Documentary explores Borneo for possible anti-HIV medicine
June 27, 2006
Rainforest plants have long been recognized for their potential to provide healing compounds. Indigenous peoples of the rainforest have used medicinal plants for treating a wide variety of health conditions while western pharmacologists have derived a number of drugs from such plants.
However, as forests around the world continue to fall there is a real risk that pharmaceutically-useful plants will disappear before they are examined for their chemical properties. Increasingly, it is becoming a race against time to collect and screen plants before their native habitats are destroyed.
A new documentary, produced by Mediasource News, takes a look at one such species from deep in the jungles of Borneo.
Don Hayes, host and guide of the Eco-Traveler Safari of Sarawak adventure series, takes viewers on a journey through the forests of Borneo in search of the potential life-saving plant. Along the way, Hayes and his team encounter mysterious Penan and Iban medicine men, blood-sucking leeches, taboos that drive away their porters, and rapids that threaten the very expedition. Still, nothing can deter the team from pursuing their goal.
A preview of the documentary, now available on DVD, can be seen at www.eco-travelersafari.com