Scientists from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California that tested around 400 plant extracts with medicinal properties have concluded that the medicinal Yerba Santa plant which is native to California can one day treat people with Alzheimer’s due to presence of an active compound in it. The researchers have stated that extracts from this plant can prevent brain cell death using a new drug-discovery screen that tested compounds of several medicinal plants to check their ability to deter effects of age on the human brain. The Initial test rounds with Yerba Santa plant yielded that several of its extracts protected against cell death that happens during Alzheimer’s and other brain related issues that occurs with age.
Tests showed that an extract from the Yerba Santa plant called Sterubin is the most powerful of all other herbal extracts to shield against brain inflammation and other neural issues that lead to death of brain cells. The Native Indian tribes of California have always valued the medicinal qualities of the Yerba Santa which in Spanish means “holy herb” for its ability to manage respiratory issues, pain, infections, fever and even headaches. The details of this study have been published in the journal Redox Biology.
Study author Pamela Maher, a senior scientist at Salk Institute stated that Alzheimer’s is a leading cause of death among senior citizens in US and as age affects the brain in a very negative manner they decided to look for ways to counter the effect of age on the human brain. Alzheimer’s is a common cause for dementia in some people beyond a certain age but there till date there are no treatments nor cures for treatment of the disease. In recent years though a few medicines have been developed that can delay or reduce the progress of symptoms nothing can stop its progress.