Can Herbal Medicine Cure Cancer?

People start turning to alternative medicine to treat cancer. But, is it effective? What do doctors say about this? According to dr. Elisna Syahruddin, PhD, Sp. P(K) at RS Persahabatan, Jakarta standard treatment for lung cancer are surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immuno-oncology drugs.

“There are no scientific evidence yet that herbal medicine can kill lung cancer; however, it is more like additional supplement,” he said to Kompas.com, Wednesday (14/2/2018). “There are still people who don’t know this and only rely on herbal treatment without medical treatment and finally it is too late for them for treatment therapy,” he added.

Doctor Achmad Hudoyo at RSUP Persahabatan agreed. There was no research yet to prove that natural treatment was effective to treat cancer. “Research to test drugs need a lot of money and it has to go through extraction process, test them on animals, and clinical testing in several phases. And it needs tens of thousand people or samples,” Hudoyo said.

There were some research about potency of herbal drugs to treat cancer. Bambang Pusjiasmanto, Dean of Faculty of Agriculture, Universitas Sebelas Maret said that soursop leaves (Annona muricata) and keladi tikus plant (Typhonium flagelliforme) had properties that helped healing process in cancer patients.

“Soursop leaves contain annonaceous acetogenins, aasimisin and squamosin compounds. The compounds play roles as anti-cancer, including lung cancer. Soursop leaves is safer than chemotherapy,” Pusjiasmanto said.

Bambang explained how to use soursop leaves for cancer treatment. First, wash clean 10 soursop leaves. Boil three glasses of water and 10 soursop leaves. Wait until it’s only left one glass of water. After that refine the concoction and cool it down. “It is better to drink the concoction every day. Meanwhile, keladi tikus plants have ibi ethyl acetate, hexane, phenylpropanoud glycosides, cerebriside, sterols and dichloromethane compounds that are able to fight cancer cells,” Pusjiasmanto explained.

“Research about the benefits of keladi tikus plant has been proven that it can heal lung cancer, one of those research was done by National Cancer in 1976. So, this concoction is not just preventing, but it can heal as well,” Pusjiasmanto added.

The recipe for keladi tikus was the same with soursop leaves. “You can use the leaves or midrib, take 5 leaves, boil them and wait it cool down,” Pusjiasmanto explained. Can herbal medicine be used as main treatment for cancer? Well, we need to do extensive research for that.

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