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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1978 Mar;60(3):683-6.

Carcinogenicity of some folk medicinal herbs in rats.


Twelve medicinal herbs were bioassayed to correlate a high incidence of esophageal carcinoma in natives of different places with their habitual consumption of these products. Outbred NIH Black rats were given 72 weekly sc injections of the total aqueous extracts of the plant materials. The tanninrich plant extracts from Areca catechu and Rhus copallina produced local tumors in 100 and 33%, respectively, of the experimental animals. Other materials included Diospyros virginiana and extracts from plants not rich in tannins. Diospyros and extracts of Sassafras albidum and Chenopodium ambrosiodes were tumorigenic in over 50% of the treated animals.

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