Mother Earth Living

Natural Health

Better living through nature

Add to My MSN

In The News: Wild Tomatillo Plant May Hold Cancer Fighting Compounds

5/9/2012 4:10:26 PM

Tags: In The News, Anticancer Herbs, Wild Tomatillo Plant, Tomatillo Plant, Cancer-Fighting Compounds, University Of Kansas, Research, Study, Medicine Cabinet, Health, Justine Patton

J.PattonResearchers at the University of Kansas have discovered a plant that may have cancer-fighting capabilities. And, if you live anywhere in the Great Plains, it’s a weed you can probably see outside your window: the wild tomatillo.

The wild tomatillo (Physalis longifolia) is a member of the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, potatoes, tomatillos and eggplant. The plant produces fruits similar to the domesticated tomatillos that you can find in your local grocery store. In the past, numerous Native American tribes depended on the wild tomatillo for food and medicine. The Zuni tribe dried and ground the berries to produce a meal for making bread, and the Laguna tribe ate the plant's berries for nourishment. In addition, records indicate that the Omaha, Ponca and Winnebago tribe used wild tomatillo to treat headache and stomachache, and as a dressing for injuries. The Iroquois tribe treated veneral disease sores with the plant, and the Lakota tribe used the wild tomatillo to enhance appetite.

5-9-12-wild-tomatillo 
Venture into any Great Plains' field and you may run into this cancer-fighting plant.
Photo by Scarygami/Courtesy
Flickr 

Today, this common North American weed may be the key to groundbreaking cancer-fighting treatments. Researchers have discovered that wild tomatillo contains 14 unique compounds that have shown promising anticancer properties in preclinical testing. So far, these compounds, known as withanolides, have been shown to have a significant effect against melanomas, thyroid cancer, breast cancer, head and neck squamous, glioblastoma brain tumors and even certain leukemias. In the lab, these compounds have drastically shrunk—or even completely dissolved—aggressive cancers in mice. Only time will tell if these effects carry over to humans.

This KU team is the first to examine the longifolia species as a source of possible medicinal uses. For more information on their research, check out the news release on the University of Kansas’ website. And for more information on the wild tomatillo, click here.



Related Content

In The News: Russian Scientists Revive 30,000-Year-Old Narrow-Leafed White Campion

Scientists in Russia have brought a narrow-leafed white campion to life from 30,000-year-old tissue.

Discover the Lost Art of Keying Wild Plants

There is a beauty in discovering the lost art of keying wild plants. Learn more about this practice.

Introducing LiveWall Planted Wall System

Hortech, Inc. announceds the introduction of its LiveWall planted wall system that transforms ordina...

Garden Giveaway: The Great Sunflower Project

Win sunflower seeds, attract pollinators and help bee populations in your area.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 



Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.