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Sino Vedic Anticancer Herbs

A great deal of pharmaceutical research and refinement in isolation & structure elucidation technique has placed the scientists in a better position to identify various anticancer herbs. Scientists all over the world are now concentrating on the use of herbs to fight cancer. Over a period of two decades, with advanced knowledge of molecular science, Sino Vedic Cancer Research Centre has identified more than 450 anticancer herbs having antimutagenic, DNA repairing, proapoptotic, antitumourangiogenesis, immunomodulatory, chemoprotective and radioprotective properties. These anticancer herbs inhibit growth & spread of cancer and tame aggressive cancer cells by repairing damaged DNA, inhibiting mutations in the genes, blocking cancer promoting enzymes & hormones, reviving the process of apoptosis and inhibiting tumourangiogenesis. Some of the commonly used Sino Vedic anticancer herbs are listed below:

 

Acorus calamus

Main active principles of Acorus calamus are glycosides and saponins. Dried rhizome of Acorus calamus contain the yellow aromatic volatile oils having asarone as a main constituent which contains the small quantity of sesquiterpenes and its alcohols. Rhizome also contains choline, flavone, acoradin, galangin, acolamone and isocolamone. Aerial parts of Acorus calamus contains lutcolin-6,8-c-diglucoside. Phenylpropanoid isolated from Acorus calamus improves immunity and protects from ultra violet rays. Other constituents of Acorus calamus are tannin, pinene, cineole, limonene, terpineol, azulene, eugenol, camphene, cadinene, magnesium, zinc and camphor. European varieties yield more sesquiterpenoids. Hydroalcoholic extract of Acorus calamus is found effective in breast carcinoma in a joint study by ACTREC and CCRAS. In another study Aqueous and methanolic extracts of Acorus calamus rhizome have shown anticancer activity against breast and liver cancers. Acorus calamus also possesses immunomodulatory property.

 

 Aegle marmelos

Aegle marmelos leaves contain Skimmianine, Aegeline, Lupeol, Cineol, Citral, Citronella, Cuminaldehyde, Eugenol and Marmesinine. Aegle marmelos bark contains Skimmianine, Fagarine and Marmin. Aegle marmelos fruit contains Marmelosin, Luvangetin, Aurapten, Psoralen, Marmelide and Tannin. Many phytoconstituents of Aegle marmelos have antineoplastic, radioprotective & chemoprotective properties and are useful in treatment and prevention of cancer. Skimmianine, an alkaloid, isolated from Aegle marmelos possesses strong anticancer activity against ovarian cancer. Lupeol isolated from Aegle marmelos, possesses anticancer activity against breast cancer, malignant lymphoma, malignant melanoma, malignant ascites and leukaemia. Skimmianine induces apoptosis through its compound 1-hydroxy-5, 7-dimethoxy-2-naphthalene-carboxaldehyde. Hydroalcoholic extract of Aegle marmelos leaves possesses hepatoprotective and radioprotective properties. Aegle marmelos considerably reduces side effects of chemotherapy & radiotherapy. 

 

Aloe vera

Aloe vera, a popular houseplant, has a long history as a multipurpose folk remedy. Aloe vera’s beneficial properties may be attributed to mucopolysaccharides present in gel of the leaf. Aloe Vera contains over 75 nutrients and 200 active compounds, including 20 minerals, 18 amino acids, and 12 vitamins. There is a significant evidence that Aloe vera is highly effective in fighting cancer. Aloe vera fights cancer at every step. Aloe vera prevents the genesis of cancer, regresses malignant tumours, arrests metastases, stimulates immune system response, decreases toxic effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Emodin isolated from Aloe vera exhibit strong anticancer and immunoenhancing activities. Aloe-emodin inhibits growth & spread of carcinoma of stomach and various sarcomas by inducing apoptosis. Aloe-emodin possesses selective anticancer activity against neuroectodermal tumours (PNET). Acemannan, a polysaccharide of Aloe vera, stimulates immune system, accelerates wound healing and possess strong anticancer activity. Alexin B isolated from Aloe vera possesses strong anticancer activity against leukaemia. The active ingredients of Aloe vera include eight chains of mannose sugars (glucose, galactose, mannose, fructose, xylose, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylgalactosamine, and N-acetylneuraminic acid). These sugars, known as super carbohydrates, play an important role in preventing genesis of cancer by stimulating intercellular communication. Aloe vera stimulates immune system response of the body by activating macrophages and releasing cytokines such as interferon, interleukin and tumour necrosis factor.

 

Alpinia galanga

 Extracts of both Alpinia galanga and Alpinia officinarum kill cancer cells as well as increasing the ability of normal cells to protect themselves from carcinogens. This dual action is quite rare among anticancer medicines. Alpinia galanga has been used traditionally in India and China against cancer of the stomach. Acetoxy-chavicol-acetate (ACA), isolated from seeds and rhizomes of Alpinia galanga, possesses significant anticancer activity against cancers of the breast, lung, stomach, colon, prostate, multiple myeloma and leukaemia. ACA induces apoptosis in multiple myeloma cells. ACA also blocks HIV-1 replication in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and may represent a novel treatment for HIV-1 infection. Pinocembrin isolated from Alpinia galanga inhibits growth & spread of colon cancer by arresting cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis. Galangin, a flavonoid, isolated from Alpinia galanga, possesses strong anticancer, antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Galangin possesses aromatase inhibitor property and prevents the conversion of testosterone to estrogen in both men and women, thus preventing cancer, especially of the breast and prostate.

 

Amoora rohituka

Amooranin, a triterpene acid (25-Hydroxy-3-oxoolean-12-en-28-oic acid), isolated from Amoora rohituka stem bark showed significant anticancer activity against breast cancer and cervical cancer. Amooranin inhibits growth & spread of cancer by arresting G2/M phase of the cell cycle, caspase activation and by inducing apoptosis. Amooranin and its derivatives are effective in both chemotherapy sensitive and chemotherapy resistant cancers. Amooranin has the ability to overcome (reverse) multidrug resistance in breast cancer, colon cancer and leukaemia. Flow cytometric assay showed reversal of multidrug resistance by Amooranin. Amooranin and its derivative compounds can be used in the treatment of many other diseases in which aberrant cellular proliferation occurs such as autoimmune disorders, and inflammatory diseases. Ethyl acetate extract derived from the stem bark of Amoora rohituka exhibited antitumour activity against cancers of liver, larynx, malignant ascites and lymphoma.

 

Andrographis paniculata

Andrographis paniculata extract is traditionally used as a medicine to treat different diseases in India, China and Southeast Asia. Andrographis paniculata possesses anticancer, immunostimulant, anti-HIV, anti-inflammatory, biliary stimulator and tranquilizer properties. The primary medicinal component of Andrographis paniculata is andrographolide, which is is a diterpene lactone, colorless crystalline substance, bitter in taste. Other active components of Andrographis paniculata includes 14-deoxy-11,12-didehydroandrographolide (andrographlide D), 14-deoxy andrographolide, neoandrographolide, homoandrographolide, andrographan, andrographon, andrographosterin and stigmasterol. Leaves of Andrographis paniculata contain two bitter lactones, andrographolid and kalmeghin. Roots of Andrographis paniculata contain flavones, apigenin-7,4-dio-O-methyl ether, 5-hydroxy-7,8,2’,3’-tetramethoxyflavone, andrographin & panicolin and alpha-sitosterol. Andrographolide, isolated from Andrographis paniculata, has immunoenhancing and strong anticancer activity against cancers of breast, ovary, stomach, colon, prostate, kidney, nasopharynx malignant melanoma and leukaemia by arresting G0/G1 phase of cell cycle and inducing apoptosis. Dichloromethane fraction of methanolic extract of Andrographis paniculata has strong anticancer activity against colon cancer. Andrographis paniculata enhances the activity of protective liver enzymes and reduces side effects of chemotherapy & radiotherapy.

 

Asparagus racemosus

Asparagus racemosus contains saponins, alkaloids, proteins and tannins. Saponins are an important class of secondary metabolites which have been long recognized to show cytotoxic activity in various cancer cell lines. Immunoside, sarsasapogenin glycoside, isolated from Asparagus racemosus has strong anticancer activity against carcinoma of colon by inducing apoptosis. Shatavarin IV isolated from ethyl acetate insoluble fraction of chloroform:methanol extract of Asparagus racemosus roots exhibits significant anticancer activity against cancers of breast, colon and kidney. Shatavarin I-IV, triterpene saponins, isolated from Asparagus racemosus support the body’s own natural production of estrogen. The crude saponins from the shoots of Asparagus racemosus were found to have anticancer activity especially in leukemia

 

Azadirachta indica

Azadirachta indica contains about 40 different active principles, known as liminoids, which exhibit immunoenhancing, anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, antifungal, antiviral, hepatoprotective, antimutagenic, anticancer and antimetastatic properties. Liminoids inhibit growth & spread of various cancers such as cancers of breast, lung, stomach, prostate and skin. Nimbolide, a natural triterpenoid, isolated from Azadirachta indica leaves and flowers inhibits growth & spread of colon cancer, malignant lymphoma, malignant melanoma and leukaemia by inducing apoptosis. Nimbolide prevents metastasis by retarding tumour cell migration, invasion and tumourangiogenesis. Two water soluble polysaccharides G Ia and G Ib isolated from the bark of Azadirachta indica, possess strong antitumour activity in sarcomas. Polysaccharides G IIa, G IIIa isolated from bark of Azadirachta indica have anti-inflammatory activity. NB-II peptidoglycan isolated from bark has immunomodulatory effect. Gallic acids, (–) epicatechin and catechin, isolated from bark of Azadirachta indica have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effect. Some active ingredients (phytosterol fraction) isolated from the lipid part of Azadirachta indica fruits, exhibit antiulcer activity in stress induced gastric lesions. Aqueous extract of Azadirachta indica leaves effectively suppresses squamous cell carcinoma of oral cavity. Aqueous extract of leaves also possesses potent immunostimulant activity by humoral and cell mediated responses. Aqueous extract of stem bark enhance the immune response. Ethanolic extract of Azadirachta indica inhibits growth & spread of prostate cancer by inducing apoptosis and by antiandrogenic effect. Azadirachta indica reduces side effects of chemotherapy & radiotherapy. Azadirachta indica oil possesses immunostimulant activity.

 

Bauhinia variegata

Bauhinia variegata contains flavonoids and fatty acid compound such as linolinic acid, oleic acid, steric acid, palmitic acid and myristic acid. Bauhinia variegata seeds contain lectin. Flavanones isolated from Bauhinia variegata stem bark possesses anticancer activity against various cancers including leukaemia, non-small cell lung cancer, colon cancer, tumours of brain & spinal cord, melanoma, ovarian cancer, renal cell carcinoma, prostate cancer and breast cancer. Cyanidin glucoside, malvidin glucoside, peonidin glucoside and kaempferol galactoside isolated from Bauhinia variegata inhibit growth & spread of various cancers including that of breast, lung, liver, oral cavity, larynx, malignant lymphoma and malignant ascites by inducing apoptosis. Bauhinia variegata also possesses significant hepatoprotective, nephroprotective, chemopreventive and immunomodulatory activity.

 

Berberis vulgaris

Berberis vulgaris root contains berberine, berbamine, chelidonic acid, citric acid, columbamine, hydrastine, isotetrandrine, jacaranone, magnoflorine, oxycanthine and palmatine. Berberine (an isoquinoline alkaloid), possesses anticancer, immunoenhancing and anti-inflammatory properties. Berberine arrests cancer cell cycle in G1-phase and induces apoptosis. Berberine possesses strong anticancer activity against prostate cancer, liver cancer and leukaemia. Berberine interferes with P-glycoprotein in chemotherapy-resistant cancers. Berberine also increases the penetration of some chemotherapy drugs through the blood-brain barrier, thereby enhancing their effect on intracranial tumours. Berberis vulgaris root bark contains three phenolic compounds, tyramine, cannabisin-G and lyoniresinol. Cannabisin-G  protects against breast cancer. Berberis vulgaris also inhibits growth of stomach and oral cavity cancers.

 

Catharanthus roseus

Catharanthus roseus or Vinca rosea (Madagascar periwinkle) contains more than 70 alkaloids, known as vinca alkaloids including Vinblastine, Vincristine and their derivatives. Vinca alkaloids arrest cancer cell proliferation by binding to tubulin in the mitotic spindle. Vinca alkaloids also induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) and inhibit tumourangiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels). Vinca alkaloids inhibit growth & spread of various cancers including that of breast, ovary, cervix, lung, colon, rectum, testis, neuroblastoma, Hodgkin’s disease, malignant lymphoma, multiple myeloma, various sarcomas, rhabdomyosarcoma and leukaemia.

 

Curcuma longa

Curcumin (Di-feruloyl-methane) and curcuminoids isolated from Curcuma longa suppress cancer at every step, i.e. initiation, growth and metastasis. Curcumin arrests the cancer cells proliferation in G2/S phase and induces apoptosis (programmed cell death). It inhibits angiogenesis, a crucial step in the growth and metastasis of cancer. Curcumin  and Genistein (isolated from Glycine max) act synergistically to inhibit growth & spread of oestrogen positive breast cancer. Curcumin works even in multidrug resistant breast cancer. Curcumin suppresses adhesion of cancer cells, thus preventing metastasis. Curcumin inhibits growth & spread of various cancers including that of breast, lung, oesophagus, liver, colon, prostate, head & neck and skin. Curcumin is particularly effective in radiotherapy resistant prostate cancer. Curcumin is effective even in advanced stages of cancer. Curcumin also protects from stomach cancer and colon cancer. Curcuma longa also possesses antimutagenic, immunostimulant, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective and radioprotective properties.

 

Emblica officinalis

Emblica officinalis is valued for its unique tannins and flavanoids, which possess powerful anticancer properties. Emblica officinalis contains ellagic acid, gallic acid, quercetin, kaempferol, emblicanin, flavonoids, glycosides and proanthocyanidins. Ellagic acid isolated from Emblica officinalis inhibit mutations in genes. Ellagic acid also repairs chromosomal abnormalities. Quercetin, isolated from Emblica officinalis has hepatoprotective effect. Emblicanin A & B (tannins) possess anticancer properties. Emblica officinalis inhibits growth & spread of various cancers including that of the breast, uterus, pancreas, stomach, liver and malignant ascites. Emblica officinalis is an excellent rejuvenator herb. It is highly nutritious and an important source of Vitamin C, minerals and amino acids. Emblica officinalis protects against many cancer particularly the liver cancer. Emblica officinalis reduces side effects of chemotherapy & radiotherapy.

 

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgetin and Ginkgolides (A & B), isolated from Ginkgo biloba inhibits growth & spread of invasive oestrogen receptor negative breast cancer, glioblastoma multiforme, hepatocellular carcinoma, stomach cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and ovarian cancer by inducing apoptosis. Even in a low dosage ginkgolides arrest growth of ovarian cancer.  Ginkgolide exhibits anti tumourangiogenesis activity via many extracellular and intracellular pathways. Kaempferol isolated from Ginkgo biloba is one of the most important constituents in ginkgo flavonoids. Kaempferol effectively inhibits pancreatic cancer cell proliferation and induces cancer cell apoptosis and also sensitizes pancreatic tumour cells to chemotherapy. Ginkgo biloba extract inhibits cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma by its gene regulatory and anti tumourangiogenic properties. Ginkgolide B, a terpenoid, isolated from Ginkgo biloba inhibits growth & spread of urinary bladder cancer by inhibiting DNA damage, altering the expression of genes involved in the regulation of cell proliferation, cell differentiation and apoptosis. Ginkgo biloba extract possesses anticancer activity by inhibiting radiation induced chromosome damaging clastogenic factors and ultraviolet light induced oxidative stress effects. Flavonoid and terpenoid constituents of Ginkgo biloba extract act in a complementary manner to inhibit several carcinogenesis related processes. Ginkgo biloba also reduces side effects of chemotherapy & radiotherapy.

 

Glycine max

Isoflavones (such as genistein & daidzein) and saponins isolated from Glycine max inhibit growth & spread of various cancers such as cancers of the breast, uterus, cervix, ovary, lung, stomach, colon, pancreas, liver, kidney, urinary bladder, prostate, testis, oral cavity, larynx, and thyroid. Glycine max is also effective in nasopharyngeal carcinoma, skin cancer, malignant lymphoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, malignant brain tumours and leukaemia. Isoflavones & saponins isolated from Glycine max possess wide ranging anticancer properties such as inhibition of cancer cell proliferation, promotion of cell differentiation and induction of apoptosis. Genistein works by blocking tumourangiogenesis (formation of new blood vessel), acting as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor and inducing apoptosis. Genistein also blocks the supply of nutrients to cancer cells, thus killing them by starving. Genistein and quercetin have synergistic anticancer effect against ovarian carcinoma. Saponins isolated from Glycine max decrease invasiveness of the glioblastoma cells. Anthocyanins isolated from Glycine max induce apoptosis in leukaemic cells. Glycine max protects against many cancers including that of the colon, lung and ovary.

 

Glycyrrhiza glabra

Glycyrrhiza glabra possess strong anticancer, antimutagenic, antiulcer, anti HIV and hepatoprotective properties. Glycyrrhizin isolated from Glycyrrhiza glabra inhibits growth & spread of lung cancer and fibrosarcomas. Glycyrrhizic acid isolated from Glycyrrhiza glabra protects against aflatoxins (powerful fungal carcinogens of the liver). Glycyrrhiza glabra contain various flavonoids including flavones, flavonals, isoflavones, chalcones, licochalcones and bihydrochalcones. Licochalcone-A isolated from Glycyrrhiza glabra, inhibits growth & spread of various cancers particularly the androgen refractory prostate cancer by inducing apoptosis and arresting cancer cells division. Licoagrochalcone, possesses strong anticancer activity against cancers of breast, lung, stomach, colon, liver, kidney and leukaemia. Glycyrrhiza glabra stimulates immune system response of the body and protects against colon cancer and oestrogen positive breast cancer.

 

Gossypium hirsutum

 Gossypol isolated from Gossypium hirsutum inhibits growth & spread of various cancers such as cancers of the breast, oesophagus, stomach, colon, liver, pancreas, adrenal gland, prostate, urinary bladder, malignant lymphoma, malignant ascites, brain tumours, sarcomas and leukaemia by inducing apoptosis and arresting cancer cell division in G0/G1 phase. The negative isomer of gossypol, (-) gossypol, inhibits growth & spread of chemotherapy & radiotherapy resistant cancers of prostate, breast, ovary, lung, pancreas, head & neck and brain by inducing apoptosis. Gossypolone, oxidative metabolite of gossypol, inhibits growth & spread of various cancers including that of the breast, cervix, lung, malignant melanoma and leukaemia.

 

Morinda citrifolia

A unique polysaccharide compound present in Morinda citrifolia, possesses hepatoprotective and immunomodulatory properties. Morinda citrifolia leaf extracts have been reported to have anticancer activity against nasopharyngeal carcinoma and cervical carcinoma. Damnacanthol, NB10 and NB11 isolated from Morinda citrifolia possess strong anticancer activity against various cancers particularly lung cancer. A polysaccharide rich substance from the fruit juice of Morinda citrifolia possesses antitumour activity against sarcoma and malignant ascites. Morinda citrifolia stimulates effector cells to release several mediators such as cytokines, which slow down the cell cycle in tumours, increase the response of cells to immune cells that fight tumour growth and have potent macrophage activator activity. Morinda citrifolia juice indirectly kills the cancer cells via activation of the cellular immune system involving macrophages, natural killer cells and T cells. 

 

Nigella sativa

Thymoquinone and dithymoquinone isolated from Nigella sativa have strong anticancer activity against various cancers including cancers of the colon, prostate, pancreas, uterus, malignant ascites, malignant lymphoma, malignant melanoma, sarcomas and leukaemia. Thymoquinone is effective in both hormone sensitive and hormone refractory prostate cancer. Nigella sativa kills cancer cells by binding to the asialofeutin (lectin) on the surface of cancerous cells, causing their aggregation and clumping. Nigella sativa also possesses immunoenhancing and anti-inflammatory properties. It protects against liver cancer. Nigella sativa enhances immune function of the body and reduces side effects of chemotherapy & radiotherapy.

 

Ocimum sanctum

Ocimum sanctum contains tannins, ursolic acid. Main chemical constitutes of Ocimum sanctum are eugenol, eugenol derivatives, linolenic acid, rosmarinic acid and flavonoids such as orientin, vicenin, cirsilineol, cirsimaritin, isothymusin, isothymonin & apigenein. Ursolic acid isolated from Ocimum sanctum has immunoenhancing and tissue protective properties. Polysaccharides isolated from Ocimum sanctum have radioprotective properties. Ocimum sanctum protects against various cancers particularly the breast cancer and reduces side effects of chemotherapy & radiotherapy. Ocimum sanctum inhibits growth & spread of various cancers such as breast cancer, liver cancer and sarcomas particularly fibrosarcoma by blocking supply of oxygen and nutrients to the cancer cells and killing them by starving.

 

Oldenlandia diffusa

Ursolic acid isolated from Oldenlandia diffusa (Bai Hua She She Cao) inhibits growth & spread of various cancers such as lung cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer, rectum cancer, Malignant tumours of brain, malignant melanoma, malignant ascites, lymphosarcoma and leukaemia. Ursolic acid works by a typical cytotoxic effect on cancer cells and by inducing apoptosis through superoxide burst and caspase activation. Other active principles of of Oldenlandia diffusa are oldenlandosides, stigmasterol, oleanolic acid, beta-sitosterol, p-coumaric acid and flavonoid glycosides. Oldenlandia diffusa (Bai Hua She She Cao) and Scutellaria barbata (Pan-chih-lien) are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat cancers of liver, lung and rectum. Water extracts of these two herbs possesses antimutagenic properties and protect against cancer.

 

Panax ginseng

Ginsenosides (panaxadiol and panaxatriol saponins) isolated from Panax ginseng inhibits growth & spread of various cancers such as cancers of breast, ovary, lung, prostate, colon, renal cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma, malignant lymphoma and leukaemia. Panaxadiol ginsenosides (Rb1,Rb2, Rc, Rd, Rg3, Rh2) and Panaxatriols ginsenosides (Re, Rf, Rg1, Rg2, Rhi) have both preventive and therapeutic role in cancer treatment. Ginsenosides possess strong anticancer activity against lung cancer and also prevent lung metastasis by blocking tumourangiogenesis. Compound K (a metabolite of ginsenosides) inhibits growth & spread of chemoresistant lung cancer. Ginsenosides Rc, Rd, Rg1 and Re overcome (reverse) P-glycoprotein mediated multidrug resistance to chemotherapy. Ginsenoside Rf helps in reducing doses of morphine in terminally ill cancer patients. Polysaccharides of Panax ginseng possess strong immunoenhancing and anticancer activities against many cancers, particularly lung cancer. These polysaccharides also reduce side effects of chemotherapy & radiotherapy. Panax ginseng also possesses antistress, hepatoprotective, haemopoietic, immunoenhancing, radioprotective, chemoprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties. Panax ginseng inhibits proliferation and seeding (metastases) in various cancers by inducing cell differentiation and apoptosis. Panax ginseng is effective in both hormone responsive & hormone refractory prostate and breast cancers.

 

Picrorhiza kurroa

Cucurbitacins isolated from Picrorhiza kurroa have antitumour action. Studies have shown that Picrorhiza kurroa has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. Main chemical constituents of Picrorhiza kurroa are glycosides picroside I, II and III, picrorhizin, kutkoside, kurrin, kuthinol, kutkiol, kutkisterol, kutkoside, androsin, apocynin, drosin and cucurbitacin. The active constituents of Picrorhiza kurroa prevent liver toxicity caused by numerous toxic agents. Recent studies of the rhizome, has shown to boost the immune system. Kutkin isolated from Picrorhiza kurroa alters the structure of the outer membrane of the hepatocytes in such a way as to prevent penetration of the liver toxin into the interior of the cell. Iridoids and secoiridoids isolated from Picrorhiza kurroa have immunomodulatory and adaptogenic effects.

 

Piper longum

Active Ingredient of Piper longum are piperine, rutin, beta-caryophyllene piperyline, piperoleines, piperamine, sabinene, chavicin, pinene, phellandrene, pentadecane, beta-bisabolene, linalool and limonene. Piperine isolated from alcoholic extract of Piper longum fruits  possess immunomodulatory, antimetastatic and antitumor activity lymphoma, malignant ascites, lung cancer and malignant melanoma. Piperine is an N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonistic. Piperidine isolated from Piper longum possess anticancer activity against cancer of larynx. Piplartine and piperine alkaloidal amides isolated from Piper longum cytotoxic activity towards several tumor cell lines. Rutin protects against oxidative damage by inhibiting or quenching free radicals.

 

Plumbago zeylanica

Plumbago zeylanica contains Lupenone, lupeol acetate, plumbagin, alpha-sitosteryl-3alpha-glucopyranoside-6'-O-palmitate and trilinolein.  Alpha-sitosterol showed cytotoxic activity against breast cancer. Plumbagin, a naphtoquinone, present in the roots of Plumbago zeylanica, has many beneficial effects such as antibacterial, antifungal, anticancer and antimutagenic effects. Plumbagin isolated from Plumbago zeylanica inhibits growth & spread of breast cancer, liver cancer, fibrosarcoma, malignant ascites and leukaemia by inhibiting cancer cell proliferation. Plumbagin augments macrophage activity. Plumbagin has antitumour and radiomodifying properties. When radiation is combined with plumbagin, the results are very encouraging. Plumbago zeylanica also possesses hepatoprotective, neuroprotective and immunomodulatory properties.

 

Podophyllum hexandrum

Podophyllum hexandrum is an important medicinal plant, which grows in the inner ranges of Himalayas at an altitude of 2700 to 4200 meters  from Kashmir to Sikkim, extending up to south west of China. Rhizome of Podophyllum hexandrum contains several lignans that posses anticancer activity. Podophyllotoxin is the most active among all the natural anticancer compounds. It is used as starting compound for the synthesis of anticancer drug etoposide and teniposide. Podophyllotoxin acts as an inhibitor of microtubule assembly. Podophyllotoxin and podophyllin (both lignans) isolated from Podophyllum hexandrum  inhibit growth & spread of various cancers including that of the breast, ovary, lung, liver, urinary bladder, testis, brain, neuroblastoma, Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukaemia. Podophyllum hexandrum also possesses potent radioprotective and haemopoietic properties. Besides this, it also shows antiviral activities by interfering with some critical viral processes.

 

Prunella vulgaris

Prunella vulgaris contains luteolin, esculetin, ursolic acid, caryophyllin, prunellin,oleanolic acid, rutin, rutoside, hyperin, hyperoside, delphinidin, cyanidin, cyasterone, caffeic acid, vitamin B1, vitamin C, vitamin K, nicotinic acid, beta-carotine, resins, bitters, tannins, volatile oil and alkaloids. Fruit Spike contains delphinidin, cyanidin, d-Camphor, d-fenchone, ursolic acid. Ursolic acid and oleanolic acid, isolated from Prunella vulgaris (Xia-ku-cao/Self heal), inhibit growth & spread of various cancers such as cancers of the breast, cervix, lung, oral cavity, oesophagus, stomach, colon, thyroid, malignant lymphoma, intracranial tumours and leukaemia. Prunella vulgaris is traditionally used in China to treat sores in mouth and throat. Prunella vulgaris also possesses immunoenhancing, hepatoprotective, anti-HIV and anti-Herpes properties. Prunella vulgaris has normoblastic effect on the bone marrow.

 

Psoralea corylifolia

Psoralea corylifolia (Bu Gu Zhi), one of the main herbs in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, contains psoralen, isopsoralen, corylidin, baracoumestan A, baracoumestan B, sophoracoumestan A, bakuchicin, bavachalcone, isobavachalcone, bavachromene, bavachromanol, bakuchalcone, bavachin, bavachinin, isobavachin, corylin, corylfolinin, corylinal, psoralenol, bakuchiol, stimasterol, beta-sitosterol, triacontane, psoraldehyde, glucoside, daucosterol, limonene, terpineol-4, linalool, triacylglycerols, diacylglycerols, monoacylglycerols, psoralidin, angelicin. Bavachinin, corylfolinin and psoralen isolated from Psoralea corylifolia possess strong anticancer activity against lung cancer,  liver cancer, osteosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, malignant ascites and leukaemia. Psoralen enhances immunity of the body by stimulating natural killer cell activity. Psoralidin isolated from Psoralea corylifolia inhibits growth & spread of stomach and prostate cancers by inhibiting G2/M phase of cell cycle. Psoralidin induces apoptosis in both androgen responsive and androgen refractory prostate cancers. Psoralea corylifolia also possesses immunomoenhancing and hepatoprotective properties.

 

Rubia cordifolia

Rubia cordifolia root is used as anticancer agent. Rubia cordifolia contains purpurin, pseudopurpurin, rubiadin, rubidianin, munjistin, xanthopurpurin, alizarin, and rubierythrinic acid etc. Two cyclic hexapeptides isolated from Rubia cordifolia have remarkable inhibitory action against lymphatic leukemia, melanoma, colon cancer and lung cancer. Rubia cordifolia contains seven anticancer compounds called RA-1 to RA-7. RA-7 having most powerful anticancer action. Rubidianin, rubiadin, RA-7, RA-700 and RC-18 isolated from Rubia cordifolia inhibit growth & spread in cancers of breast, ovary, cervix, colon, lung, malignant ascites, malignant lymphoma, malignant melanoma sarcoma and leukaemia. Rubia cordifolia inhibits growth and spread of epidermoid carcinoma and possesses hepatoprotective activity.

 

Saussurea lappa

Sesquiterpenes and costunolide dehydrocostuslactone, isolated from dried roots  Saussurea lappa inhibit growth & spread of breast cancer. Cynaropicrin, a sesquiterpene lactone, isolated from Saussurea lappa possesses strong anticancer activity against malignant lymphoma and leukaemia through pro apoptotic activity. Cynaropicrin also possesses immunomodulatory effects on cytokine release. Costunolide, isolated from Saussurea lappa inhibits growth & spread of intestinal cancer. Mokkolactone isolated from Saussurea lappa induces apoptosis in leukaemic cells by collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential followed by the activation of caspase-3. C17-polyene alcohols (shikokiols) isolated from Saussurea lappa exhibit anticancer activity against cancers of the ovary, lung, skin, colon and central nervous system. Saussurea lappa inhibits growth & spread of cancers by arresting cancer cell division in G2 phase and inducing apoptosis.

 

Solanum nigrum

Solamargine and solasonine, isolated from Solanum nigrum (Lo-ing-kue) inhibit growth & spread of various cancers including that of the breast, liver and lung. Steroidal glycosides (spirostane, furostane, spirosolane and pregnane), isolated from Solanum nigrum inhibit growth & spread  of colon cancer and pheochromocytoma. Glycoproteins isolated from Solanum nigrum have antiproliferative and apoptotic effects on colon and breast cancers. Polysaccharides isolated from Solanum nigrum have significant inhibitory effect on growth of cervical cancer. Solanum nigrum inhibits growth & spread of liver cancer by two distinct anticancer activities, i.e. apoptosis (programmed cell death) and autophagy (autophagocytosis). Higher doses of Solanum nigrum induce apoptotic cell death while lower doses lead to autophagocytic death of cancer cells. Lunasin isolated from Solanum nigrum is a cancer preventive peptide. Solanum nigrum and Solanum lyrati (Shu-yang-quan) inhibit growth & spread of stomach cancer, sarcomas, malignant ascites and leukaemia.

 

Solanum surattense

Phytoconstituents of Solanum surattense are carpesterol, gluco alkaloid solanocarpine, solanine-S, solasodine, solasonine, solamargine, cycloartanol, stigmasterol, campesterol, cholesterol, sitosteryl glucoside, stigmasteryl glucoside, solasurine, methyl ester of 3, 4-dihydroxycinnamic acid and 3, 4-dihydroxycinnamic acid (caffeic acid), isochlorogenic, neochlorogenic, chlorogenic acids (fruit); flavonal glycoside, quercetin, apigenin, sitosterol (flower); solanocarpine and amino acids (seeds); coumarins, scopolin, scopoletin, esculin and esculetin (leaves, roots and fruits); carpesterol, tomatidenol, norcarpesterol and solasonine (whole plant). Solasodine, a spiroketal alkaloidal sapogenin, isolated from Solanum surattense contains a hetorocyclic nitrogen atom. Solasodine has antidiabetic and anticancer properties. A water soluble extract from a plant of Solanum surattense consists essentially of at least 60%–90% of solamargine and solasonine.  The water soluble extract can be used as an active component in a pharmaceutical composition for inhibiting the growth and spread of liver cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer.

 

Swertia chirata

Phytoconstituents of Swertia chirata are sawertiamarine, mangeferin and amarogenitine 1,5,8-trihydroxy-3-methoxyxanthone, 1-hydroxy-2,3,5,7-tetramethoxyxanthone, 1-hydroxy-3,5,8-trimethoxyxanthone, 1-hydroxyl-2,3,4,6-tetramethoxyxanthone, 1-hydroxy-2,3,4,7-tetramethoxyxanthone, 1,8-dihydroxy-3,5-dimethoxyxanthone. 1,7-dihydroxy-3,8-dimethoxyxanthone, 1,3,5,8-tetrahydroxyxanthone, balanophonin, oleanolic acid, maslinic acid and sumaresinolic acid. The herb contains a bitter glycoside, chiratin, which on hydrolysis yields two bitter principles: ophelic acid, an amorphous bitter hygroscopic principle and chiratogenin, a yellow bitter glycoside, insoluble in water. Both the crude and purified extracts of Swertia chirata significantly inhibited cell proliferation and induces apoptosis, suggesting the anticancer potential of Swertia chirata. Swerilactones isolated from Swertia chirata possess anti hepatitis B virus activity.

 

Terminalia chebula

Main chemical constitutes of Terminalia chebula are chebulagic acid, chebulinic acid, corilagin, beta-sitosterol, gallic acid, ellagic acid, ethyl gallate, tannic acid, galloyl glucose & chebulaginic acid. Terminalia chebula is used in inflammation, wound, ulcer,  jaundice, renal claculi, immunological disorders, hepatopathy and splenopathy. Tannins isolated from Terminalia chebula have anticancer activity against prostate cancer and leukaemia. Terminalia chebula seed powder or extract possesses potent antidiabetic and anticancer activity. Methanol extract of Terminalia chebula fruit has proved its anticancer activity against breast cancer, osteosarcoma and prostate cancer by decreasing cancer cell viability, inhibiting cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis. Flow cytometry confirms that apoptosis is induced by the methanolic extract of Terminalia chebula fruit at lower concentrations. Chebulagic acid isolated from the fruits of Terminalia chebula inhibits growth and spread of colon cancer by inducing apoptosis.

 

Tinospora cordifolia

Tinospora cordifolia possesses neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, antistress, antiulcer and antipyretic properties. In the early 1900s, giloin, gilenin, and gilosterol were found in the Tinospora cordifolia together with the bitter principles. More recently, a wide variety of sesquiterpenes and diterpenes have been isolated from the stems of Tinospora cordifolia. Tinospora cordifolia contains tinosporine, tinosporide, tinosporidine, tinosporaside, tinosponone, tinocordioside, tinocordiside, tinocordifolin, tinocordifolioside, cordifolide, cordifol, cordifolone, columbin, isocolumbin, chasmanthin, cordioside, cordiofolisides A, B, and C, clerodane furano diterpene, phenylpropanoids, diterpene furon glycosides, palmatosides C and F, palmarin, palmatine, tetrahydropalmatine, berberine and b-sitosterol. Ecdysterone, makisterone A, 20a-hydroxyecdysone are the phytoecdysones isolated from aerial parts of Tinospora cordifolia. Other constituents reported from Tinospora cordifolia include a new phenolic lignan and the following compounds: octacosanol, heptacosanol, alpha-sitosterol, magnoflorine, tembetarine, jatrorrhizine, syringine and syringine apiosylglycoside. Sesquiterpenes and diterpenes isolated from Tinospora cordifolia inhibit growth & spread of various cancers including cancers of lung,cervix, throat and malignant ascites. Polysaccharide fraction isolated from Tinospora cordifolia inhibits lung metastasis. Arabinogalactan, syringine, cordiol, cordioside, cordifoliosides (A & B) isolated from Tinospora cordifolia possesses significant immunoenhancing activity. Tinospora cordifolia provides protection against chemotherapy induced leucopenia. Tinospora cordifolia reduces side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

 

Viscum album

Although Viscum album is a parasite and as such dependent on the host plant for nutrients and water but it does not rely on it for carbon dioxide. Since Viscum album produces green, chlorophyll containing leaves, it can perform its own photosynthesis. As a rule Viscum album does not kill the host plant and thus is not really harmful to it. While birds feed on the berries without apparent harm, they are toxic to humans. The major constituents of Viscum album are the lectins (carbohydrate binding proteins), which include viscumin, polypeptides known as viscotoxins (with a basic chemical structure of thionins), and a number of phenolic compounds (e.g., digallic acid, o-coumaric acid) found in their free state or as glycosides. Lectins, polypeptides and phenolic compounds isolated from Viscum album inhibit growth & spread of various cancers including that of the breast, cervix, ovary, lung, stomach, colon, rectum, kidney, testis, malignant melanoma, sarcomas, fibrosarcoma, malignant ascites, lung metastasis and leukaemia by inducing apoptosis and antitumourangiogenesis activity. Viscum album extract induces apoptotic death of endothelial cells conducive to cancer angiogenesis. Lectins isolated from Viscum album possess both anticancer and immunostimulating activities. Viscumin, responsible for most of the biological activities of Viscum album, works by bringing together immune system effector cells and cancer cells. Lectin-II induces apoptosis in cancer cells via activation of caspase cascades. Topical administration of Viscum album extract inhibits growth of bladder carcinoma.

 

Withania somnifera

Withanolides, the active constituents of Withania somnifera, are group of pharmacologically active compounds present in roots and leaves. The withanolides are basically steroidal lactones. Withanolides isolated from Withania somnifera, are similar to ginsenosides (the active principles of Panax ginseng) in both structure and activity. Withanolides (including Withaferin A, Sitoindoside IX, Physagulin D, Withanoside IV and Viscosalactone B) inhibit growth & spread of various cancers such as cancers of the breast, lung, colon and central nervous system due to their antiproliferative and antiangiogenic properties. Withaferin-A (the most important withanolides) inhibit growth & spread of various cancers including that of the breast, cervix, colon, prostate, nasopharynx, larynx, malignant ascites and sarcomas by inducing apoptosis. Withaferin A is effective in both androgen responsive and androgen refractory prostate cancers. Sitoindosides VII-X and Withaferin A have strong antistress, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and antiaging properties. Withanolide D inhibits the metastatic colony formation in the lungs by malignant melanoma. Ashwagandhanolide, a new dimeric withanolide, isolated from Withania somnifera, inhibits growth & spread in cancers of breast, stomach, colon, lung and central nervous system. Withania somnifera also possesses immunoenhancing, haemopoietic and neuroprotective properties and reduces side effects of radiotherapy & chemotherapy.

 

Zingiber officinale

Zingiber officinale has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Zingiber officinale has anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, anti-platelet aggregation and anticancer properties. Zingiber officinale contains volatile oils (bisabolene, cineol, phellandrene, citral, borneol, citronellol, geranial, linalool, limonene, zingiberol, zingiberene, camphene), oleoresin (gingerols, shogaols), phenol (gingeol, zingerone), proteolytic enzyme (zingibain), vitamin B6, vitamin C, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Linoleic acid. The pungent flavour of Zingiber officinale is due to gingerol, which is the alcohol group of the oleoresin and its aroma is due to bisabolene, zingiberene and zingiberol. Gingerols isolated from Zingiber officinale inhibit growth & spread of various cancers including that of the ovary, cervix, colon, rectum, liver, urinary bladder, oral cavity, neuroblastoma and leukaemia by inducing apoptosis. The most active individual component, 6-shogaol, isolated from Zingiber officinale, inhibit growth & spread of many cancers particularly the ovarian cancer by blocking tumourangiogenesis and by inducing apoptosis & autophagy. It is effective even in chemotherapy resistant ovarian cancer. Zingiber officinale also possesses antimutagenic properties and reduces side effects of chemotherapy & radiotherapy.