There are a large number of herbs used in Ayurveda and TCM to treat a variety of tumors. Some of these herbs have been studied, and select molecules are used in modern cancer medicine.
Vinca rosea syn Catharansus roseus is the source of the chemotherapy drug vincristine.
The active compound isolated from the plant Podophyllum hexandrum is podophyllotoxin, which is a cytotoxic natural product. This compound is used to synthesize the anticancer drugs etoposide and teniposide. These drugs are used in lung, testicular, brain, liver, and other cancers (Giri & Narasu, 2000). Chattopadhyay et al. (2004) has shown that the molecule podophyllotoxin inhibits the beginning of cell growth.
Curcumin that comes from Turmeric (Curcuma longa) has been extensively studied and shows a lot of promise as a future anti-cancer medicine.
In addition to the three plants mentioned above, there are several other plants of promise as future cancer healing medicine.
Will this mean that the multi-herbal formulations from Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine are effective in cancer healing and management? The answer to this question is that we do not know.
Scientists are still focused on individual plant molecule-based research. There are some studies on multi-herbal combinations, but none of these have been adequately vetted scientifically.
Maybe some ancient herbal medicine systems formulations may become a source of cancer healing medicine in the future.
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