Knowledge for Development

Validating traditional medicines: Adding value to indigenous resources

Author: Ermias Dagne, African Laboratory for Natural Products (ALANP), Department of Chemistry, Addis Ababa University

Date: 21/02/2011

Introduction:

In his article, Prof. Dagne argues that indigenous knowledge based on the use of endemic biological resources can effectively serve as the starting point for modern systematic scientific investigation, with the added reward of novel discoveries which can yield significant economic returns as is the case for coffee and coca cola.


 

In his article, Prof. Dagne argues that indigenous knowledge based on the use of endemic biological resources can effectively serve as the starting point for modern systematic scientific investigation, with the added reward of novel discoveries which can yield significant economic returns as is the case for coffee and coca cola.

The results of a scientific investigation of six important natural plants or compounds that are widely used in Ethiopia as traditional medicine are presented. The author describes the various traditional uses of coffee, khat, civetone, ‘Kebericho’ (Echinops kebericho) ‘Dingetegna’ (Taverniera abyssinica) and black cumin (Nigella sativa) and details the main active compound including the molecular structure of each of these natural products. The traditional uses and common ills these plants cure and an overview of scientific developments of the compounds and their use in modern medical and other commercial applications are summarized.

This paper was presented at the 9th Meeting of the Advisory Committee on S&T for ACP Agricultural and Rural development in South Africa, November 22-26, 2010. More documents and keynote addresses related to the AC's 9th Meeting can be found on this page.

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21/02/2011


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