Lit.Org - a community for readers and writers Advanced Search

Average Rating

(0 votes)

You must login to vote

Herbal Cure To Cancer
Researchers from Kolkata’s Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute have found two plants frequently used in Ayurvedic medicines effectively battle out four types of cancer in lab.
They discovered the root extract of Tiliacora racemosa (Tiliacoru) and the nut oil of Semecarpus anacardium (Dhobi nut) eliminated cultured human tumour cells from acute myeloblastic (myeloblast is a bone marrow cell) leukaemia, chronic myelogenic (associated with bone marrow) leukaemia, breast and cervical cancers.
“The herbal preparations from T racemosa and S anacardium selectively force cancer cells to commit suicide, sparing healthy neighbouring cells,” claims Madhumita Roy, who headed the team of researchers.
“The anti-cancer active compounds identified in the root extract of T racemosa are a number of bisbenzyl isoquinoline alkaloids, a type of organic compound and phenolic substances, also organic compounds, in the nut oil of S anacardium,” writes the researcher in a recent issue of Phytotherapy Research (Vol 18, No 8).
“The findings of the research are indicative of a potential therapeutic role of these herbal preparations in human cancer,” says co-author Sutapa Chakraborty.
To study the anti-cancer effects of the plant extracts, the team produced an ethanol (alcohol) extract of T racemosa root (TR), an alkaloid-containing root extract of T racemosa (TA) and extracted the S anacardium nut oil (SO) using Ayurvedic principles. When tumour cells were exposed to these extracts, TA annihilated all the four types of cancer cells. TR and SO only caused the demise of leukaemic cells while breast cancer cells’ growth was partially inhibited by SO and TR.
The above article was originally published in the science and technology section of ‘Down To Earth’, a science and environment fortnightly, on February 28, 2005.

Biplab Das

Related Items


The following comments are for "Herbal Cure To Cancer"
by Rakesh

Thanks but made a meaningless comment. I expected a civilized comment.

( Posted by: Rakesh [Member] On: September 21, 2005 )

False hope
The precautions and stringent guidelines used in scientific tests exist for a reason: to prevent crap from being passed on as effective, or true, or (fill in the blank).

The nonsense you're shilling toys with people who are suffering. It gives false hope and then snatches it away. It keeps people from making decisions taht need to be made in a timely fashion.

You should know better than to buy into false cures from a quack newsletter. And you should certainly know better than to spread that shit like it was fertilizer.

That's my own "civilized" comment.


( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: September 21, 2005 )

Cancer spelunking
Remember Laetrile? Back in the 70's it was the next miracle cure. I saw people die taking it as their "cure". That was back when I went to church religiously and faithfully. That was back when I was full of myself. How time changes things. My advice to you is this; unless there is conclusive proof by a plethora of cancer internalists, throw that crap in the kitty litter box. It'll do a lot more good, hombre. Do I believe that there may be cures out there for cancers, yep. But we don't have the knowledge yet to use them. I'm all for it. But not this way. And until you watch somebody die in front of you, you ain't gonna' get it. So go to a hospital and look up a few cancer folks. You'll get the idea PDQ.

WHen it's your to to go, it's your time to go.
Who is ever ready for that?


( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: September 21, 2005 )

Junk, Because Indian Research
Thanks for more thoughtful comment. It is obviously copy Down To Earth article. The original article was written by. On previous occasion, I posted American research highlighting cancer cure. Nobody raised any comments. Technical, but not Junk. My aim was to update readers about cancer research. Have anybody from anywhere discovered the magic potion for cancer? There are plethora of websites that post junk materials. Why don't you raise your voice against them? I am a serious science writer. I don't deal with junk materials that junk people spew out.

( Posted by: Rakesh [Member] On: September 21, 2005 )

The original article published in 'Down To Earth' was written by me. I read the research paper, talked to the researchers and toiled enough to write the story. Clinicians should come forward to join hands with the researchers. So, cancer patients can reap benefit from such research. I feel for those who lost their nearest ones due to any type of cancer. Dubbing it junk is really painful to me.

( Posted by: Rakesh [Member] On: September 21, 2005 )

Not as painful as it is to them, Rakesh.


( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: September 21, 2005 )

Virper9 et al
I couldn't agree with you more -especially your comment 'The precautions and stringent guidelines used in scientific tests exist for a reason: to prevent crap from being passed on as effective, or true,' the validity of which never be disputed.

Given this ...pray does one explain how ,time and again ,down to the present day ,the drug companies ,their claims of extreme stringency in conducting clinical trials nothwithstanding ,have been forced to concede to scandal after scandal ..beginning with the ghastly Thaliomide episode around 1961-1962...

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: September 21, 2005 )

Junk, 70
Thanks for commenting on junk story. For instance, aspirin pills you pop in to protect your heart is the fallout of such junk stuff poured out by research labs. There is nothing absolute in anything. Science, too, advance through trial and error. You are concerned about cancer as till date it has no definitive cure. Do you know how many people in developing country like India simply die from mundane diseases like diarrhoea,malaria,typhoid, and others? People don't have access to therapy for such diseases. I see such innumerable painful deaths before my eyes as I frequent many areas of our country. The sorrow is immesureable here. And Eric, I am interested to know any advancement from your background. You are welcome. The problem is that people shy away from anything related to science. In 21st century, we should be grateful to pills and potions produced by drug companies. All of them are due to tremendous progress in science and technology. For this, you and I easily get away diseases that killed our ancestors before they past 40 or 50. Episode of thalidomide will definitely happen. Does every literary work stand out to be outstanding? Even that of great poets or writers? I think not.
In days to come, I will to try write some articles that will highlight various aspects of science and technology. Actually, what most people lack despite how educated they are is holistic knowledge.

( Posted by: Rakesh [Member] On: September 22, 2005 )

Not Wrong
Sorry for your wife's death. Had you mentioned this in your first comment I could not have cut you down? But, you didn't do that. Did you? Instead, you cut me down to unleash your pain. How would anyone know if I don't say that my mother even does not stand for 10 minutes due osteoarthritis (it is real)? And 'incinerate', 'bury' are painful words. At the same time, it is not possible for me to know what you are demanding. Because scope of the story is governed by commissioning editor. I have never ever belittled your education. Your words bear your sorrow. I feel for you. But, you ended on a note of accusation. As if I am the lone person for messing up everything. I am not so bad guy.

( Posted by: Rakesh [Member] On: September 22, 2005 )

Perfection is a religious idea, unapplicable in reality. And that's why, even with the strictest controls, sometimes things go wrong. Take thalidomide, for example. Years of tests proved that it did what it was supposed to do. What they didn't show was that there were horrible side effects. The researchers didn't give the tests enough time, and didn't know to look for a couple of things. Now they do.

Horrible as they are, such mistakes advance our understanding. Since there have only been, 20-25 similarly problematic drugs passed since thalidomide, among the thousands (likely tens of thousands) tested, the track record is pretty darn good. Fewer than half of one percent of drugs passed by the FDA cause side-effects as horrible as thalidomide. Now we have a better idea of what to look for and what precautions to take.

There will be more such mistakes in the future, of course, but we've no reason to expect the rate of such errors to increase dramatically.

The snake oil Rakesh is peddling has no such track record, and like similar snake oils, hasn't managed to pass any tests. In fact, less than 3% of "herbal" or "holistic" remedies, treatments, and potions have been shown to have any beneficial effects whatsoever. And of those that do seem to have a positive effect, the rate is usually indistinguishable from placebo.

It comes down to this,a d we all need to make this sort of choice (especially when we're facing soemthing as serious as cancer): do you want to take your chances with something that's been through 15 years of rigorous trials with stringent guidelines (despite a small chance of disaster) with a proven ability to help you? Or do you want a backwater potion that hasn't passed through any rigorous trials with no proven ability to help you and no awareness of possible side-effects or disasterous complications?

It's a personal choice but, from my perspective, an easy one to make.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: September 22, 2005 )

Perfection..or striving towards it
Your detailed ,searching reply makes for a fascinating read.While there can be no gainsaying the fact that the West has a lot to clap itself on the back for in this regard -there is always the possibility of overdoing it and thus blinding one self -sometimes to the very banal and the self -evident.

It really boils down to this -in the whole business of testing and scenario planning there really can be no compromises or shortcuts .Minds have to be perfectly open to take into account all that can be envisaged .

Recent history has some spectacular instances of not doing this - the first being the notion that 'shock and awe' was all that was necessary to win a 'war' and the second being the Katrina debacle -where an entire establishment -which had been long forewarned - had ,despite all the resources at its command , proved monumentally incapable of rising to the occasion.

( Posted by: RJKT [Member] On: September 22, 2005 )

Perfect poem?
Nice link, Fairplay. That's a hell of a poem.

I agree with what you say about blindness, RJKT, in reference to the recent invasion and hurricane. Not sure what it has to do with the matter at hand, though.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: September 23, 2005 )

It is unfortunate that someone has said that I am peddling snake oil. And the word 'backwater potion'proves my notion that you guys belittling Indian research published in a peer reveiwed journal published from West. Right from the beginning you are making mistakes. It was a lab study. And the lab did not give me bucks to sell their snake oil, which is actually not snake oil.Kindly, carefully read the the story before jumping to any conclusive remarks. Believe it or not, western countries (scientists there) are rushing after this snake oil. It is actually the science you are unable to understand. It is not your problem. The problem is created by your media,which highlights hypes. This is why foreign scientists visiting India appreciate a handful of science writers (15 or 20) like me working hard in India.And they scold their tabloid press. To you India is still a land of snake oils, backwater potions. Unless you don't know about India or don't care to know about India. It will remain so. And you will go on making such not so well researched answers. I have given reference. Please give reference of your claims.

( Posted by: Rakesh [Member] On: September 23, 2005 )

snake oil
"Down to Earth" is not a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It's a propaganda magazine for an environmental and "holistic health" organization called The Society for Environmental Communications.

While the magazine contains some interesting articles, it is in no way a scientific journal. There are no posted standards for peer review or publication, no mechanisms for peer review, no professional affiliation in the scientific community, and it simply isn't recognized as a scientific journal by scientists.

In fact, a quick check of the society's website shows that the magazine doesn't even declare itself to be a scientifioc journal. It doesn't make that claim (to its credit). So why do you? After all, you say you're a "science writer," so you should know better.

And as a "science writer," you should be able to explain the methodology used in the study you report. Yet there's absolutely no account of methodology at all -- no explanation of procedures, precautions, blinds, variables isolated and accounted for (and how), nothing of the sort.

Either you don't understand what "science," "peer-reviewed" and "journal" mean, or you're deliberately misleading people.

I don't give a shit where your potion comes from -- India or Muncie, Indiana. What matters is evidence of its efficacy in strictly controlled trials, with a clear and open account of the methodology used, hypothesis tested, results, and tentative conlusions and implications.

It's the methods that separate science from pseudo-science, not lab-coats and self-assertion.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: September 23, 2005 )

Careless Reading
I wish I burst into laughter after reading the line, "Either you don't understand what "science," "peer-reviewed" and "journal" mean, or you're deliberately misleading people."

Kindly read these words from my story, "“The anti-cancer active compounds identified in the root extract of T racemosa are a number of bisbenzyl isoquinoline alkaloids, a type of organic compound and phenolic substances, also organic compounds, in the nut oil of S anacardium,” writes the researcher in a recent issue of Phytotherapy Research (Vol 18, No 8)."
The research team published their research paper in Phytotherapy Research, which is a peer-reviewed journal.I have given volume and issue no of the journal in bracket. The research team gave me the paper. I read the whole paper and wrote a popular article for "Down To Earth'. If you kindly give your address, I can send a copy of the original paper. Once again it is unfortunate that you are unable to distinguish a journal from a popular magazine as both were mentioned with the story. If you don't get these info from a popular story, how you would understand methods of science. Now guess who know 'science', peer-reveiwed' and 'journal'.

( Posted by: Rakesh [Member] On: September 25, 2005 )

You're right. I suppose I missed that while wallowing through the article, and "Phytotherapy Research" is indeed a real journal.

As for, "If you don't get these info from a popular story, how you would understand methods of science. Now guess who know 'science', peer-reveiwed' and 'journal'" that's precisely the problem. Your writing is difficult to follow, practically unreadable, and doesn't evince any understanding of the terms used.

That's one reason my warning bells were set off. You use the jargon, but your writing doesn't show any comprehension. So no one's learning anything from it. The only people who can understand it are those who already know what the terms mean, and they're not going to trust you because you write like an eager eighth-grader. Meanwhile, those who couldn't understand the journal article aren't going to get anything out of your article either, because they don't know the terminology: it isn't translated into layperson's terms.

But I give you this: While "Down to Earth" is merely a propaganda magazine (an interesting one, at that), "Phytotherapy Research" is a scientific journal.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: September 25, 2005 )

You know, I was just reading over my last comment and I realized it sounds incredibly bitchy. Sorry about that. Last couple of weeks have been rough. I shouldn't be taking it out on others.

I apologize. You're trying to do something good and whether I agree with you or not, I shouldn't treat you like an evil moron. You're quite likely neither of those things.

Do what you do, man.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: September 25, 2005 )

Thanks, Viper
I know that patience is paid off. Thanks for your understanding. Actually, it is out of my control when it comes to write a popular science articles. To survive, we science writers have to abide by house style. This has been even confessed by renowned science writer like John Gribbin. The same thing has happened with Down To Earth article. Neither I had space to explain the research in lay person's terms. Furthermore, DTE insists on giving scientific data. As you are interested to know about me, I request you to visit my homepage, which is And you can search google typing my good name - Biplab Das. You can also read my published articles searching(typing my name) the archives of Ninety eight per cent of stories have been published in paying markets as it is my profession. And let me know about you. And what about Eric, I really feel for him. Please convey my message to him. If he wants to do something in memory of his wife, I can extend my help in Kolkata.

( Posted by: Rakesh [Member] On: September 26, 2005 )

Fairplay. I am simply confused by your words because I am not a complicated man. Despite showing sympathy for you, you -----. The URL is accessable by anyone. There is no password or registrtation is needed to see my homepage. Now see my black tea and oral cancer story in the archive of SciDev.Net. It was a breaking story and published all over the world. Pls check out.
At least my stories cause ripples among people.

( Posted by: Rakesh [Member] On: September 26, 2005 )

Thanks for the URL. I will make it my reading this evening, and am looking forward to it.


( Posted by: FeliciaStone [Member] On: September 26, 2005 )

Thanks, Felicia
I am looking forward to your constructive comments on my writing. Best of luck.

( Posted by: Rakesh [Member] On: September 26, 2005 )

Add Your Comment

You Must be a member to post comments and ratings. If you are NOT already a member, signup now it only takes a few seconds!

All Fields are required

Commenting Guidelines:
  • All comments must be about the writing. Non-related comments will be deleted.
  • Flaming, derogatory or messages attacking other members well be deleted.
  • Adult/Sexual comments or messages will be deleted.
  • All subjects MUST be PG. No cursing in subjects.
  • All comments must follow the sites posting guidelines.
The purpose of commenting on Lit.Org is to help writers improve their writing. Please post constructive feedback to help the author improve their work.