Chamomile has been known for its wide array of health benefits since the middle ages. Medieval monks, for instance, prescribed lying down on chamomile flower beds to reduce depression and stimulate relaxation. Chamomile tea, which has become very popular nowadays, also helps fuel our appetite before meals and relax the stomach afterward.

Chamomile tea contains a chemical called apigenin, which takes away some of the‘superpowers’ of cancer cells.Scientists at Ohio State University found that apigenin can block the ability of breast cancer cells to live far longer than normal cells, halting their spread and making them more sensitive to drug therapy. Chamomile tea, parsley and celery are the most abundant sources of apigenin but it is also found in many fruits and vegetables that are more common in a Mediterranean diet. New research also shows that chamomile oil can kill up to 93% of breast cancer cells. Cinnamon, thyme, and jasmine essential oils are also thought to be useful.

Apigenin, which has also been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory, works in a way that suggests other nutrients could have similar effects in warding off cancer.It helps proteins correct the abnormalities in RNA – molecules carrying genetic information – that are responsible for about 80% of cancers.In collaboration with specific set of proteins, apigenin re-establishes the normal profile in cancer cells. This can have great value clinically as a potential cancer-prevention strategy.

Cancer cells thrive by inhibiting a process called apoptosis that would cause them to die on a regular cycle subject to strict programming.The researchers also showed that apigenin binds to an estimate of 160 proteins in the human body, suggesting that some other nutrients linked to health benefits called ‘nutraceuticals’ might have similar far reaching effects.Among the most important ones ishnRNPA2 which influences the mRNAs, which are molecules that containing the instructions needed to produce a specific protein. Abnormalities in these molecules are responsible for about 80 percent of all cancers.

The researchers observed that apigenin’sbinding to the hnRNPA2 protein restored the function of mRNA in breast cancer cells.

The beneficial effects of apigenin are not limited to cancer as the investigators previously had found that apigenin has anti-inflammatory activities. The scientists noted that with its multiple cellular targets, apigenin potentially offers a variety of additional benefits that may be discovered over time.The researchers are now testing whether food that is modified to contain proper doses of the nutrient can prevent cancer in mice.


COPYRIGHT: This article is property of We Speak Science, a nonprofit institution co-founded by Dr. Detina Zalli (Harvard University) and Dr. Argita Zalli (Imperial College London). The article is written by Vedat Sunguri ( Master of Pharmacy, University of Pristina) .