Tuesday, September 05, 2017 by Rhonda Johansson
Three medicinal plants used in Saudi Arabian traditional medicine have been found to have powerful anti-cancer properties. Researchers from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) have said that their new research may lead to better and cheaper treatment plans for cancer.
The team was curious to see how effective herbal medicines were in treating the disease. They noted that while traditional medicine made use of several herbs, none of them have ever been scientifically studied. As noted by Ph.D student and co-author of the study, Timothy Ravasi, “Saudi people tend to use information inherited from their families to decide about these plants without validated knowledge of their biological or chemical activity.”
After looking at the healing properties of 52 plants, three herbs were found to be of interest. These were Juniperus phoenicia (arar or Phoenician juniper), Anastatica hierochuntica (Kaff Maryam or Jericho rose), and Citrullus colocynthis (Hanzal or bitter cucumber).
Researchers used an imaging-based high-content screening process to assess the potential anti-cancer properties of each herb. The team found that these three plants contained powerful substances called topoisomerase inhibitors, which are chemical compounds that block certain enzymes that control changes in the DNA. This could stop the development of cancer.
Nonetheless, the authors say that further research is necessary to fully assess each herb’s ability to prevent, cure, or manage cancer. Dina Hajjar, another author of the study said, “the active compounds identified in the study will need to be evaluated and better characterized.”
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Regrettably, natural therapies have been mostly shunned by the pharmaceutical industry. The claims of medical doctors are mostly focused on “facts.” They say that since no scientific study has proven the efficacy of any herb, they can’t be used as a treatment for a serious disease. Pretty strange for an industry that touts the benefits of chemotherapy, which has been shown — time and again — to not be effective at all.
It is true that medicinal herbs have yet to be validated by “science,” but it would still do well to be properly introduced to some of them. Currently, there are only a few plants that have been acknowledged for their anti-cancer properties, with the three aforementioned herbs joining a very small group.
You can read more about healthful herbs, vegetables, and fruits on NaturalPedia.com.