Pneumonia is one of the biggest health problems in the world. This disease causes high death rate, especially in Indonesia. The country ranked the sixth for pneumonia cases in 2013.
Students from Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Faculty of Pharmacy at Airlangga University, Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia did collaborative research about pneumonia.
They were Akhmad Afifudin Al-Anshori (20) and Indah Tri Lestari (20) students of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine class of 2016 and Diah Ayu Retanti (20) student of Faculty of Pharmacy class of 2015.
They collaborated to find alternative therapy to heal pneumonia caused by tobacco smoke. The natural therapy was available on the form of nano spray inhaler. The inhaler was made by ashitaba (Angelica keiskei) extract.
According to Tribune News, the research was part of Student Creativity Program in the exact science. “We chose Ashitaba because it had a big potential for traditional medicine. Almost all of the Ashitaba plant empirically have been being used by society at Ketalanrame Village, Trawas, Mojokerto for various diseases such as diabetes, hypertension,”
Akhmad Afifudin Al-Anshori, the team leader said.
Ashitaba leaves contain flavonoid, triterpenoid and tannin that have the highest antioxidants activities compared to other parts.
The compound could protect body organs and repaired cell damages caused by free radicals and slowing aging process.
“Lung tissue damages that are caused by tobacco smoke, can be repaired also with antioxidants. The antioxidants can fight free radicals by completing electron deficiency and inhibit chain reaction that can cause damage in body cells,” Akhmad said.
While nano spray inhaler was nanoparticles technology that could be applied to medical therapy by inhalation.
Diah explained that inhalation therapy was one of important medication techniques for acute and chronic respiratory diseases.
“To treat pneumonia, we can use inhalation therapy, it’s very efficient and the absorption happens very fast because the medicine goes straight to the lungs,”Diah added.
They tested the nano spray on male mice that had been exposed tobacco smoke. There was significant result after the mice inhaled the nano spray.
Indah hoped that the research result could be scientific reference to improve lung health. They also wanted what they found related ashitaba leave extract ability as nano spray inhaler would be scientific reference.