Theobromine, a chemical from the «food of the gods»

Enjoyed your Easter chocolate? Well, if like me you are still working on it (😉), please sit down and appreciate a piece of this heavenly food while reading about theobromine. This compound is the main alkaloid of Theobroma cacao (cacao tree) and it is therefore found in chocolate, especially in the dark one [1], whereasContinue reading “Theobromine, a chemical from the «food of the gods»”

Solanine, the toxic compound in potatoes

Memories of a summer evening (yeah, I still cannot get over the idea that summer is gone), preparing dinner. A question about solanine in tomatoes comes up. A long discussion about solanine, tomatine and other glycoalkaloids produced by Solanaceae plants starts.It seems a nerdy conversation, and maybe it is, but it is actually also aContinue reading “Solanine, the toxic compound in potatoes”

What fascinates you about plant natural product chemistry?

Plants are excellent chemists and fascinating organisms. I realized this early during my studies. However, if I were to recall when exaclty I became interested in the topic, I cannot really say it. I think that my first “experiments” in phytochemistry date back to when I was a kid. I used to wander in myContinue reading “What fascinates you about plant natural product chemistry?”

Loves me, loves me not

Probably everybody knows the popular game in which one person seeks to determine whether the object of their affection returns it or not, by using the “petals” of a “flower”, usually a daisy. Well, the term daisy can refer to many species. Here, we will focus on the Southern daisy, Bellis sylvestris Cir., which isContinue reading “Loves me, loves me not”

Debunking fake news about the use of plants or plant derived compounds in the treatment or prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection

We are living in challenging times. In times like these, everyone is under pressure, feeling lost and confused. Nevertheless, we crave good news. We want to hear that the death toll is decreasing and that we managed to flatten the curve, dreaming about going back to “normality” (for whatever that means). Many of us areContinue reading “Debunking fake news about the use of plants or plant derived compounds in the treatment or prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection”

Plants as chemists

If I asked you to picture a chemist, you would probably imagine someone closed in a laboratory, handling dangerous chemicals…or maybe you are right now picturing Walter White. Well, what if I tell you that the plant sitting there on your balcony or out in the garden is a much better chemist? Let’s make aContinue reading “Plants as chemists”