Israeli researchers discover shrub that can treat diabetes
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Israeli researchers discover shrub that can treat diabetes

Work underway to isolate active ingredient that has been found to lower blood sugar levels, and produce a marketable medication

Chiliadenus iphionoides (sharp varthemia), a Middle Eastern shrub found to be effective in treating diabetes. (CC BY-SA Eitan F., Wikimedia Commons)
Chiliadenus iphionoides (sharp varthemia), a Middle Eastern shrub found to be effective in treating diabetes. (CC BY-SA Eitan F., Wikimedia Commons)

Israeli researchers have found that a plant that grows in Israel, as well as in other parts of the Middle East, is effective in treating diabetes.

Dr. Jonathan Gorelick of the Judea Research and Development Center will present the results of his study of Chiliadenus iphionoides (sharp varthemia), an aromatic shrub that grows in Israel and throughout the Middle East, at the 25th Judea and Samaria Research Studies Conference in Ariel University on Thursday.

Dr. Gorelick and his team, who published the results of their study of sharp varthemia in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in October 2011, found that consumption of the yellow-flowering plant increased sugar absorption in skeletal muscle and fat cells and reduced blood sugar levels in animals.

According to Dr. Gorelick, while many plants have traditionally been used to treat diabetes, only few have been successful as marketable medications. His research team is working on isolating the active ingredient in sharp varthemia so that it may be made into an accessible treatment for diabetes patients.

The Judea Research and Development Center, which is located on Moshav Carmel in the Hebron Hills regional council in the West Bank, focuses on stimulating industrial research and development of products, technologies, patents and inventions for commercial applications. It is sponsored academically by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

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