Thanks to a fellow blogger, Dave (whose two-year-old son Jaymun has been battling AML since birth; the link to his website, “Jaymun’s Journey,” is on the right-hand side of this page), I learned of a new plant with amazing anticancer (etc.) powers: Moringa oleifera.
This morning, in fact, I read Dave’s recent report on a group of creative and dedicated Wisconsin high school students who tested a tropical plant extract on a group of mice with cancer. The mice not only survived but also appeared to have lost their tumors, whereas all the ones in the control group died. The students also administered this plant extract to healthy mice that became more active and appeared younger. More details on this fascinating story can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/p8g7yf
Moringa oleifera is a very nutritious tree…I mean, yes, you can actually EAT it. I read that its leaves contain more protein than yoghurt (!)…and also calcium, iron, vitamin Bs and so on. For a description of the Moringa oleifera tree, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moringa_oleifera Here I read that parts of the tree are used as an antiseptic and in treating rheumatism, venomous bites (!) and other conditions. Interesting…but does it affect myeloma?
Wellwellwell, after a very quick Google search, I found a 2007 study according to which Moringa oleifera is indeed strongly cytotoxic to myeloma cells. “Oh, this is good, this is very good!,” I thought. I then checked PubMed where I found 124 studies dealing with this tree and many of its amazing properties. Today, however, I barely have enough time to take a quick look at the 2007 myeloma study. As follows.
The study (full study: http://tinyurl.com/oaeo4s) tells us that Moringa oleifera is a multipurpose tree widely distributed in Asia and commonly used in Indian traditional medicine. The leaves of this tree were used in folk remedies for tumors and as a food source for humans (and, I read elsewhere, for animals, too).
Why am I not surprised to read that this tree yields substances that are antioxidant, anti-bacterial, fungicidal, hypocholesterolemic and anti-diabetic? Familiar story, eh. In any case, the researchers tested both Moringa oleifera and Vinca rosea leaf extracts (the drugs vincristine and vinblastin derive from the latter, btw) on myeloma cells. They found that the Moringa extract had much stronger anti-myeloma effects than the Vinca one. Well, how about that?
More testing is needed, of course, but this preliminary data sounds very very good to me…enough to say that another promising substance has joined my rather…substantial, by now, list of anti-myeloma non toxic plant extracts…yay! Oh bother, my time has run out…I really must dash off now to prepare my classes for tomorrow. Ciaooo!
P.S. yes, my blog banner is a photo of Piazza del Campo, Siena. Bravi!