Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

St. John's wort collection mined for its medicinal value

Date:
April 9, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
A unique collection of St. John's wort (Hypericum) is providing researchers with genetically diverse, well-documented sources of this herb to use in studies examining its medicinal potential.

ARS maintains a unique collection of genetically diverse St. John's wort to support research into the plant's medicinal potential.
Credit: Norman E. Rees, ARS.

A unique collection of St. John's wort (Hypericum) curated by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Ames, Iowa, is providing university collaborators with genetically diverse, well-documented sources of this herb to use in studies examining its medicinal potential.

Related Articles


In collaboration with Mark Widrlechner, a horticulturist with the ARS crop genebank at the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station in Ames, scientists from the Center for Research on Botanical Dietary Supplements (CRBDS) are screening 180 germplasm accessions of St. John's wort for biologically active compounds. Some may be worth evaluating further in clinical trials for their potential to combat viral infections, reduce inflammation or improve digestive health.

Established in 1948, the ARS Ames crop genebank curates more than 50,000 accessions of ornamental plants, maize, oilseeds, vegetables and other crops, and provides them to researchers for many applications. Accessions with medicinal or nutraceutical value include Echinacea (purple coneflower), Hypericum, Prunella (self-heal) and Actaea racemosa (black cohosh). ARS horticulturist Luping Qu curates the collection and Widrlechner coordinates its use for research at CRBDS, one of six Botanical Research Centers funded by the National Institutes of Health from 2005-2010.

The Hypericum collection at Ames was started in the 1990s and today encompasses about 60 species collected from around the world. This diversity has enabled investigations of genetic, environmental and developmental factors affecting the quantity and quality of bioactive compounds, as well as their modes of action.

Of particular interest is how these compounds interact, and whether those interactions are critical to human health benefits. In a recent issue of Pharmaceutical Biology, researchers noted that combinations of four compounds from St. John's wort (amentoflavone, chlorogenic acid, pseudohypericin and quercetin) were more effective at reducing inflammation in mouse macrophage assays than when each was used alone.

Widrlechner's collaborators include Diane Birt, Kimberly Hammer, Matthew Hillwig, Jingqiang Wei, George Kraus, Patricia Murphy and Eve Wurtele at Iowa State University; Jeffrey Neighbors, David Wiemer, Wendy Maury and Jason Price at the University of Iowa; and Joe-Ann McCoy, formerly with ARS.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "St. John's wort collection mined for its medicinal value." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100330151945.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, April 9). St. John's wort collection mined for its medicinal value. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100330151945.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "St. John's wort collection mined for its medicinal value." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100330151945.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins