Pact to develop herbal drugs

Trio take forward research leads -By G.S. Mudur

New Delhi; Three government agencies on Monday signalled their intentions to jointly develop multiple plant-based medicines to treat arthritis, diabetes, epilepsy, gastric ulcers, and neurodegenerative brain disorders, taking forward research leads already establish by their laboratories.

The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the department of biotechnology (DBT) signed a trilateral pact to develop plant-based drugs, or phytopharmaceuticals, through rigorous scientific assessments of safety and efficacy and human clinical studies.

The CSIR has identified select promising compounds from Boswellia serrate (shallaki) for rheumatoid arthritis, cannabis for pain and epilepsy, Woodfordia fructicus (dhawai) for gastric ulcers and Withania somnifera (ashwagandha) for neurodegenerative diseases. The ICMR and the DBT have similarly identified compounds from Ficus cunia (khaina) for diabetes and Bacopa monnieri (brahmi) for cognitive dysfunction.

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