Contamination of Medicinal Plants: Implications for Indigenous Health

Amid the politicization of environmental policy in the United States, there has been increasing discussion of the hazardous effects of mining on human health. The historical legacy of uranium mining in the West, for instance, has left Indigenous communities susceptible to health conditions, including lung cancer. There have been few studies, however, evaluating […]

Can we harness a plant’s ability to synthesize medicinal compounds?

A plate showing Senna tora, also called Cassia tora. Credit: From Flora De Filipinas by Francisco Manuel Blanco, in the U.S. public domain. Anthraquinones are a class of naturally occurring compounds prized for their medicinal properties, as well as for other applications, including ecologically friendly dyes. Despite wide interest, the mechanism by which plants produce […]

Can we harness a plant’s ability to synthesize medicinal compounds? Knowledge could guide development of sustainable production methods for plant-based medicines — ScienceDaily

Anthraquinones are a class of naturally occurring compounds prized for their medicinal properties, as well as for other applications, including ecologically friendly dyes. Despite wide interest, the mechanism by which plants produce them has remained shrouded in mystery until now. New work from an international team of scientists including Carnegie’s Sue Rhee reveals a gene […]

A medicinal plant has evolved camouflage in heavily picked areas

Fritillaria plants should be simple to spot. The usually bright green plants often stand alone amid the jumbled scree that tops the Himalayan and Hengduan mountains in southwestern China — easy pickings for traditional Chinese medicine herbalists, who’ve ground the bulbs of wild Fritillaria into a popular cough-treating powder for more than 2,000 years. The […]