African Herbs: Nigerian Bitter Leaf and Madagascar Periwinkles for Breast Cancers Cures

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Tamoxifen is made from an extract of Madagascar periwinkle, an African herb.

Madagascar periwinkle

Amgygdalina is an extract of an African herb known in Nigeria as the Bitter leaf.

Nigerian Bitter leaf

A comparison of Tamoxifen and Vernonia amygdalina on the human breast cancer cell line BT-549

LaKeia R Layne, Tennessee State University

Cancer, the second leading cause of death in the United States exceeded only by heart disease, kills more than 500,000 people yearly. Of that number 40,910 people will have died as a result of breast cancer with more than 274,000 new cases being diagnosed in 2007 (

As this number continues to increase every year, people are looking for a more aggressive and natural treatment to cure breast cancer. ^

Phytochemicals, non-nutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease preventive properties, have become a new and ever growing source of alternative medicine.

Vernonia Amygdalina, also known as Bitter Leaf, has been used to treat breast cancer in its native country Nigeria and has been commended for it results.

This study has examined the anticarcinogenic effects of aqueous and crude extracts of Vernonia Amygdalina on human breast cancer cell line BT-549.

This study also compares the effects of aqueous and crude Vernonia Amygdalina to Tamoxifen on BT549.

The data indicated that all concentrations (6.31, 3.15, 1.58, 0.788, and 0.394 mg/ml) of the crude extract of Vernonia Amygdalina decreases the growth rate of BT-549 breast cancer cells (p<0.05).

All concentration of Tamoxifen (5.0, 2.5, 1.25, 0.625, and 0.3125 ug/ml) inhibited the growth of BT-549 cells (p<0.05).

Only three of the six aqueous extracts of Vernonia Amygdalina (213, 106, and 53 ug/ml) demonstrated some inhibition of BT-549.

Further test are needed to determine if Vernonia Amygdalina induces apoptosis. Clinical trials are also need to demonstrate that Vernonia Amygdalina is similar or more potent than Tamoxifen.

LaKeia R Layne, “A comparison of Tamoxifen and Vernonia amygdalina on the human breast cancer cell line BT-549” (January 1, 2007). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1447777.

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