Supplements & Herbs

St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) & cancer

Scientific research studies

by copyright © 2016 Healing Cancer Naturally

The medicinal plant St. John's wort and its principal active compounds such as hypericin, hyperforin and other constituents have been very widely researched. The following list focuses on studies relating to its potential effect on malignant disease, both in treating and preventing cancer.

Most of the studies listed are gleaned from the biomedical database PubMed which only features scientifically validated research.

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St. John's wort and cancer

St John's Wort in cancer prevention

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St John's Wort in photodynamic cancer therapy

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a minimally toxic treatment that allows the selective killing of microbes as well as cancer cells. PDT has been used to treat a variety of solid neoplasms in a minimally invasive manner, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma, bladder cancer, mesothelioma, skin cancer (incl. actinic keratosis, basal cell carcinoma, metastatic melanoma and morbus Bowen), ovarian cancer, head and neck cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer.

Photodynamic therapy is based on the local or systemic administration of a photosensitizing chemical which is selectively taken up in tumor cells or tissue. The tumor is then irradiated with visible light.

In the presence of oxygen, a cascade of oxidative events is triggered resulting in irreversible cell and tissue damage including tumor cell death and tumor destruction. In other words, photodynamic therapy takes advantage of the light-induced destruction of the target cells due to cytotoxic products being formed when a photosensitizing agent and oxygen come together.[4]

Hypericin found in St. John's wort is possibly the most powerful naturally occurring photosensitizer and increasingly used in photodynamic cancer therapy as well as for diagnostic purposes.

Studies: St John's Wort in photodynamic cancer therapy

Unfortunately (but as usual), the bulk of the above research is based upon animal experimentation or in-vitro studies.[5] Even if just half of these results were to be confirmed to equally apply to humans, St. John's wort would have clearly been shown to have healing and preventative potential for cancer.

A note of caution

St. John's wort is a powerful medicinal plant provided by nature. Interactions with manmade pharmaceutical drugs have been reported. Before deciding to use St. John's wort in tandem with any conventional drug treatment including chemotherapy, make sure to thoroughly research possible drug interactions.

Also see

St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum): Cancer anecdotes.

Footnotes

1 http://edoc.hu-berlin.de/oa/degruyter/cclm.1964.2.6.188.pdf (German-language). Cellular respiration or the lack thereof plays a key role in cancer, see The Prime Cause and Prevention of Cancer.

2 Kurze Mitteilung über 12jährige therapeutische Erfahrungen mit Hypericin, Klinische Wochenschrift, 1951, 29:260-262. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01479473 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14842005 [Therapeutic use of hypericine].

3 Related research listed at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=seeger+schacht and http://http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=seeger+PG .

4 Also see the concise background information provided at On Photodynamic Therapy (PDT).

5 Both for ethical and scientific reasons, Healing Cancer Naturally does not support animal experimentation. For details see Cancer Research, Toxicity Testing & Animal Experimentation: an Unholy Union?.

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