Modern Treasure Hunters

  • Eng Soon Teoh


At the height of orchidomania in the nineteenth century, intrepid orchid collectors scoured the wild to search for beautiful, exotic plants to enhance the gardens of wealthy collectors. This search for new, rare and nearly extinct species continues despite the restrictions of CITES, but it is no longer intense. Biochemists are also treasure hunters. They search for compounds with pharmaceutical application in plants, and their search now extends to orchids. This chapter provides a simple introduction into the nature of the treasure hunt involving orchids. Compounds capable of protecting the body against diseases of old age, overindulgence or microbial invasion are primary targets in this search. An example is provided for the long and expensive journey between the initial discovery and actual clinical usage of a compound.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eng Soon Teoh
    • 1
  1. 1.SingaporeSingapore

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