The secrets of Chinese medicinal mint unlocked.
Washington: A recent study claims to have unlocked chemistry of a plant named ‘Chinese Skullcap" used in traditional Chinese medicine for 2000 years. The finding will help in rapid access to a wide array of therapeutic drugs.
The findings are believed to be helpful in rapid access to a wide array of therapeutic drugs. Pharmacology has started examining the healing properties of plants listed in the traditional texts, written between 200 and 250 AD.
Such preparations have recently been reported as effective against a variety of complaints including complementary cancer treatments. Despite the commercial interest and increasing demand, improvements through breeding have been limited by a lack of information.
The development means that researchers are now able to identify the genes that produce a wealth of valuable compounds, and then turn them into drug candidates using metabolic engineering techniques in the lab.
"The sequence is so good that it can improve the understanding of all the other genome sequences in the mint family. This is a large family of plants that is hugely important in Traditional Chinese Medicine and flavourings, “said Cathie Martin, one of the authors of the study published in the Journal of Molecular Plant.
"This particular plant makes the bioactive compounds in the root, which means you have to wait three years for the plant to get big enough and of course in taking the root you destroy the plant," Martin said.
"We've screened some members of the same family that make similar compounds in the leaves which means you could get more sustainable therapeutics taken in a different way," she added.