvlaovic
    miloradvlaovic 7 months ago

    It's not ONLY the alkaloids tho, or even mostly the alkaloids, that are the biologically active compounds from plants, and that can be used in treatments. There are also polyphenoles, antibiotics, antimycotics, virostatics, terpenes, essential oils etc.

  • akhtar mirza
    akhtar mirza 8 months ago

    Why masturbate effects right knee?

  • Indrid Cold
    Indrid Cold 8 months ago +1

    What, no American advocating the legalising of marijuana? Americans, you are starting to lose it.

  • Indrid Cold
    Indrid Cold 8 months ago

    Humans are naturally herbivorous. A non herbivore brought up a very good point that can not be argued. He told me that no human can live on raw meat. Humans can digest very little meat types. Meat eating is only an adaptation. It is not our natural diet. Give any human a diet of raw meat and the human will die soon.

    I am not a herbivore, I do eat cooked meat from time to time. These are merely facts. A human can not survive on raw meat. Cooking meat is an unnatural custom to allow humans to be able to digest meat.

    I am having chicken tonight.

  • Anthony  Pullano
    Anthony Pullano 8 months ago

    Lol where the weed at

  • Winter Smith
    Winter Smith 9 months ago

    Prescription drugs are the worst every single one of them have negative side effects just read the 15000000 page book of side effects that comes from taking these drugs they start out good (some of them) with the plant base but they end up just causing more harm by adding all this extra crap to it God knows what all it could be its so bad thats its kept top secret just take this into consideration if your taking heart burn drugs well get ready to take other drugs bc it can shut ur kidneys down I just seens an ad where they was advertising you could be compensated if you took these drugs Prilosec Nexium and Zantac and had kidney failure (which Zantac can cause you to fail a drug test for opiates) sorry but I don't trust the big pharm or FDA they've proven time and time again they don't care about healing ppl they care about money there is no money to be made off healthy ppl thats why they put poison in our food and water as well so you will get sick and you will have to use their medicine so they can get more money it's all a big scam ppl open ur eyes

    • nickolie flippo
      nickolie flippo 5 months ago

      +Winter Smith Fair enough. But the statement remains the same. Modern drugs are a blessing not a curse. It is a fact that they do more good then harm. Not an opinion. So to say it is all bad is wrong. I wanted to share the facts ^_^ Have a good day to you as well.

    • Winter Smith
      Winter Smith 6 months ago

      I understand it completely. Is it because I didn't use perfect grammar, and used short hand? Is that why you don't understand? You have your beliefs I have mine. Oh and btw (that means "by the way" just in case you didn't know) you had spelling and grammar errors in your comment as well. Do you also consider that a crime against intellects, just wondering? I'm not writing a book, article or paper for school, I just made a comment of my opinion. I really don't care about perfecting my comments on any social media. You have a good day.

    • nickolie flippo
      nickolie flippo 6 months ago

      Winter Smith Im sorry but i cannot help but to comment. One. Your english is abhorrent and should be a crime against intellects. If you have a thought or opinion you wish to share please do so in a manner in which people can understand. Seconed. For every drug that " the big pharmaceutical companies" makes that does more harm then good hundreds more di what they are intended to do. Nothing is perfect and it is through trial and error that we humans evolve and learn. To many lives are saved every day through modern medications and drugs to say its all bad and does no good for anyone. That statement is dishonest, incoherent garbage.

  • Just Hug The Pug
    Just Hug The Pug 9 months ago

    Is That Really True???

  • born fantastic X
    born fantastic X 9 months ago +3

    wow i expected to hear the word "ayurveda" here

  • David Villagomez
    David Villagomez 9 months ago

    rosy periwinkle ? isn't that everywhere now? who from Madagascar brought it to my backyard?

  • David Villagomez
    David Villagomez 9 months ago

    I agree with Maryjane

  • soumyajit ray
    soumyajit ray 9 months ago

    is it compulsory to take shower after exercise or may be laterAs some on internet says good and other says bad for health.
    Also which water to use medium hot or medium cold water

  • Violet Leandra
    Violet Leandra 9 months ago

    I just realized the mysterious potted plant my neighbor gave me is Rosy Periwinkle! Had no idea what it was or that it was so amazing!

  • R Ca
    R Ca 9 months ago

    Wow, the rosy periwinkle is pretty common where I live (which is not madagascar). But it is pretty south, so the temperature is probably perfect for it. :)

  • An orange makes a youtube
    An orange makes a youtube 10 months ago +4

    Nightshade, a toxic plant, that cures other toxins.

    10/10 would botany again

  • Liva Kukule
    Liva Kukule 10 months ago

    Hei SciShow! I was wondering if u could make a video about ocean acidification? And what global consequences this may lead to? :) It is hard to find information that is 100 % true about this topic :(

  • JK Medicinal Plants Introduction Centre

    Medicinal and aromatic plants of Kashmir at "Ginkgo House"

  • FilbieTron
    FilbieTron 10 months ago

    Yay plants!!! 😍😍

  • Lochen Dude
    Lochen Dude 10 months ago

    Not even a mention of cannabis? Probably the most useful general use outside of aspirin.

  • sometimesisetfires
    sometimesisetfires 10 months ago


  • Bruzzel Schaltung
    Bruzzel Schaltung 10 months ago +8

    Where is Cannabis??

    • SwayBack
      SwayBack 3 months ago

      +Amide. Technically fungi are closer to the animal kingdom, or so they say... I don't personally know, but my experience makes me tend to agree.

    • Amide.
      Amide. 7 months ago

      I know they're in a separate kingdom. But it's close enough lol, technically they aren't plants though, ik.

    • miloradvlaovic
      miloradvlaovic 7 months ago

      +Amide. Mushrooms are not plants (?)

    • Amide.
      Amide. 9 months ago

      Don't forget magic mushrooms, I believe things would be a bit different without them. :)

    • Sid Su
      Sid Su 10 months ago

      "Professor Weed"

  • Adolf Hitler
    Adolf Hitler 10 months ago

    you forgot weed

  • James yang
    James yang 10 months ago

    Professor Weed...Does he sell weed?

  • Shannon Mullins
    Shannon Mullins 10 months ago


  • Meagan Hodgson
    Meagan Hodgson 10 months ago

    fun(maybe not so fun) fact: the word testify comes from having to swear by your testicles and, if you had been caught lying, you would have them cut off.

  • sari c
    sari c 10 months ago +1

    That Madagascan Perriwinkle is a common garden plant in Australia.

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