“The greatest and most endangered species in the Amazon rainforest is not the jaguar or the harpy eagle,” says Mark Plotkin, “It’s the isolated and uncontacted tribes.”
Mark Plotikin is an ethnobotanist, which is a scientist that works in the rainforest and documents how people use local plants. In this fascinating talk he brings us into the world of the forest’s indigenous tribes and the incredible medicinal plants that their shamans use to heal. He outlines the challenges and perils that are endangering them — and their wisdom — and urges us to protect this irreplaceable repository of knowledge.
Medicine men in the Amazon can sometimes heal diseases that the West cannot. The indigenous folks have knowledge that is invaluable to the world and they are greatly threatened today by development and greed.
Additionally, more than 120 pharmaceutical medicines have been discovered in the rainforest. The current rate of deforestation is troubling because the rainforest is a resource that we cannot afford to lose as we don’t know what cures we are destroying.