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Name: Andrew Wilson
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Question:
My name is Andrew Wilson. I have begun a project involving plants and their uses in making medicines. I know that the foxglove cures a cardiac disease known as dropsy. I found foxglove interesting since I enjoy learning about the circulatory system. I would like to know more about the herb foxglove and what part of it affects the circulatory system/dropsy. Also, do you know of a project that a seventh grader could do?



Replies:
The drug in foxglove is digitalis (funny thing: the scientific name for foxglove is _Digitalis purpurea_ !! ;-) Digitalis is usually refined into digoxin, digitoxin, and lanatoside C which are used to improve the action of a failing or inefficient heart and to reduce dangerously fast heart rates. Dropsy, or *edema*, is the accumulation of fluids in body tissue leading to swelling. There can be many causes, one of which is heart failure. We get many requests for project ideas here. It is very difficult to even *suggest* an idea without knowing what your resources are, be they your own personal resources (knowledge, experience, equipment, and, *especially* interests) or the resources of your school and classroom. Talk to your teachers. You might even consider talking to other teachers at your school that you aren't even taking classes from (what a totally outlandish idea!! ;-)

Jade Hawk



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