Medicinal plants, Moringa important for drug innovation: Dr Damtew

AMU in collaboration with Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute (EEFRI) has organized a two-day national symposium on ‘Ethiopian medicinal plants and Moringa’ from 5th to 6th April, 2016, at New Hall, Main Campus. Click here to see the Pictures.

 

EEFRI’s Director General, Dr Wubalem Tadesse, guest of honor, expressed his pleasure in signing Memorandum of Understanding with AMU in the areas of environment and forestry, said his organization is ready to offer financial grants to AMU students ready to carry out research on EEFRI’s thematic areas.

EEFRI’s Deputy Director General, Dr Agena Anjulo, research scholars from other Ethiopian universities, Kotebe University College, Bako Agricultural Research Centre and stakeholders participated in the symposium.

President, Dr Damtew Darza in opening remarks, said, ‘‘Such deliberations are significant in present scenario as medicinal plants and Moringa occupy important place in drug innovation. It will galvanize our efforts to find alternative medicines to treat different ailments in the society and that’s what exactly should be the concern of scientific community.’’

Program anchor, Corporate Communication Directorate Director, Mr Fissiha Bekele, setting the tone for program, said, ‘‘Recent research statistics state Ethiopia to be the home for 6000 species of higher plants of which 887 are medicinal and 10% endemic.’’ Briefing the audience on Moringa’s therapeutic efficacy, he called upon research scholars to achieve a breakthrough in the area of medicinal plants in Ethiopia.

Symposium Organizing Committee chairman, Mr Haftom G/Kiros, termed the occasion as a unique endeavor by AMU in mobilizing scientific community under one roof. It will provide a way forward to maximize potential of medicinal plants and moringa through collaborative efforts of stakeholders. Lack of scientific efforts in exploiting medicinal plants potential might look bleak, but such deliberations always has potential to achieve a major breakthrough.

Of 16 findings presented over the period of two days, AMU has one on ‘Moringa Oleifera as a potential feed for livestock and aquaculture industry, by Alemayehu Worku. Other research findings had focus on species i.e. Parthenium, Rhamnus prinoides, neem, chinaberry, Hagenia Abyssinica, ethanol extract and effect of phenol content, coffee leaves etc.

Dr Agena Anjulo’s finding was an attempt to find a solution for auto-toxic management of parthenium using glyphosate with its aqueous leachates. He said, parthenium, a harmful weed that produces huge amount of seeds in low-lying areas also causes health problems like skin ailments and asthma.

AMU’s Mr Alemayehu Worku’s study states Moringa to be an alternative feed for animal as it is digestible and nutritious. It can enhance fish and egg productions as its leaves promote rumen microbial protein synthesis due to fermentable nitrogen and energy, he stressed.

‘‘Medicinal plants’ usage by majority of rural population has been on since ages; indigenous knowledge enabled them to identify and use right species that went on improving further. Therefore, detailed study in this direction will open up new avenues of drug innovation.

Similarly, Moringa with attached social and cultural significance needs scientific explanation for conservation and optimum use of different parts, said, Dr Alemayehu Hailemichael in his closing remarks.

 

(By Corporate Communication Directorate: Philips Joseph)