People often associate medicinal plants with alternative healing. Yet 60 per cent of our regular medicine has its origin in plant life or has been inspired by substances from nature. ‘Approximately 25 to 30 per cent of medication derives entirely from plants and fungi. That is much more than people realise’, says professor Wim Quax, who researches medicinal plants.

We are not yet remotely able to artificially produce all substances in factories. We still depend on nature for some substances. Quax: ’In Drenthe, there are greenhouses full of foxglove, which is used to extract a medicine for arrhythmia.’ Other medication can even be found on the side of the road., such as cow parsley. Quax thinks it contains cancer medication. One of his studies focuses on this plant.