Phytochemicals from Jamaican folklore medicinal plants and their biological activity.Identification of the constituents of Essential Oils from local aromatic folklore medicinal plants.Anti-oxidant activities of Jamaican plant extracts
Dr. Roy Porter's research group studies species of plant genera reputed to have folklore medicinal properties. These plants are examined for their essential oils and phytochemicals.
Of particular interest to the group are:
The eight species of the Hyptis genus found locally; these species are verticillata, capitata, spicigera, suaveolens, atrorubens, brevipes, pectinata and mutabilis.
The ten local species of the Cleome genus, namely rutidosperma (consumption weed), viscosa, spinosa, serrata, aculeata, gynandra, hasslerana, houstonii, iberica and speciosa.
The local species of the Bursera genus, simaruba (red birch), lunanii (black birch), aromatica and holickii.
The objective of the research is to find new compounds that have biological activity and to validate the folklore medicinal uses of the plants.
The group has thus far completed the investigation of the essential oils from the four species of the Bursera genus, four species from the Cleome genus and three species from the Hyptis genus. Phytochemical investigations are ongoing on various species from the three genera.
The group also has a minor research interest in endophytic fungi from mangrove plants, known to produce structurally diverse compounds with interesting biological activity. The group has isolated endophytes from four different mangrove species, grown some of these endophytes in the lab and examined their extracts for anti-microbial, insecticidal and antioxidant activity.