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New Medicinal Herbs for Eastern N.C. Research Project-2003 Report

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This is a 2003 report from a NC Specialty Crops Program Project. It is posted for historical reference purposes.

PROJECT LEADERS: Bill Jester, Jeanine Davis, and Keith Tyson
In cooperation with Ven Subbiah, PhytoMyco Research Group

The objectives of this project are to 1: determine whether certain medicinal herb species will grow in eastern North Carolina and 2) to measure the yield of biologically active compounds from the plants grown. The plants are being grown by researchers and extension specialists in the N.C. Specialty Crops Program. The plant analysis will be done by Dr. Ven Subbiah, president of PhytoMyco Research Corporation in Greenville, N.C.

Sweet Wormwood (Artemisia annua). An annual. Plant parts used are leaves and flowers. Used to treat malaria, it is showing some promising results with cancer.

Japanese Burdock (Arctium lappa). A hardy biennial. Has solid stalks. Plant parts used are leaves and stems. Used as a diuretic and laxative. Considered a blood purifier and for skin alments.

Common Burdock (Arctium minus). A hardy biennial. Has hollow stalks and is shorter than Japanese Burdock. Plant parts used are leaves and stems. Used as a diuretic and laxative. Considered a blood purifier and for skin ailments.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea). Annual. Plant parts harvested: leaves and stems. Leaves are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Coleus (Coleus forskohlii). Perennial. Member of the mint family. Plant parts used are roots. Being used for asthma and skin problems. Claims are that it stimulates the production of cAMP and thus stops allergic reactions. Also used in weight control products.

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianus). Annual plant. Parts used are seeds. Used to treat and prevent liver problems. Also a powerful antioxidant.

Phyllanthus (Phyllanthus amarus). Annual. A member of the Euphorbacea family. Plant parts used are leaves and stems. An ayurvedic herb used in southern India for the treatment of jaundice and Hepatitis B. Some evidence that it is helpful in the treatment of diabetes.