Scientists look at a traditional Ayurvedic herb as a natural cure for cancer

The potential of antioxidants in cancer treatment and prevention has become the subject of many scientific endeavors. Among these is the study conducted by researchers from Vellore Institute of Technology, which revealed the ability of the Indian trumpet flower (Oroxylum indicum (L.)) to inhibit oxidative stress and protect the liver from damage that could progress to cancer.

Cancer and the presence of high levels of free radicals are tightly linked to each other. Free radicals are normal byproducts of metabolic processes. However, when they build up they can cause damage on DNA, proteins, and cell membranes. The body produces its own supply of antioxidant enzymes that can sequester free radicals to prevent oxidative stress. However, this supply isn’t always enough because factors like cigarette smoke and radiation can increase free radical content. This is why external sources of antioxidants, such as supplements and foods, are important.

The Indian trumpet flower is a plant commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of diarrhea, fever, cancer, ulcer, and jaundice. It was determined from prior studies that the Indian trumpet flower contains bioactive compounds, namely, chrysin, oroxylin-A, scutellarin, and baicalein. These compounds have shown medicinally important properties, including antibacterial and anticancer properties, which were observed in chrysin and baicalein. In addition to these, extracts from the Indian trumpet flower were also observed to induce cell death.

In this study, which was published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the researchers conducted an in vivo test for determining anti-oxidant activity of leaf extracts from the Indian trumpet flower. They made use of albino Wistar rats that were induced to have oxidative stress using the potent carcinogen 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide (4-NQO). The researchers then used parameters like lipid peroxidation level, antioxidant levels, and serum liver markers.

Researchers observed that 4-NQO caused an increase in lipid peroxidation levels, a decrease in antioxidant levels, as well as an alteration of the serum biomarker levels. With the Indian trumpet flower treatment, these effects of 4-NQO were successfully reversed. Activity of the extracts was observed to work in a dose dependent manner. Additionally, it was assumed that this antioxidant activity of the Indian trumpet flower is due to the presence of bioactive compounds, specifically, baicalein. However, this needs to be further validated.

The results of this study prove that extracts from the leaves of the Indian trumpet flower have antioxidant and hepatoprotective properties that allow them to work against 4-NQO induced damage in a dose-dependent manner. Because of its observed antioxidant activity, it is possible that the Indian trumpet flower can also be used for the prevention and treatment of cancer. (Related: Antioxidants Proven To Be Key To Long Life (press release).)

Anti-cancer foods

In addition to the Indian trumpet flower, the following antioxidant-rich foods also exhibit potential anticancer activity:

  • Garlic – Allicin is a potent antioxidant found in garlic. In addition to this, garlic has also been proven to boost the immune system and eliminate toxins from the body.
  • Broccoli – Previous studies have shown that the antioxidants found in broccoli, which are glucoraphanin and indole-3-carbinol, lower the risk of cervical, breast, gastric, and prostate cancers.
  • Strawberries – Compounds in strawberries have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and lower inflammation. In addition to these, strawberries can also improve memory and aid in weight loss.
  • Spinach – Anticancer potential of spinach can be attributed to the presence of flavonoids, as well as folate and fibers. Aside from these, spinach is also rich in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Tomatoes – Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that is responsible for giving tomatoes their red color. This antioxidant has been shown to reduce cancer risk but aside from that, it can also lower the risk of heart disease and reduce inflammation.

Learn more about the Indian trumpet flower and how it can potentially cure cancer by visiting today.

Sources include:

comments powered by Disqus