Coorg (Kodagu) is known down the ages for its equisite flora, fauna and distinct culture of its native people, The Kodavas. In the green dales of Kodagu (Coorg), “The Coorg Institute of Dental Sciences” was established in the year 1999. The institute is known for the quality of education it provides to its students and its relentless service to patients in a pollution free green environment.
India has about 8% of the world’s biodiversity and 2% of the earth’s surface area, making it one of the 12 mega-diversity centres of the world. Coorg is the tiniest district in the Southern pensisular covering an area of 4104 sq km. It lies in the Western Ghats, one of the 8 biodiversity hotspots identified by the United Nations.
Recent studies and survey Ethnopharmacology of medicinal plants in Coorg district, (9th march 2013 journal of pharmacy research 6 (284-297) revealed that 126 plant species belonging to 60 families are being used as ethnic drugs to cure various ailments. A study of WHO depicts that over 80% of world's population depends on biological resources for their primary healthcare demands (Indian J.L.Sci.2 (1): 99-102, 2012).
Recent studies on oral hygiene have shown that herbal medicines are more effective and their use minimises the over dose of synthetic chemicals. Antibiotics have been used to treat existing oral diseases, but prevention has mainly been influenced by diet, oral hygiene procedures and an awareness of oral health. The destruction of normal oral and intestinal flora and undesirable side-effects caused by these synthetic drugs has resulted in the search for safer and more easily available plant sources which may have other therapeutic effects too. Plants produce secondary metabolites for their protection against pathogens. These phytochemicals exhibit a wide range of biological activities.
(Journal of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, (2012; Vol. 9, No. 4)
Keeping in view the benefits from herbal medicine, The Coorg Institute of Dental Sciences initiated research in herbal medicines and established a full-fledged research laboratory in the Institute. We also initiated the appointment of a qualified and dedicated team of professionals to work and oversee the research program.
This research team has screened locally available medicinal plants, and worked on screening of biologically active molecules specially used for different oral manifestations of dental diseases. With the help of Senior Professors we have now been successful in getting partially purified biologically active molecules which have been tested on different oral pathogens (in-vitro). The results thus far have been encouraging. Further purification of molecules is under progress using different biochemical techniques like column chromatography and HPLC.
Interestingly we are also working on primary metabolites which have neutraceutical importance. In continuation with this research, seed oils have been extracted and identification of the percentage of MUFA, PUFA, Phytosterols, tocopherols present in the extracted oil, is under progress.
These research activities have fetched a lot of interest in the post graduate students too. Some of the post graduate students are presently working on plant extracts as part of research work and we do hope these will produce good publishing material with scientific temper. This we believe will build their confidence as future scientists and researchers which is so lacking in our country today!!
Apart from oral research we have recently extended our activity towards antidiabetic and anti-hypertensive research. This research toward life style diseases has been attempted considering studies that warn India which is fast becoming the capital of life style related maladies.
The Institute collaborates with Hongkong University; with the faculty and students of both the institutes working on the efficacy of herbal medicines on oral pathogens.
The continued efforts of our research oriented team members in establishment of the medicinal plant laboratory has benefitted a large number of under graduate and post graduate students in their overall development.
The Institute will soon be conducting collaborative research with leading university in Australia and South East Asia.
The CIDS presently collaborates with the Hong Kong University and the University of Geneva, Sweden on various research projects.
I commend the leadership role taken by my innovative team of researchers for the past few years in furthering the cause of Transdiciplinary Health which I believe is the future to healthy living.
Dr. SUNIL MUDDAIAH,
DEAN & MANAGING TRUSTEE,
HEAD, DEPARTMENT OF ORTHODONTICS AND DENTOFACIAL ORTHOPEDICS,
COORG INSTITUTE OF DENTAL SCIENCES.