Medicinal & Nutraceutical Plants:
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Division Chair: H. Rodolfo Juliani

                                 Assistant Research Professor

                                 Plant Biology and Pathology Department

                                 School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS)

                                 Rutgers University

                                 59 Dudley Road

                                 New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-8520 USA

                                 Phone: 848-932-6240:  Fax 732-932-3844

                                 email: hjuliani@rci.rutgers.edu

                                 http://aesop.rutgers.edu/~plantbiopath/faculty/juliani/juliani.html

Scope of the Division:

The goal of the division is to promote research and development activities in medicinal and nutraceutical crops to support various industries. Members of the division conduct research in several disciplines within these crops. Research is ongoing in germplasm selection, evaluation, cultivation, harvesting, processing, product development, and marketing of crops and their respective products. In addition, members also conduct research related to the agronomic, chemistry, genetics, quality, and biological activities of these crops.

Medicinal plants are defined as those plants containing phytochemicals, secondary metabolites, or primary metabolites that have a medicinal action in humans and animals. Nutraceutical plants produce healthy phytochemicals that are formulated and intake is in the form of capsules, tinctures, or tablets. Functional foods are a component of nutraceuticals and are consumed as foods, and not in dosage form.

Medicinal and nutraceutical plants offer a wide array of products utilized or can be utilized in the pharmaceutical and functional food industries.

Current Activities:

The division is in preparation for the upcoming AAIC 26th annual meeting in Athens, Greece (Hotel Divani Acropolis) September 13-19, 2014.

Greece, the cradle of Western civilization and strategically located in the Mediterranean Sea, has a rich and remarkable history in the research, production and processing of herbs, spices and medicinal plants.

The division encourages researchers to join the AAIC, participate in the upcoming meeting and become an active supporter of the division.

Member Highlights:

 

Diana Jasso de Rodriguez. Past-chair (2006-2009).

 

Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro (UAAAN), Saltillo, Coahuila, México.

 

Dr. Jasso de Rodriguez is a founding member of the division serving as a chair from 2006-09. Her research team is conducting active research in the areas  of phytochemistry and biological activities of medicinal plants of northern Mexico and Southern US. Dr. Jasso is also an active researcher in the areas of Natural Rubber and Resins particularly on guayule.

 

 

Brad Morris, Geneticist (USDA-ARS PGRCU). Past-chair (2010-2013).

 

Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit

 

http://www.ars.usda.gov/PandP/Docs.htm?docid=21795

Dr. Morris served as a chair of the division from 2010 through 2013. His area of interest is in the characterization and evaluation of genetic resources. Plant and seed regeneration capacity, and genetic, morphological, phytochemical variability (fatty acid, flavonol, isoflavonoid), with a strong focus on  medicinal and nutraceutical value of these plants.

 

 

Dipak Santra, Panhandle Research and Extension Center,

 

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Scottsbluff, NE

 

http://panhandle.unl.edu/personnel_santra

Dr. Santra a plant breeder focusing on the phytochemical characterization and improvement of medicinal plants. He was recently awarded the best oral presentation of the division at the 2013 meeting in Washington DC, for his presentation on “Evaluation of Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) Germplasm for Diosgenin, Galactoamannan, and 4-Hydroxyisoleucine”.  

 

 

Dr. José Ángel Villarreal Quintanilla

 

Universidad Autonoma Agraria Antonio Narro

 

http://www.uaaan.mx/postgrado/index.php/josevillarreal.html

Dr. Villareal is conducting research in the botany and pharmacognosy of endemic and rare plants from Coahuila, México.

Crops Investigated:

Members in this division have been conducting research in the following crops for their medicinal and nutraceutical attributes:

Aloe (Aloe vera): Leaves

Amaranth oil (Amaranthus spp.) for cardiovascular disease.

Borage (Borago officinalis L.): seeds (gamma linolenic acid)

Calendula (Calendula spp.) flower for wound healing (water soluble flavonoids), anti-inflammatory, may inhibit HIV, anti-bacterial, and anti-tumor. Skin and cancer treatments.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis L.): seeds (calendic acid).

Candelilla (Euphorbia antisyphilitica): natural waxes.

Camelina (Camelina sativa L.): seeds (omega-3-fatty acids).

Chia (Salvia hispanica) bread for reducing cardiovascular risk factors (proteins, antioxidants, fatty acids)

Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida, E. purpurea) for reducing the common cold.

Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) oil for osteoporosis.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) for colic and constipation.

Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) gensenosides for reducing type 2 diabetes and may reduce respiratory tract infections as well as influenza.

Guar (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba) gum relieves constipation, reduces type 1 and 2 diabetes, and lowers cholesterol. Partially hydrolysed guar gum effective in irradicating small intestinal bacterial growth.

Herbs (Origanum sp, Pelargonium sp, Lippia sp, Cymbopogon sp, Thymus sp): sources of essential oils and antioxidant polyphenols, and dried plant parts for use as spices, and herbal teas.

Herbs (Salvia sp, Teucrium sp, Sideritis sp): diterpenes and flavones against polyphagous moths

Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa): dried calyces (anthocyanins).

Mint (Mentha spp.) for relieving tension headaches.

Moringa (Moringa oleifera): seeds, leaves (fatty acids, nutritional elements, antioxidant polyphenols).

Plantago (Plantago psyllium) works as a bulk laxative and reduces constipation.

Purple Viper's Bugloss (Echium plantagineum): seeds (omega-3 and 6 fatty acids).

Pyrethrum (Tanacetum cinerariifolium) treats lice.

St. Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum) extracts for depression, may improve wound healing, and reduce scar formation.

Sesame (Sesamum indicum) for sesamin, sesamolin, and tocopherols.

Yuca (Yucca carnerosana), lechuguilla (Agave lechuguilla), gobernadora (Larrea tridentata), quinua (Chenopodium quinoa); and hojasen (Flourensia cernua): Plant extracts and isolated components against pathogens (e.g. Fusarium oxysporum).
 

Academic Journal Publishing Articles on Medicinal and Nutraceutical plants:

Journal of Industrial Crops and Products

http://www.journals.elsevier.com/industrial-crops-and-products/

 The AAIC was the birthplace of the Journal of Industrial Crops and Products, many articles are published yearly covering varied aspects of the research on medicinal and nutraceutical plants.

Industrial Crops and Products

 

JMAP

http://scholarworks.umass.edu/jmap/

The sister organization of the division “American Council of Medicinally Active Plants (ACMAP)” also publish quarterly the “Journal of Medicinally Active Plants”, a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, on-line professional journal. The Journal publishes scientific manuscripts related to the analysis, application, bioactivity, collection, conservation, cultivation, growth, harvest, identification, physiology, processing, and other issues related to medicinally active plant material.

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New Elsevier’s  Journal of Applied Research on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

http://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-applied-research-on-medicinal-and-aromatic-plants/

Elsevier is publishing the first papers of JARMAP, the peer reviewed and multidisciplinary communication platform, covering all aspects of the raw material supply chain of medicinal and aromatic plants.