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J Sci Food Agric. 2011 Aug 15;91(10):1849-54. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4394. Epub 2011 Mar 30.

Anti-tumorigenic activity of five culinary and medicinal herbs grown under greenhouse conditions and their combination effects.

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  • 1Department of Horticulture, 1111 Miller Plant Science Building, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-7273, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Herbs and spices have been used as food preservatives, flavorings, and in traditional medicines for thousands of years. More and more scientific evidence supports the medicinal properties of culinary herbs. Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the USA, and the fourth most common form of cancer worldwide. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the antitumor activity of five selected herbs grown under greenhouse conditions, and to study the potential synergistic effects among different herbal extract combinations.

RESULTS:

Thyme, rosemary, sage, spearmint, and peppermint extracts significantly inhibited SW-480 colon cancer cell growth, with sage extracts exhibiting the highest bioactivity, with 50% inhibition at 35.9 µg mL⁻¹, which was equivalent to 93.9 µg dried leaves mL⁻¹ of culture medium. Some mixtures of different herbal extracts had combination effects on cancer cell growth. The inhibitory effects of peppermint + sage combinations at a 1:1 ratio were significantly higher than rosemary + sage combinations at 1:1 ratio, although peppermint extracts showed lower inhibition than rosemary extracts.

CONCLUSION:

Extracts from herb species (thyme, rosemary, sage, spearmint and peppermint) can significantly inhibit the growth of human colon cancer cells. Mixtures of herb extracts can have combination effects on cancer cell growth. The study suggests that these five herbs may have potential health benefits to suppress colon cancer.

Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

PMID:
21452174
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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