Even with the million that go into cancer research every year, this disease remains widespread and can be devastating. However, more and more people in the healthcare field are becoming convinced that the cure for this disease may be found in the healing compounds in plants. Below are six such plants which you’ve probably never heard of but which have research behind them to suggest that they might be effective for cancer treatment.
This small shrub grows throughout south-east Asia and also northern Australia. It has long been valued for its therapeutic properties and has a long-standing history in traditional Chinese medicine. More modern studies, too, have found that it can be effective at treating a number of different forms of cancer, including cancers of the breast and bladder as well as leukemia.
This South American tree is best known for its soursop fruit, but it is also quickly gaining a name for itself as a cancer-fighter as well. Studies out of Purdue University have found that it is able to selectively eliminate cancer cells while leaving healthy ones intact and the journal Cancer Research UK has noted that it can even help kills of chemo- and radiation-resistant forms of cancer.
Although this tree looks tropical, it is native to the Midwestern part of the United States; this was tested in the same Purdue study which also examined graviola and found that it, too, had strong anti-cancer properties, perhaps the strongest of any of the North American trees studied so far. However, further research needs to be done to gain more information.
This sea-plant was studied and later written in up in the journal Phytotherapy Research back in 2011; the study found that this plant halted the reproduction of cancer cells and could even trigger their destruction. A similar study, this one published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules found that it was especially effective against lung cancer cells.
This plant is also called sweet wormword; it and other members of the Artemsia family have long been used in Chinese traditional medicine for thousands of years. What isinteresting about the extracts from this plant is that, like graviola, it very selectively kills cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue unharmed. This is a very important aspect of cancer treatment – and also a major challenge.
Lei Gong Teng
This plant also goes under the rather striking name of “thunder god vine” and according to one study, it has been found to be highly effective at treating leukemia by inducing cancer cell apoptosis – in other words, eliminating them. However, this results were fairly preliminary and more studies need to be done.
While more studies need to be conducted to find out more about what active compounds in these plants are so effective at cancer treatment, these studies at least offer promising lines of research to try to come up with better therapies for this serious disease.
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