Elevated CO2 and the Enhancement of Plant Medicinal Properties

From MasterResource

By Craig D. Idso — June 9, 2022

“Over the past quarter-century I have archived a number of such studies on my CO2 Science website under the topic Health Effects (Carbon Dioxide: Health-Promoting Substances, Medicinal Plants. Read for yourself about this incredible benefit that the world is experiencing as the air’s CO2 content continues its upward rise. It will give you a whole new perspective on the many benefits of atmospheric CO2 enrichment.”

Over the past few decades an increasing number of studies have investigated whether or not rising atmospheric CO2 will alter the amounts and concentrations of various health-promoting substances found in medicinal or “health food” plants.

For example, the research team of AbdElgawad et al. (2021) recently examined “the nutritive values, phytochemicals (i.e., pigments, phenolics, flavonoids, vitamins, mineral profiles and essential oil yields) and antioxidant activities of both caraway sprouts and mature plants.”

Caraway (Carum carvi) is an important medicinal plant. They are cultivated across the globe and used in treating a number of ailments, including diarrhea, asthma, cholera and hypertension. What is more, AbdElgawad et al. note that caraway fruits “have been prescribed in herbal mixtures as a drug for digestive, carminative and lactogenic disorders,” and they are also utilized as “antiallergic, antibacterial, anthelmintic, antifungal, bronchodilator and cholinergic agents.”

In light of these many traditional uses of caraway plants, it should come as no surprise that multiple strategies have been employed to improve its growth and medicinal properties, including CO2 enrichment. Because rising levels of atmospheric CO2 typically promote plant photosynthesis and the production of secondary compounds, the twelve-member research team anticipated that elevated CO2 would also enhance the medicinal properties of caraway.

To explore their hypothesis, AbdElgawad et al. grew caraway in controlled-environment chambers under ambient (400 ppm) or elevated (620 ppm) CO2 conditions, harvesting the plants after 9 or 45 days (as sprouts or mature plants, respectively). Thereafter, they performed a series of analyses designed to quantify the CO2-induced differences in plant medicinal properties.

And what did those analyses reveal?

First, as shown in Figure 1, the 220 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 enhanced the photosynthesis, chlorophyll content, fresh weight and dry weight of the sprouts by 66%, 50%, 64% and 120%, respectively. Similarly, significant CO2-induced enhancements in these four parameters were also observed in the mature plants (40%, 44%, 48% and 29% for photosynthesis, chlorophyll content, fresh weight and dry weight, again respectively).

AbdElgawad et al., further report that elevated CO2 significantly increased the production of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and crude fibers in caraway, as well as organic and amino acids, regardless of growth stage (sprout or mature plants). Higher CO2 also enhanced plant mineral content, vitamins and phenolics, as well as antioxidant and antibacterial activities.

Commenting on these several findings, the authors state the obvious: “overall, elevated CO2 provoked changes in the phytochemical contents of caraway plants, particularly at the sprouting stage and, hence, improved their nutritive and health-promoting properties.” And they are not alone in this overall assessment. Many other studies conducted on a host of other plants have reported CO2-induced enhancements of substances known to be effective at fighting cancers, diseases and numerous other medical maladies.

Over the past quarter-century I have archived a number of such studies on my CO2 Science website under the topic Health Effects (Carbon Dioxide: Health-Promoting Substances, Medicinal Plants). Click the link and read for yourself about this incredible benefit that the world is experiencing as the air’s CO2 content continues its upward rise. It will give you a whole new perspective on the many benefits of atmospheric CO2 enrichment.

Figure 1. Fresh weight (FW) (mg/g FW), dry weight (DW) (mg/g DW), photosynthesis (µmol CO2 m-m s-s), and pigments content (chlorophyll a + b) (mg/g FW) of caraway sprouts and mature plants grown under control (Cont., 400 ppm) and elevated (eCO2, 620 ppm) concentrations of atmospheric CO2. Data represent means of at least 3 replicates ± standard deviations. Different small letter superscripts (a, b, c and d) within a row indicate significant differences between control and eCO2-samples. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed. Tukey’s test was used as the post-hoc test for the separation of means (p < 0.05). The percentages in red text indicate the percent change due to CO2 for a given parameter at either the sprout or mature stage. Source: AbdElgawad et al. (2021).

Reference

AbdElgawad, H., Okla, M.K., Al-amri, S.S., AL-Hashimi, A., Al-Qahtani, W.H., Al-Qahtani, S.M., Abbas, Z.K., Al-Harbi, N.A., Algafar, A.A., Almuhayawi, M.S., Selim, S. and Abdel-Mawgoud, M. Effect of elevated CO2 on biomolecules’ accumulation in caraway (Carum carvi L.) plants at different developmental stagesPlants 2021, 10, 2434.

5 19 votes
Article Rating
17 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
June 11, 2022 10:31 am

I have long wondered if the poor seed viability of some sequoia conifer species relates to their unchanged biology since the Jurassic. If so a rise in CO2 back to former geologic levels will benefit the fertility of these ancient plant lineages.

TonyL
June 11, 2022 10:32 am

expect to see more of this. Extra CO2 (from our perspective) promotes metabolic pathways which have long been suppressed. Plants are now making biochemical products which have never been seen before, as long unused metabolic pathways reactivate. The authors here focused on already known producers and their production enhancement. But there is more to come, much more. All new products from previously unsuspected plants.

Beware polka-dotted dragons:
Back in the first half of the 20th century, it was all the medical rave to assign curative properties to all kinds of plants which in fact had no such medical uses or properties. This went on for decades.
The field became known as pharmacognosy. Textbooks were written, taught in medical schools.
Eventually the field would flame-out and do a crash and burn.
Thereafter it was superseded by pharmacology, which we all know today as the mainstay of modern pharmaceuticals.

Last edited 2 months ago by TonyL
menace
June 11, 2022 10:50 am

I’d like to see what it looks like if you take CO2 down to the climate kooks’ “ideal” 280 ppm level.
Probably 30-40% lower than current 400 ppm levels.

June 11, 2022 11:03 am

Since the Fresh & Dry weights of the 620 ppm CO2 plants increased was there a proportional
increase in the measured phyto-nutrients, proteins, etc [ie, per gram of plant tissue]
compared to the control plants?

Vincent
Reply to  Bill Zipperer
June 12, 2022 2:32 am

That’s a good question. Here’s the relevant quote from the article.

“First, as shown in Figure 1, the 220 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 enhanced the photosynthesis, chlorophyll content, fresh weight and dry weight of the sprouts by 66%, 50%, 64% and 120%, respectively. Similarly, significant CO2-induced enhancements in these four parameters were also observed in the mature plants (40%, 44%, 48% and 29% for photosynthesis, chlorophyll content, fresh weight and dry weight, again respectively).”

My interpretation is, with regards to the sprouts, the fact that the increased chlorophyll content (50%) is less than the inreased fresh weight and dry weight, indicates that the increase ‘per gram of plant tissue’, of chlorophyll, is less, as a result of increased CO2.

However, the situation for the mature plants is very different because the dry weight percentage increase is so much less than the increase in chlorophyll.

This point needs clarifying.

Peter W
June 11, 2022 11:08 am

Yet more evidence as to what a ridiculous bunch of ignorant fearmongering we have been subjected to on the increase in atmospheric CO2.

Rud Istvan
June 11, 2022 11:24 am

Brief summary for climate alarmists like AOC:
More plant food means more plant.

Old Man Winter
Reply to  Rud Istvan
June 11, 2022 12:21 pm

AOC- Yippee, I’m rich! My trees will grow $Ms more now!

$ontrees.jpg
Last edited 2 months ago by Old Man Winter
Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 11, 2022 11:40 am

If elevated CO2 levels enhance the potency of marijuana, the climate warrior coalition will quickly collapse. “Dude: I know we only have 10 years left, but we have enough really good weed to enjoy every one of them. And when the end comes, we won’t care!”

Scissor
Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
June 11, 2022 11:55 am

Marijuana grows routinely enhance air to around 1000 ppm CO2. I doubt that they have optimized its concentration, but they already produce THC isolates that are close to 100%.

Vuk
June 11, 2022 11:50 am
Last edited 2 months ago by Vuk
Old Man Winter
Reply to  Vuk
June 11, 2022 12:39 pm

Should read: GREEDY TRUMP ALLIES & RACIST BIG OIL STARVING PEOPLE IN PLAN TO
DESTROY THE EARTH! 😮

Vuk
Reply to  Vuk
June 11, 2022 12:53 pm

Not exactly what I expected
Reading a bit further BoJo ‘tops’ Marie-Antoinette (probably would given a chance) by saying
“don’t eat beef”
(average stake £15/kg or if you are really into the old Marie-A and you are buying classy HRH Chuck’s Duchy organic £26/kg)
“eat the wild venison” (£21/kg)
Just the ticket for plebs like me, or even more so for thousands attending one of hundreds ‘kitchen soup’ establishments popping up all over the place.
May I add my personal input: stop eating cow’s cheese, why not try some Russian or Persian caviar instead.
(I recommend Beluga at £190/50gr)
(.. ups, both countries are subject to sanctions)

Above prices found on food labels in a waste bin next to No10’s back door entrance /sc

Last edited 2 months ago by Vuk
Redge
Reply to  Vuk
June 11, 2022 11:20 pm

BoJo ‘tops’ Marie-Antoinette (probably would given a chance

Boris would, even in her current condition

Doonman
June 11, 2022 12:09 pm

Ask yourself why any political party would promote less nutrition and productivity of agricultural processes.

Ask yourself why any political party would classify the atmosphere’s ability to accomplish that as pollution.

Then, vote accordingly.

fretslider
June 11, 2022 1:35 pm

“…improved their nutritive and health-promoting properties.”

Run this simple truth through the warming prism (inverting reality and logic) and you get…

“Climate change making food crops less nutritious, research finds

High CO2 levels significantly reduces essential nutrients in wheat, rice, maize and soyabeans, Nature paper reveals”. – the Grauniad

Peta of Newark
June 11, 2022 2:23 pm

compost

%d bloggers like this: