When it comes to the kinds of things we ladies are supposed to be doing to keep breast cancer at bay, there is a lot of mixed info out there. Obviously, exercising and eating right are important, but there are definitely some foods (and drinks) proven to have a more powerful anti-carcinogenic effect than others. And a study in the journal PloS One notes that a particular type of herbal tea might be especially helpful for warding off the disease.
Researchers reportedly found that extracts from a plant called virgin's mantle kill cancerous cells in a test tube, but unlike conventional chemotherapy, treatment would not damage normal breast cells, thus reducing side effects. Amazing!
Apparently lab tests showed the herbal tea's potent anti-cancer agents "arrested the growth of cells within five hours of application and caused them to die within 24 hours," according to The Daily Mail.
Okay, that sounds a bit extreme, but hey, there may very well be something to it. According to folklore, the tea has been used to treat the disease for quite some time. And get this: For 40 years, women with breast cancer in rural Pakistan swear by it to stay in remission and say the plant extract doesn't lead to loss of hair, drop in blood count, or diarrhea like chemo does!
I absolutely love that researchers are giving credence to a potential therapy that exists in nature, that isn't synthetic and man-made in a lab. Not to mention that that the idea of a naturopathic treatment sans side effects would be an absolute miracle for many breast cancer patients.
Of course researchers are hesitant to say that the herb is a magic bullet and are talking about how development of a drug (argh -- why can't it just be used in its organic form?) from the plant is far off. But there's no doubt about it -- no matter what course this research takes -- the anti-cancer properties of virgin's mantle sounds very promising indeed.
What do you make of this research? Do you believe there could be a natural, effective alternative to chemo?
Image via Darin Barry/Flickr