A recent research done by scholars of Burdwan University in the suburbs of Kolkata has shown that the berries of a wild weed used in Ayurvedic formulation can help to eradicate mosquitoes spreading dengue and act as a resistant to synthetic insecticide. The weed which helps in eradicating dengue is known as Solanum villosum which a member of the family of nightshade possessing medical properties and are used as Ayurvedic herbs.
About two fifth of the total population of the world is now at risk from dengue which is characterized by high fever, pain and rashes. Dengue haemorrhagic fever is the most complicated type which most likely affects children. In the recent years there have been quite a few deaths in Kolkata because of this disease. With this path breaking discovery a cure for Dengue is likely to be found soon.
This research has been carried out in the University of Burdwan where the juice from the berries have been extracted and used on the mosquitoes spreading yellow fever and dengue. The researchers have found out that the extracts of this weed is highly effective in killing the larvae of S.aegypti responsible for spreading dengue. The researchers claimed that the extracts of this weed is not as strong as Malathion but it has the capability to kill the mosquitoes of stagnant water.
‘We found that these plants produce two types of phytochemicals,’ said researcher Goutam Chandra. ‘The most interesting are the secondary phytochemicals, such as steroids, terpenoids, flavonoids and alkaloids. These act as a repellent which protect against the lethal effects of the larval mosquitoes.’
A number of plants have been reported for their anti-mosquito potency. Most studies report the active compounds to be steroidal saponins, which are thought to kill larvae by interfering with their cuticle membranes. However, only a few plant extracts have moved from the laboratory to field use.
Mosquitoes responsible for spreading disease are increasingly becoming resistant to synthetic insecticides such as Malathion.