Plants occupy about one half of the world's habitat. They are also considered as the main source of food of both animals and human beings. Plants are very important because they used up the waste gas product (carbon dioxide) of animals and humans and give out Oxygen which is required by both animals and humans to breathe and live.
Botany is a branch of Biology that deals with the study of the different plant species found around the world. It deals with the study of marine, aquatic, hanging and terrestrial plant species. Botany is the study of the external and internal aspects of plant species. The scientist who studies Botany is called a Botanist and in connection, Taxonomist is a botanist who names and classifies new species of plants.
The Father of Botany is Theophrastus, a Greek biologist who was a successor of Aristotle. He dedicated his life in studying biology. Theophrastus had two botanical works considered to be the bible of medieval medicine in studying plants species. These two very important woks are the Enquiry of Plants and the more famous, The Causes of Plants. These great botanical works were the documentations of Theophrastus on his discovery on how plants grow, how they are formed, how plants die and how they survive. After Theophrastus died, his works became the major references of scientists around the globe that lead to the discovery of many new information about plants.
A Botanist is a scientist who specializes on the study of the environment of plant species, the parts and components of these species, the life cycle, and the metabolism inside plant species. They also study how each plant species reproduce, their characteristics and group these species and classify them according to their characteristics. A Botanist is studies not only the present information about plant species but should also do research to enhance and update the knowledge about the plant species. The Botanists are the front liners in the preservation of the different plant species inhabiting the earth.
Here in the Philippines, Botanists are not that of a number. They are mainly into research and survey. Due to the limited funds and resources in the county, the Filipino Botanists tend to be stuck into agriculture and forestry. On the other hand, Botanists of great nations such as the United States and United Kingdom are more into research and discoveries. The latest of which was the research about a certain herb found in the forests of North American that produces an enzyme that can be used to deactivate the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which is the culprit of the dreaded Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS, and can be used to cure the disease. However, no publication has been released until today about the outcome of the study. It will surely be a breakthrough if this research yields a positive result.
In the Philippines, a group of Filipino Scientists composed mainly of Botanists, Doctors of Pharmacology and Biologists are working on a way to on how to maximize the different therapeutic properties of the Philippine "miracle tree" known as the "Malunggay Tree". The wonders of this tree were part of the Philippine's history. The leaves were used by the Guerillas during the First World War to cover wounds and stop bleeding. In the barrios or indigenous communities, this tree is used to stimulate bowel movement in cases of constipation. Today, Malunggay has been said to cure and heal the colon, kidneys and the stomach and thus, extend the life of cancer patients. So far, there had been no official words from the Research Commission about the latest updates of the study.
There are about 250,000 species of plants that had been named and classified by Taxonomist around the world so far. It has been said that about 12 percent of these species are on the verge of being extinct. The world needs to have more botanists to keep the extinction of some plant species from happening. As Biologists, it is our duty to save the world from extinction. If you are planning to further enhance specialize in Biology, then Botany should be one of your first choices. It may not give you big bucks of cash and make you famous, it will give you the opportunity to become a big part in the Earth's quest of survival.
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