Only 5-15% of the ∼25000 existing species of plants have been examined for the presence of biologically active compounds. The ancient medical systems use a much larger palette of herbs for therapy. Systematic drug discovery involving using cues provided from traditional medical systems is bound to produce a new generation of green drugs. Curcumin the primary active ingredient in Curcuma longa is used as a model to enunciate the concept of green drug development. Synthetic and formulation based approaches to optimize the bioactivity of curcumin is presented.
Keywords: Green drug, curcumin, traditional medicine, GRAS, renewable resource, derivative
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