Vadodara lab helps Congo document medicinal treasure | Vadodara News – Times of India

VADODARA: Roots of rubia cordifolia popularly known as ‘manjishta’ are used as blood purifier, for treatment of tinnitus or vertigo in India. But in Central Africa, its leaves are used to treat erectile dysfunction, hepatic problems or hypotension.

Similarly, the world is not aware about the uses of African plant — spermacoce princeae. But it is used to treat conjunctivitis, skin infections and body ache in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
A city-based lab run by a former dean of M S University has started helping DRC exploit, documents and showcase its medicinal treasures to the world. Home to world’s second largest contiguous rainforest after the Amazon, DRC is well reputed for its richness in flora but its natural resources are very poorly documented and exploited.
Vadodara-based Dr Daniel’s Laboratories has signed a MoU with the Faculty of Science of The State University of Bukavu (Université Officielle de Bukavu or UOB) to help students and staff to make medicinal formulations and herbal supplements, conduct clinical studies, commercially produce them and to transfer the knowledge to rural people in DRC.
Though Congo is extremely rich in natural resources, it has suffered from political instability and turmoil for around 60 years. “According to World Wildlife Fund, unique habitats and species make DRC one of the most valuable yet vulnerable areas in the world for biodiversity, wildlife protection and rainforest sustainability,” said professor M Daniel, former head of Department of Botany and former dean of Faculty of Science.
“Medicinal plants occupy the most preponderant place in households in DRC. In fact, more than three quarters of its population depend on natural resources to survive financially and health-wise, due to economic issue and the inability of some modern medicines to cure some diseases. Congo people cannot buy modern drugs because of poverty and lack of medical structures or facilities in the villages,” he said.
Daniel’s lab will collect scientific data of African plants and even those medicinal plants whose medicinal uses vary in DRC.

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