Posted on: Aug 23, 2012 10:00AM - edited Aug 23, 2012 10:54AM by many
Scientists have discovered that extracts from a plant found in arid regions of India and Pakistan can kill cancerous cells and produces no harmful side-effects associated with chemotherapy.
Tea from the plant known as Virgin’s mantle is already drunk by women in rural Pakistan who have breast cancer, the Daily Mail reported.
Researchers from Aston University, Birmingham, and Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, found that it contains potent anti-cancer agents that act singly or in combination against the proliferation of cancer cells.
Laboratory tests showed they arrested the growth of cells within five hours of application and caused them to die within 24 hours.
The plant, which has the botanical name Fagonia cretica, is found in arid, desert regions of Pakistan, India, Africa and parts of Europe.
Professor Helen Griffiths and Professor Amtul R Carmichael, who headed the study, found herbal tea made from the extract of the plant destroys cancer cells but unlike conventional chemotherapy, treatment does not damage normal breast cells, thus reducing side effects.
Reports from breast cancer sufferers in Pakistan suggested the plant extract does not trigger any serious side effects such as loss of hair, drop in blood count or diarrhoea.
The plant extract had a novel mechanism which could remedy defects in cell DNA that would normally resist tumour growth.
An impaired DNA response not only allows the cancer to flourish, it also inhibits the way chemotherapy works which reduces its effectiveness.
“A small hospital 100 miles north of Lahore in Pakistan started using the herbal tea 40 years ago to treat breast cancer patients. It appears to keep them in remission, although we can’t use the word cure at this stage,” Carmichael said.
“However, they live for a long time without losing their hair or putting on a large amount of weight, or experiencing other toxic side effects associated with chemotherapy, so we are confident this extract has something to contribute,” Carmichael was quoted by the paper as saying.
At present the herbal tea is being used to treat Asians but there might be different effects in Caucasian patients, she added.
The study was published in the journal PloS One.
Posts 1 - 30 (78 total)
Aug 23, 2012 11:03AM - edited Aug 23, 2012 11:50AM by leggo
Very interesting information. Just called the health food store to see if they have this but they don't, nor have they heard of it. Googled to see where it can be bought and still can't find any info. I'd really like to add this to my regimen so if anyone knows where one could find it for sale, the info would be much appreciated.
Aug 23, 2012 02:14PM leggo wrote:Well this sucks. Spent the better part of the morning on the web and phone as to where to purchase. Apparently there are at least 10 wholesalers based in India, but no retailers for the extract or even the plant. Turns out the global distribution of "Fagonia cretica" (it's botanical name) is totally restricted and would never make it across the border. Going to keep working on it to see if maybe I can find out more info (maybe black-market seeds or something). Will post if I find out anything. Might have to make a pilgrimage to Pakistan or find someone to smuggle it back.
Aug 23, 2012 04:03PM geewhiz wrote:
Interestingly, I just got back from Arizona. When I was just looking at fagonia pictures, it looked really familiar. As it turns out, fagonia cretica has several varieties. There is a fagonia cretica var californica! This plant grows in the southeast US.
Aug 23, 2012 04:45PM leggo wrote:
I spoke to a botanist this morning. Unfortunately, they're not all the same. The fagonia arabica is widely available, however, even though it looks the same, is not the same genetically. He didn't mention the fagonia cretica var californica, though. But after speaking to a supplier in India (that was interesting; I'm terrible with accents), was told that the variation I'm looking for grows only in some regions of Pakistan and they mean to keep it that way so it's picking, processing and distribution are highly governmentally regulated...almost like those who have access to it are going to protect it by any means necessary. That's the impression I got anyway, but like I said, I had trouble understanding a lot of what he said because of the dialect barrier. I think it will be hard to get our hands on....but where there's a will there's a way.
Aug 24, 2012 03:45AM Momine wrote:
Since it is called "cretica" I bet it does grow in Crete, famed for its herbs and medicinal plants. I will try to check it out. If anyone comes across the common Greek name for the plant somewhere, please post it.
Aug 24, 2012 04:13AM camillegal wrote:
Why is any of this coming to light now---I mean there have been researchers for years and it's been in a portion of the world that knows about something that could help but won't distribute it. And it's just coming to light now. The Us has plenty of deserts, why can't it grow it there.? Something is not making sense to me (of course alot of things don't) Why is Pakistan so secretive about this with the US--they would be in good stand ing and make money from this "secret". I thought India and Pakistan would do whatever to help the US ---I don't know it's 3AM and y mind goes even worse at this time. LOL
Aug 24, 2012 11:52AM - edited Aug 24, 2012 12:00PM by leggo
camillegal, please don't read too much into my post. I barely understood the guy in India (after 10 or 15 pardon me?'s, I kind of gave up). I think the jist of it was that it couldn't be exported, not that it was some great secret. In light of the recent research, I think it highly likely we'll be seeing it here soon. (Probably at an astronomical cost is my initial reaction).
Momine, when I get hold of my botanist friend again, I'll be sure to ask for more specific details regarding the varieties. He has cancer as well, so I'm sure he's doing his homework too.
Nuts huh? All I want is some friggin' tea that might help my situation and I have to jump through a million hoops to get it. It's not like we're talking some species of poisonous prolific frog for gawd's sake. Thinking of hitting up my Pakistani neighbour for some when he heads back. Too pushy?
ETA: Had the funniest scenario running through my head; I'll grow the plant, it will become highly invasive, the gov't will bring in goats to eat the plant, cougars to eat the goats, grizzlies to eat the cougars, rhinos to eat the bears....you get the idea. I really need to get some sleep!
Aug 24, 2012 01:35PM leggo wrote:
Aw crap. Just got a call back. Apparently, it's rare, endangered and furiously protected. Only grows in select clay slopes in a few select areas in Pakistan and Spain. Extremely fussy growing conditions. Sh*t. Two ways of looking at it, I guess. Thank goodness it's being protected if it has potential....or it's so rare there won't be enough to go around. Not giving up yet, though.
Aug 24, 2012 01:38PM HLB wrote:
that is frustrating...I want some of this stuff!
Aug 24, 2012 02:52PM - edited Aug 24, 2012 02:52PM by geewhiz
i took a stab at it through several resources. The USDA Plant database is HUGE.They have it listed in quite a number of countries as primarily a weed. Just google and it will pop right up.
It is called a fagonbush, but there are 146 varieties of fagonia. The fagonia is the genus, the cretica is the species, then there seems to be several varieties within the cretica species.
I got a response from a German pharmacist friend who lives in India. He is an MD and a chemist. The first time I saw his pharmacy, I was stunned. Bins of roots and herbs they grind to order...sitting on the shelf with commercial preparations. It is so crazy how far we are from nature in our healthcare system.
He told me he would try to nail it down a bit for me... so perhaps with a number of us taking a run at it from several different angles, we can see if we can figure it out a bit more.
Aug 24, 2012 03:41PM HLB wrote:
That sounds promising about your pharmacy friend! I did a search and went up to page 5 of the search and cannot find anything about how to buy the stuff.
Aug 24, 2012 08:52PM lightandwind wrote:
I have read some very similar things about this plant that kills cancer found in Jamaica,called guinea weed that is purported to cure all kinds of cancer. I really don't know anything about that, I'm always a skeptic, but had a friend tell me about it, said it was new news, so I did a little research. After seeing this post, I wondered also if it might be some variation of the same plant, of if it is another one entirely. Jamaica is not so far, and hard to get to, although if it's protected there too, would still be difficult to access. Have no idea,just fantasizing, but I agree if there's a will there's a way.
Aug 24, 2012 09:15PM thefuzzylemon wrote:
Hello all....I've been following the conversation and I am also a little skeptical when it comes to a "New Cure". It aggravates the h-e-double toothpicks that they announce this new plant and it's next to impossible to get a hold of...I give up right there.
However...does anyone here take IP6? If you would like something that kills cancer cells...this is a good one. It binds to the iron molecules only in non-healthy cells...does not affect healthy cells and has no side effects that I know of. Cancer cannot live without iron. And the cost isn't so bad either. I think it comes from Rice Bran.
Just wondering if anyone else has heard of this...and if anyone would check with their resources to see if I'm wasting my time on it! lol And...maybe it would be something someone else might be interested in...while we're waiting for a plant that barely exists and will never be exported...
Aug 24, 2012 10:07PM thefuzzylemon wrote:
Hey Gee!!! Good to see you too!! Yup...that's the one I take too...I am pretty happy with it...do you take anything else? I'm on a few others as well...Tumeric, Green Tea. Tumeric is a big one too I guess....
How did you find out about IP6?
Aug 24, 2012 10:09PM camillegal wrote:
Oh how confusing--the United States wheels and eals everything why not this plan too. Why do we hear about it when it's supposedly unattainable (if it really has properties that work) It's almost like haha look what we have and we won't let u have any. It's confusung who our friends are.
Aug 24, 2012 10:34PM geewhiz wrote:
Fuzzy...I read LOTS! Every book I can get my hands on; every study that seems well designed, etc.
I have a cabinet filled with stuff. Half I can't remember why I got it. I guess that means add gingko, lol? I am moving a bit away from all the research though. I want to live my life now, and not just be consumed with studying and worrying. Easier said than done, right?!
My oncologist just told me to start calcium d - glucarate, so I am looking into that right now.
I also take D3, but my levels will not go out of the 30's. I live in the sunny South, play tennis almost daily and run, bike etc and still have low levels of D. Ggrrrrrrr. I think the calcium might help with that.
Aug 24, 2012 10:39PM thefuzzylemon wrote:
I've never been tested for VitD levels...and I am in the north. But, I'm with you...I just want to live and not live in this crazy fear all the time. My hip was hurting so bad yesterday and instantly...you know what I thought. Yeah..it's fine today...just needed to pop it....I'm only 41 so I knew it wasn't busted...lol
Too many have traveled this path with exceptionally healthy lifestyles...no history...young...the whole thing just doesn't make sense.
Is there any pill I can take for the crazies? Oh, I think I do take one...Gabba Gabba? I think that's what it's called...LOL
Aug 24, 2012 11:52PM curveball wrote:
re: fagonia cretica, I wouldn't give up on it yet. After all, taxol was originally made by harvesting the bark of an endangered species of wild yew tree. When it was proved effective eventually ways were discovered to synthesize the active chemical, and now it is widely available. If fagonia cretica really is an effective cancer treatment, I would expect the same thing to be possible with it too.
Aug 25, 2012 06:13AM - edited Aug 25, 2012 06:20AM by leggo
Fuzzy, I have to admit when I read your initial post on this thread, I wasn't sure whether to take offence or laugh. I don't think there's a woman on this site (well, maybe a couple), that believe some new breakthrough is going to "cure" them. I don't expect some rare plant to cure me anymore than I expect current chemotherapies would. That being said, I do believe there are substances that can extend life. I've already had success with one and hope to find another. Maybe this is it, maybe it's not. No harm in trying at my stage. Just tryin' to get my youngest through high school. If it means hunting down a plant that shows promise, I'm going to do what I can to obtain it. Just like Curveball said, so many of our medical discoveries are due to plants that have later been synthesized for current treatments.
Geewhiz, so good to hear you've got someone with the know-how to try to nail it down. Thanks for that. I'm very grateful.
Camillegal, yes I think it may very well be the whole truth. There's plenty of protected species in many countries and from what I've gathered, this just happens to be one of them. We'll have to see how it all plays out. If it does turn out to be helpful for breast cancer, I'm sure it will be made available in the very distant future. Unfortunately, women like you and I don't have the luxury of time so, until I no longer can, I'm going to bust my ass trying to find it...even if it gives me a few more months, it will have been worth the effort.
Aug 25, 2012 06:25AM Mzmerz wrote:
I'm a huge skeptic of any "magical cure" of any kind. So I thought I would look around and see if I could disprove this kind of thing, but I did actually find more information. Maybe not what anyone wants to hear, but in any case, here it is
Note: This article says it's a common plant, so maybe the rare plant discussied in the thread is a different one?
24 August 2012
Scientists at Aston University and Russells Hall Hospital have discovered that an extract from a common plant in Pakistan may help cure breast cancer.
The plant, Fagonia cretica, and known as Virgon's Mantlem, is commonly used in herbal tea. It has been traditionally used to treat women in rural Pakistan who have breast cancer, but up until now this treatment has been regarded as something of a folklore remedy. However, patients in Pakistan who have taken the plant extract have reported that it does not appear to generate any of the serious common side effects associated with other cancer treatments, such as loss of hair, drop in blood count or diarrhoea.
Now, scientists at Aston University in Birmingham and Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley have undertaken tests of the plant extract and proved that it kills cancer cells without damage to normal breast cells in laboratory conditions.
Professor Helen Griffith and Professor Amutul R Carmichael who lead the study are now aiming to identify which element or elements of the plant are responsible for killing the cancer cells with a view to eventually begin trails with human cancer patients.
Professor Helen Griffith of Aston University said; "More research is needed to establish the role of the extract in cancer management and It now needs to be demonstrated that this extract is as effective in killing cancer cells inside the body as it is within laboratory. The next steps are to identify which element of the plant is responsible for killing the cancer cells with a view to eventually begin trails with human cancer patients."
Dr Caitlin Palframan, policy manager at Breakthrough Breast Cancer said; "Some of the most important cancer-fighting drugs are originally derived from plants. As this research is at the very earliest stage we won't know for quite some time whether drugs derived from this plant will be effective in treating breast cancer but we look forward to seeing any progress."
The plant is found in arid, desert regions of Pakistan, India, Africa and parts of Europe.