Snowdrop pharma

Spanish scientists have identified 17 different chemicals with medicinal potential in the common winter-flowering snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis and G. elwesii). Of the 17 alkaloids, three were previously unknown to chemists and belong to a group with potential applications in treating diseases as diverse as malaria and Alzheimer's. The researchers found 10 alkaloids in G. nivalis, a bulbous plant that flowers in the snows of midwinter, and seven from the G. elwesii species, which originates in the Caucasus. Two obtained from G. nivalis are haemantamines, the third from G. elwesii is a licorine. Details were published in the scientific journal Planta Medica.