Medicinal Plants Research Center

Throughout history, medicinal plants have always been closely associated with humans and their medicinal effects and uses have been noticeable. In fact, knowledge of the use of plants dates back to human civilization and culture, and it has also changed, progressed, and evolved. Thus, with regard to the principle of trial and error, the early human could realize the properties of the plants and convey them to next generations. The scientists in Iran, India, China, Greece, and ancient Rome also broadened their knowledge and then Islamic scholars collected and translated them into Arabic, the language of science in those times, and protected them from incidents over a long time in Europe. The occurrence of adverse complications of chemicals and synthesized substances in the second half of the 20th century, as well as the increasing publication of scientific articles in this domain, has also caused scientists feel frightened and resort to nature and reuse plants and natural substances. Moreover, the efforts made by researchers and scientists in this field have expanded so much that the 21st century was named the century of back to nature and use of plants in treatment. Today, there is also an ever-expanding research in the field of medicinal plants, and the supply of new herbal medications is getting wider on a day-to-day basis. With the prosperity of using plants and natural substances, special attention has been similarly paid to the scientific knowledge of pharmacognosy and herbal medicine. Considering that Iran, as a vast and large country, is taken into account as one of the best across the world in terms of climate, geographical location, and growing medicinal plants wherein over 600 endemic species from different families have grown with rich flora, the use of medicinal plants and natural substances has long been commonplace in this region, and there are many valid documents and evidence on the use of plants in the treatment of diseases from different periods of history, before and after Christ. This important issue as a sign of backing to oneself has drawn the attention of researchers and those interested in traditional and herbal medicine, and nowadays extensive and valuable research studies are being conducted in this field at universities and pharmacognosy departments.

 

About the Center

  

Medicinal Plants Research Center affiliated to Yasouj University of Medical Sciences is recognized as the first research center at this University that was approved in 2007. Given the God-given potentials of the Dena Mountains, located within the southern zone of Dena and Boyer-Ahmad County, this region is considered as a natural museum of medicinal plants with various and unique species of genetic reserves in Iran as a backbone for the research works of this Center.

Despite the lack of physical space and essential equipment, the scientific and research growth in this Center has been increasing and it is gradually flourishing. Currently; in view of the availability of equipped laboratories, animal houses, faculty members, laboratory technicians, as well as the potential of postgraduate students, there is a hope for ever-increasing growth of the given Center in the near future.

 

Research Areas

-        Investigation into the effects of medicinal plants on diabetes

-        Investigation into the effects of medicinal plants on cancer

-        Investigation into the effects of medicinal plants on reproductive system

-        Investigation into the effects of medicinal plants on liver disorders

-        Anti-oxidant properties of medicinal plants

-        Investigation into cellular toxicity of medicinal plants

-        Investigation into cytological properties of medicinal plants using different methods

-        Cellular cultivation (cell culture) along with the uses and applications of medicinal plants  

-        Liver disorders along with the uses and applications of medicinal plants 

-        Enzymology along with the uses and applications of medicinal plants 

-        Diabetes along with the uses and applications of medicinal plants 

-        Cancer along with the uses and applications of medicinal plants 

-        Herbal medicine fractionation

-        Investigation into anti-pain effects of medicinal plants

-        Investigation into anti-inflammatory effects of medicinal plants

-        Investigation into the effects of medicinal plants on kidney and liver

-        Investigation into the effects of medicinal plants on stomach ulcers

-        Applications and roles of medicinal plants on health status and women's health

-        Applications and roles of medicinal plants on fertility

-        Applications and roles of medicinal plants on infertility

-        Applications and roles of medicinal plants on menopause

-        Applications and roles of medicinal plants on cancer in women

-        Applications and roles of medicinal plants on lactation (breastfeeding)

-        Applications and roles of medicinal plants on adolescence and puberty health

-        Applications and roles of medicinal plants on health status in the elderly

-        Investigation into the effects of medicinal plants on bacteria

-        Molecular diagnosis of microbes

-        Resistance at microbial level and identification of microbial resistance genes

-        Clinical identification of pathogenic bacteria

-        Investigation into and assessment of plants with applications in traditional medicine using phytochemical and medical examinations

 

Strategic Plan of Medicinal Plants Research Center of Yasouj University of Medical Sciences

 

Vision

1.      Relying on the religious and cultural principles, the principle of justice and fairness, the belief in the status of traditional medicine, as well as the rich capacity of the natural medicinal plants in this region, the Medicinal Plants Research Center is to be introduced as a top research center in Iran through the production and development of science and research in the field of medicinal plants.

2.      The Medicinal Plants Research Center intends to become a center for the flourishing of the production of science and knowledge, the realization of the worthy and transcendental status of human as an explorer, and presentation of scientific theories based on cultural and religious foundations and values.

 

Mission

Providing, maintaining, and improving community health through conducting fundamental (basic) and applied research studies and production of knowledge and scientific authority, as well as improving the infrastructure of research on medicinal plants in order to meet the major needs of society

 

Values

1.      Respect for human and Islamic values ​​in society

2.      Creativity, innovation, and technology use

3.      Commitment and professional ethics

4.      Knowledge orientation

5.      Participation of stakeholders in programs

6.      Satisfaction of service users

7.      Intra-organizational coordination

8.      Inter-organizational collaboration

9.      Respect for principles and preservation of the environment

10.  Respect for the material and intellectual properties of stakeholders

 

Strengths

-        A total number of 8 full-time and part-time faculty members

-        Experienced researchers (research scholars)

-        Equipped laboratory

-        Independent research council

-        Applied research

 

Weaknesses

1.      Lack of physical space

2.      Limited access to high-speed Internet services

3.      Absence of advanced equipment

4.      No farms dedicated for cultivating medicinal plants

5.      Employment of the faculty members in other areas

6.      Lack of herbarium

7.      Inadequate funding

8.      Official bureaucracy

9.      No access to required resources

 

Opportunities

-        Professional and experienced faculty members

-        Possibility to use credits from national organizations

-        Chance to use joint plans with pharmaceutical companies in this province

-        Large number of educational and research institutions in this province

-        Numerous untouched fields of research in Iran

-        Approval of the establishment of research centers at Yasuj University of Medical Sciences

-        Extensive and rich medicinal plants in the region (500 species)

-        Postgraduate students associated with conducting research projects in the field of medicinal plants

-        Increasing number of interested graduates in the field of medicinal plants

-        Public attention to traditional medicine and medicinal plants

-        Research funds in other organizations and departments eligible for conducting joint research projects

 

 

 

Threats

-        No communication between the Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education and the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology and also their different rules for upgrading the levels

-        No approval of Medicinal Plants Research Center

-        No organizational charts and posts

-        Inadequate research credits and lack of financial independence

-        Sanctions on the imports of many consumables and equipment

-        Non-systematic activities and work connections at Yasuj University of Medical Sciences

-        Use of rents and privileges

-        Restrictive rules

-        Available equipment in the center

 

UV/VIS spectrophotometer

four-solvent HPLC

autoclave

freezer-drier

soxhlet extractor

powerlab

nitrogen tanks

power supply

rotary device

clevenger apparatus

oven

shaker

incubator

ultrasonic transducer

microwave

thermocycler (PCR)

bain-marie

horizontal electrophoresis tank

-20°C freezer

thermobloc

-70°C freezer

vertical electrophoresis tank

refrigerator-freezer

gel doc

microscope

class II laminar flow hood

ice-maker

refrigerated microcentrifuge

four-zero scale

conventional microcentrifuge

tube shaker

conventional centrifuge

 

pH meter

 

Contact Information

Address: Medicinal Plants Research Center, Yasouj University of Medical Sciences Campus, next to Imam Sajjad (AS) Hospital, Shahid Dr. Jalil Ave., Yasuj, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, IRAN

Postcode: 94779- 75919

Tel/Fax: +98-74-33235137

E-mail address: yumsmedplants@gmail.com