Can Andrographis Help to Beat Cancer?

Andrographis paniculata, is a herbaceous plant belonging to the Family Acanthaceae. The stems and leaves of the plant are used to extract the active phytochemicals. Different active constituents have been identified, including andrographolide, deoxyandrographolide and other diterpenes. It was detected that andrographolide had the action of anti-tumor in gastric cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer and liver cancer.

Andrographis Anticancer Activity

Andrographolide, a diterpenoid lactone isolated from an herbal plant Andrographis paniculata, is known to possess anticancer effect. Andrographolide suppresses proliferation and triggers apoptosis in many types of cancer cells. Various studies have shown that andrographolide is a powerful inducer of apoptosis in different cancer cell lines, substantiating its potential in cancer treatment. Andrographis has been found in lab experiments to increase lymphocyte production and proliferation, along with increasing key cytokines such as tumor TNF-alpha (necrosis factor alpha), NK (natural killer cell) function and IL-2 (interleukin-2). Immunostimulatory activity of andrographolide is evidenced by increased proliferation of lymphocytes and production of interleukin-2. Andrographolide as well as improves the tumor necrosis factor-alpha production and CD marker expression, resulting in increased cytotoxic activity of lymphocytes against cancer cells, which may contribute for its indirect anticancer activity.

Andrographis paniculata extracts are cytotoxic against cancer cells. Favorable results have been seen in relation to breast, prostate, skin and stomach cancer cells in test-tube studies. Andrographolide and ethanol extract of andrographis paniculata were found to have significantly growth inhibitory effects on human acute myeloid leukemic HL-60 cells after 24 h of therapy. Researchers concluded that andrographolide and andrographis extract induce cell cycle arrest and affect an intrinsic mitochondria-dependent pathway of apoptosis by regulating the expression of some pro-apoptotic markers in HL-60 cells.

In 1977, a clinical trial was done on 60 people that were affected with skin Basalioma, 41 of which had Metastasis. According to The Journal of  Chinese Medicine, 12 patients, who only received extracts of A. paniculata recovered. A. paniculata inhibited IL-6 expression and IL-6-mediated signals in human prostate cancer cells, and suppressed tumor growth of  DU145 human prostate tumors in mice.  Lab experiments have showed that A.paniculata may inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells just as well as the medicine tamoxifen.  In mice planted with B16 melanoma tumors, oral use of Andrographolide at 100-200mg/kg oral dose was associated with a suppression of tumor growth at 30-36% and 39-52%  over the course of ten days. A group of Japanese scientists studied Andrographis paniculata on sarcoma cells. When tumor samples were tested under the microscope, A. paniculata was found to inhibit the growth of the tumors.

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