Modern medicine now tends to use the active ingredients of plants rather than the whole plants. The phytochemicals may be synthesized, compounded or otherwise transformed to make pharmaceuticals. Examples of such derivatives include digoxin, from digitalis; capsaicine, from chili; and aspirin, which is chemically related to the salicylic acid found in white willow. The opium poppy continues to be a major industrial source of opiates, including morphine. Few traditional remedies, however, have translated into modern drugs, although there is continuing research into the efficacy and possible adaptation of traditional herbal treatments.
Paul, I. M., Beiler, J., McMonagle, A., Shaffer, M. L., Duda, L., & Berlin Jr, C. M. (2007, December). Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 161(12), 1,140–1,146. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/571638
Another well know spice in the kitchen cinnamon is also known for it's medicinal properties. While not really an herb I still think it's important to list it in our list of herbs and their uses. Cinnamon actually comes from the inner bark of a tree in the laurel family. It's been used for centuries and was a hot commodity for trade in ancient times. In fact during the first century A.D. in Rome cinnamon was 15 times more expensive than silver. The Chinese were probably the first to use cinnamon as a medicinal herb and used it to treat fevers, and diarrhea. In more modern times cinnamon has been found to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics, as it has an insulin kind of effect.