Experts discover herbal remedies that may cure cervical cancer

Cervical cancer induced by the human papillomavirus (HPV) germ is becoming one of the leading causes of death among women. Researchers have discovered an important substance present in certain medicinal plants to treat cervical cancer. It can kill HPV.

They had studied the chemical constituents of 20 medicinal plants from the northwest Himalayas on HPV-18 and found that stigmasterol, present in Berberis aristata and clicomodine, present in Rheum emodi, are potent compounds for curing the disease. human papillomavirus infection. Both plants are found at higher elevations in Himachal Pradesh in India and Nigeria.

The researchers included Dr Awofisayo Oladoja and Dr Olatomide Fadare from Nigeria in collaboration with Dr Deeksha Salaria and Rajan Rolta from Shoolini University, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India. It was published in the journal PLOS One 2022.

Among all the selected chemicals in these herbal medicines, the researcher said that stigmasterol and clicoemodin were the best HPV inhibitors and hence suggested that they be used as potential experimental drugs to cure HPV infections.

Various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection, play a role in most cervical cancers. The cervix is ​​the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. It can cause cancers, including cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, and anus, as well as some head and neck cancers. Types 16 and 18 of the virus cause up to 80% of cervical cancers in women and up to 90% of HPV-related cancers in men.

Berberis aristata is an important medicinal plant found in different parts of the world. Known as Indian barberry, “chutro” or tree turmeric, Berberis aristata is used in traditional Indian medicine to treat diarrhea, reduce fever, improve appetite, relieve stomach upset and promote vigor and a sense of well-being. Rhubarb is traditionally used as a diuretic, liver stimulant, purgative/cathartic, stomachic, cholesterol-lowering, antitumor, antiseptic and tonic.

HPV infections can be cured by the use of chemotherapeutic agents or by the application of surgical and ablative techniques which are invasive and expensive alternatives. Moreover, their availability is rare for millions of patients, especially in developing countries. Therefore, one of the main alternatives for treating HPV-related diseases is the availability of highly effective natural therapeutics directed against the virus.

Also earlier, many natural and herbal compounds have been identified in recent years as promising sources for the development of agents for the treatment and prevention of cancer.

In this study, researchers found that six constituents from Thalictrum foliolosum and Thymus serpyllum, five from Berberis aristata, four from Rheum emodi, three each from Cannabis sativa and Picrorhiza kurroa, two each from Moringa oleifera and Zanthoxylum armatum, and one each from Myristica fragrans, Oxalis corniculata, Piper nigrum and Pleurospermum brunonis showed higher binding affinity for HPV 18 than standard anti-cancer drugs.

According to them, “Since this study only considered computational analysis, it is still necessary to validate the bioactivities of these important phytoconstituents in in vitro and in vivo models before proposing their antiviral potential.

“We also suggest that further research should consider these findings in both the discovery and optimization stages of leads for successful anti-HPV drug development.”

Previously, preliminary tests showed a shiitake mushroom extract showed promise in curing HPV. An early preclinical trial showed that the active hexose-correlated compound (AHCC), an extract of shiitake mushrooms, can kill human papillomavirus (HPV), the most common sexually transmitted infection.

The research was presented at the recent Society of Gynecological Oncology meeting in Tampa, Florida. For the study, Dr. Judith A. Smith, an associate professor in the department of gynecologic oncology and reproductive medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, treated cervical cancer cells with AHCC and incubated them for 72 hours, sampling them every 24 hours. hours. She also administered doses of AHCC to some HPV-positive and negative mice.

Mice with HPV were cured after receiving a daily dose of AHCC for 90 days, and the virus did not return for 30 days after stopping treatment. Dr. Smith repeated the experiment to verify his findings, examining immune markers to determine how AHCC rids itself of HPV.

Dr. Smith’s research shows that AHCC can not only eliminate HPV, but also help prevent HPV-related cancers. She is currently conducting another study on women with HPV to see how long treatment needs to continue in order to produce effective results.

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