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Help From the Jungle

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 70-80% of the world's population, about 5 billion people mainly living in developing countries, are treated with herbal medicines as primary care. The quality and beneficial effects of these medicines are not always given.

For this reason we started a cooperation with Prof. Pham Hung Viet and Prof. Bui Thanh Tung of the Vietnam National University and Prof. Ngo Quoc Anh of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology in Hanoi.

Liver disease is common in Vietnam, so we focused on finding agents for liver disease. This began with the survey of 69 practitioners and patients in the northwestern regions of Vietnam, which includes 30 ethnic groups of 9 million people.

Along the way, we learned about 147 plant recipes are used to treat liver disease, of which 118 had a success rate of over 50%. The five most promising recipes have been selected for the chemical and pharmacological studies, two of which show great potential both in-vitro and in-vivo. Currently, we are trying to identify the most effective components of these plant samples using, among others, HPLC-IM-qTOF-MS and GC-EI-qTOF-MS for analysis.

In the figure the analysis of Gynostemma pentaphyllum is shown (separation on the x-axis was done by RP-HPLC within 60 min and on the y-axis by the ion mobility in the drift tube within 70 ms).

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