Shrub used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years could fight ageing
People have been using the root of a flowering Tibetan shrub to treat malaria for centuries.
However, scientists from Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Boston think the blue evergreen hydrangea could also work as an anti-ageing drug.
The chemicals in the roots of the plant work by mimicking nutrient deprivation, which prevents blood cells from making the proteins that cause inflammation. Tracy Keller and her colleagues believe this could play a part in preventing inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis.
Experts have found animals that receive only adequate nutrition are more likely to live longer because the diseases which feed on protein are prevented. This, said Keller, could mean that the chemical, known as halofuginone, might also work as anti-ageing medicine.
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