Karanganyar, BRIN Public Relations. Natural products from plants, terrestrial and marine organisms, and terrestrial and marine microorganisms are sources of drug candidates. More than 40% of drugs used clinically are from nature. The potential of natural materials as raw materials for health products needs to be optimally utilized to support health development programs. For this reason, BRIN conducts a number of research activities to explore this potential to become drugs and traditional medicines.

To carry out research and development of medicinal plants and traditional medicines, researchers cannot do it alone. Collaboration between researchers and industry is needed. “Researchers of drugs and traditional medicines should no longer think from downstream to upstream. Researchers have to think about making something and cooperate with the health industry or hospitals as users of research results,” explained the Head of BRIN, Laksana Tri Handoko, Thursday (24/3) during a visit to the Center for Research and Development of Medicinal Plants and Traditional Medicines (B2P2TOOT), in Tawangmangu.

This BRIN’s work unit in Tawangmangu was previously a work unit under the Ministry of Health whose researchers have now joined the Health Research Organization-BRIN. Research and development activities at B2P2TOOT thus far prioritize scientific investigation on Jamu, herbal medicine, from upstream to downstream. “B2P2TOOT has a lot of potentials that need to be developed. We hope that collaboration and coordination in the field of health R&D can be realized in the future,” said the Head of B2P2TOOT, Akhmad Saikhu.

Furthermore, Yuli Widiyastuti, a researcher in the field of drugs and traditional medicines, said that what this work unit had performed is as the bestline to improve the performance of subsequent research in the BRIN community.

This is not only as the bestline in BRIN, Yuli Widiyastuti added, but also as part of health research. They also have a main goal; that the output obtained must have implications for health development. “Therefore, synergistic collaborative support is needed, including from the Indonesian Ministry of Health in general,” he said.

Since 2010, the B2P2TOOT has prioritized scientific investigation on JAMU, herbal medicines, from upstream to downstream, starting from ethnopharmacological research on medicinal plants and JAMU. One of the results of the B2P2TOOT research is the development of Artemisia as an antimalarial drug.

On this occasion, the Head of BRIN also inspected the existing research facilities at B2P2TOOT, including the integrated laboratory of medicinal plants and traditional medicines, the facility building that once functioned as a herbal medicine museum, as well as the Tlogodlingo garden station, in Tawangmangu. (hmp/ ed: drs)