The health benefits of Indian herbs and the need for scientific research to evaluate herbal principles formed the crux of the Madras Science Foundation's Dr.T.R.Govindachari Memorial Lecture delivered by Prof. S.P. Thyagarajan, Pro-Chancellor (Research), Sri Ramachandra University.
The lecture dwelt around Phyllanthus amarus (traditionally known as "Kizhanelli") whose plant principles were subjected to extensive research and resulted in an indigenous drug for the treatment of chronic jaundice, called Hepatitis-B. "Drug from phyllanthus amarus is a major breakthrough because this is one plant that has been scientifically evaluated in our country and is accepted the world over. In India, there is a wealth of information available in the traditional ayurveda and siddha branches of medicine. But the problem is we have not bothered to study them scientifically," Dr Thyagarajan said. He got acceptance and support only after international scientists, particularly Dr Baruch Blumberg, who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the hepatitis B virus, accepted his findings.
AdvertisementTracing a commonality between Dr.T.R.Govindachari, father of natural products chemistry research in India and Dr.S.P.Thyagrajan, Dr.M.Balasubramanyam, Secretary of the Madras Science Foundation & Senior Scientist at the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation said, "While Dr.Govindachari's contributions resulted in the marketing of 'NEEMGOLD', neem-based insecticide, Dr.Thyagarajan's research paved the way for the marketing of 'VIROHEP', an indigenous, cost-effective drug for treating hepatitis-B."