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South African daffodils have certain compounds that help cure depression and several other mental disorders.
Scientists from the University of Copenhagen have discovered that South African daffodils have compounds that could be used to treat diseases originating in the brain like depression and anxiety. They claim that the compounds trick the blood-brain barrier, which does not allow any drug to pass through it.
Earlier, scientists and doctors found it quite difficult to treat patients suffering from depression because of the blood-brain barrier which is like a barrier that does not allow any chemicals to enter the brain. The barrier is impenetrable for most compounds. They say that the barrier pumps drugs out of the cells just as quickly as they are pumped in.
"In my research group, we have had a long-term focus on the body's barrier tissue - and in recent years particularly the transport of drug compounds across the blood-brain barrier. More than 90 per cent of all potential drugs fail the test by not making it through the barrier, or being pumped out as soon as they do get in. Studies of natural therapies are a valuable source of inspiration, giving us knowledge that can also be used in other contexts," said Professor Birger Brodin, researcher at the University of Copenhagen, in a statement.
However, now scientists have developed a natural compound that tricks the barrier and allows the essential chemical to pass through it. Scientists found the compound while studying some compounds that could trick the blood-brain barrier.
Scientists studied various compounds that could be used to fool the barrier, but unfortunately several chemical compunds could not trick the blood-brain barrier. Then they tried using plants compounds and found that the South African daffodils had some unique compounds that had the capability to trick the barrier. This clearly shows that South African daffodils can be used to treat depression.
Scientists claim that further research is necessary to know more about the plant's compounds.
"This is the first stage of a lengthy process, so it will take some time before we can determine which of the plant compounds can be used in further drug development," Birger Brodin concluded.