New studies find two native Australian plants have healing properties

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Studies by Dr. Elnaz Saki of Charles Darwin University (CDU) investigated the efficacy of Calophyllum inophyllum seed oil and Tinospora smilacina leaf aqueous extract as alternative sources of medicine for wound healing. Credit: Adnan Reza/Charles Darwin University

Two plants native to northern Australia may have significant medicinal potential in the prevention and treatment of disease, according to two studies led by a Charles Darwin University (CDU) doctoral fellow. candidate.

Lead author and CDU Faculty of Science and Technology candidate Elnaz Saki explored the potential of Calophyllum inophyllum seed oil (CSO) and Tinospora smilacina leaf water extract (TSWE) as alternative sources of medicine in two separate studies.

In the first study, published in BMC Complementary medicine and therapies, Dr. Saki explored the wound healing potential of CSO after transforming it into a nanoemulsion, a mixture of liquids with a nanometer-sized droplet of oil. The second article, published in Clinical, cosmetic and experimental dermatologyinvestigated the impact of adding TSWE to the CSO nanoemulsion.

\”The study showed that CSO and TSWE contain bioactive compounds such as flavonoids and fatty acids, which have potent wound healing, antimicrobial and antioxidant effects,\” said Dr. Saki.

\”Both nanoemulsions demonstrated improvement or equivalent activity for biomedical applications such as wound healing, antimicrobial and antioxidant effects.\”

Dr. Saki\’s broad interest in the diversity of plant species and their unique chemical compounds inspired her to pursue medical biotechnology, nanobiotechnology, and nanomedicine.

He chose to work with C. inophyllum, also known as Alexandrian laurel, and T. smilacina due to their historical use in traditional medicine and bioactive compounds. CSO has been used to treat skin conditions, wounds and pain while T. smilacina, commonly called snake vine, has long been used by First Nations people to treat snakebites, headaches, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory ailments .

\”These plants represent a rich source of bioactive compounds that have not been fully explored regarding their potential therapeutic applications,\” said Dr. Saki.

\”With the growing demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions in the pharmaceutical industry, I recognized an opportunity to contribute to this field by studying the bioactive properties of plant extracts.\”

Dr. Saki, who recently graduated with a PhD. in Nanobiotechnology, he hopes to continue his research and explore how these bioactive compounds work in vitro and in vivo.

\”I\’m also interested in exploring the potential for these compounds to be included in novel therapies for various diseases, including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, multidrug-resistant and infectious diseases,\” she said.

\”I am interested in collaborations with pharmaceutical, bioceutical and cosmetic companies interested in developing and synthesizing new nanomedicines and therapies.\”

More information:
Elnaz Saki et al, Optimization of Calophyllum inophyllum seed oil nanoemulsion as a potential wound healing agent, BMC Complementary medicine and therapies (2022). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-022-03751-6

Elnaz Saki et al, Formulation and biomedical activity of oil-in-water nanoemulsion combining Tinospora smilacina water extract and Calophyllum inophyllum seed oil, Clinical, cosmetic and experimental dermatology (2023). DOI: 10.2147/CCID.S405427

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