I’m a PhD student and currently doing a research project on exploring therapeutic benefits of plants
A Gift of nature: The growing use of herbal medicines and the study to utilize them wisely
My research area is herbal medicine, which is the use of medicinal plants or plant-derived substances for prevention and treatment of diseases. Nowadays herbal medications are getting significant attention in global primary healthcare due to the high cost and serious side effects of synthetic drugs, especially in long-term usage. Many people believe that products labeled "natural" are safe and better for them, but this is not always true. Since plants contain a number of chemical compounds, they can have dangerous effects if used inappropriately, regardless of their therapeutic properties. One of the major problems in the use of medicinal plants is current lack of basic knowledge about plant's active ingredients and their biological properties as well as mechanism of action. A better understanding of this knowledge is important for developing the safer and more effective use of herbal medicine. Moreover there are a huge number of plants that are still not well investigated. Exploring novel biological properties of the plants can also increase their economic value in many countries including my country, Thailand, where is abundant of various plants and herbs.
I'm currently doing a research project on exploring the therapeutic benefits of plants and how they act in our cells. Lately I found the neuroprotective and anti-aging potentials of medicinal plants native to Asia. The plant extracts can protect neuronal cells against oxidative stress induced by excessive extracellular glutamate levels, a condition contributing to the neuronal loss in neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer disease). As there is currently no way to cure for or stop this kind of diseases, the plants may be potential candidates for alternative treatment of neurodegeneration.
I love “nature”, so I hope that “natural products" should be used preciously too.
Abstract: Malaria has long been a devastating and life-threatening global epidemic disease in human history. Artemisinin, the active substance against malaria, was first isolated and tested in the 1970s in China. The important role played by traditional Chinese medicine in the discovery of artemisinin is described by Y. Tu in her Nobel Lecture.
Pub.: 04 Aug '16, Pinned: 27 Oct '17
Abstract: Ginseng is a natural product best known for its curative properties in diverse physiological processes such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, hypertension, and maintenance of hemostasis in the immune system. In previous decades, there have been some promising studies into the pharmacology and chemistry of ginseng components and the relationship between their structure and function. The emerging use of modified ginseng and development of new compounds from ginseng for clinical studies have been topics of study for many researchers. The present review deals with the anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and chemopreventive effects, and recent advances in microRNA technology related to red ginseng. The review also summarizes the current knowledge on the effect of ginsenosides in the treatment of cancer.
Pub.: 01 May '17, Pinned: 27 Oct '17
Abstract: Emerging evidence suggests that natural plant ingredients have played an important role in the healthcare of many countries. Several of these natural plant products possess therapeutic potential for various diseases including cancer. Curcumin is the pigment of turmeric, a well-known chemopreventive agent that has been shown to suppress the proliferation of a wide variety of tumor cells, including lymphoma. Curcumin has been shown to have cancer chemopreventive potential against a variety of tumors via targeting key survival pathways that are aberrantly activated in cancer cells.This review discusses therapeutic potential of curcumin in malignancies of lymphoma as well as therapeutic implications of the recent advances in the field.Dietary-compound curcumin hardwires to multiple cellular processes. Suppression of cell proliferation, induction of apoptosis, and inhibition of metastasis are considered to be the major mechanisms underlying its anticancer properties.
Pub.: 05 Dec '08, Pinned: 27 Oct '17
Abstract: The Herb Rhinacanthus nasutus (L.) Kurz, which is native to Thailand and Southeast Asia, has become known for its antioxidant properties. Neuronal loss in a number of diseases including Alzheimer's disease is thought to result, in part, from oxidative stress. Glutamate causes cell death in the mouse hippocampal cell line, HT-22, by unbalancing redox homeostasis, brought about by a reduction in glutathione levels, and amyloid-β has been shown to induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Here in, we show that ethanol extracts of R. nasutus leaf and root are capable of dose dependently attenuating the neuron cell death caused by both glutamate and amyloid-β treatment. We used free radical scavenging assays to measure the extracts antioxidant activities and as well as quantifying phenolic, flavonoid and sterol content. Molecules found in R. nasutus, lupeol, stigmasterol and β-sitosterol are protective against glutamate toxicity.
Pub.: 19 May '12, Pinned: 26 Oct '17
Abstract: Oxidative stress is involved in many neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. Punicalagin (PC) is a hydrolysable polyphenol derived from Punica granatum and a potent antioxidant. In this study, the neuroprotective effect of PC on glutamate-induced oxidative stress was evaluated in the mouse hippocampal cell line, HT22. PC treatment protected HT22 cells from glutamate-induced cell death in a concentration-dependent manner, potentially attenuated glutamate-induced intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and restored the mitochondrial membrane depolarization. Metabolic alterations after glutamate-induced oxidative stress and the protective effect of PC were evaluated with HPLC and GC-MS profiling methods with multivariate statistical analyses. Alterations in ten metabolites were identified, including amino acids, aspartic acid, asparagine, threonine, anserine, cysteine, tryptophan, lysine, as well as fatty acids palmitic acid, stearic acid, and palmitoleic acid. Metabolic pathway analysis revealed the involvement of multiple affected pathways, such as cysteine and methionine metabolism, tryptophan metabolism, alanine, aspartate, and glutamate and fatty acid oxidation. These results clearly demonstrate that PC is a promising therapeutic agent for oxidative stress-associated diseases.
Pub.: 11 Jan '17, Pinned: 26 Oct '17
Abstract: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that leads to memory deficits and death. While the number of individuals with AD is rising each year due to the longer life expectancy worldwide, current therapy can only somewhat relieve the symptoms of AD. There is no proven medication to cure or prevent the disease, possibly due to a lack of knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis. Most previous studies have accepted the "amyloid hypothesis," in which the neuropathogenesis of AD is believed to be triggered by the accumulation of the toxic amyloid beta (A β ) protein in the central nervous system (CNS). Lately, knowledge that may be critical to unraveling the hidden pathogenic pathway of AD has been revealed. This review concentrates on the toxicity of A β and the mechanism of accumulation of this toxic protein in the brain of individuals with AD and also summarizes recent advances in the study of these accumulation mechanisms together with the role of herbal medicines that could facilitate the development of more effective therapeutic and preventive strategies.
Pub.: 14 Jun '13, Pinned: 26 Oct '17
Abstract: Spices significantly contribute to human health through their bioactives. They exert multiple health-beneficial influences including anti-cancer potential. Among natural chemopreventive bioactives capable of inhibiting, retarding, or reversing the multi-stage carcinogenesis, considerable attention has been focused in recent decades on spice derived phytochmicals. Spices with proven anticarcinogenic effects in animal models of cancer include turmeric, garlic, ginger, and black cumin. These spices showed chemopreventive effects against cancers of the skin, forestomach, pancreas, liver, colon, and oral cancer in experimental models. Bioactives of these spices reduce oxidative stress by decreasing free radicals concentration, impede cell division and promote apoptosis in cancerous cells. Additionally, they regulate inflammation and immunocompetence, contributing to cancer prevention. The anticancer potential of curcumin has also been evidenced in clinical studies. Curcumin of turmeric is understood to impede carcinogenesis at all three stages. Curcumin’s anticarcinogenic effect is partly mediated through its inhibition of the transcription factor NFkB and inhibition of proinflammatory pathways. Curcumin induces apoptosis, suppress proliferation and angiogenesis. Use of spices as food adjuncts is a promising approach to reduce the risk of cancer. Although the cancer preventive effects have not been conclusively proven in humans, these spices deserve to be considered as nutraceuticals for deriving anticancer influences.
Pub.: 01 Sep '17, Pinned: 27 Oct '17
Abstract: Certain industrial chemicals and food contaminants have been demonstrated to possess neurotoxic activity and have been suspected to cause brain-related disorders in humans. Acrylamide (ACR), a confirmed neurotoxicant, can be found in trace amount in commonly consumed human aliments as a result of food processing or cooking. This discovery aroused a great concern in the public, and increasing efforts are continuously geared towards the resolution of this serious threat. The broad chemical diversity of plants may offer the resources for novel antidotes against neurotoxicants. With the goal of attenuating neurotoxicity of ACR, several plants extracts or derivatives have been employed. This review presents the plants and their derivatives that have been shown most active against ACR-induced neurotoxicity, with a focus on their origin, pharmacological activity, and antidote effects.
Pub.: 18 Apr '15, Pinned: 26 Oct '17
Abstract: Thai traditional medicine employs a wide range of indigenous herbs in the forms of tincture or tea for the cure of skin and systemic inflammatory diseases. The protection by Thai plants extracts against UVB DNA damage and cytotoxicity was investigated in human keratinocytes. Petroleum ether, dichloromethane and ethanol extracts were prepared from 15 Thai herb species, and the total phenolic and flavonoid contents, the antioxidant and UV-absorbing properties were assessed by standard procedures. Cytoprotective effects were evaluated on the basis of cell survival, caspase-3 activity and pyrimidine dimers determination. High total phenolic and flavonoid contents were found in the ethanol and dichloromethane fractions. Dichloromethane extract of turmeric was shown to possess the highest antioxidant activity. The maximum UV absorptions were found in the ethanol extract of turmeric and in the dichloromethane extract of ginger. These extracts stimulated the synthesis of Thioredoxin 1, an antioxidant protein, and could protect human HaCaT keratinocytes from UV-induced DNA damage and cytotoxicity. The present data support the utilization of turmeric and ginger extracts in anti-UV cosmetic pharmaceuticals.
Pub.: 13 Aug '13, Pinned: 26 Oct '17