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Pancreatic Cancer Treatment: Herbs

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There exists evidence that certain herbal remedies may help with treating pancreatic cancer. Though they are not (as yet) included in conventional Western treatment, the research on two of these herbs in particular has been rigorous and very impressive.

In 2008, a research team at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA reported that thymoquinone, a traditional Middle Eastern medicinal herb extracted from nigella sativa seed oil, appears to destroy pancreatic cancer cells. Researchers demonstrated that the herb caused the death of approximately 80% of the cancer cells in a human pancreatic cell line by modifying the cancer cells’ DNA.

Though studies of thymoquinone have not been widely replicated, early findings strongly suggest that the herb could have a preventive effect, as well as help patients who already have pancreatic cancer and have undergone chemotherapy and/or surgery.

A previous study, conducted in 2007 at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, found that extracts of the Indian Ayurvedic herbal remedy triphalainhibited the growth of human pancreatic cancer tumors that had been grafted onto mice, and also caused the cancer cells to die. Researchers stated that though follow-up studies will be needed to see if triphala can effectively fight pancreatic cancer in humans, their study demonstrates that the herb has potent anti-cancer properties.

Other herbs that have been reported to have some strengthening effect on the body’s response to pancreatic cancer include super miraforte and licorice root extract.


BBC News. 2007. “Indian Herbal Remedy Cancer Hope.” (Online) 2008. “Traditional Herbal Medicine Kills Pancreatic Cancer Cells, Researchers Report.” (Online)

Science Daily. 2008. “Traditional Herbal Medicine Kills Pancreatic Cancer Cells, Researchers Report.” (Online)

A.P. John Institute for Cancer Research. 2009. “Pancreatic Cancer.” (Online)

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