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Science: Medicinal Properties of Plants

The Aristolochia plant, from the botanical Aristoloquiacea family, is proved to be carcinogenic. Photo: Radio RebeldeThe medicinal properties of plants should be properly confirmed by biologists who study their benefits for the human health, what turns into an essential guarantee for a true cure, as there are many gullible people who have followed “the oral tradition,” thus neglecting scientific reasoning and have therefore been the victims of serious intoxications.

The Aristolochia plant is an example of the plants which are being studied continuously. This species is part of the botanical Aristoloquiacea family. It adopts the shape of small and wooden climbing plants with even stinking flowers.

It is formed by seven genura and some 400 species through almost the tropical and mild regions, although without any real economic importance, and there are just a few of them which are regarded as having medicinal properties.

The aforementioned flower main characteristics includes that its external part is opened in its upper section and it is tubular in its lower section. The female parts, which are known as pistils, cover the male ones; besides, they all ripe before the male ones.

That floral tube, which is covered internally by rigid hairs which are bent towards the floor, catch the incoming insects which care not able to go out later and if the intruder carries pollen to another flower, then the pollination is carried out in there and the aforementioned structures are left exposed and it is supplied the insect with more pollen, then it relaxes its internal hair by allowing the insect to escape.

The two biggest groups of the abovementioned family include some 350 species in one of them and the other has nearly 70 species. The first genus is part of a native species from the western zone of the United States which is called as pipe in Dutch language. It is cultivate as an ornamental climbing plant.

In addition, there is another plant named as Pelican with has flowers which resembles a type of tale of a 1 meter diameter. Moreover, there is another species which is distributed along the south region of Spain and Portugal. The round aristoloquia and the pistoloquia species, on their part, live in the Mediterranean region. The second important genus is a climbing grass with flowers that grow near the floor.

Known since some thousand years ago, this family of the world flora constitutes the true interest in the field of the biology given the fact that after being studied by an international group of scientists, it was revealed that the component, which is frequently used in the Chinese medicine, causes damages to the DNA or even the cancer disease.

According to the specialists, that substance causes more mutations in genes than any other cancerous element such as the nicotine poisoning or the ultraviolet light which transforms it into the biggest toxic agent ever discovered to date.

The aforementioned study, which was published by the Translational Medicine Science, revealed the case of people who were exposed to that component and it was observed a mutation of their DNA, as well as tumors attributed to other causes.

In addition, the researches carried out by the United Sates, Singapore and Taiwan explained that acid comes from the Aristolochia plant which is genus that is part of the abovementioned Aristloloquiacea family of which its flower gives off an intense rotten meat smell that attracts insects and mainly flies which carry out the pollination.

For the first time, the scientists use the molecular signature or track of this carcinogenic component to detect its implication in the liver cancer which had never been attributed to that component.

Although the first news about the acid’s toxicity appeared in the 1990 decade of last century which was then linked with the kidney damage in women who had been given that natural supplement at a health clinic for the human slimming in Belgium. The current studies reflected an increase of the higher urinary cancer track and kidney diseases due to the frequent use of medicinal cures with that component.

In short, there is a main knowledge inferred from all of this; let us not to continue believing blindly in the benefits of the natural and traditional medicine. The science will always be conclusive. / Source: Radio Rebelde / Translated by Juan Carlos Caballero.

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