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Customary Medicinal Knowledgebase

Customary medicinal plant knowledge possessed by the Australian Aboriginal people is a significant medicinal resource. Published information on customary medicinal plant knowledge is scattered in different literature resources, available in heterogeneous data formats, while the knowledge is distributed among various Aboriginal communities across Australia, due to varied languages. Unfortunately, this knowledge is in danger of being lost due to loss of biodiversity, cultural impact and demise of the custodians of the ancient knowledge. To document, conserve and disseminate this knowledge, we have developed the Customary Medicinal Knowledgebase (CMKb), an integrated multidisciplinary resource.

CMKb is an online relational database for collating, disseminating, visualising and analysing initially public domain data on customary medicinal plants. The database stores information related to taxonomy, phytochemistry, biogeography, biological activities of customary medicinal plant species as well as images of individual species. Known bioactive molecules are characterized within the chemoinformatics module of CMKb, with functions available for molecular editing and visualization.

Each species in CMKb is linked to online resources such as the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), NCBI Taxonomy, Australia's SpeciesLinks-Integrated Botanical Information System (IBIS) and Google images. The bioactive compounds are linked to the PubChem database using PubChem id. Overall, CMKb serves as a single knowledgebase for holistic plant-derived therapeutics and can be used as an information resource for biodiversity conservation, to lead discovery and conservation of customary medicinal knowledge.

New Feature !!!

Australia's Virtual Herbarium (AVH) specimen data for the species in the CMKb database is displayed using Google Maps. Check out the new AVH-Google Maps link, below on the Species information page.

Please cite the following if you use the CMKb database:

Gaikwad, J., Khanna, V., Vemulpad, S., Jamie, J., Kohen, J.and Ranganathan, S. 2008. CMKb: a web-based prototype for integrating Australian Aboriginal customary medicinal plant knowledge. BMC Bioinformatics. 9 Suppl 12: S25. (View article)