Ziziphora effective in the battle against gastric cancer, study suggests

Feb. 12, 2013 — A recent publication in the journal Food and Agricultural Immunology investigating the effects of aloe vera, ginger, saffron and ziziphora extracts as herbal remedies for gastric cancer suggests that the latter may be effective in the treatment of the fourth most common form of the disease.

Already applied in the treatment of various other diseases, the study now shows that this traditional Uygur medicinal plant to have the highest cytotoxic effect on AGS cell line of those under investigation.

Professor C. J. Smith, Editor of the journal and Director of the Manchester Food Research Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University, commented "Hippocrates declared "Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food." The modern world is increasingly beginning to appreciate the wisdom of this simple statement. As we have developed modern medicines over the last couple of centuries we have neglected the role which diet plays in the maintenance of good health. However, recent years have shown the importance of understanding both the role of diet and the role of the gut flora in maintaining good health."

"The understanding of the significance of the gut microflora in good health and in disease has taken major strides in the past three decades and much has been made of the importance of herbs and spices as modulators of health and as being useful in preventing various disorders including gastric ulcers and obesity. ‘Cytotoxic effect of four herbal medicines on gastric cancer (AGS) cell line’ is an excellent example of these developments. The authors tested four spices for their cytotoxic effect on a gastric cancer cell line and show that three of these have varying cytotoxic properties which may be of clinical relevance. This paper therefore fits in a general theme of scientific evaluations of the control and treatment of diseases by food ingredients and components which leads one readily back to the hypothesis proposed by Hippocrates."