African Spider Plant
The leafy green medicinal herb, African Spider plant (Cleome gynandra), is a critical component in the diets of millions of people around the world, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Very high in essential micronutrients including, Vitamin A & Iron, can serve to combat debilitating nutrient deficiencies. In addition to the micronutrients, consumption of African Spider Plant was used in traditional African medicine. In our lab, fractionation and medicinal bioassays assays are employed to guide chemical profiling utilizing LC-MS, column chromatography, GC-MS, NMR and other analytical techniques. This study is part of joint efforts with African institutions to improve nutrition and economy in poor areas of Africa.
2015-2020. USAID/Hort. Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research. Income and Nutrition of Smallholder Farmers in Eastern Africa Using African Indigenous Vegetables. The major goals of this project is to study the impact of how nutrient-rich African Indigenous Vegetables can impact dietary diversity and human nutrition in rural households in Kenya and Zambia. Rutgers conducts the analytical chemistry for nutrient composition and phytochemistry and characterization of anti-nutritive factors. Project includes a consortium of US and Africa-based universities and other partners. Wu serves as a collaborating investigator, leading the phytochemistry and nutritional plant composition.