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Did You Know?
By D.P. Agrawal


Q. Did you know that some Ayurvedic medicines can fight several types of cancer?

A. The scientists at Kolkata's Chittara­njan National Cancer Institute, led by Madhumita Roy, have discovered that the root extract of Tiliacora racemosa (Tiliacoru) and the nut oil of Semecarpus anacardium (Dhobi nut) eliminated cultured human tumour cells from acute myeloblastic (myeloblast is a bone marrow cell) leukaemia, chronic myelogenic (associ­ated with bone marrow) leukaemia, breast and cervical cancers.

Roy claims, "The herbal preparations from T. racemosa and S. anacardium selectively force cancer cells to commit suicide, sparing healthy neighbouring cells. The anti-cancer active compounds identified in the root extract of T. race­mosa are a number of bisbenzyl iso­quinoline alkaloids, a type of organic compound and phenolic substances, also organic compounds, in the nut oil of S. anacardium," (Phytotherapy Research (Vol 18, No 8). "The findings of the research are indicative of a potential therapeutic role of these herbal preparations in human cancer," says co-author Sutapa Chakraborty.

To study the anti-cancer effects of the plant extracts, the team produced an ethanol (alcohol) extract of T. racemosa root (TR), an alkaloid-containing root extract of T. racemosa (TA) and extracted the S. anacardium nut oil (SO) using Ayurvedic principles. When tumour cells were exposed to these extracts, TA annihilated all the four types of cancer cells. TR and SO only caused the demise of leukaemic cells while breast cancer cell growth was partially inhibited by SO and TR.


Herbal Cure to Cancer from two Plants used in Ayurveda

Link: www.downtoearth.org.in

Down to Earth, Jan 31, 2005

Posted August 30th 2005

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