Medicinal plants used as antitumor agents in Brazil: An ethnobotanical approach

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In this study, we describe the medicinal plants that have been reported to be antitumor agents and that have been used in ethnobotanic research in Brazil to answer the following questions: what is the abundance of plants reported to be antitumor in Brazil? Have the plant species used for tumor treatment in traditional Brazilian medicine been sufficiently examined scientifically? Our analysis included papers published between 1980 and 2008. A total of 84 medicinal plant species were reported to be used for cancer and tumor prevention or treatment; 69.05% of these were cited as being used for the treatment of tumors and cancer in general and 30.95% for specific tumors or cancers. The plants that were cited at a higher frequency were Aloe vera, Euphorbia tirucalli, and Tabebuia impetiginosa. At least, one pharmacological study was found for 35.71% of the species. Majority of the studies selected were conducted in rural communities and urban areas and in areas with traditional healers in Brazil. We found the following molecules to be the most studied in vitro and in vivo: silibinin, -lapachone, plumbagin and capsaicin. The species addressed here constitute interesting objects for future studies to various professionals in the field of natural products. Copyright © 2011 Joabe Gomes de Melo et al.




De Melo, J. G., Santos, A. G., De Amorim, E. L. C., Nascimento, S. C. D., & De Albuquerque, U. P. (2011). Medicinal plants used as antitumor agents in Brazil: An ethnobotanical approach. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

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