India has long been celebrated as a rich repository of medicinal herbs, even among ancient civilizations. The Indian forests are home to several medicinal and aromatic plants, which are mostly harvested as raw materials to produce pharmaceuticals and perfumery products.
According to WHO, around 21,000 plant species have the potential to be used as medicinal plants.The use of medicinal plants is seen to be quite safe, as there are typically very few or no adverse effects.
Herbal medicine is one of the healthier options for treating diseases.
Identification of specific compounds from medicinal plants with a therapeutic effect is a critical step in current drug discovery systems. Plants' natural bioactive phytochemical components, which are the basis of many modern medications, have therapeutic potential. Alternative phytomedicines can protect individuals who are afflicted with terrible ailments, but these herbal medicines need more clinical trials to confirm the compound's medicinal usefulness.
Dr. Sumathi, a leading researcher in the field have done remarkable research on medicinal plants in collaboration with Dr.Selvam, professor and Head of Department, Periyar University, Tamil Nadu, India.
Dr. Sumathi’s research on the medicinal uses of Chinaberry plant, also known as “pride of India”, says that the leaves of this plant are very useful for the cure of various diseases like strangury, amenorrhoea, bronchitis, leprosy, eczema, and asthma. She also discusses the antioxidant effects of this plant which might be very useful for treating cancer.She discusses the medicinal features of another common plant in India named Kokilaksha.In her research, she explains that kokilaksha is very useful in treating liver disorders.
Dr.Sumathi also refers to the Konkan Moringa’s antioxidant properties.
The phytochemical components present in the leaves of Konkan Moringa act against human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 and may have the potential to be used in modern medicines to treat breast cancer. In her recent research, she presented that the White Passionflower in silver nanoparticles have the efficiency to treat colon cancer (HT-29) and compounds in Indian Black Wood works against skin cancer cell line A431. These plants also act as antioxidants and helps in treating inflammatory, cardiovascular, gastro intestinal, haemato logical, and herpetological conditions. They are also helpful in treating blood pressure, jaundice, constipation, tumours, menstrual pain and many more.
Dr. Sumathi has extended her research to molecular docking, a key tool in computer-assisted drug design and structural molecular biology. She is doing incredible research in various fields, and her work is helping people around the world to understand how herbal plants are best for treating different diseases.
As cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, Dr.Sumathi’s studies will help in understanding how medicinal plants show promising antioxidant properties, which might be effective in treating such lethal diseases.
The main purpose of her research was to understand the efficiency of herbal plants in treating various disorders and to know whether herbs are good alternatives to modern medicines. She believes that natural plants have the potential to treat various types of cancer.