Sure, corporations may not be able to patent Nature, but thankfully, researchers are still finding the many amazing ways that Nature heals. Chinese herbs are often at the forefront. Take this discovery: a Chinese herb that kills cancer. Does this sound too good to be true?
According to a new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, an ancient Chinese herb contains at least one unique compound that is capable of eradicating cancer tumors within 40 days. Scientists say that the herb, known as lei gong teng or “Thunder God Vine,” could become a go-to alternative for treating cancer.
The Study: Chinese Herb Lei Gong Teng
A research team based out of the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center made the discovery. Thunder God Vine, known also as Tripterygium wilfordii, contains many compounds, but one piqued their interest. The powerful compound found in this Chinese herb is called triptolide.
The research team isolated that compound and converted it into a water soluble form (this conversion created a synthetic form they now call Minnelide). Then researchers injected it into mice that were suffering from pancreatic tumors.
The team found that the pancreatic tumors completely healed with five weeks of injections. Even after the treatment was discontinued, the mice maintained their health and were cancer-free.
Dr. Ashok Saluja, vice chairman of research at the center, told Bloomberg, “This [herb] is just unbelievably potent in killing tumor cells. You could see that every day you looked at those mice, the tumor was decreasing and decreasing, and then just gone.”
In past studies, researchers from Yale University and Columbia University found that triptolide triggers cancer cell apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center also studied the powerful herb. They wrote, “Triptolide, a diterpenoid isolated from the Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook.f, has shown antitumor activities in a broad range of solid tumors.”
In fact, triptolide shows powerful tumor-fighting qualities in many studies. Research has shown that it targets leukemic cancer cell lines while increasing the effectiveness of other anticancer agents. Another bonus is its ability to heal autoimmune rheumatoid arthritis.