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>> Fagonia cretica herbal tea arrested the growth of cancer cells within five hours of application and caused them to die within 24 hours.

A cup of traditional herbal tea may hold the key to fighting breast cancer, scientists have claimed. 
Extracts from the plant known as virgin's mantle, which is used as a medicinal tea in some countries, can kill cancerous cells in the test tube, the Daily Mail reported. The plant-based tea is already drunk by women in rural Pakistan who have breast cancer, but until now its use as a treatment has been regarded as folklore. 
Research by scientists at Aston University, Birmingham, and Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley, suggests it contains potent anti-cancer agents that act singly or in combination against the proliferation of cancer cells. Laboratory tests showed they arrested the growth of cells within five hours of application and caused them to die within 24 hours. The plant, which has the botanical name Fagonia cretica, is found in arid, desert regions of Pakistan, India, Africa and parts of Europe. 
Professor Helen Griffiths and Professor Amtul R Carmichael, who headed the study, found herbal tea made from the extract of the plant destroys cancer cells but, unlike conventional chemotherapy, treatment does not damage normal breast cells, thus reducing side effects. 
Reports from breast cancer sufferers in Pakistan suggest that the plant extract does not trigger any serious side effects such as loss of hair, drop in blood count or diarrhoea. The research found the plant extract had a novel mechanism which could remedy defects in cell DNA that would normally resist tumour growth. 
An impaired DNA response not only allows the cancer to flourish, it also inhibits the way chemotherapy works which reduces its effectiveness. Professor Carmichael said a small hospital 100 miles north of Lahore in Pakistan started using the herbal tea 40 years ago to treat breast cancer patients. 
"It appears to keep them in remission, although we can't use the word cure at this stage," she said. 
"However, they live for a long time without losing their hair or putting on a large amount of weight, or experiencing other toxic side effects associated with chemotherapy, so we are confident this extract has something to contribute." 
She said stringent safety tests would be needed in developing a drug based on the extract. At present the herbal tea is being used to treat Asians but there might be different effects in Caucasian patients, she added.

>> Cup of herbal tea could help fight breast cancer
24 August 2012
Scientists at Aston University and Russells Hall Hospital have discovered that an extract from a common plant in Pakistan may help cure breast cancer. 
The plant, Fagonia cretica, and known as Virgon’s Mantlem, is commonly used in herbal tea. It has been traditionally used to treat women in rural Pakistan who have breast cancer, but up until now this treatment has been regarded as something of a folklore remedy. However, patients in Pakistan who have taken the plant extract have reported that it does not appear to generate any of the serious common side effects associated with other cancer treatments, such as loss of hair, drop in blood count or diarrhoea.
Now, scientists at Aston University in Birmingham and Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley have undertaken tests of the plant extract and proved that it kills cancer cells without damage to normal breast cells in laboratory conditions.
Professor Helen Griffiths and Professor Amutul R Carmichael who lead the study are now aiming to identify which element or elements of the plant are responsible for killing the cancer cells with a view to eventually begin trails with human cancer patients.
Professor Helen Griffith of Aston University said; “More research is needed to establish  the role of the extract in cancer management and It now needs to be demonstrated that this extract is as effective in killing cancer cells inside the body as it is within laboratory. The next steps are to identify which element of the plant is responsible for killing the cancer cells with a view to eventually begin trails with human cancer patients.”
Dr Caitlin Palframan, policy manager at Breakthrough Breast Cancer said; “Some of the most important cancer-fighting drugs are originally derived from plants. As this research is at the very earliest stage we won’t know for quite some time whether drugs derived from this plant will be effective in treating breast cancer but we look forward to seeing any progress.” The plant is found in arid, desert regions of Pakistan, India, Africa and parts of Europe.

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