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Cervical Cancer and Motherwort

It has been claimed that various natural herbs and supplements can improve the odds of early stages of dysplasia changing back to normal cells. If your physician suggests watchful waiting and a repeat examination, it should be safe to try some of these methods during the waiting period. Though there is no scientific evidence that these herbs are effective at treating advanced stages of cervical cancer, some practitioners might still prescribe them since they are seen as effective in earlier stages.

Motherwort specifically is usually used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat different types of menstrual and other female disorders, which is in part why it is thought to possibly be beneficial in the treatment of cervical cancer.

Some additional herbs thought to possibly help in the treatment of early cervical cancer stages, are black cohosh, false unicorn, and blessed thistle.

Effect of Motherwort on Cervical Cancer

The exact way in which motherwort might beneficially effect the treatment of cervical cancer is unknown, but might still be prescribed by some practitioners during the early stages of cervical dysplasia.

Read more details about Motherwort.

Research Evidence on Motherwort

Two test tube studies suggest that leonurine, a compound found in some species of motherwort, may affect the uterus.5,6 One of these studies found that low concentrations of leonurine induced uterine contractions, but that higher concentrations inhibited contractions.7 These opposing effects might explain how motherwort could induce both labor and menstruation, and yet could also relax the uterus after childbirth (as it is traditionally said to do).

In Chinese Medicine motherwort is used for the treatment of heart conditions, for menstrual disorders and to expel a dead fetus and placenta from a woman's womb.1

One component of motherwort, ursolic acid, has been found to possess possible antiviral and antitumor properties; however, this extremely preliminary preliminary information should not be taken to mean that motherwort can fight viral infections or help treat cancer. 16

There are many herbs that have these dual and seemingly contradictory effects on different conditions. This can mean that a single herb can sometimes be used to treat myriad conditions.

Safety Issues

The safety of motherwort has not been well studied; however, obvious Motherwort side effects appear to be rare. Some people have reported occasional allergic reactions and gastrointestinal distress.

Because of the herb's traditional use for uterine stimulation and the corroborating results of some test tube studies,1 motherwort should not be used by pregnant women until further scientific investigation has been performed.

In addition, preliminary animal evidence suggests that women with a history of breast cancer, or those at high risk for developing it, should avoid motherwort.2 Safety in young children, nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.

References

  1. Kong YC, Yeung HW, Cheung YM, et al . Isolation of the uterotonic principle from Leonurus artemisia, the Chinese motherwort. Am J Chin Med. 1976;4:373–382.
  1. Kong YC, Yeung HW, Cheung YM, et al . Isolation of the uterotonic principle from Leonurus artemisia, the Chinese motherwort. Am J Chin Med. 1976;4:373–382.
  1. Blumenthal M, ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs, Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Austin TX: American Botanical Council; Boston, Ma: Integrative Medicine Communications; 1998: 172.
  1. Xia YX. The inhibitory effect of motherwort extract on pulsating myocardial cells in vitro. J Tradit Chin Med. 1983;3:185–188.
  1. Kong YC, Yeung HW, Cheung YM, et al . Isolation of the uterotonic principle from Leonurus artemisia, the Chinese motherwort. Am J Chin Med. 1976;4:373–382.
  1. Yeung HW, Kong YC, Lay WP, et al . The structure and biological effect of leonurine. A uterotonic principle from the Chinese drug, I-mu Ts'ao. Planta Med. 1977;31:51–56.
  1. Kong YC, Yeung HW, Cheung YM, et al . Isolation of the uterotonic principle from Leonurus artemisia, the Chinese motherwort. Am J Chin Med. 1976;4:373–382.
  1. Zou QZ, Bi RG, Li JM, et al . Effect of motherwort on blood hyperviscosity. Am J Chin Med. 1989;17:65–70.
  1. Kuang P, Zhou X, Zhang F, et al . Motherwort and cerebral ischemia. J Tradit Chin Med. 1988;8:37–40.
  1. Lee KH, Lin YM, Wu TS, et al. The cytotoxic principles of Prunella vulgaris, Psychotria serpens, and Hyptis capitata: ursolic acid and related derivatives. Planta Med. 1988;54:308–311.
  1. Tokuda H, Ohigashi H, Koshimizu K, et al. Inhibitory effects of ursolic and oleanolic acid on skin tumor promotion by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate. Cancer Lett. 1986;33:279–285.
  1. Nagasawa H, Inatomi H, Suzuki M, et al . Further study on the effects of motherwort ( Leonurus sibiricus L) on preneoplastic and neoplastic mammary gland growth in multiparous GR/A mice. Anticancer Res. 1992;12:141–144.
  1. Kong YC, Yeung HW, Cheung YM, et al . Isolation of the uterotonic principle from Leonurus artemisia, the Chinese motherwort. Am J Chin Med. 1976;4:373–382.
  1. Yeung HW, Kong YC, Lay WP, et al . The structure and biological effect of leonurine. A uterotonic principle from the Chinese drug, I-mu Ts'ao. Planta Med. 1977;31:51–56.
  1. Nagasawa H, Inatomi H, Suzuki M, et al . Further study on the effects of motherwort ( Leonurus sibiricus L) on preneoplastic and neoplastic mammary gland growth in multiparous GR/A mice. Anticancer Res. 1992;12:141–144.
  1. Lee KH, Lin YM, Wu TS, et al. The cytotoxic principles of Prunella vulgaris , Psychotria serpens , and Hyptis capitata: ursolic acid and related derivatives. Planta Med. 1988;54:308–311.

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