Society for Economic Botany/BSA Economic Botany Section
Offringa, Lisa .
Medicinal Plants of Northern Thailand Used by Traditional Doctors to Improve Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly.
Dementia is a progressively debilitating disease affecting cognition, memory and behavior primarily in the elderly population. The prevalence of dementia is expected to increase dramatically in south and east Asian countries in the next 30 years1. Thailand lies at the center of three biological diverse areas, the Indo-Burmese, Indo-Chinese and Malaysian regions, and shares its flora with these three regions providing Thai healers with a rich basis for their materia medica2. This study identified medicinal plants used by traditional doctors in Northern Thailand with potential to prevent and treat cognitive impairment. Interviewed doctors report plant formulas used to increase memory, tonics for the brain and long life, and specific formulas for the symptoms of dementia. The multi-plant formulas and selected individual plants will be tested for their activity in in vitro and in vivo bioassays. These formulas could possess synergistic properties that enhance the activity of the individual plants as well as reduce unfavorable side effects that can occur with single plant remedies. This project, in collaboration with Thai academic and botanical institutions, aims to identify and collect medicinal plants reported as efficacious by traditional doctors, and test them against the causes of dementia as a means to substantiate traditional knowledge with scientific methodology. Locating effective plant therapies could alleviate the suffering of those afflicted with cognitive impairment and support the ability of traditional medicine to provide solutions to modern problems. 1 Alzheimer's Disease International,World Alzheimer Report: The Global Economic Impact of Dementia, 1: 15 (2010) 2 Bugna S and Rambaldi G A, Review of the Protected Area System of Thailand. Biodiversity: Special Report, July- Sept. 36- 41 (2001)
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1 - The Graduate Center at The City University of New York, Biology Department, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Maryland Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Monday, July 11th, 2011
Time: 10:45 AM