Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Foxglove and the Circulatory System
Name: Andrew Wilson
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

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?

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

Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory