“The molecule- homo imperatorin- responsible for anti-fungal properties in the seeds of ‘bael’ fruit (Aegle marmelos Correa) has been isolated for the first time and it has taken five long years of research work,” said Bhuwan B Mishra, one of the members of research team while talking to TOI on Sunday. It was conducted in continuation of work on discovery of bioactive constituents from Indian medicinal plant, especially anti-fungal constituents, he added. The research study for isolation of ‘imperatorin’ and ‘iso imperatorin’ from the seeds of the fruit has been already published in Phytochemistry, a reputed European Journal in its December, 2010 issue.
Saying that special precaution for maintaining purity of the molecule was taken during isolation, Mishra also emphasized that the new molecule was characterized under infra-red (IR) spectrum, mass spectrum and ultra violet (UR) spectrum studies that also helped in analysis of chemical and medical properties of the molecule. The characterization and isolation of the molecule promises a new beginning for emergence of natural products in drug discovery apart from coming up with designer molecules with medicinal value, he added.
The ‘Bael’ plant is considered a sacred plant, commonly grown in temple gardens in the country and the fruit is known to possess significant therapeutic and medicinal value and is widely used in homeopathy and ayurveda.