Indian Medicinal Plants May Hold Gateway To New Drugs

Bharat Mahan

Researchers in Chennai have identified naturally occurring chemicals in Indian medicinal plants that have no significant similarity with those used in existing drugs,making them prospective ingredients for future medicines.

A seven-member team led by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Chennai, has developed an online database – Indian Medicinal Plants, Phytochemistry and Therapeutics (IMPPAT) – that has listed 960 phytochemicals, or biologically active compounds found in plants. The findings of their research were published in a paper, ‘IMPPAT: A curated database of Indian Medicinal Plants, Phytochemistry and Therapeutics,’ in the journal Scientific Reports on March 12.

“Plants have co-existed with other organisms for millions of years on earth. They have developed chemical defence mechanisms which includes release of phytochemicals to thrive against microbes such as bacteria and fungi,” said Areejit Samal, a computational biologist at IMSc. “There is a gold mine within plant phytochemicals for discovery of new drug molecules.”

Read more of this in a report by Snehal Fenandes in a report published in Hindustan Times...

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Hindustan Times

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