African medicine-cyclotides as an aid during child birth

New Drug Approvals

Oldenlandia affinis was used by native women in the Zaire as an aid during childbirth. A tea was made of the leaves and imbibed during labour.

Cyclotides are plant-derived peptides of approximately 30 amino acids. They have the characteristic structural features of a head-to-tail cyclized backbone and a cystine knot arrangement of their three conserved disulfide bonds. Their unique structural features lead to exceptional stability. This and their amenability to chemical synthesis have made it possible to use cyclotides as templates in protein engineering and drug design applications.

David J Craik, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, whose laboratory is working over 20 years in the field, summarizes the history of cyclotides

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http://www.chemistryviews.org/details/news/5012211/History_of_Cyclotides.html

more info on cyclotides

This is how it was discovered: a physician working in the Democratic Republic of Congo noticed that laboring women were drinking tea made from Oleanda affinis to induce childbirth. Theactive ingredient…

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