A wonderful flower with strong smell, ferula, is growing in the step of Kazakhstan. It has long been known for its curative properties. Extracts of this umbeliferous plant are used for treatment of inflammatory and infectious disorders. Until recently, the origin of its biological activity has not been known.
That problem was studied at the Tomsk polytechnic university. Both Russian researchers and their colleagues from Kazakhstan, USA and Turkey took part in the research. Extracts of ether oils of ferula were divided by components. It turned out that cis and trans-isomers of di-butylpropenyldisulfide were the key components.
Using molecular modeling method properties of those isomers in the living organism were studied. For that purpose the behavior of each component in the living organism was reproduced. It turned out that that cis -isomer of di-butylpropenyldisulfide confers curative properties to ferula oil.
If a method of synthesis of that isomer is found, a new immunomodulatory drug for viral and inflammatory disorders will be obtained. Researchers are currently exploring that method.