In a 2008 study published in the journal Food Chemistry & Toxicology titled, "Comparative evaluation of the hypolipidemic effects of coconut water and lovastatin in rats fed fat-cholesterol enriched diet," the beverage coconut water was as effective as Merck's original cholesterol-lowering drug in positively modulating blood lipid levels in rats.
There is a little known natural extract of plant waxes known as policosanol, extractable from sugar cane, yams, and beeswax, which has been giving some of the more profitable drugs on the market a biomedical beating since it was first investigated in clinical trials by the Cubans in the 1990's.
As far back as the 5th century BC the Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about the use of a bitter powder extracted from willow bark that reduced fevers and eased aches and pains. Native Americans also used an infusion of willow bark for similar purposes. What was this remarkable "healing" principle within the bark that relieved dis-ease?