The country’s first specialized herbarium, essential oil and medicinal plants extract bank was opened in Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute of Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran.
Dr. Ali Sonboli, a faculty member of Shahid Beheshti University and Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute, in the sidelines of the opening ceremony of this herbarium told the press, “This specialized herbarium is specifically opened with a focus on medicinal plants.”
Referring to the commencement of the activities of this herbarium since 2001, he said, “This herbarium started collecting its first medicinal plants specimens in 2001 and has developed by the support of Tourism bank.”
Regarding the details of medicinal plants specimens resources in this herbarium, Sonboli added, “At the moment, there are over one thousand 700 medicinal plants specimens together with 500 plant species in this herbarium.”
This researcher, further pointed out the goals of opening this herbarium as, the identification of medicinal plants native to Iran and the conformity of their local names with their native ones.
According to him, once there is an identification of the native species of the medicinal plants, there will be the national naming of them.
The head of the herbarium of medicinal plants of Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute of Shahid Beheshti University stated the distinction between this herbarium and the others in the country and said, “Apart from the fact that this is a standard herbarium, it collects seeds and aerial parts of medicinal plants in order to prepare essential oil and extracts.”
He further emphasized that there is going to be essential oil and extracts bank besides the herbarium, and that having collected the medicinal plants specimens and registered them in the herbarium, essential oil and extracts will be prepared from these plants.
The goal of this essential oil and extracts bank of medicinal plants bank, he said, is to study their various biological properties from the viewpoints, for example, antioxidants and pain relieving, antimicrobial and anti cancer activities.
Sonboli went on to say, “Once the results of the tests of essential oils and medicinal plants extracts properties are proven, they will be transferred to the phytochemistry department of this institute to separate the active compounds for medicinal purposes.”
“One of the other plans of this herbarium is to identify the anti cancer properties of the native medicinal plants of Iran”, said this faculty member of Shahid Beheshti University, “aligned with the aforementioned, there have been studies on 100 medicinal plants species and their anti cancer properties have been looked into. The results of which have been published in the international journals.”
Referring to some of these researches, he said, “It has been revealed in these studies that a kind of plant species of Salvia officinalis , has a considerable anti cancer properties.”
”The second phase of the specialized herbarium of medicinal plants is to establish essential oil and medicinal plants extract bank,” Sonboli said, “and for that we are planning to purchase the necessary freezers and special bottles to preserve the essential oils and extracts