New Discovery: Herb with Very High Accumulation of Antioxidants
The Cooperative Agricultural Research Center’s Plant Systems research group has discovered the commercial accumulation of a shikimic acid family of antioxidants in the otherwise obscure medicinal plant Phyla dulcis, a Central American herb. The group has been conducting a biotechnological research project, funded by NIFA-Allen Fund, aimed at enhancing the quantities of the non-caloric sweetener composition of the plant. Unusual deposits of shikimic acid and salicylic acid which are potent anti-inflammatory dietary antioxidants, were observed in the metabolomics analyses of the plant’s extract. The Plant Systems research group is excited about the possible economic benefits that limited resource farmers could derive by cultivating the crop because food quality antioxidants have potential to protect against free radicals and reactive oxygen species in the human body. The discovery is being published by The Natural Products Journal.
James Palmer, Ph.D.
Interim Dean and Director of Land-Grant Programs