彭蒙惠英语:20110223 MP3在线课程 Thanking Nature For Medicine

时间 : 2013-12-20 09:39来源 : VOA官网 收听下载次数 :
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Thanking Nature For Medicine

by Carolyn Langlie-Lesnik / (c) 2010. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Surprising remedies can make all the difference

If someone saves your life, you want to express your gratitude however you can─a gesture, a "thank you" or somehow returning the favor. Yet when you owe your life to a plant found thousands of miles away, the task becomes much harder.

As a nurse, I've known for years that many life-saving medicines come from plants and animals found around the world. But I never thought that one day I would have to rely on the bark of a rare Asian tree to survive.

Nine years ago, I was diagnosed with appendicealcancer and told that I had only months to live. The mother of two young children at the time, I could not accept the prognosis. Luckily, I found a doctor who was willing to help me fight. I had major abdom inalsurgery and months of chemotherapy.

Today I am cancer free, in large part because of irinotecan. A drug that helps block the growth of cancer cells, irinotecan is derived from a tree with banana-shaped pods found only in China and Tibet and aptly called the "Chinese Happy Tree." Yet, this tree and many other potential sources of future treatments are endangered and could soon be gone forever.

Enhancing the quality of life

I have lived many years past my life expectancy. And countless others are alive and healthy today because of other medicines─from those that help lower cholesterol to those used to fight malaria─originally derived from natural sources.

Across the globe, however, many of our remaining wild areas that shelter plants and animals that could be the future source of numerous other new drugs are quickly disappearing. The razing of a forest in what seems like a remote corner of the world could have life-or-death consequences for people.

大自然的医药宝库

出人意表的药物可望产生重大影响

如果有人救了你一命,你就会想竭尽所能地表达感激之意,无论是一个动作、一声谢谢、或是想办法回报对方。但如果救你一命的是数千哩外的植物,要有所回报就困难多了。

身为护士,多年来我深知许多救命良药来自世界各地的动植物。 但是我作梦也没想到,有一天我会必须仰赖亚洲罕见树种的树皮来活命。

九年前,我被诊断出罹患阑尾癌,被告知只剩下几个月的生命。当时还有两个年幼的孩子要养育,身为母亲的我实在无法接受这种预后。但我很幸运,找到了一位愿意帮我一起和癌症奋战的医师。我接受了腹腔的大型手术,以及好几个月的化疗。

如今我的体内已无癌细胞,主要是因为抗癌妥这种药物的关系。抗癌妥能阻止癌细胞生长,提炼自果荚如香蕉状的喜树。喜树仅见于中国与西藏,名字取得真是贴切。不过这种树和许多具有未来治疗潜力的生物,都面临濒危,也许很快就会永久灭绝。

改善生活品质

我已经比医师原先预期的寿命多活了好几年, 还有数不尽的人们至今依然健在,也要感谢从大自然提炼而来的其他药物,包括降低胆固醇的药和治疗疟疾的药。

然而在世界各地,许多现存的野生地区正在迅速消失中,栖息生长在这些地区的动植物很可能就是未来无数新药的来源。看似位处世界偏远角落的森林遭到砍伐,对人类可能造成攸关生死的后果。

 

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