Young Jamaican scientist develops neutraceuticals for diabetics
Dr Denise Daley, a young Jamaican scientist, has used her passion for plants to develop a line of neutraceuticals to be used in the treatment of diabetes.
Through her research on the eucalyptus plant, she has created food items and supplements which will assist thousands of Jamaicans suffering from the chronic condition.
These include cooking oil, teas, margarine, and supplements, including tincture.
For her innovation, Dr Daley was named the 2016 Young Scientist of the Year at the National Science and Technology Awards held last November.
A pharmacognosist at the University of Technology (UTech), Dr Daley formulated and did product development for functional foods and nutraceuticals from the compounds that were isolated from the eucalyptus plant. In 2012, she won Innovator of the Year for the extracted compounds.
With the compounds now patented, she said, "we wanted to make them more available to Jamaicans who have diabetes and hypertension."
She is now looking at local manufacturers to start producing on a large scale, after which she will begin marketing and distribution.
PASSION FOR PLANT RESEARCH
Dr Daley said she has always had a passion for plant research.
This led her to join a diabetes plant research group after the completion of her bachelor's degree.
"My grandmother has diabetes, so that was part of the drive, as well, to get stuff done, to find out more about folklore plants that are used for diabetes," she noted.
She currently does the oil blends for her grandmother, as well as some of the teas and the margarine, which she makes at home.
Dr Daley recommends that persons with diabetes use natural products to assist in normalising the blood sugar. She, however, promotes integrated medicine, that is, using natural items along with traditional medication.
In addition to diabetes products, Dr Daley has also developed a line of natural skincare and haircare products, infused with essential oils and herbs, which were on display at the Science in the Gardens event at the Hope Botanical Gardens, St Andrew, in February.
The products, under the brand Nasore, include handmade soaps, hair and body oils, as well as lip balms.
"It was originally a hobby, which I started to share with friends, which eventually became a business," Dr Daley shared.
"Each soap has a different character and is infused with natural herbs and essential oils such as moringa, neem, tea tree oil, grapeseed oil, turmeric, flaxseed and coconut cream."
The products are ideal for the treatment of eczema and acne, skin hydration, exfoliation, relaxation, evening the tone and improving elasticity.
The young innovator is proud of the natural products and is now eager to get them to market.