Herbal combo may provide novel ‘cure’ for breast cancer
Bioactive flavonoids isolated successfully from Touch Me Not (Mimosa pudica), Aloe vera and stonebreaker (Phyllanthus niruri) may provide the much sought after cure for breast cancer. India researchers from Kannur University, Kerala, India, in a study published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences found that flavonoids isolated from Aloe vera, Mimosa pudica and Phyllanthus niruri showed cytotoxicity activity against human breast carcinoma cell line (MCF-7) and the inhibitory concentration at 50 per cent growth (IC50) was found to be, Mimosa pudica, Aloe vera and Phyllanthus niruri.
The study is titled “A comparative evaluation of anticancer activities of flavonoids isolated from Mimosa pudica, Aloe vera and Phyllanthus niruri against human breast carcinoma cell line (MCF-7) using MTT assay.” The researchers concluded: “The results indicated the cytotoxicity activity of all the three flavonoids isolated.
Therefore, they can be effectively employed in anticancer treatment. Cytotoxic study suggested that flavonoid from Mimosa pudica has the maximum cytotoxic effect than flavonoid from Aloe vera and Phyllanthus niruri against MCF-7, Human breast cancer cell line (Mimosa pudica >Aloe vera >Phyllanthus niruri).
So the findings of this study could be considered as valuable information for the use of medicinal natural products in cancer treatment. Molecular level studies and investigations to characterize and elucidate the structure of the active principle behind the activity are under progress.”
Commonly called stonebreaker, Phyllanthus niruri also known as ‘Chanca piedra’ belongs to the family Euphorbiaceae. Phyllanthus niruri is similar to Phyllanthus amarus, which also belongs to the same family. It is a widespread tropical plant commonly found in coastal areas that grows 40 to 70 centimetre tall.
In Nigeria, it is called enyikwonwa and ngwu in the Ibo, oyomokeso amanke edem in Efik, geeron-tsuntsaayee (bird’s millet) in Hausa, ehin olobe and yin-olobe in Yoruba. Whole plants have been used in traditional medicine for treatment of jaundice, asthma, hepatitis and malaria. It has a potent free radical scavenging activity and could scavenge superoxides, hydroxyl radicals and can inhibit lipid peroxides.
Mimosa pudica is a small or middle sizes tree about 1.5 metre in height with leaves are very sensitive, both pinnae and leaflets folding when touched. It belongs to Fabaceae family. It is reported to contain alkaloid, glycoside, flavonoids and tannins.
All parts of the plant are considered to possess medicinal properties. The plant has anti-microbial, anti-convulsant, hyperglycemic, anti-oxidant, anti-venom, diuretic, anti-cancer, antidiabetic, anti-fertility and anti-histamic activities. It is a creeping annual or perennial herb often grown for its curiosity values; as the compound leaves fold inward and droop when touched and reopens within minutes later.
The species is a native to South America and Central America, but is now a pan tropical weed. The other names for the plant are: humble plant, shame plant, touch me not. This plant has history for use for the treatment of various ailments and the most commonly used plant part is the root, but leaves, flowers, fruit and bark can also be utilized and also about the antimicrobial activity of the plan. Mimosa pudica weed, known in Nsukka as Kpakorukwu and in Udi as Kpakochuku was recently discovered to have solar properties suitable for the production of solar cells.
This was disclosed by Pharm Nwaoga, Justus Amandianaze, Chief Technologist in the department of Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, University of Nigeria Nsukka. Aloe barbadensis miller (Aloe vera), a member of the Liliaceae family, is a perennial succulent with turgid lace-shaped green leaves, and is referred to as the silent healer.
Aloe vera extracts have been reported to have many biological activities such as hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, antifungal, anticancer, antioxidant and immuno-protective properties. Aloe vera plant has been known and used for centuries for its health, beauty, medicinal and skin care properties.
The name Aloe vera derives from the Arabic word “Alloeh” meaning “shining bitter substance,” while “vera” in Latin means “true.” 2000 years ago, the Greek scientists regarded Aloe vera as the universal panacea. The Egyptians called Aloe “the plant of immortality.”
Today, the Aloe vera plant has been used for various purposes in dermatology. Indeed cancer is the major public health problem, causing approximately seven million deaths every year worldwide.
According to the researchers, more than 80 per cent of cancer deaths are due to carcinomas such as lung, breast, prostate, colorectal, and pancreas cancers, which are currently the most lethal cancers. Lung cancer and colorectal cancers are responsible for the first and third most cancer related deaths in men and women.
Breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men rank second. Several studies have shown that cancer is largely environmentally determined, being diet a major variable. Dietary patterns, foods, nutrients and other dietary constituents are closely associated with the risk for several types of cancer, and in this regard, it has been estimated that 35 per cent of cancer deaths may be related to dietary factors. Recently, dietary polyphenols have received much attention for their anticancer properties.
Many studies in different cell lines, animal models and human epidemiological trials suggest a protective role of dietary polyphenols against different types of cancers. Flavonoids are a group of more than 4,000 polyphenolic compounds that occur naturally in foods of plant origin and are categorized, according to chemical structure, into flavonols, flavones, flavanones, isoflavones, catechins, anthocyanidins and chalcones.
The flavonoids have aroused considerable interest recently because of their potential beneficial effects on human health. They have been reported to have antiviral, anti-allergic, antiplatelet, anti- inflammatory, antitumor, antioxidant, antithrombotic, hypolipidemic and hypoglycemic activities.