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Micropropagation of a Breast Milk Enhancing Plant, Coleus Amboinicus
Breast milk is the best type of nutrition for infants. Therefore, breastfeeding in early months of life is highly recommended. Lactation failure resulting from inadequate start of breastfeeding and reduced breast milk production can cause several serious problems such as insufficient caloric intake for infant, hypernatremia, dehydration, and hyperbilirubinemia in the first days of life. This requires more intensive evaluation of breastfeeding to improve milk production for nutritional transfer to infants.
Coleus amboinicus (the Indonesia local name is Torbangun) has been used as a breast milk stimulant in Indonesia for hundreds of years. The leaves contain phytochemical properties such as alkaloids, sterols, triterpenoids, tannins, and flavonoids which influence to increase of milk production, milk protein concentration, and protein digestion. Flavonoids can also stimulate the release of prolactin and growth hormone, upregulate expression of prolactin hormone receptor and growth hormone receptor genes and stimulate breast development.
Sustainable sources of herbal raw materials are important for ensuring the viability of the medicinal industry. Plant tissue culture is a promising tool for cost-effective micropropagation. The technology provider has developed a protocol for laboratory-based mass production of C. amboinicus. This technology offers several advantages such as high multiplication rates, the use of aseptic system and uniformity of seedlings.
The technology provider is seeking research collaborations in the following areas:
- Planting, either soil based or hydroponics systems in industrial scale
- Food products including but not limited to supplementary food for breastfeeding mothers and steeping tea
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
The demand of C. amboinicus is increasing and thus a large multiplication of the plant is necessary. An extensive plantation must be developed to ensure a continuous supply of leaf materials. Furthermore, the development of a reliable propagating system is very important to obtain raw materials for sustainable product development.
Plant tissue culture is an emerging tool for plant biotechnology and a potential tool for micropropagation. The technology provider has established a tissue culture system to produce superior C. amboinicus seedlings which will greatly facilitate the provision of uniform seedlings that are free from microbial contamination. High quality mother plants can be reproduced rapidly in a laboratory in a long period of time without reducing its multiplication rate capability. This technique is also beneficial given its seasonal independency.
The in vitro micropropagation of C. amboinicus is suited for the following:
- Research and development in plant production and plant genetic improvement for production of high-quality seedlings
- Farming development for industrial scale
- Herbal industry partners for developing supplementary food for breastfeeding mothers
- Food or pharmaceutical industry for herbal-based drugs and functional food
- Rapid mass production for seedling with low production costs
- Very high multiplication rates
- Aseptic system, free from pests and diseases
- Uniformity of seedlings
- Season independency
- Low labor costs