News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Monday, May 26, 2008

Black Cohosh Herb Halts Growth of Breast Cancer Tumors



Extract of black cohosh may halt the growth of breast cancer cells, according to a new study conducted by the French company Naturex and published in the journal "Phytomedicine." The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Cimicifugae racemosae rhizome, also known as black cohosh, is a plant in the buttercup family that is native to eastern North America, ranging from central Georgia in the south to southern Ontario in the north, and as far west as Missouri. It is also known as black bugbane, black snakeroot and fairy candle.

Black cohosh has a history of use as a traditional medicine for gynecological problems, kidney problems and sore throat, and is commonly used to help relieve the symptoms of menopause.

In the current study, researchers applied extracts of black cohosh to breast cancer cells in a laboratory setting. Growth of cancer cells was inhibited in cell lines that had the extract added, apparently due to an increase in programmed cell death (apoptosis).

The researchers linked the cancer-inhibiting effects of black cohosh extract to its content of triterpene glycosides.

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