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20 plants studied in Kenya and the cancer(s) they treat

Health By Gatonge Gathura

Scientists have confirmed more than 20 local plant species are effective against many of the top killer cancers today.

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During a three-day annual scientific conference of Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri), more than 30 researchers left no doubt that the country has immense capacity to deal with cancer from its plant resources.

Most of the plants the scientists reported are widely used locally for medicinal purposes and many specifically for treating cancer.

“Over 60 per cent of currently used anti-cancer agents are derived from natural sources,” explained Sabina Wangui Wachira of Centre for Traditional Medicine and Drug Research at Kemri.

“Our work was to provide scientific evidence to support claims that some Kenya medicinal plants are active against cancer.”

(All the photos used as Courtesy)

Plants studied and the cancer(s) they treat

Vernonia adoensis

Vernonia adoensis and Acacia mearnsii – water extract from whole plant acted against breast, cervical and prostate cancer cells

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Withania samnifera

Withania samnifera - acted against breast and prostate cancer cells

Cassia abbreviata - root bark extract acted against liver cancer cells

Moringa oleifera and Indigofera arrecta – leaf extract acted against prostate, breast and cervical cancer cells

Tragia brevipes and Tetradenia riparia – leaves extract acted against prostate cancer cells

Annona muricata (fruit) and Abelnosches esculentus (pods) – acted against breast, cervical and breast cancer cells

Vernonia adoensis

Oxygonium sinuatum – leaves, fruit and stem extracts acted against prostate and breast, cancer cells

Prunus Africana

Prunus africana, (stem bark) acted against breast cancer cells

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Maytenus senegalensis (leaf extract) - showed high activity against colon cancer cells

Warburgia stuhlmannii – (stem bark extract) acted against colon cancer cells

Tamarindus indica (fruit)

A combination of Tamarindus indica (fruit) and Pennisetum glaucum (grain) was active against liver and prostate cancer cells

The plants Plumbago zeylanica, Myrsine africana, Maesa lanceolata, Rapanea melanphloes and Aloe saponaria showed strong action against lung, colon, breast and liver cancers when used either singly or in various combinations

Active compounds against the various cancer cells in these plants are indicated in the Kemri studies to include alkaloids, glycosides, tannins, saponins, terpenoids, phenols, steroids, quinones and flavonoids

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