Lebanon hosts "plants with non-therapeutic preventive properties for liver diseases, cancer, infections, etc." The student Mohammad Khalil reached this conclusion through researches conducted as part of his PhD dissertation at the Lebanese University – DEST in collaboration with Genoa University, Italy.
Mohammad was passionate about nature and herb and to deepen his knowledge, he pursued the Bachelor and Master’s degree in microbiology and biotechnology in Italy.
He found out that a type of wild thyme (Thymbra Spicata) found in Southern Lebanon is rich in natural materials of polyphenols or antioxidants, which is the first line of defense against the proliferation of diseases. This conclusion was the result of researches conducted at the Laboratory Rammal Rammal (ATAC), Faculty of Sciences, Lebanese University, under the supervision of Prof. Ahmed Daher, Prof. Hala Khalifa, the DEST laboratory and the Microbiology Institute, Genoa University, Italy.
Khalil published part of his study in the Elsevier Journal of Ethnopharmacology and pointed out that the "discovered herb" contains properties active for killing cancer cells and leaving normal tissues unharmed. This has been proven by the daily consumption of this plant by the residents, namely in mountain areas.
The scientific name of the plant was identified in the book “Illustrated Flora of Lebanon” of the former President of the Lebanese University, Prof. Georges Tohme, published by the National Council for Scientific Research.
Mohammad Khalil believes that his pursue to the PhD study at the Lebanese University after finishing the BS and Master’s degrees in Italy is the result of his attachment to his homeland and the desire to obtain a diploma from his national University. He adds, "I definitely wish to live and work in my country if the circumstances are available."