Plants and marine life battle cancer.
It might seem unusual that compounds found in tree bark, sea sponges, or ornamental shrubs can fight cancer, or that plant leaves can kill pain or relieve the symptoms of congestive heart failure congestive heart failure, inability of the heart to expel sufficient blood to keep pace with the metabolic demands of the body. In the healthy individual the heart can tolerate large increases of workload for a considerable length of time. . Nevertheless, drugs such as Taxol, which comes from the bark of the Pacific yew tree and is highly successful in fighting ovarian cancer ovarian cancer
Malignant tumour of the ovaries. Risk factors include early age of first menstruation (before age 12), late onset of menopause (after age 52), absence of pregnancy, presence of specific genetic mutations, use of fertility drugs, and personal history of breast , may be the hope of the future in treating various forms of cancer and other health conditions.
"Hundreds of years ago - even before physicians knew why they worked-many plants and organisms were used to treat certain medical conditions See carpal tunnel syndrome, computer vision syndrome, dry eyes and deep vein thrombosis. ," indicates Robert Mannel, a gynegologic oncologist at the University of Oklahoma University of Oklahoma, abbreviated OU, is a coeducational public research university located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Founded in 1890, it existed in Oklahoma Territory near Indian Territory 17 years before the two became the state of Oklahoma. Health Sciences Center. "People with congestive heart failure, or `dropsy' as it was called, chewed on foxglove foxglove: see figwort.
Any of 20–30 species of herbaceous plants of the genus Digitalis, in the snapdragon family, especially D. purpurea, the common, or purple, foxglove. leaves because it got rid of excess fluid." Other, more recent, examples of natural products used to combat illness include penicillin, derived from bread mold bread mold
Any of various fungi of the genus Rhizopus that form a dense cottony growth on bread and other foods.
Noun 1. , to treat infection, and pain killers such as morphine and opium, which come from the poppy flower.
"Many of medicine's most effective compounds have their origin in nature-either plants, fungus, or animals. So when we look for compounds that are going to be effective against cancer, we want to make sure we look at natural products."
Certain leukemias and gynecologic cancers such as ovarian, uterine uterine /uter·ine/ (u´ter-in) pertaining to the uterus.
Of, relating to, or in the region of the uterus. , cervical, or vaginal cancers respond well to compounds originating from natural products. Taxol and anti-cancer agents from ornamental shrubs (called vinca alkaloids vinca alkaloids
a group of alkaloids, including vinblastine and vincristine, extracted from the periwinkle plant (Vinca rosea), which arrest cell division in metaphase by disrupting the microtubules that form the spindle apparatus; used as antineoplastic agents. ) affect the cancer cells internal skeleton, making cell division unsuccessful, while marine sponge and fungus compounds attack cancer via other mechanisms.
"The future holds some exciting things in this area," Mannel notes. "We have a much better appreciation of the mechanisms by which natural anti-cancer compounds work, so we can search for compounds with similar structures. We also are better able to synthesize these compounds, so we can develop similar man-made products instead of depleting the Earth of products that may be in limited supply. Computer technology and automation also are helping to speed up the screening process. The [National Cancer Institute] continues to screen organisms from all over the. world - plants from the rainforests, coral reefs in the ocean, and fungi from the soil. The screening program has to go on, because if it doesn't, we're eventually going to miss something novel that's going to be very active against cancer, such as Taxol, which never would have been discovered otherwise."