Laboratory Topic Bioprospecting For Medicinal Plants

EXERCISE A: INVESTIGATING HERBAL REMEDIES WITH THE SHRIMP BIOASSAY

  1. Purchase live brine shrimp Anemia) or cysts from Carolina Biological, Ward's, or the local aquarium store. If you choose, hatching brine shrimp is extremely easy. Using Instant Ocean (also available from the same sources), prepare a 1.022 specific gravity salt-water solution (approximately 9 tablespoons) in a 1-gallon aquarium. Purchase an inexpensive Aquarium Systems Scatest Specific Gravity meter (marine hydrometer» from Ward's to achieve the correct specific gravity. Aerate to keep cvst.s in suspension. Maintain temperature between 28°C and 30°C. Hatching will take 24—*8 hours. To harvest, use a lamp to attract the positively phototactic shrimp. Collect with a fine mesh net.
  2. Purchase aquarium tubing, 4-gang valves, nets and pumps from Carolina Biological, Ward's, or the local aquarium store.
  3. Two-dram vials may be purchased from Carolina Biological.
  4. Obtain dried herbs from a health food store, or collect them fresh from the field and allow to air-dry for at least a week. T his will concentrate the active principles and make it easier to grind the plant material into a fine powder.
  5. The green tea extract was made from the contents of a green tea bag. Cranberry extract was made by grinding up pills of pure cranberry juice concentrate. Bodi showed biological activity.

Calendula flowers, valerian root, purple coneflowcr, goldenseal, and ginseng prepared from dried herbs did show some biological activity.

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