China seeks to unlock secrets of herbs, roots

(Reuters) – Chinese legends have long extolled the benefits of the Tian Shan Xue Lian, a rare white flower found in snowcapped mountains that is revered as a panacea, an elixir so powerful it can supposedly bring the dead back to life.

But in laboratories in Shanghai and Hong Kong, scientists are poring over this cusped, wrinkly flower the size of an avocado, from which they hope to develop a new drug to treat irregular heartbeat, or atrial fibrillation, a serious disease that raises the risk of stroke.

An employee prepares food for mothers using traditional Chinese medicine at the CareBay maternity care centre in Shanghai December 23, 2011.  REUTERS/Aly Song

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Categories: Health, Medicine, Research

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