Two years ago a large-scale study undertaken at the National Cancer Center in Tokyo proved that green tea did not confer any preventative benefits which reduced the risk of getting breast cancer. (1)
Much as this dampened the hope of many in the high risk bracket for the disease, there is new hope coming in -- not from any type of tea but from a herb that is native to some parts of southern Europe and the dry deserts of India, Pakistan and Africa.
The herb goes by the name of virgin’s mantle and is scientifically called Fagonia cretica.
The herb has not been the focus of scientific research because it was thought that its remedial properties were essentially folklore. It has been known to be used for many centuries to cure various ailments in rural Pakistan.
However of late, cancer patients in rural Pakistan have been asking for the extract of virgin’s mantle to significantly reduce the side effects in cancer treatment such as hair loss, anemia and diarrhea. And it is found to be very effective in this regard.
This led the scientific community to take a closer look at the herb. Research was conducted by the scientists of Aston University in Birmingham and Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, U.K.
What they found was startling. The extract of the plant killed cancer cells of the breast without incurring any damage to the healthy breast cells and tissues in an in vitro setting. (2)
So hopeful have the researchers become that, before commencing human trials, studies are being conducted to identify what exactly is in the plant that destroys cancer cells selectively.
According to Professor Helen Griffith of Aston University, “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.” (3)