In a recent article published by Helen Albert in Forbes, Ms. Albert discusses exciting news about a common weed. At the University of London, Alessandra Devoto, who is a professor revealed that a weed called Thale cress and known for its scientific name of Arabidopsis has certain properties that when cancer and non-cancer cells were treated with it, that Thale cress killed only the cancerous cells. This is extremely hopeful.
Dr. Devoto is quoted by saying: “The plant is very much like the ‘Cinderella’ of the medicinal plant world – no one thought it was special, but it has shown its true colours via our research. The discovery has important implications in developing treatments for cancer as well as other diseases.”
Harsh chemicals, severe side effects to chemotherapy, radiation, etc. often have the patients going through these treatments with fear and the realization that the treatment is often worse than the disease. Nature has shown it may have the answers.
This weed comes from the Brassica family of plants. We have heard of just crops that belong to this family including cabbage, cauliflower, mustard, oilseed rape, broccoli, and more. Thale cress has chemicals when harvested from exhibit anti-cancer properties.
Dr. Devoto also said: “I decided to work on Arabidopsis because it belongs to the cabbage family and it could have contained similar compounds.”
There are people who eat this weed, but it is reported it that there are many other vegetables that are more favorable.
Dr. Devoto and her team used a process of supercharging Thale cress with a jasmonate hormone. “Jasmonate, is a natural plant hormone, a substance discovered in jasmine that boosts plant responses to stress and a powerful inducer of specialized metabolites in plants, some of which precursors of anticancer drugs,” said Professor Devoto.
Thale cress was only studied on the effects it had on breast cancer cells. Professor Devoto sees no reason that it should not be restricted solely to breast cancer.