KNUST student discovers antioxidant in elephant grass


KNUST student discovers antioxidant in elephant grass


The elephant grass is considered the most important fodder crop in Africa.

Besides being ideal for feeding cattle and sheep due to its rich nutrient content, the plant is also found to hold enormous benefits for humans.

Drugs for treating infections are expensive and often leaves patients with undesirable side effects.

A common grass plant with anti-oxidant and infection fighting properties could provide a cheaper option, as found by Esther Asempa Acheaw of the Chemistry Department, a student of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.

Esther’s work supervised by Dr Lawrence Borquaye set out to investigate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the elephant and Bahia grass.

They were amazed at the results when they compared it to Vitamin C, a known anti-oxidant.

The World Health Organization estimates 80 per cent of the world population depends on herbal medicine for primary health care.

Elephant grass, also known as NAPIER grass, is valuable to African landscapes as it prevents soil erosion.

It can also serve as a windbreak and fire bed.

The fresh shoots and leaves are used to prepare soup and stew, as well as medicine for healing wounds and treating measles and headache.

However, its efficacy has scientifically not been proven.

 





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