Herb to the rescue

Published: Wednesday 15 December 1993

Hope on the horizon Scientists at the Jammu laboratory of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have found a Himalayan herb, which can considerably increase the absorption of tuberculosis (TB) drugs in the human bloodstream.

Scientists Usha Zutshi and K L Bedi explain that because the human body can absorb less than two-thirds of administered TB drugs, higher dosages have to be prescribed. Various chemical derivatives, now being used in these drugs to help their absorption, are not very effective. So, the herb extract, which is called piperine and is cheaper than the chemical derivatives, comes as a boon.

The scientists were intrigued by the repeated occurrence of the herb trikatu (Pipur nigrum) in almost all Ayurvedic formulations. They found that though the herb was not a healer in itself, it helped the body absorb some drugs more effectively. Piperine will soon also be introduced in drugs for leprosy and other deadly diseases, say the scientists.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.