Monday, November 27, 2006

Anti-inflammatory plant stuff

This morning's WaPo has a gee-whiz article about research into the anti-inflammtory properties of a plant from the ginger family called Afromomum melagueta. In the wild, gorillas have apparently long been savvy to this stuff's benefits, but unfortunately lacked the marketing skills to properly exploit its commercial potential. Thank goodness Avon got ahold of some; it plans to market skin-care products containing Afromomum. Others speculate about its use as a substitute for anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals like Vioxx and Bextra. Snip:
A clear vial filled with amber fluid rests on scientist Ilya Raskin's desk, glinting in the autumn sunlight streaming through his office window. The container, a small glass bottle with a plain white screw-top, contains a substance Raskin calls 006. "Double-zero-six" is potentially more precious than the rarest topaz.

Raskin is a biochemist at Rutgers University's Biotechnology Center. The golden liquid on his desk may prove to be one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory substances ever discovered. "It contains a derivative of a plant known as grains of paradise, or Aframomum melegueta, a member of the ginger family," said Raskin. The compound works in a similar way to the well-known anti-inflammatory drugs Vioxx, Celebrex and Bextra but, it is hoped, without their side effects, said Raskin and other scientists.


1 comment:

mdmhvonpa said...

Since it is a plant extract, I can see the supplement sector leaping on this as they collectively thumb their noses at the FDA.