Scientists Discover How Chinese Medicinal Plant Makes Anti-Cancer Compound

Chinese Medicinal Plant Makes Anti-Cancer Compound …

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

New research led by Professor Cathie Martin of the John Innes Centre has revealed how a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine produces compounds which may help to treat cancer and liver diseases.

The Chinese skullcap, Scutellaria baicalensis – otherwise known in Chinese medicine as Huang-Qin – is traditionally used as a treatment for fever, liver and lung complaints.

Scutellaria flower

Previous research on cells cultured in the lab has shown that certain compounds called flavones, found in the roots of this plant, not only have beneficial anti-viral and antioxidant effects, but they can also kill human cancers while leaving healthy cells untouched. In live animal models, these flavones have also halted tumor growth, offering hope that they may one day lead to effective cancer treatments or even cures.

As a group of compounds, the flavones are relatively well understood. But the beneficial flavones found in Huang-Qin roots, such as…

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