The veiny mould found in blue cheeses, which contains penicillin, has been used since the Middle Ages to treat open wounds. The antioxidants found in the bark of a pungent Southeast Asian tree, which can be found in any curry recipe that calls for cinnamon, has been used to help Type 2 diabetes. And pumpkin seeds, long favoured by Latin Americans as a vital cooking ingredient, are known for their anti-parasitic properties.
The medical community needn't look far for answers to today's most pressing health concerns. Nature continues to prove itself the best pharmacy.
As we reported yesterday, turmeric, a spice known for its anti-inflammatory properties, is gaining traction beyond cooking shelves. Dr Sehamuddin Galadari at UAE University is one of the many scientists studying the root, which is thought to have anti-cancer properties that may help tumours to stop growing.
Turning to herbs and food as medicinal cures is nothing new. But western medicine, particularly countries with booming pharmaceutical companies, have often downplayed the healing power of natural cures. Researching turmeric is thus not only a boon to the UAE's scientific community, but to practitioners everywhere seeking new solutions to diseases. After all, while conventional medicine has been known to work wonders, most of its cures have been found in unconventional places.