The Untold Power of Plants

Plants, they’re all around us, yet many of us walk by them every day without a care in the world. We label them according to appearance and usefulness, but they have so much more to give us humans. Such labels include weeds, perennials, ferns, and vegetable plants. We take the variety and quantity of them for granted but fail to learn about them. Plants do so much more for humans than we care to admit. Some uses include materials for our clothes, our medicine, and our nutrition.

With there being so many plants out there, it's hard to tell certain types from others and their names are so hard to remember. The idea is to create an app that contains all the plants that exist and their uses, facts, real-time native location, season, and important information like if the plant is medicinal or poisonous. This app will also have image recognition to help you identify plants in the field. Someone once said if we knew the ability of every plant and plant component (roots, leaves, flowers) out there we could cure every ailment known to man. Not to mention the number of building materials we could have at our disposal.

As things stand right now, most of the people on earth are blind to the living things around them and their uses. As time progresses with the advance of modern medicine, and synthetics, the study of plants and their uses has been forgotten. The hope is this app will teach people to rely on what's around them rather than the modern age. Now there's nothing wrong with modern medicine or synthetics, it's just that it's causing us to lose crucial knowledge we should be passing on to our children. The worry is that our great-grandchildren will never know that Aloe can be used on burns, or that poison ivy can make you itch all over if you touch it. How I know this will happen is because many great scientists of the past cataloged many thousands of plants and their uses through trial and error. Sadly due to war, language loss, and a host of other reasons this knowledge was lost in time.

Let's call the app Plantopidia, and with its functions, we can create a platform to catalog and explore the plants of old and any new ones that pop up. This way we can rebuild our knowledge and it will be available so everyone can use it. Imagine that you’re in a forest, your friend trips, and gets a cut on their leg. You type in, cut on leg, into the search box and turn on your GPS. Immediately Plantopidia shows plants in your location that can help you patch them up. For the sake of the story, you don't have any first aid kits and the nearest hospital and road is far away and you do call the emergency hotline for help but it will be awhile. So back to the story, your friend is bleeding a lot and you're really worried about them. The app tells you to get tarragon and Comfrey. Tarragon to disinfect the wound and Comfrey to slow the bleeding. You scan the plants you have found and the app tells you that they are correct. You then apply them and stop the bleeding and prevent infection in the process thus allowing your friend to not lose too much blood making time for help to arrive and their treatment and healing process faster. I know this is an extreme case but if you were in such a situation would you find such information helpful?

Another example is the case with poisonous plants, see certain plants contain poisonous elements hidden within them. Jasmine is a flower that smells lovely, but did you know its berries can be fatal. They cause digestive disturbance and nervous system issues. It's this kind of information we need to have available to us. To those that say that we can look it up on the web, for efficiency’s sake can’t we have it all in one place so we can all access it along with any other crucial information. That's why I deemed an app to be a good solution to this. It can access GPS, it's easy to use, has access to a camera, and other features as well. When you take your dog for a walk you can know what plants to look out for or what to do if they accidentally consume one. Such information is so important to protect our livelihoods.

Also, many of you know the variety of wood from trees that is out there in the world. Imagine being able to search up the perfect wood to smoke pork with, without having to go to an expert. Just use the app. So if you're someone with great coding skills and like to learn about plants such a project is right up your ally. Every day is a learning opportunity so take the time and learn about the plants around you, they may even save your life.