Pancreatic Cancer Checked By Indian Herbal Formulation Triphala

Good news could be round the corner for Pancreatic Cancer patients. A new research conducted at University of Pittsburgh shows that triphala, a general formulation used as a digestion improves and laxative in the Indian traditional medicine system of Ayurveda can effectively inhibit cancer of Pancreas.

It was at the American Institute for Cancer Research’s annual meet this week that University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute presented its research which proved beyond any doubt that triphala effectively inhibited the growth of cancer in mice grafted with human pancreatic tumors.

The study has created a lot of excitement and optimism in the western health & medical circles at a time when the developed world is fascinated by the traditional alternative herbal Indian & Chinese medicine systems. It has been for quite some time now that the Indian scientists have been strongly championing the anti-cancer properties of triphala.

In a study entitled Potential of traditional Ayurvedic formulation, Triphala, as a novel anticancer drug published in the January 2006 issue of Cancer Letters, scientists at the Radiation Biology and Health Sciences Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Center, found that triphala had the ability to induce cytotoxicity (cell death) in tumor cells but spared the normal cells.

Similarly, a December 2005 report in the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research from the Radiation and Cancer Biology Laboratory at Jawaharlal Nehru University noted that Triphala was effective in reducing tumor incidences and increasing the antioxidant status of animal’s constituents.

Another report from the Department of Botanical Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, found that triphala showed a significant cytotoxic effect on cancer cell-lines and the effect was similar on all cancer cell lines used in this study.

The results, reported in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in February 2005, reveal that the results may be due to the action of gallic acid-a major polyphenol observed in triphala.

The same authors had previously reported that triphala had promising antimutagenic/ anticarcinogenic potential.

Now with this western medical research which has proven this efficacy they feel their stand is vindicated.

Triphala, literally three fruits is a formulation traditionally in use in the Indian medicine system of ayurveda for thousands of years for improving & regulating digestion, appetite and constipation with many more beneficial effects as a result like improved skin tone, increase in the number of red cells, maintaining blood sugar levels etc. In fact there is an old saying in the country No mother?

Don’t worry so long as you have triphala. The belief is that the three fruits in triphala take care of the internal organs just like a mother takes care of her children.

Triphala consists of equal parts Amalaki or  Amla (Emblica officinalis), Bibhtali or Bihara (Terminalia belerica), and Haritaki or Harada (Terminalia chebula). It is made from dried and powdered form of these three fruits.

Pancreatic cancer is the fifth highest cause of cancer death internationally and is known to be one of the most highly aggressive forms of cancer.

Various studies conducted earlier too have shown triphala to have a an anti-cancer activity in cell cultures and the new study found this effect also worked in mice fed with triphala without any side effects or damage to normal pancreatic cells.

In fact in this particular study it was found that the tumors in the mice fed with triphala were half the size of those found in mice not fed with it.

Though the researches stressed on the tremendous potential of triphala as a novel therapeutic agent in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, they agreed that the research was still at a nascent stage and a long way from being used as an herbal remedy for the disease.

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