It’s all about the plants in this University of Rhode Island research lab. Plants as medicine.
Amanda is taking a closer look at blueberry roots.
Hang is trying to sort out the medicinal properties of the Dogwood Berry.
And Raed — well, he’s looking at what could turn out to be the super berry from the Jamun plant.
And while this is all berry promising, it’s the sap that’s capturing the headlines. As in maple syrup.
Dr. Navindra Seeram, Researcher says “We took twenty litres of maple syrup and extracted it in my lab here and found all these amazing antioxidants that are present in pure maple syrup.”
Dr.Seeram says many of them are the same antioxidant compounds also found in berries. More than two dozen of them in all.
Dr. Navindra Seeram, Researcher, says “It’s amazing that the maple tree as it has evolved over time — at least for 300 years — so if you think of the tree exposed to all these insults, the antioxidants from the tree gets in to the sap, and ultimately ends up in syrup.”
(Q: “Were you surprised to the extent you found?”)
“I was very intrigued by the diversity of compounds that we found.”
This was research initiated by the Federation of Maple Syrup producers of Quebec and funded in large part by the Canadian government … which makes sense since Canada produces most of the pure maple syrup that is used worldwide.
They heard about Dr. Seeram’s medicinal plant research at URI and awarded him a two year 115 thousand dollar grant.
Dr. Navindra Seeram, Researcher says “One of the things that we wanted to do with our research is to educate people that if you’re choosing to eat sweeteners, and people are going to eat sweeteners, that the choices are one, this is a natural sweetener, it comes from a medicinal plant and that it has antioxidants which are probably potentially health beneficial.”
What we’re talking about again is the pure maple syrup. It’s thin, like water. Most of the brands sold in stores are not the real thing. so make sure you check.