Medicinal plants of Israel: A model approach to enable an efficient, extensive and comprehensive field survey

Full Title: Medicinal plants of Israel: A model approach to enable an efficient, extensive and comprehensive field survey

Journal: International Journal of Biodiversity Bioprospecting and Development

Year of Publication: 2014

PHHI Author(s): Mary Ann Lila
Publication Author(s): Joseph, Gili, Mina Faran, Ilya Raskin, Mary Ann Lila and Bertold Fridlender


Background: Israel has a large variety of indigenous plants due to its unique geography, connecting three continents with different climate zones; however, local species have not been systematically screened.
Methods: Plant samples were collected during/immediately after the rainy season from eight climate zones. Following collection, extracts were created within 24 hours. Field-deployable bioassays assessing 12 types of antidisease/health protection activity were performed within 48 hours using a rapid, accurate paradigm for bioexploration based on the Screen to Nature (STN) technique developed by the Global Institute of BioExploration (GIBEX). Plant extracts were assessed for medicinal activity on a scale of 0 (no activity) to 3 (most potent).
Results: More than 1,100 plant samples derived from 614 plants belonging to 85 families were screened. Approximately 60% belonged to 12 families, notably the Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Lamiaceaen and Brassicaceae families. About 60% of samples showed at least one high-potency bioactivity (3/3); 20 plants exhibited 3–4 anti-disease/health protection activities. Plants growing in areas with more extreme conditions showed more bioactivity compared to those in less harsh climates. Antibacterial and antifungal activity, capacity for glucosidase detection and inhibition, and antioxidant activity were most common; protozoa, roundworm, and flat worm lethality, activity for planaria regeneration, protease detection and inhibition, and anthocyanin were also seen. There were sixteen plant samples that exhibited activity in a dose response manner using the STN assays as well as in using the Minimum Inhibitory concentration tests.
Conclusions: The Screen to Nature (STN) technique enables rapid, accurate field-deployable screening of diverse plant species for multiple anti-infectious/health protection activities. By using this technique at least 16 plant samples were identified as plants with potential to serve as a source of biological material for medicinal purposes.

Link to Article: