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The Amazon jungle, a new medicine cabinet for the world?

The Amazon jungle, a new medicine cabinet for the world?

In order not to lose all the ancestral knowledge of the American Indians, botanists included medicinal plants in the herbs of Guyana. Each year, between five and ten species are discovered thanks to exploration missions deep in the primary forest. “We go to areas where there was expected to be very little, and do regular inventories. Thanks to the collections, we discover species that are more secretive and less abundant. There are still many things to discover.”Botanist analyzes.

Many of these plants are tested in the laboratory to extract the active ingredients. At the Pasteur Institute in French Guiana, Emeline identified sawdust from a tropical tree as a powerful mosquito repellent. “The discovery of this insecticidal activity is the result of three years of work. As part of this project, we tested about 85 species of plants. This represents several hundred extracts that were tested on mosquito larvae.The researcher explains.

In Guyana, mosquitoes carry yellow fever or dengue fever. Therefore, killing mosquitoes in case of larvae is a public health issue. Emlin is a formidable insecticide in mosquito breeding areas, that is, in stagnant water.

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