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PIA Press Release
2007/09/28

Research boosts "kamunggay" as effective anti-cancer cure

Tagbilaran City (28 September) -- THIS isn't just a horse's talk, but recent research shows that the lowly kalamunggay, kamunggay or malunggay (Horseraddish) is the only herb which us a potential source of anti-cancer compounds that helps cure female reproductive disorders called the epithelial ovarian cancer.

Recent findings from the Medical College in Calcutta, India revealed that among the different medicinal herbs, the kamunggay rates high as an alternative medicine.

According to medical sources, epithelial cancer afflicts the epithelial cells lining the female ovaries, and in here starts all ovarian cancers.

The effectiveness of kamunggay in the treatment of ovarian cancer is attributed to a combination of anti-tumor and hormonal properties that can be found from the plant's root bark extracts, according to the research.

As a green-leafy vegetable, kamunggay is also found to contain phytochemicals that can prevent the development of cancer cells.

Epithelial cancers start as tumors and has been one of the most fatal reproductive disorders in women and the "silent killer" has accounted for over 50% deaths in women afflicted with this kind of cancer, the same medical sources said.

While cancer treatment could be one expensive treatment regimen at the country's medical institutions, several quarters now are promoting alternative treatments.

And owing to its miraculous properties, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has committed to promote and develop it not just as alternative herbal medicine but as a revenue-generating agricultural product as well.

The DA commits to put the lowly kamunggay under its biotechnology program while considering its myriad health and medicinal benefits.

Kamunggay, dubbed as "miracle vegetable," is also among the many indigenous plants in the country that offers promising health benefits.

Aside from cancer, the onset of other chronic diseases like arthritis, heart complications and kidney diseases can be prevented because of the potent antioxidants from malunggay.

The kamunggay is highly rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which combat free radicals that can impair the body's metabolism and eventually cause cell death, the research continues.

"It also helps maintain good eyesight and facilitates digestion and bowel movement, and is used to cleanse wounds and ulcers, cure stomach aches, scurvy, asthma, earache and headaches", it said.

The kamunggay could also be developed as an export crop and primary income source for farmers, according to the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).

In a report to DA Secretary Arthur Yap, BAR said the malunggay will be showcased at the launching of the BAR's "Indigenous Plants for Health and Wellness Program" in line with the proclamation of National Heath and Wellness Month.

Kalunggay, also termed as the drumstick tree or horseradish tree, is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa.

It can be grown almost anywhere using seeds and cuttings.

Three months after germination, the young leaves can already be harvested, providing Filipino families a highly affordable and readily available source of vitamins, niacin, iron, calcium, and protein. (PIA) [top]

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