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Plants used by the first Australians appear to stop cancer cells from rejecting treatment

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

The sticky leaves of a native Australian shrub, used by the nation's First Peoples as medicine, have been found to contain compounds that could possibly assist with cancer treatment.

Crude extracts of resin from the species Eremophila galeata appear to stop cancer cells from pushing medicine out via 'efflux' pumps. In short, the extract takes away the defense some cancer cells use to spit treatments like chemotherapy out of their 'bodies'.

For thousands of years, the resin from this Australian family of flowering plants, whose name translates to 'desert loving', has been used by Aboriginal people in smoking ceremonies designed to boost health or as a poultice for skin conditions.

Using indigenous knowledge to pinpoint promising medicines, however, comes with some serious ethical considerations.


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