Promising Homeopathic Treatment for Cancer – Thuja Occidentalis

One of my early and onging regimens to protect my body from the formation of a new tumor is alternating doses of two homeopathic remedies, twice a day. This was recommended to me by one of the leading world practitioners of alternate remedies based on my total profile.

The first is 2 drops of Phytolacca 200C followed 3 hours later by 2 drops of Thuja Occidentalis 30C taken in 2 tsp of filtered water, and repeated another time later in the day.  (Homeopathic tinctures need to be taken 15-20 mins. away from taking anything by mouth.)

The studies supporting this regimen are ongoing and rather impressive. Below is one such study focused on Thuja.

Thuja_occidentalis

NOTE: If you would like to consider adding this to your supplement routine, please Contact Me so I can refer you to a homeopathic practitioner who can assess your situation and prescribe the right combo for you. Homeopathy takes the whole person into consideration for appropriate treatment, and not the symptoms alone.

You can read more about Thuja at the NIH website by clicking here.
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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 568148

Thujone-Rich Fraction of Thuja occidentalis Demonstrates Major Anti-Cancer Potentials: Evidences from In Vitro Studies on A375 Cells

Raktim Biswas,1 Sushil Kumar Mandal,1 Suman Dutta,1 Soumya Sundar Bhattacharyya,1 Naoual Boujedaini,2 and Anisur Rahman Khuda-Bukhsh1

1Cytogenetics and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani 741235, India2Boiron Laboratory, 20 rue de la Libération., Sainte-Foy-Les-Lyon (69110), France

Received 17 November 2009; Accepted 9 April 2010

Copyright © 2011 Raktim Biswas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Crude ethanolic extract of Thuja occidentalis (Fam: Cupressaceae) is used as homeopathic mother tincture (TOΦ) to treat various ailments, particularly moles and tumors, and also used in various other systems of traditional medicine. Anti-proliferative and apoptosis-inducing properties of TOΦ and the thujone-rich fraction (TRF) separated from it have been evaluated for their possible anti-cancer potentials in the malignant melanoma cell line A375.

On initial trial both TOΦ and TRF showed maximum cytotoxic effect on A375 cell line while the other three principal fractions separated by chromatography had negligible or no such effect, because of which only TRF was further characterized and subjected to certain other assays for determining its precise anti-proliferative and apoptotic potentials.

Exposure of TRF of Thuja occidentalis to A375 cells in vitro showed more cytotoxic, anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects as compared with TOΦ, but had minimal growth inhibitory responses when exposed to normal cells (peripheral blood mononuclear cell).  Furthermore, both TOΦ and TRF also caused a significant decrease in cell viability, induced inter-nucleosomal DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial transmembrane potential collapse, increase in ROS generation, and release of cytochrome c and caspase-3 activation, all of which are closely related to the induction of apoptosis in A375 cells.

Thus, TRF showed and matched all the anti-cancer responses of TOΦ and could be the main bio-active fraction. The use of TOΦ in traditional medicines against tumors has, therefore, a scientific basis.

Introduction

Thuja occidentalis (Fam: Cupressaceae), commonly known as Arbor vitae or white cedar, is an ornamental tree grown in Europe [1]. It is used as a medicinal plant in various forms of traditional medicines like folk medicine, homeopathy, and so forth, for treatment of bronchial catarrh, enuresis, cystitis, psoriasis, uterine carcinomas, amenorrhea and rheumatism [25]. In homeopathy, the crude ethanolic extract of T. occidentalis is used as mother tincture (TOΦ).

Thuja is also occasionally used for treating diseases of skin, blood, gastrointestinal tract, kidney, brain, warty excrescences, spongy tumors, and so forth, and claimed to have pronounced remedial effects.

The extract has been reported to enhance the antibody response to sheep blood cells [6]. Protective effect of T. occidentalis has also been reported against radiation-induced toxicity in mice [7]. Ameliorative effect of T. occidentalis has also been suggested in preventing congestive heart disease [8]. Therefore, it gained attention of pharmacologists to study the major constituents of the dried herbal substances of T. occidentalis [911].

The major components found in extracts of all varieties of T. occidentalis comprise essential oil (1.4–4%) as the principal constituent.

In homeopathic literature [13], TOΦ has been reported to be effective against various forms of skin diseases, particularly in the treatment of moles and papillomas.

Homeopathic TOΦ has been reported earlier to have cytotoxic effect in Dalton’s lymphoma ascites (DLA), Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC), and lung carcinoma L929 [14]. Dubey and Batra also reported hepato-protective activities [15] and antioxidant activity [16] of T. occidentalis in CCL4-treated liver damage in rats.

However, to the best of our knowledge, anti-cancer potentials of TOΦ or any of its major fractions had not been tested earlier in skin cancer cell line A375 by utilizing some widely acceptable parameters of study.

Thus, the hypotheses to be tested were:

(i)              whether TOΦ and all chromatographically separated fractions had potential anti-cancer effects in A375 cells;

(ii)            if any fraction could be demarcated as the most biologically active one;

(iii)          if, it is possible, to chemically characterize this fraction;

(iv)          whether the cytotoxic, anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects of the fraction, vis-à-vis TOΦ, could be compared with focus on its possible mechanism of action; and

(v)            if it is possible to assess the overall anti-cancer potentials of TOΦ in relation to its preferential cytotoxic effect over normal cells, by analyzing results of different relevant assays including the possible signaling pathways.

Findings:

Results of the present study would indicate that the homeopathic drug T. occidentalis Φ had four chromatographically separated fractions of which the thujone-rich fraction was found to be the most bioactive (anti-cancer, pro-apoptotic) component. Unfortunately, despite our best effort, the oily nature of this fraction did not allow us to purify it to 100%, for which we were able to perform only mass spectrometry of TRF.

Anti-cancer activity of the alcoholic extract of T. occidentalis had earlier been reported by Sunila and Kuttan [14] from their in vivo studies in rats. In our present in vitro study involving several protocols, we confirm the pro-apoptotic and anti-cancer potential of T. occidentalis mother tincture. Additionally, it was revealed that the thujone-rich component was possibly the key bioactive compound showing its promising anti-cancer potentials in the skin cancer cell line A375, a fact which had not earlier been reported.

We determined the optimum dose through a range finding trial. The result revealed that the 220.18 μg mL–1 of TOΦ could produce 50% cell death in A375 while that dose was relatively non-toxic to PBMC. Correspondingly, of the three doses of 50, 100, 200 μg mL–1 of TRF used, 200 μg mL–1 TRF showed the maximum effect surpassing the effect of treatment with the TOΦ as revealed from the result of the several protocols.

References

  1. L. C. Chang, L. L. Song, E. J. Park et al., “Bioactive constituents of Thuja occidentalis,” Journal of Natural Products, vol. 63, no. 9, pp. 1235–1238, 2000.
  2. British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, Thuja, British Herbal Medicine Association, West Yorks, UK, 1983.
  3. K. Shimada, “Contribution to anatomy of the central nervous system of the Japanese upon the vermal arbour vitae,” Okajimas Folia Anatomica Japonica, vol. 28, pp. 207–227, 1956.
  4. D. Baran, “Arbor vitae, a guarantee of health,” Revista Medico-Chirurgicala a Societatii de Medici si Naturalisti din Lasi, vol. 95, no. 3-4, pp. 347–349, 1991.
  5. Thuja occidentalis,” 2010, http://abchomeopathy.com/r.php/Thuj.
  6. C. Bodinet and J. Freudenstein, “Effects of an orally applied aqueous-ethanolic extract of a mixture of Thujae occidentalis herba, Baptisiae tinctoriae radix, Echinaceae purpureae radix and Echinaceae pallidae radix on antibody response against sheep red blood cells in mice,” Planta Medica, vol. 65, pp. 695–699, 1999.
  7. E. S. Sunila and G. Kuttan, “Protective effect of Thuja occidentalis against radiation-induced toxicity in mice,” Integrative Cancer Therapies, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 322–328, 2005.
  8. S. K. Dubey and A. Batra, “Role of Thuja occidentalis Linn. in prevention of congestive heart disease,” Journal of Pharmacy Research, vol. 2, pp. 651–654, 2009.
  9. T. Dimitroula, G. Konstantia, P. O. Loretta, K. B. Miroslawa, S. Caroline, and C. Ioanna, “Chemosystematic value of the essential oil composition of Thuja species cultivated in Poland- antimicrobial activity,” Molecules, vol. 14, pp. 4707–4715, 2009.
  10. EMEA—The European Agency for the Evaluation of MedicinalProducts, “Committee for Veterinary Medicinal Products—Thuja occidentalis,” Summary Report, Canary Wharf, London, UK, 1999.
  11. Witte, J. Berlin, V. Wray, W. Schubert, W. Kohl, G. Hofle, et al., “Mono-und diterpenes from cell cultures or Thuja occidenalis,” Planta Medica, vol. 49, pp. 216–221, 1983.
  12. B. Naser, C. Bodinet, M. Tegtmeier, and U. Lindequist, “Thuja occidentalis (Arbor vitae): a review of its pharmaceutical, pharmacological and clinical properties,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 69–78, 2005.
  13. W. Boerick, Pocket Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica, Sett, Dey & Co, Calcutta, India, 1976.
  14. E. S. Sunila and G. Kuttan, “A preliminary study on antimetastatic activity of Thuja occidentalis L. in mice model,” Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 269–280, 2006.
  15. S. K. Dubey and A. Batra, “Hepatoprotective activity from ethanol fraction of Thuja occidentalis Linn,” Asian Journal of Research in Chemistry, vol. 1, pp. 32–35, 2008.
  16. S. K. Dubey and A. Batra, “Antioxidant activity of Thuja occidentalis linn,” Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, vol. 2, pp. 73–76, 2009.

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 International Journal of Oncology

February 2010 Volume 36 Number 2

Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells

Authors: Moshe Frenkel, Bal Mukund Mishra, Subrata Sen, Peiying Yang, Alison Pawlus, Luis Vence, Aimee Leblanc, Lorenzo Cohen, Pratip Banerji, Prasanta Banerji
Affiliations: Integrative Medicine Program-Unit 145, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030-4009, USA. frenkelm@netvision.net.il
Doi: 10.3892/ijo_00000512
Pages: 395-403
Abstract:The use of ultra-diluted natural products in the management of disease and treatment of cancer has generated a lot of interest and controversy. We conducted an in vitro study to determine if products prescribed by a clinic in India have any effect on breast cancer cell lines. We studied four ultra-diluted remedies (Carcinosin, Phytolacca, Conium and Thuja) against two human breast adenocarcinoma cell lines (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) and a cell line derived from immortalized normal human mammary epithelial cells. The remedies exerted preferential cytotoxic effects against the two breast cancer cell lines, causing cell cycle delay/arrest and apoptosis.These effects were accompanied by altered expression of the cell cycle regulatory proteins, including downregulation of phosphorylated Rb and upregulation of the CDK inhibitor p27, which were likely responsible for the cell cycle delay/arrest as well as induction of the apoptotic cascade that manifested in the activation of caspase 7 and cleavage of PARP in the treated cells.

The findings demonstrate biological activity of these natural products when presented at ultra-diluted doses. Further in-depth studies with additional cell lines and animal models are warranted to explore the clinical applicability of these agents.

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