Homo imperatorin, molecule isolated from Bael fruit seed

Banaras Hindu University has recently been successful in their attempt to isolate a molecule from the Bael fruit which is known for its high medicinal value. This molecule supposedly shows anti fungal properties and the research study got its recognition on the last two days of the two day seminar on emerging trends in chemical sciences, organised by department of chemistry, BHU, on Sunday, it also marked a breakthrough in the isolation and synthesis of designer molecule with medicinal value.

“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.

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