Pinwheel flower offers potential new pain relieving compound

A native plant to southeast Asia, where it has long been used in traditional Chinese, Ayurvedic and Thai medicines has been found to be effective in treating fever and pain. Chemists have succeeded in isolating a compound from the pinwheel flower (Tabernaemontana divaricata) that may help chronic and acute pain conditions without the complcations that are commonly associated with painkillers. However, the shrub naturally contains only tiny amounts (It makes up just 0.00014% of the bark) of the compound. In trials with mice, researchers have established that the compound reduces inflammatory pain. What’s more, there is evidence that it does so using a different biological pathway to opioids.

Further reading

Check this news summary in Nature

Synthesis of conolidine, a potent non-opioid analgesic for tonic and persistent pain. Nature Chemistry 3, 449-453 (2011)

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