We know our leafy friends are capable of more than we usually give them credit for, and every now and then new research leaves us with more questions than answers! A new study from Germany sought to analyse the effects of anesthetics on plant function in order to better understand plants and also how anesthetics work. Turns out, plants can be sedated also! They go dormant, and then eventually "wake up"!
We know certain plants produce their own anesthetic chemicals--just like we do--especially during times of stress. Sometimes these chemicals (such as menthol) float around inside the plant, sometimes they are released into their surroundings. The interesting news is how drugs designed for human consumption also effect the leafy ones in so similar ways.
The big question here for us is about plant consciousness. Being sedated and then waking up is considered an animal function. If plants can also lose consciousness, when they regain it, are they conscious? What is the limit of their sentience? There is still so little we know.
For more information about this study by Dr. Frantisek Baluska et al, and videos of pea plants being sedated, please visit this article!