Can African Plants Help in the Fight Against Mesothelioma?

jungle with green plants

Sadly, doctors and medical experts have yet to find an effective treatment for mesothelioma — a deadly cancer typically linked to asbestos exposure. In fact, not only is there currently no known cure for mesothelioma, but even the most powerful cancer drugs today generally have a minimal impact on this aggressive disease.

However, researchers in Cameroon and Turkey believe that certain types of African plants “deserve more exploration” to determine if they can be used to create potential treatments for mesothelioma and other deadly cancers.

Are African Plants the Key to Treating Mesothelioma?

As part of their recent study — which is available on the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s (NCBI) website — researchers evaluated six African plants traditionally used in the treatment of cancer and other diseases with symptoms related to cancer. These plants included: 1) Elephantopus mollis; 2) Millettia macrophyll; 3) Lophira alata; 4) Enantia chlorantha; 5) Phragmanthera capitata and 6) Kalanchoe crenata.

Specifically, they were examining the methanol extracts of these plants in order to determine if the plants could be used to create an effective cancer treatment.

Based upon their research and analysis, the study concluded that three plants — the Elephantopus mollis whole plant, Kalanchoe crenata leaves and Millettia macrophyll leaves — had the “most active extracts,” meaning they may be able to be used in the treatment/management of malignant diseases such as mesothelioma.

However, as the study clearly points out, additional research and exploration is needed in order to determine if these plants will, in fact, lead to effective cancer drugs. We can only hope so, especially when you consider that mesothelioma deaths in the U.S. are still on the rise.