Scientists may have discovered hope for people suffering from brain and spinal tumors, in the form of an herb.† Researchers at the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Southern California found that hypericinóa compound found in St. Johnís Wortónot only reduced tumor size in people suffering from cancerous brain or spinal tumors, it also increased the rate of survival from this tragic disease.
Consider the seriousness of this form of cancer:† approximately 10,000 Americans are diagnosed with a malignant glioma every year and the survival rate one year after diagnosis is only 50 percent.
Typically, treatment involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.† While the study group was small, hypericin showed superior results as a treatment for this serious condition.† Additionally, the St. Johnís Wort compound was well-tolerated by the cancer patients, something that cannot be said for chemotherapy and radiation.
On its own, this study, published March 31 in the journal, Cancer, would be exciting; however, it is particularly interesting to note that St. Johnís Wort is perhaps the most maligned herb by the media.† St. Johnís Wort is notorious for its interaction with some drugs, causing it to be viciously attacked by the media.† However, it interacts with many medications because it tends to be effective in the treatment of numerous conditions, including mild to moderate depression.† If drugs interact with herbs, the herbs are frequently given a bad rap for working at all.
While the results are early and obviously more research is necessary, perhaps this study will help restore St. Johnís Wort to its rightful place in herbal apothecariesóas a powerful and effective healing botanical medicine.
Michelle Schoffro Cook