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.


Antimutagenic and cancer preventive potential of culinary spices and their bioactive compounds

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