The herbal market is continuing to boom, as healthcare costs rise and people look towards prevention rather than cures. To compliment this, the upsell approaches of supermarkets, online retailers and everywhere in between. This is a multi-billion dollar industry, so finding the ‘truth’ behind the products may take some research.

Like anything, there are good examples and bad examples. If you buy the wrong products, herbal remedies can get a bad name.

Links to herbs fighting breast cancer have been tossed around for years, some disproved and others unproven. The National Cancer Center in Tokyo disproved green tea as preventing breast cancers a couple years ago, in a large-scale study. But new hope arises from an herb that is native to Africa, India, Pakistan, parts of Europe and goes by the name of Fagonia cretica.

In Pakistan, the remedies have been a part of their culture and folklore for many generations. Cancer patients have even been asking for it and have found it to be highly effective in reducing side effects. Now scientists have taken the herb to task and the results are surprising to some.

Lead by Aston University in Birmingham and Russels Hall Hospital in Dudley, U.K., the extract of the plant killed cancer cells in the breast without causing damage to the healthy cells. Professor Helen Griffith of Aston University is quoted:

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.

The results show Fagonia cretica contains potential anti-cancer agents acting either isolated or in combination against breast cancer proliferation via DNA damage-induced FOXO3a and p53 expression.

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.

Further research is ongoing for both preventive and treatment for breast cancer but the latest studies are encouraging for those looking for alternative, more effective approaches.

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