Woody vines growing in the forests of Ghana will be used by big global pharmaceutical companies to manufacture drugs in the coming years, researchers in Thailand have revealed.

According to a group of researchers from the Department of Science and Technology-Forest Products Research and Development Institute ( DOST- FPRDI) in Thailand, the woody vines are an important natural resource that show a lot of promise for pharmaceutical companies who will storm Ghana to buy the plants.

“Woody vines or are a type of forest plants that remain largely mysterious in the world of science. Although they are tapped for their diverse uses by forest communities worldwide, they are mostly understudied and underutilized. This is why DOST-FPRDI has looked into the physical, mechanical and chemical properties of 20 kinds of local woody vines. We want to understand them better, and see how we can optimize their use,” said Mariluz Dionglay of the DOST-FPRDI.

“Our results in the chemistry lab have been encouraging,” she added.

DOST-FPRDI also found out that is a promising ingredient for pharmaceutical products, while and curare contain phytochemicals that are known antioxidants.

Curare also appears to be ideal for pulp production and a good source of cellulose for bio-fuel and nanocellulose products, which are high-tech materials used in many industrial goods.

Woody vines growing in the forests of Ghana, Cameroon and the Philippines can have various applications in medicine, health care, and industry.

“Because they grow abundantly across the country and because of the hidden gems inside them waiting to be discovered, forest woody vines will continue to be studied at DOST-FPRDI in the next several years,” Dionglay said.

“Also, we have success stories from abroad to inspire us. In Ghana, West Africa, some species are now used in pharmaceutical preparations for a large number of diseases, while in Cameroon, another vine is a promising source of anti-HIV drugs,” she added.