Friday, May 11, 2007

Local herbs have anti-viral qualities

Local herbs have anti-viral qualities

Merina Sharma
Kirtipur, May 10:

A team of researchers has found out that the locally used herbs such as Ban Kurilo, Paashanbed, Budho Okhati that are being used for medicinal purposes have strong anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
A four-year research conducted by the Research Centre for Applied Science and Technology (RECAST) came up with the outcome that the extracts of astible rivularis (Budho Okhati), bergenia ciliata (Paash-anbed), cassiope fastiguata (Phallu) and thymus linearis (Ghoda March) showed anti-viral qualities.
The extracts of asparagus filicinus (Ban Kurilo), verbascum thapsus (Bandar Puchhre), Budho Okhati and Paashanbed exhibited anti-influenzal viral activity. Only the extracts of Budho Okhati and Paashanbed demonstrated remarkable activity against both the viruses, the finding stated.
Prof Mohan Bikram Gewali, executive director of RECAST, told this daily that the revelation would lead to the discovery of a new component for the anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal medicines. “Our next step is to find out the particular component that is responsible for the anti-microbe activity of the herbs,” he said, adding that it would help the country make medicines using the local herbs.
During the research, samples of 41 plant species belonging to 27 families used as a traditional medicine in Nepal were collected from Manang and Nawalparasi by the eight-member research team led by Prof Gewali and Dr Mina Rajbhandari.
Initial analysis was conducted at the RECAST lab and for the advanced study the extracts were sent to Germany. The research was conducted with the support of the Fox -Wagen Research Foundation in Germany.
The Tribhuvan University does not have adequate budget and well-equipped labs to carry out further research independently, said Gewali. “To take the research further we have to wait for some foreign donors,” he said, adding the next step would be to find out the particular components from the herbs so that it could help constitute medicines.

Source: The Himalayan Times

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