There is good news from the Indian medical sector. A seven-member team led by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences (IMSc), Chennai, has developed an online database – Indian Medicinal Plants, Phytochemistry and Therapeutics (IMPPAT) – that has listed 960 phytochemicals, or biologically active compounds found in plants.
What does this mean? They have found naturally occurring chemicals in Indian medicinal plants that have no significant similarity with those used in existing drugs. The team found that more than 60% (591) phytochemicals have no significant similarity with existing drugs by the US Food and Drug Administration , making them potential ingredients in prospective drugs. This a gold mine within plant phytochemicals for discovery of new drug molecules.
This no small research or database which the IMSc has created. It is painstaking work, which has gone into 1,742 Indian medicinal plants and 9,596 phytochemicals based on more than 50 books on traditional Indian medicine, 7,000 abstracts of published research articles and other existing resources.
This research is path breaking is the sense that it can help prove or maybe disprove scientifically, the effectiveness of traditional medicine beyond empirical observations.