Venus fly trap could help combat fungal infections

The Venus fly trap is probably the best known example of a carnivorous plant. Native to the tropics, these plants lure unsuspecting beetles, ants, flies and other creatures into a cavity filled with liquid that botanists call a "pitcher". The instant insects fall into this trap, enzymes are activated that dissolve the bugs and provide the plant with needed nutrients, such as carbon and nitrogen, which can be difficult to extract from soil.

In a study just published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University's Department of Plant Sciences investigated the biology of the carnivorous plant Nepenthes khasiana concluded that the secondary metabolite compounds in this plant could serve as a new class of anti-fungal drugs for use in human medicine.

The idea that liquid from a carnivorous plant's pitcher can prevent or treat infection is nothing new. In fact, the use of this substance has been recorded in the ancient folk literature of India, where people drink carnivorous plant pitcher "juice" as a general health aid.

Courtesy of Natural News


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First Published in March 2010

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