The administrator of ‘Essential Oils and Extracts Bank’ of MPDRI, referring to the efforts of this research institute to isolate extracts from 2000 native medicinal plants in the three years to come, said, “So far, 500 extracts from the native medicinal plants species have been included in the Essential Oils and Extracts Bank of this institute.”
Regarding the establishment of Essential Oils and Extracts Bank of this research institute, Dr. Samad Nejad Ebrahimi said, “In the next phase, within 5 to 10 years, we will try to include most of the country’s plant extracts in this bank.”
He said that 8000 plant species have been identified in Iran and that the main reason why the project is moving so slowly is due to lack of credit.
Nejad Ebrahimi stated, “In case the proper credit is supplied, we will be able to collect most of the country’s plant extracts specifically the medicinal species, in a determined period.”
This faculty member of Medicinal Plants and Drugs Research Institute of Shahid Beheshti University referred to the Medicinal Plants Essential Oils and Extracts Bank as an appropriate tool to help treat the new and existing diseases and said, “The advantages and benefits of this bank have been neglected, therefore, the officials do not pay serious attention to this issue.”
He stated, “The majority of world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies and research centers have established such a bank so that when needed, they can use the essential oils and extracts for drug discoveries.”
The Need to Establish an Extracts Bank from Micro-organisms
He highlighted the need for the establishment of an extracts bank from micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi and said, “A lot of drugs are made from Micro-organisms, therefore, more attention should be paid to this issue.”
Nejad Ebrahimi went on to say, “Although it is time-consuming to collect extracts from micro-organisms, we are hopeful to gain this goal with the support of the officials.”
The influential presence of patrons in the development of scientific and research activities
He requested the patrons and donators to have a more effective presence in the development of scientific and research activities such as Medicinal Plants Extracts Bank, since it is with their support that we can maintain the country’s resources and give better service to people.
Nejad Ebrahimi pointed out that some of the activities of this institute, such as collecting and drying of medicinal plants, are carried out through individual expenses, he then added, “The level of incentive and interest for these activities has encouraged the individuals to have out-of-pocket expenses. However, the lack of credit has slowed down the activities in this institute.”
There are approximately 8000 plant species in Iran, 1200 to 1800 of which have medicinal properties. Due to Iran’s climatic varieties, this country is a suitable place for cultivation and growth of medicinal plants.
Despite Iran’s climatic varieties and capacities, medicinal plants are sold in a raw form in this country. Therefore, serious actions need to be taken to contribute to processing them.
According to a statistical evaluation, there are 750 thousand plant species worldwide, 75 thousand of which have medicinal properties and currently, 20 thousand of the species are used in medicine.